Orange Cupcakes: Cupcakes Grilled in an Orange | Cupcake Project

Orange Cupcakes: Cupcakes Grilled in an Orange

Orange Cupcakes on the Grill? Were They Any Good?

Before you think my orange cupcakes grilled in an orange were just another kooky failed experiment, I want to say right up front that these were delicious. I made plain vanilla cupcakes but because they were grilled in the orange, they took on an orange flavor and gained a lot of moisture.

Bride 2.0 called baking in the orange “ingenious” and my friend and taster extraordinaire, Ran, said the cupcake in an orange was “the most fun I’ve had eating a cupcake in a while.” Ran complained a bit about the texture. It was a bit different than normal because of grilling, but overall they were a hit. Bride and Groom 2.0 both preferred the vanilla cake grilled in the orange to the same cake in a normal cupcake liner. However, I am not going to be grilling cupcakes for their wedding.

Where Did I Get the Idea to Grill Orange Cupcakes in an Orange?

The idea for these orange cupcakes made in an orange came from Sylvia, a friend/reader. Sylvia left a comment on my packing peanut post saying, “I was talking to a park ranger about outdoor cooking once and he mentioned a great way to make a cupcake-like thing at a campsite — bake a spice cake mix in a hollowed out orange over coals or fire (I can’t remember which).” As soon as I saw her comment, I knew making cupcakes in an orange was in my future.

I had no plans to go camping, but I figured a grill was the second best thing.

How to Grill Cupcakes in an Orange

To grill cupcakes in an orange, you’ll need the following:

  • Half as many oranges as cupcakes you want to make. I bought a bag of 10 seedless navel oranges.
  • Your favorite cupcake batter – like the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake.  Vanilla works nicely because when the vanilla flavor mixes with the orange, the combination tasted like a creamsicle. However, you could use any recipe you like in your orange.
  • A cupcake tin or some foil.
  • A grill.

The cupcake grilling steps:


  • Cut the oranges in half and scoop out the insides. You don’t have to be perfect about it. If there is some orange left in there it will just be a tasty treat at the bottom of your cupcake.
  • Fill the orange halves 3/4 full with cupcake batter.
  • Place the oranges in foil directly on the wood or coal as shown in the picture on the left or set the oranges in a cupcake tray on the grill as shown in the picture on the right. I tried both methods. I think the cupcake tray worked better but the tray got a bit charred and is a pain to clean. Use an old one if you have one.
  • Monitor the cupcakes really closely. The cooking speed will vary depending on the heat of your grill. You may also need to rotate the tray or the individual cupcakes to account for uneven heat. You know they are done when a toothpick comes out dry. It took mine about 10 minutes to cook.


Orange Frosting Recipe

I frosted the cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting. It worked perfectly!

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72 Responses to Orange Cupcakes: Cupcakes Grilled in an Orange

  1. Rachel June 30, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    That’s really fun!

  2. Gillsnthrills June 30, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Those look incredible! I’m definitely making those.

  3. dobetter June 30, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    At first I thought I had mis-read something, but no…cupcakes grilled in an orange. Fascinating. I think this would be lots of fun to do while camping.

  4. takethecannoli June 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    How interesting. I never would think to make cupcakes over a grill. I wish I had a grill to try these out on!

  5. Ivy June 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    You have got to be kidding! You are way too much!
    Flashback to the comment I made on your microwave cupcake post “what’s next grilled cupcakes?”

    And the Crazy-Inventive-Can-you-REALLY-do that? to a Cupcake Award goes to…………..You!
    Next up boiled or um…let’s see deep fried? no sauteed?

  6. Michelle June 30, 2008 at 6:42 pm #

    I’ve baked in a banana peel, in fact on a grill, but I never thought of using an orange peel. Super idea!!

  7. toontz June 30, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    That is just too fun!

  8. Tina June 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    How cool and what a way to impress. Thanks for another creative way to make cupcakes. Keep ’em coming!

  9. K. June 30, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    What a creative (and pretty) cupcake. I bet I’d love these!

  10. Paula June 30, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    This is the most creative cupcake that I’ve seen in a long time! I bet they are fun to eat, too! My kids would think these are cool, and my adult friends would be so impressed! Great eats!

  11. Marija July 1, 2008 at 1:20 am #

    Genial idea!

  12. Lysy July 1, 2008 at 2:20 am #

    How ingenious! The orange and vanilla combination sounds lovely, and it’s nice that the cupcakes get to participate in the grill-fest!

  13. Pille July 1, 2008 at 3:07 am #

    That is very original, Stephanie!! Well done!

  14. Chef Ashbabe July 1, 2008 at 3:34 am #

    That is such a genius idea! They look absolutely Amazing!

