Creamsicle Taste in a Cupcake? Well that *is* Dreamy!
Remember those orange and vanilla creamsicles from when we were kids? I’d hear that music a mile away and chase the ice cream truck down the street, a quarter clenched in my hand. He’d pull over to the curb to a throng of screaming kids, and we’d binge on frozen treats in the hot sun while they dripped down our elbow. These divine orange cupcakes are nostalgic to those  ice cream truck treats – a wonderfully creamy combo of orange and vanilla.

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I discovered the original recipe on All Recipes, but I adapted it a bit for a less processed flavor – I’m not a fan of Miracle Whip (ew). Your family will flip for these sweets – be sure to set a couple aside for you, they’ll disappear as fast as that ice cream truck does each Summer!

What you’ll need for the Cupcakes:

  • 1 package orange cake mix – OR – 1 package vanilla cake mix + 2 tsp orange extract (my preference)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I know – sounds good, but makes them creamy!)
  • 1 envelope (1.3 oz) dry whipped topping mix (like Dream Whip®)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated orange zest

For the White Cream Topping:

  • 1 jar marshmallow creme (13 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortning, softened

For the Orange Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 drops orange food coloring – OR – one 2 drops red + 5 drops yellow
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • White sugar pearls

What You’ll Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Beat together the orange cake mix (or vanilla + orange extract), mayo, whipped topping mix, 3/4 cup orange juice, eggs, and 2 tablespoons orange zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is moist, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then increase speed to medium and continue beating until well blended, about 2 minutes more. Fill the  cupcake cups about 2/3 full. You’ll probably have some left over batter – make a couple more if you have enough (can never have too many of these tidbits!)
  3. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool on a wire rack. Be sure to cool the cupcakes completely before frosting, or the frosting will slip off.
  4. To make white cream topping: Beat the marshmallow creme, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/2 cup shortening in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  5. Transfer the topping into a pastry bag, fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe a single layer of cream topping onto each cupcake – about 1/2 inch thick – letting about half of the orange cupcake show below the while cream for a layered look.
  6. To make orange frosting: Beat 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in 1/4 cup orange juice, zest of 1 orange, vanilla extract, and food coloring until well combined. Gradually sift in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
  7. Transfer the frosting to another pastry bag, fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a swirled layer of orange butter cream, ending in a peak, over the cream topping on the cupcakes.
  8. Sprinkle each cupcakes with the sugar pearls for a final touch.
  9. Hide a cupcake in the pantry for yourself.
  10. Serve to your family / friends and enjoy!

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