Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes with Pistachio Buttercream

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Easy, fool-proof cupcakes inspired by the colors of Halloween. I wrote this recipe for a food-writing class! The olive oil in the batter makes them moist, and instant pudding mix gives the buttercream a hint of pistachio.

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Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon shortening, or as needed

  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, or as needed

Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup cold water

  • cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Icing:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 2 tablespoons instant pistachio pudding mix

  • 2 tablespoons cold water

  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups with shortening using a paper towel and dust with about 1 teaspoon flour or line with paper liners.

  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat 1 cup cold water, olive oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract into flour mixture on medium-low speed until batter is just combined, about 2 minutes. Fold orange zest into batter. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, 2/3-full.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. Beat butter in a bowl using an electric mixer in medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly pour confectioners' sugar into creamed butter and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Beat pudding mix into butter mixture until just combined. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency of icing is reached. Ice the cooled cupcakes; garnish with grated chocolate.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

301 Calories
15g Fat
40g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 301
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 21mg 7%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 47mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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