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.
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. I used a basic vanilla cupcake from Chockylit.
- 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.
I used a vanilla cupcake recipe from Chockylit. I liked it because when the vanilla flavor mixed with the orange, the combination tasted like a creamsicle. However, you could use any recipe you like in your orange.
Here is Chockylit’s recipe with my modifications and notes:
Makes 20 cupcakes.
- 3/4 C (1-1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 2/3 C vanilla sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 2/3 C flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 3/4 C + 2 T milk
- 1 t vanilla bean paste
- Beat butter until softened.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine.
Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
- If you were to bake this in the oven, scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes at 350 F or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Orange Frosting Recipe
I frosted the cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting. It worked perfectly!