Spring is Coming: Olive Oil Citrus Cupcakes


These must be some of the springiest cupcakes that have ever sprung! Look at those lovely wrappers I bought at the local cooking store when I realized I had run out! The cake has orange juice and both lemon and orange zest, plus lemon olive oil. They are filled with homemade lemon curd and then topped with orange zest whipped cream frosting. I’ve been enjoying a week of weather in the 40s/50s here in Burlington, so I wanted to celebrate with some Spring-inspired treats.

I was inspired by a few recipes, but mainly used this one as guidance. I did change a few things, and swapped out the cream cheese frosting, so I’ve reprinted my changes below.


The cupcake is the perfect lightness and the olive oil and added lemon curd keep it from being too dry. The fresh burst of lemon in the center is a welcome addition to an already citrusy bite.

Although the weather has been gorgeous, work has been a little less so. I’ve just been generally feeling overwhelmed by everything that it feels like I have to do and the lack of guidance. Really makes me thankful for my chemistry teaching experience, and more than a little nostalgic for it! On a positive note, I did just have a nice meeting where I was reassured of my abilities and given chocolate… So between that and the fact that I brought an iced London fog latte and one of these cheerful cupcakes for snack today, I just might be ok.


So, the moral of the story? Make these lemon orange cupcakes and you too will feel like you can handle life!


Olive Oil Citrus Cupcakes

*Makes 8-9 cupcakes*

Lemon Curd (Make this at least four hours ahead of time. I made mine the previous day. This recipe makes about four times as much as you need, but I have plans to use the rest of mine next week, and it should last in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or two.)

  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3.5 T butter
  1. Zest 2 lemons and add the zest and the sugar to a food processor or blender. Pulse until well combined.
  2. Cream the butter in a stand mixer.
  3. Add the lemon sugar to the butter and beat to combine.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and then the lemon juice.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat for about ten minutes, until thickened. (If you have a thermometer, cook until about 170F).
  6. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Press plastic wrap across the top of the curd and put in the fridge for at least four hours up to 24 hours.

Olive Oil Cakes

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of half an orange
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon olive oil
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line at least nine wells of a cupcake pan.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, lemon and orange zests, and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Alternate adding the dry mixture and the orange juice to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. (The batter will be fairly liquid-y. Don’t worry!)
  6. Fill cupcake liners a little less than 3/4 full and bake for 13-18 minutes. (Mine were done at 13.)

Orange Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of half an orange, very fine
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t orange extract
  • few drops orange food coloring
  1. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. While it beats, add the vanilla and orange extracts along with the zest and food coloring.
  2. Add the powdered sugar to taste.


  1. Use a paring knife to cut a small well in the center of each fully cooled cupcake, carefully remove the cone of cake and set aside.
  2. Add about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd to the center of each cupcake and replace the cone of cake. You will probably have to “smoosh” it down a bit.
  3. Frost the cupcakes with the whipped cream. (If you use a piping tip like I did, be aware that you may have to clean it out a few times during the process if your orange zest gets stuck.)
  4. Share and enjoy!



About Amanda Bakes Cakes

Baker. Grad student. Hiker. Crossword puzzler. Trivia junkie.
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