Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Sauce (For St.Patrick's Day)


St.Patricks's Day is around the corner, and most of the lucky ones are going to enjoy a 3-day weekend in the US! St.Paddy, as he's lovingly called, is supposed to have been responsible for a lot of miracles, and of course, spreading of Christianity in Ireland (though he was born in Britain). March 17th is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and non-Irish too (mainly in Australia, North America, and Ireland) as an annual Feast Day to celebrate the essence of the bishop St. Patrick. Celebrations, including food, are themed around all things Irish, which means anything that is green or orange, and contains a lot of booze!! Curious if you are on how alcohol came to be so much a part of this day's celebrations, here's an ancient legend to read. Chocolate always tops my list of dessert ideas, but as I was trying to make this an irish dessert, and I didn't have anything green, I chose to go with orange:) Trust me, this is no ordinary Chocolate Cupcake as the list of ingredients will show you; but the icing on the cake definitely has to be the fragrant, citrusy-sweet and rich Orange Cream Sauce, which I think has been one of the best sauces I've ever concocted on my own in my kitchen!

We don't celebrate this festival, per se, but we have a neighbor who is highly enthusiastic about holidays and decorations, and you'll always find her house and yard decorated with seasonal themes that kind of infect you with the spirit!(in a nice way, of course:)) She has this huge hand-crafted Shamrock (the symbolic 3-leaf clover) and famous Irish hat hanging in her front yard, and when Emiline from Sugar Plum called out to us to join her St.Paddy's day Pub Crawl event(read booze here:)), and Cookthink asked for a recipe using Maple, I was tempted to join in the celebrations. So without further ado, I present to you, my spectacular Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Orange and Maple Cream Sauce!!

Ingredients
Makes about 12 small cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tspn baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4-1 cup hot water
1 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream liquer (optional)
1 tbsp Grand Marnier (orange liquer)(optional)

Orange and Maple Cream Sauce
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (you can use light too)
2 tbsp cream cheese - softened
2 tbsp orange zest (for sauce and final garnish)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar (or a little less, adjust to your taste)
2 tbsp milk (only if needed)

Method
For the chocolate cupcakes, combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixer bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the flour and hot water alternately to the creamed mixture, mixing well every time. Blend until well-combined. Finally, add in the irish cream liquer and the grand marnier and give a final swish with your hand.

Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degress F for 20 to 25min, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For making the Orange Cream Sauce, take the cream cheese and beat well, or blend in a mixer. Slowly add the whipping cream, maple syrup and blend again. Now scrape the sides, and keep adding the sugar a little at a time and continue to blend until you achieve a thick and creamy consistency. You can add some milk only if needed; Remove in a bowl, add 1 tbsp orange zest and mix barely to fold in. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve. The maple syrup really adds a nice flavor to the sauce, and this would actually be a great topping for pancakes too!

By this time, your kitchen must be bursting with the citrusy fragrance of orange combined with the aroma of baking a chocolate cake! So you are already feeling high, and to this, add the effect of the irish cream and grand marnier and you will feel like you are floating in heaven! Take the cupcake, warm it just a little in the microwave (say 15 seconds), then place it on a serving dish. Drizzle with a generous helping of the orange cream sauce, then garnish with some more fresh orange zest, and get ready to enjoy your dessert, totally the Irish way!!

Traditionally, cupcakes need to be frosted, but that's just way too much cream for me and kind of overpowers the flavor of the cake. So, defying tradition, I opted to top my cupcakes with this cream sauce that adds the correct amount of creamy texture without killing the actual taste of the chocolate cake. But if you are the frosting-kind of a person, feel free to ice your cakes with orange frosting!:)

Happy St.Patrick's Day to one and all!!

Similar Recipes:
Chocolate n Coffee Martini
Kahlua Coffee Cheesecake
Hazelnut-Mocha-Nut Bread


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35 comments :

Happy cook said...