  15. Lori in Webster Groves July 1, 2008 at 7:24 am #

    Wow, that sounds like a great thing to do over the coals while the meat is resting after grilling. I suppose it might take longer if the grill is starting to cooling down, but it’s a thought worth pondering… Plus I love creamsicles!

    Thanks for the idea.

  16. cindy* July 1, 2008 at 7:28 am #

    i am for sure making these on the 4th of july…so amazing!

  17. My Sweet & Saucy July 1, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, what a cool presentation and flavor component!

  18. My Sweet & Saucy July 1, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, what a cool presentation and flavor component!

  19. My Sweet & Saucy July 1, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, what a cool presentation and flavor component!

  20. My Sweet & Saucy July 1, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, what a cool presentation and flavor component!

  21. My Sweet & Saucy July 1, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Wow, what a cool presentation and flavor component!

  22. Julie July 1, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    Awesome! The idea of a creamiscle cupcake is so appealing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a grill. I wonder if I could just bake these.

    I love chockylit!

  23. ironstef July 1, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    awesome! I’ve seen breakfast rolls cooked in oranges on campfires, which I’ve been meaning to try. Now I’m totally gonna do cupcakes instead! And congrats on being website of the day on Newschannel 5 today!

  24. Liliana July 1, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    These cupcakes look amazing. What an idea! I have served sorbet in orange shells but never thought I could bake cupcakes in them.

    thanks for sharing this recipe!

  25. Hi! I'm Kim July 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    I am SO doing these this weekend for our BBQ! What a concept!

  26. Hi! I'm Kim July 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    I am SO doing these this weekend for our BBQ! What a concept!

  27. Hi! I'm Kim July 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    I am SO doing these this weekend for our BBQ! What a concept!

  28. Hi! I'm Kim July 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    I am SO doing these this weekend for our BBQ! What a concept!

  29. Hi! I'm Kim July 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    I am SO doing these this weekend for our BBQ! What a concept!

  30. Sylvia July 1, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    Wow! Way to take an idea and run with it! They look great! May have to try this for the 4th. Any idea how far in advance one can make cupcake batter and still get decent cupcakes?

  31. Gina July 1, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    I don’t know about you, but that right there is some cool stuff! :) This looks like FUN, too!

  32. Jodi July 1, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    I can’t believe no one has seen these before!! These were a staple at father/daughter camping trips when I was a kid. This recipe brings back so many great childhood memories! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  33. Gigi July 1, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    You’re like a cupcake MacGyver! Simply amazing!

  34. joannabanana July 2, 2008 at 4:57 am #

    these cupcakes are absolutely stunning! this idea was so creative, you’ve really inspired me to use the grill. we’ll see how they turn out…considering the fact that i have NEVER used the grill haha

  35. Bethany July 2, 2008 at 5:35 am #

    OMG,I cannot wait to make!!!!

  36. Stef July 2, 2008 at 6:39 am #

    Rachel – Thanks! It was fun!

    Gills – Let me know how it goes!

    DoBetter – It would be a neat camping thing to do. If I ever went camping, I might have to give it a go!

    Take – No grill..hmmm…by us they have them at public parks.

    Ivy – Hahaha!! I must admit that I have strongly considered fried. Not sure about the others though. We shall see!

    Michelle – Banana with chocolate chips inside is sooo yummy!!

    Toontz – Thanks! Glad you liked them!

    Tina – It’s definitely a conversation piece.

    K. – I don’t know. They aren’t super sweet.

    Paula – I bet your kids could come up with all kinds of creative cupcake ideas.

    Marija – Thanks so much!

    Lysy – Thanks! I wouldn’t want the cupcake to feel left out.

    Pille – Thanks so much!

    Chef A. – I’m always up for trying something new.

    Lori – It would probably work fine. It just might take a bit longer.

    Cindy – Awesome! Let me know how it goes!

    My Sweet – Thanks so much!

    Julie – I tried making one in the oven and it didn’t cook all the way through. I would recommend if you do it, to use a high heat like maybe 425.

    IronStef – Oooh… a breakfast roll would also be great in an orange! Great idea! Did you see the channel 5 thing? I’m so bummed that I missed it.

    Liliana – You could bake a cupcake in the orange and top it with orange sorbet. Yum!!

    Kim – Cool! Please report back!

    Sylvia – Thanks again for the idea! I wouldn’t make the batter more than a day in advance. I haven’t tried it though.

    Gina – Thanks much!

    Jody – Guess you are the only one who’s done it before. Neat! Did you guys make vanilla cupcakes or some other flavor?

    Gigi – I love it!! I may have to make that my new title!!

    Joanna – I don’t use the grill either. Shhh.. here’s a secret… my husband did the grill part.

    Bethany – Yay! Let me know how it goes!

  37. Ivy July 2, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    Hey you!
    You have been tagged. Hehe
    See my post titled, “I have been Tagged!”
    for the details.
    Have a good one!

