Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes

It's getting to be the time of year again where I am ready for school to be over and for summer to start. To use the slang common amongst teenagers, I am "so done" with school. So done.

I'm ready to not have to go through all the same classes every day, I'm ready for cross country season to get started, to play some tennis, to get a job, to focus on this blog, spend some time outside, and eat all the ice cream and frozen yogurt I can

My favorite frozen treat as a kid was actually those orange push-ups you can probably get at the snack stand at your local swimming pool. I mean, I really liked every frozen treat as a kid, and I still do. But really, orange push pops were where it was at for my kid self.

These cupcakes are exactly like that. But cupcakes. Making those push pops at home seems like it would have to involved a feat of engineering, so you should just make these instead. The orange cream cheese frosting is exactly the flavor of the push pops, and the vanilla cream cheese cake is the perfect base.

So even if you have to wait a whole month more for school to get out (or, if you're an adult with a job and a life not dictated by school years, just for the summer to officially get nice and your kids to be home all day), you can make these cupcakes and be transported to summer time while you eat it.

What is your favorite part about summer?


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Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
8 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
For the Frosting:
8-ounce package chilled cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the room temperature butter, cream cheese, and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix it in. The batter might appear a little broken at this point—that’s okay.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and mix just until they’re combined. Finish stirring everything together with a spatula, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Wait to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in sugar, then orange peel and vanilla. Beat on high until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes when they are fully cooled.