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Orange Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Orange Chocolate Cupcake Recipe by Katie Crafts;

Recipe: Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

Well here it is. The last birthday I have to celebrate in May- and it happens to be my Husband’s! (Happy birthday, honey!) While I didn’t bake him cupcakes this year (he opted for salted chocolate pots with caramel sauce instead!), I asked him to pick out his favorite recipe from my stash. Yummy moist chocolate citrus cupcakes with chocolate chips topped with orange buttercream frosting and shaved chocolate bits was the winner. Here you go!

Husband doesn’t like chocolate cake under normal circumstances. Actually, under pretty much any circumstances. He loves chocolate, but store bought (and most homemade) chocolate cakes are far too dry for him. Since I use sour cream AND orange juice in these cupcakes, they are anything but dry! It’s easy to see why these are his fave. They were also my mom’s favorite combo! (These, and candy cane cupcakes, which I’ll post about as the Winter approaches!)



  • 1 package chocolate cake mix*
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp orange zest

*Use the boxed mix, but don’t follow their directions. Use it as the dry base for the rest of the cake recipe I listed above!


  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Approx. 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 an orange*
  • Zest from a whole orange*
  • Lindt Intense Orange Dark Chocolate, shaved for decoration (optional)

*Oranges used were of an average size.

Yields two dozen cupcakes with extra frosting.



  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a small bowl, toss mini chocolate chips with 1 Tablespoon of the dry cake mix. Set aside.
  • In a larger bowl, beat remaining cake mix with eggs, juice, sour cream, and orange zest until well blended.
  • Fold in reserved chocolate chip mixture.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely before frosting.


  • Squeeze the juice from half an orange into a bowl and set it aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and shortening until smooth.
  • Add zest of one whole orange and vanilla extract.
  • Beat in the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. About half way through, add the orange juice!
  • Continue beating in the sugar until you have the consistency you wish for decorating. Should be thick but creamy.
  • Frost already cooled cupcakes and decorate with chocolate shavings!

I hope you enjoyed the plethora of cupcake recipes this big birthday month! I’ll give you a break from the sweet treats for a bit. But not for too long- I can’t help myself!


  • With so much orange juice and orange zest, these come out pretty citrus-y! However, they are also very chocolatey as well- and the two are the perfect marriage! If you are still afraid of it being TOO orange-y for you, eliminate half the orange zest. Don’t eliminate the orange juice, or your consistency will be off!
  • You can sub in regular sized chocolate chips if you can’t find the minis! The minis are just easier to mix in and easier to take bites of- that’s the only difference in this recipe.