Light and moist chocolate cake meets tangy and sweet blood orange to make this unforgettable blood orange chocolate cupcakes. These cupcakes are the perfect way to use up those gorgeous blood oranges!
I like winter. As crazy as it sounds, winter isn’t that bad to me. I love cozy sweaters and snuggling up under thick blankets and drinking hot chocolate. There is nothing better than looking outside at the snow silently falls. Of course, it hasn’t come close to snowing where I am this year. My favorite part about winter is the abundance of citrus fruits, especially blood oranges. As soon as winter begins, I start my search for these ruby red fruits at my local grocery stores. Last year I wasn’t able to find any until February, but I was fortunate to get my hands on a few bags already.
I really wanted to get the most out of my blood oranges this year and these blood orange chocolate cupcakes were the first idea that came to mind. I love chocolate and orange together and I love how blood oranges are such a delicious new take on that combination that tastes nothing like your typical chocolate+orange combo. Plus, I couldn’t get my mind off the vibrant color the frosting would take. To really celebrate the flavors, I decided the cupcakes needed a filling and since I am obsessed with curd, a blood orange curd seemed only natural. The curd adds a really lovely creamy contrast to the rich chocolate cake and the bright frosting.
As usual, I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe because, well, if it ain’t broke! I also made a blood orange syrup to brush on top of the cupcakes and flavor the frosting. I left some pulp in the syrup for the frosting because I loved seeing small specks from the blood orange, but feel free to be a little more pulp-free!
These cupcakes are even more delicious than they look, if you can imagine. And hey, if you happen to be thinking of Valentine’s Day already (the stores are already onto Easter – oh my gosh!) these blood orange chocolate cupcakes would be perfect!
- 4 oz dark chocolate
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup strong brewed coffee, hot
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cupblood orange curd
- 1 cup blood orange
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 - 4 tablespoons blood orange syrup (or more as needed)
- small pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tine with cupcake liners.
- Mix together the chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee together until it is fully combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Take the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk in the oil and the eggs and beat well.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix until just combined.
- Evenly divide the batter among the cupcake liners until they are about ¾ full. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack.
- Make the blood orange syrup. Heat the blood orange juice (and some of its pulp if desired) and sugar on medium heat and stir ocassionally. Cook until it forms a thick syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool until room temperature. Lightly brush the cupcakes while they are still warm with some of the syrup.
- Make the frosting. Beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar half a cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add in the blood orange syrup one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency and flavor. Add a small pinch of salt if you feel it may be a bit too sweet.
- Remove the centers of the cupcakes and fill with the blood orange curd. Replace the tops of the cupcakes and top with the frosting. For ease, I filled a piping bag to fill the cupcakes, but a spoon would work just as well. I also used a large star tip to pipe my frosting. I made a small circle around the cut and filled portion of the cupcake, and then made a swirl around and on top of that center circle.