These orange cupcakes burst with orange flavor. They’re springy (in both texture and seasonality), fluffy, and super moist. As a bonus, they happen to be vegan – dairy and egg-free!
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
Puree clementines. Slice off the ends and any rough or discolored peel. Puree until about smooth. Measure out 1 cup.
Measure out your 2/3 cup orange juice. If you didn't have enough puree, add extra orange juice to the puree to make up the difference. If you had extra puree, you can use it in place of some of the orange juice. Your choice.
Add the orange puree, orange juice, vanilla, and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients. Mix just to combine. Do not overmix. The mixture will foam up some.
Scoop the batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Fill them 3/4 full, almost but not all the way to the top. (If you fill them all the way, the batter may overflow and you'll have muffin tops - no one likes a spread out muffin top.) If you have extra batter (you might if your muffin tins are small), grease a few extra muffin cups and bake immediately. (I consistently get 13 cupcakes.) Sprinkle with sugar before baking if desired.
Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean when the cupcakes are done. Cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove cupcakes from the muffin tin to cool on a rack. If desired, top with vanilla or orange frosting (see King Arthur Flour for details).
Pureed oranges in these make the cupcakes/muffins very moist. You can try to make them if you don't have a blender/processor, but you must chop your peel very finely. I cannot guarantee the recipe will turn out with the oranges just chopped.
Since you include the orange peel in the cupcakes, you want a very thin-skinned, sweet, not-bitter orange. And it should be seedless. Clementines are perfect. 2 may be enough, but I use 3 to be sure to have enough puree.
This recipe makes anywhere from 12-17 cupcakes, depending on the size of your muffin tin.
I have not tried it, but I believe this vegan recipe could easily be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend including xanthan gum (for its binding properties, since this recipe does not include egg). Look for one that includes rice flour, which should have a neutral flavor.
This recipe was originally adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Recipe updated 4/18/2019