  38. jpstivers July 2, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    This looks amazing.

  39. Lisa July 2, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    That is an amazing idea. Your posts are always so fun. Thanks for making me smile!

  40. Esi July 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    When I was in Girl Scouts back in the day we used to do something similar with yellow cake mix!

  41. Sunshinemom July 3, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    Wow – now thats what i call creativity:) They look so good:)

  42. Stef July 3, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    JP – Thanks! I loved them!

    Lisa – That’s such a great compliment. I love making people smile. Thanks!

    Esi – Fun!! That would certainly be easier.

    Sunshine – Thanks! Also, thanks for leaving a comment. :)

  43. Carrie July 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    I made the vanilla cupcakes and orange buttercream, but with a small twist. I added mini chocolate chips to the batter. My hubby introduced me to this flavor combo. His family would always have those chocolate oranges you smash on the table to break them into “slices” at Christmas time. Anyhow, the bit of chocolate with orange buttercream is delightful! Thanks for the inspiration Stef!

  44. Jamie July 6, 2008 at 10:15 am #

    I am going camping this weekend and want to try these. They look delish!


  45. Keesha aka PrissyCook July 7, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    I’ve made a similiar recipe before too, but the camping website I grabbed the recipe from suggested Jiffy cake mix because it’s easy and you can make it by the fire easily.

  46. Sophie July 9, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    What a very cool idea! Glad they came out yummy, they certainly look delish…love the bright sunshine color too :D.

  47. ~Madeline~ July 15, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    This is such a cool idea! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of this. Awesome!

  48. Kristen July 17, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    What an amazing idea!

  49. the AIRY FAIRY July 18, 2008 at 4:43 am #

    i absolutely LOVE this idea…how creative!

  50. Folu July 28, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    I made these for a barbecue with a few of my friends and they all loved them. i also made a few in hollowed out mangoes and I liked those a bit better ( I love the taste of cooked mango) because I left quite a bit of mango and it tasted wonderful with the vanilla cake.

  51. Stef July 28, 2008 at 7:30 pm #

    Sorry it took me so long to respond to some you. I’m usually much better than that.

    Carrie – I love orange and chocolate too! Glad it worked out for you.

    Jamie – Did you try them?

    Keesha – Yeah, that would be easier!

    Sophie – Thanks! They were fun!

    Madeline – Hah! I bet you could have. Maybe in a strange dream.

    Kristen – Thanks! I was so excited when Sylvia told me about it.

    Airy – That means a lot coming from you!

    Folu – Oooh – great idea! I may have to give that a try!

  52. kamailesfood August 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    I don’t know how I missed this post, but All Things Cupcake linked here. Creamsicles are one of my favorite summer treats. I’ll have to try this next time we go camping.

  53. Stef August 15, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Kamaile – Cool! Glad you got to see it. I was excited that they linked to me!

  54. the ungourmet July 30, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    I would love to try this! I was just joking around on my blog about grilling cupcakes and look, here they are!

  55. Kt November 25, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Hey to everyone trying to make these… I would actually fill them about half way full and then trim off the edges when they’re cooled. I had a problem with mine overflowing. I also baked these in an oven at 350F but it took around 35-40 minutes to get finished. I made cranberry orange cupcakes with walnut-cream cheese icing. They turn out adorable… and delicious. Happy baking!

  56. Anonymous March 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m not actually anonymous, it’s Kathi from Indy :-)
    I just LOVE this idea for cupcakes. I’ve done muffins in orange peels as breakfast at some of our outdoor cooking classes, and the entree variant of meatloaf-in-an-onion. An old Girl Scout trick for the cupcake pan, or any pan you put on a grill or campfire. Before you start putting anything IN the pan, take some liquid dish soap, and liberally coat the bottom; any part that will face the fire. The soot will stick to the soap layer instead of welding itself to the metal surface. Still messy to clean up, but significantly easier.

  57. Stef March 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Kathi – Great to hear from you! Thanks for the tip about the dish soap! I’ll have to try it. And – I LOVE the meatloaf in the onion idea!

  58. Ness! April 21, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Hi! I’ve just fallen in love with your blog, there are so many amazing recipes I almost didn’t know where to start. My orange cupcakes are just about done, and they look so cute I almost don’t want to eat them. Thank you so much!

  59. Janine June 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Wonderful! I will be trying these this summer.

  60. Shannon August 12, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Used clementine’s instead (no oranges in the house) and a tart pan for mini’s. PERFECT!

  61. Christina May 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    I just tried these but didn’t have much luck. The outsides cooked nicely but the inside of the cupcake was still doughy. I’m hesitant to put them back on the BBQ because I don’t want the outside to burn.

    My BBQ has a temp gauge so I cooked the cupcakes at about 300F for 20 or so minutes. I placed the cut oranges in a muffin tin so should I try just placing the oranges on the grill next time?



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