You know those crazy good orange creamsicles with white centers you used to eat as a kid, or maybe still do? Well, think of all of those tangy, creamy flavors coming together in cupcake form and you'll have a little hint at how good these amazing cupcakes are. You really need to try them to fully understand though.
From Recipe Snobs, they're orange cream pop cupcakes, and they're out of this world. The only thing I'd suggest changing is eliminating the gelatin from the frosting. As she notes, it doesn't fully dissolve and can be a bit grainy in texture; in my opinion, it's better without it. You can add a bit of food coloring to get the orange tint instead.
Orange Cream Pop Cupcakes
1 (3-ounce) package orange-flavor gelatin
1 (2-layer-size) package white cake mix
1 (4-serving-size) package cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 1/4 cups orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Cream Pop Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 27 (2 1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper bake cups.
Set aside 2 teaspoons of the gelatin for the Cream Pop Frosting.
In a mixing bowl beat the remaining gelatin, cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
For Cream Pop Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, divided
5 1/2 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons orange gelatin from the cupcakes
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
Allow cream cheese and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
Place one-fourth of the frosting in a separate bowl; beat in addition 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
To the remaining bowl of cream cheese frosting add the reserved orange gelatin from the cupcakes and finely shredded orange peel. If desired, add a few drops orange food coloring. Beat to combine.
Frost and enjoy.
Image via Recipe Snobs