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Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes With Orange Salted Caramel Buttercream

Often, I need to make a sales pitch about my cupcakes.  Not everyone will be immediately excited about eating a cupcake that tastes like wine, chocolate tamale cupcakes, or cucumber martini cupcakes.  When I tell you that I made orange creamsicle cupcakes with orange salted caramel buttercream, my job is easier.  They are as good as they sound –  ’nuff said.  But, I’ll say more anyway. :)

The smell of morning from zesting oranges while you prepare orange creamsicle cupcakes only hints at what’s to come. The scent creeps throughout your home while the cupcakes bake, testing your willpower to wait. The orange creamsicle cupcakes are dense, like a pound cake, but their weight is countered with pillowy orange salted caramel frosting.  They take you back to the call of the ice cream truck but surprise you with their grown-up complexity.

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4.5 from 2 votes

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes With Orange Salted Caramel Buttercream

The orange creamsicle cupcakes are dense, like a pound cake, but their weight is countered with pillowy orange salted caramel frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword orange creamsicle cupcakes, orange salted caramel buttercream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 411kcal
Author Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup pure orange juice

Salted Caramel Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup salted caramel from above, room temperature


Cupcake Directions

  • 30 minutes before baking, mix sugar and orange zest in a small bowl to infuse the orange flavor into the sugar.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, cream butter and the sugar/orange zest mixture until light and fluffy.
  • Mix eggs, sour cream, and vanilla into butter/sugar mixture until fully combined.
  • Alternately mix the flour mixture and orange juice into the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Directions

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add brown sugar and stir continuously until just boiling.
  • Add orange juice and salt and stir well.
  • Stir in heavy whipping cream until just combined.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Set aside ½ cup for the frosting.

Frosting Directions

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for three minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Mix in salt and orange zest.
  • Mix in salted caramel.
  • Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
  • Optionally, drizzle any extra salted caramel over the frosting.


Nutrition Facts
Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes With Orange Salted Caramel Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 411 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 129mg5%
Potassium 119mg3%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 830IU17%
Vitamin C 7.2mg9%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Why Three Photos?

Jonathan (my husband/site photographer) and I couldn’t decide on background for the orange creamsicle cupcake photo, so I included all three!

Which photo would you have picked?

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8 comments on “Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes With Orange Salted Caramel Buttercream”

  1. They look and sound delicious. Orange caramel buttercream? Genius!

    I can’t pick just one of those options.

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

  2. Oh my. This just may be my dream cupcake. Make that dreamsicle cupcake. :-) Love the addition of salted caramel. You’ve always got a creative twist on traditional flavors.

    I’m with Paula’s team with their photo selection. The orange background is the color of creamsicles. Definitely reminiscent of childhood ice cream truck treats(great description with recipe BTW–an hour well spent!).

  3. Second picture– guessed it right!

  4. I think the darker back ground shows off your cupcakes better. Can’t wait to try these and your vanilla ones also.

  5. YUM. I have a warm place in my heart for anything involved salted caramel… so this recipe goes on my list. :)

  6. I made these cupcakes for my high school bake sale, and they were a HUGE hit! Check out how mine came out here:

    P.S. Orange Creamsicles are my all time favorite ice cream!

  7. Kyndrasays:

    Do I use no pulp or high pulp orange juice in the caramel? Or hand-squeezed orange juice?

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