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Cornmeal Cupcakes with Orange Flavor and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

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My mother-in-law just reported that these cornmeal cupcakes with orange flavor and Grand Marnier whipped cream are her favorite cupcakes so far this year. She also said that she really liked the crunch. “The crunch?” I asked. Could a crunch possibly be a good thing in a cupcake? She thought so. Personally, I wouldn’t describe the cupcakes as having a crunch, but they definitely do have more of a gritty texture than normal due to the coarse blue cornmeal.

My other taster of the week, Susan, enjoyed that the cornmeal cupcakes weren’t overly sweet, and she also liked the orange flavor (which she felt could be even more pronounced).

As for me, I was happy to move back to a healthier (not healthy) cupcake after the cookie dough cupcakes. I felt springy and happy after eating a cornmeal cupcake.

Cornmeal Cupcakes with Orange Flavor and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream Recipe

I got the recipe for the cornmeal cupcakes from Garrett of Vanilla Garlic. When I first started this blog, I made several of his cupcakes and they were all hits. I haven’t made one in a while, but when I started looking for a blue cornmeal cupcake to go with my blue cornmeal pancakes, he had the perfect recipe (he used yellow cornmeal, but that was an easy substitution)! The best part of the recipe is its simplicity, it requires only one bowl.

Garrett’s recipe is below, with my notes.

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Cornmeal Cupcakes with Orange Flavor and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

Servings 12 cupcakes


Cornmeal Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C yellow cornmeal I used blue cornmeal
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of one orange I used 1/4 t orange extract instead

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream* Ingredients

  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 C Grand Marnier syrup. See my Grand Marnier syrup recipe.
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 t Grand Marnier


Cornmeal Cupcake Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, sugar, and wine until smooth.
  2. Add the other dry ingredients and the zest; whisk together gently.
  3. Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers and spoon into the papers about 4/5 full.
  4. Bake at 375 F for 22-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream Instructions

  1. Whip heavy whipping cream until it looks like whipped cream.
  2. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Recipe Notes

I added some food coloring to the whipped cream to create the middle of the flower. I typically avoid food coloring, but the flower needed some color and I decided to take the plunge.

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream 

You could top these cupcakes with any number of frostings. They might be great with an orange buttercream frosting. I opted to make a Grand Marnier whipped cream.


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7 comments on “Cornmeal Cupcakes with Orange Flavor and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream”

  1. Elianasays:

    These cupcakes look great. I love the texture of cornmeal so I can’t wait to try them. Would you say they taste similar to cornbead?

  2. Stefsays:

    I kept going back and forth about whether they tasted like cornbread. I thought they did, but some others didn’t think so. I guess it’s kinda like an orangey cornbread, but less dry.

  3. Elysesays:

    Mmm, orange cornmeal cupcakes sound fantastic! Your mom sounds over the moon about these, and I always trust a mom’s opinion. So, I’m just going to have to make these. Although, it will be dangerous making that whipped cream. I’ll have to stop myself from eating spoonfuls by itself.

  4. so going in my recipe box! amazing flavors.

  5. Anonymoussays:

    Would you still consider these a sweet cornmeal cupcake or could you get away with it being used with a savory topping? I have a goatcheese frosting I want to use with a cornmeal style cupcake, and I’m wondering if this could work. I like the orange essence.

  6. Stefsays:

    Anon – I think you could definitely do a savory frosting with these. Sounds great!

  7. Anonymoussays:

    Tonight I’m using this recipe, but I’m throwing a couple of my own personal twists on it. I’ll probably leave the actual cake recipe alone, but then I’m going to fill the cupcakes with jalapeno jam, topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting. I’m using Kandy Crispers (bread and butter jalapenos) as a garnish on top. I think they will be amazing!

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