Chocolate and orange that is like marriage made in heaven.
What more can one ask.
Delicious

Amy said...

I am soooooooooooo intoxicated I can't even type!!!:)

that looks fabbbbbbbbbb!!

-Amy

Vaishali said...

That's a gorgeous-looking cupcake, Mansi!

Asha said...

YUM! Orange cream looks delicious. I baked a bread today too, will post next week!:)
Happy St.Patrick's day!:)

Meeta said...

Oh boy you know how to spoil and tease girl. This looks hot and I am craving chocolate now!

sandhya said...

looks gorgeous... love this combo.. even i made a similar one y'day, will post soon...

Emiline said...

This is a great entry! Your cupcakes are gorgeous. You win extra points for using two of my favorite liqueurs.
Great job!

Divya Vikram said...

the cakes look really really delicious..Would love to taste them

Amber said...

just the chocolate is like alcohol, and when you add those 2 fantastic liquers, you have totally wooed me! I can be your slave for ages!!!:D hehehe

~Amber

Mansi Desai said...

Thanks a lot guys! these were indeed heavenly, and believe me, I've never enjoyed a dessert more! I just covered them with that cream sauce:)

Emiline - yippeee!! I get brownie points!:) it was totally fun making these!

Amber - I could certainly do with a kitchen helper:) but just 'coz I'm in a generous mood, you can have these free!:)

Appreciate your comments ppl!

Kalai said...

Gorgeous Mansi! I'm feeling high already... :)

maybahay said...

that just sound delish.

Richa said...

lovely!
choc and orange, u combined the best, Mansi! aoo chu khawa matey, bay traun rakhi day :)

glamah16 said...

Oh Yeah. Send me some.

arundati said...

happy st. paddy's!! and the choco cupcakes with orange cream sauce seems like a fitting celebration!!

Mansi Desai said...

yes, I'm giving out free cupcakes for st.paddy's so whoever wants (Ms. Richa) is more than welcome! these really came out way better than I had expected:) thanks for your feedback, and hope you guys enjoy the holiday too!

Alamelu said...

Hi! ultra sinfully tasty looking cake, pls do count me in for the free cakes....:-) you have a wonderful site here... loved browsing thru.

Coffee said...

My mouth is seriously drooling at the combination! Loved it :)

AnuZi said...

Man those look so good....I wouldn't mind being on a sugar high to take a bite of those lovely cup cakes.

sashith said...

wow!!! heavenly combo..they looks simply gorgeous....

Nags said...

that looks so sinfully delish :) choc and orange go better together than strawberries and choc do, according to me :D

sowmya said...

they look so delicious...

Uma said...

Simply superb, Mansi! So tempting to eat.

Alpa said...

i love the idea of cupcakes with a sauce instead of frosting... makes them sound so grown, lol. And there is no better combo imho, than orange and chocolate!

jason said...

I'd give anything to have those right now!! seriously a wonderful recipe! and I totally love the idea of a cream sauce over frosting:)

Jason

Pooja said...

that looks yummmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!
Send me some Mansi

Siri said...

Love the combo of Chocolate and Orange Mansi..They look amazing..:D

Gorgoeus Cupcake..

Siri

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Chocolate, orange - YUM! Beautiful.

It's all about passion for cooking said...

Hey..viry nice recipe, looks yummmm :))

SMN said...

nice and great combo.. im drolling

Cris said...

Have a good one too! I love the glaze!!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Fabulous! Just fabulous!

Johanna said...

yum - chocolate and orange - and baileys - sounds heavenly! St Pat's day is a great excuse to eat green and/or celebrate

Rosie said...

One very gorgeous looking cupcake!! I am so craving some chocolate now ;)

Rosie x

Priyanka said...

the baileys must have added a distinct touch to the cake. chocolate and oranges pair up pretty well....i have previously made dark-chocolate-orange mousse ...tastes heavenly.