Gluten Free Orange Cupcakes with Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream

So my husband is obsessed with fruit trees. We have a fairly small backyard but it is packed with all kinds of different trees.  We have 4 different orange trees and this year we got hundreds of oranges off of them.  My family loves them so much but since we had so many this year, I found myself trying to find different things to use them up before they went bad.  One day I was talking to my oldest son about what we should bake this week and he came up with orange cupcakes with orange frosting.  I thought it was the perfect idea and I set out to make these amazing cupcakes.

Orange is such a subtle and not very strong flavor so you really need to add a lot of zest in order to be able to taste the orange in these cupcakes.  I just love these because I think they just taste like springtime and they are just the perfect dessert for this time of year. The cake is just perfectly light and fluffy with just a hint of orange.  They are so well balanced and I didn't think that an American buttercream would be the right pairing for these because of how light and fluffy they are.  I thought that a Swiss Meringue Buttercream would be absolutely perfect because it is just so equally light and fluffy.
 If you have never made or eaten Swiss Meringue or Swiss Meringue Buttercream then you are missing out.  This frosting is life changing and I mean that, with every fiber of my being.  This frosting is like none you have every had before.  The first time that I made it was a few months ago and I about died.  It was pure perfection.  I always shied away from it because it just looked so complicated but I found that it really isn't.  It's actually quite easy to make and it is so good.  It is the best frosting that I have ever had.  I didn't know that frosting could be that light and delicate while still having so much flavor.  It is simple amazing and I just want to shout it from the rooftops!
 I made these awhile ago for my husband's family and his aunt was visiting.  She told me that these were the very best cupcakes that she has ever had.  She is not gluten free and she wasn't saying that to just make me feel good.  I could tell that she liked them that much.  They really are just the perfect cupcake.  I also candied some orange peel to put on the top and they were so good.  I've also never made candied orange peel before but it was also something that was not difficult to make either and added a lot to the cupcakes.  The orange peels were the perfect decoration for these cupcakes and a sweet addition.
I know I said it before but these cupcakes are really the perfect cupcake.  If you ever just learn how to make one cupcake, these should be them. You can also just make a cake and it would be amazing.  They are really perfect to bring to any party or get together and trust me, everyone will be singing your praises and they won't believe you when you tell them that they are gluten free!

Gluten Free Orange Cupcakes with Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Gluten Free Orange Cupcakes with Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep time: 40 MCook time: 25 MTotal time: 65 M
These cupcakes are light a fluffy and full of that delicate orange flavor. The orange swiss meringue buttercream is silky, fluffy and is the perfect companion to these cupcakes.


  • 1 package (15 ounces) yellow gluten free cake mix
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon orange juice (fresh or from the carton)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest


How to cook Gluten Free Orange Cupcakes with Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Make the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 18 cupcake cups with paper liners and set pans aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, sugar, orange juice, butter, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on low speed until the ingredients are just incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, 1 to 1/2 minutes longer.  Spoon or scoop the batter into the lined cupcake cups, filling each two-thirds full. Remove any unfilled paper liners.
  3. Place pans in the oven side by side and bake the cupcakes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 15-17 minutes.  Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of the cupcake cups and transfer the cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely before frosting, 20 minutes longer.
Make the Buttercream
  1. Place egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, not touching the water. Whisk or stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to appoximately 160 degrees F. If  attempting without a thermometer, sugar should be dissoved with no graininess when a bit is rubbed between two fingers. It will be hot to the touch.
  2. Immediately place the bowl on the stand mixer and whip on high using the whish attachment until frosting has become thick and glossy, forming a stiff peak. Continue to whip frosting until the bowl feels room temperature to the touch, a total of about 10 minutes. 
  3. Switch the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, drop butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. If frosting appears curdled or clumpy at any time, increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth.
  4. Once all the butter has been incorporated, mix in extracts, orange juice and zest.  If desired, add food coloring to desired shade. If needed, continue beating until smooth.
  5. Spoon or pipe frosting onto each cupcake, covering the top. Place frosted cupcakes on a serving plate.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @kimberlysglutenfreekitchen on instagram and hashtag it #glutenfreeorangecupcakes
Created using The Recipes Generator

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