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Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and orange sprinkles on a white plate.
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5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Fluffy and moist Chocolate Orange Cupcakes topped with a rich whipped chocolate ganache frosting. A combination of orange extract, orange zest and two kinds of chocolate make these cupcakes extra flavorful and delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill time (ganache) 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 319kcal



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest of one large orange

Chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 1 scant cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract
  • sprinkles optional garnish



  • Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder, chocolate chips, espresso powder, and boiling water until smooth and combined (the chocolate chips should be completely melted). Add sour cream, oil, eggs, sugar, extracts, and orange zest and whisk until well combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined. If necessary, use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Fill the prepared muffin cups about two-thirds to three-quarters full. Depending on the size of your muffin cups you might have a few tablespoons of batter leftover.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, but no raw batter. Be careful not to overbake. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them directly on the rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, proceed with the frosting.

Chocolate ganache frosting (allow 1-2 hours to chill):

  • Place the chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl, set aside.
  • Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat (not a rolling boil), bubbles should be forming around the outside of the pan. Immediately pour the warm cream over the chocolate chips and allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for 2 minutes.
  • After two minutes, use a whisk to stir the mixture until smooth and glossy. Whisk in orange extract. Place the bowl of ganache in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until thickened to a consistency similar to a thin nut butter or Nutella.
  • Transfer the ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until fluffy and lightened in color - this happens fairly quickly. The frosting will be thick. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with sprinkles.


These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. I bake, frost and serve them on the same day. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving. 


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg