These Orange Clove Cupcakes are lightly aromatic, and hedonistic spice cake. It's comforting and eloquent with it's bold, in-your-face flavors. The orange cake has been laced with hints of freshly ground cloves to give it a bit of a bite. A vanilla buttercream acts as a simple backdrop to allow the real star flavors to shine. The candied orange peel has also been given a bit of raw ground clove as well, it's pungent and slightly bitter flavor creating sweet little pinpricks on your tongue. It's a delicious thing to bite into.

Makes 24 cupcakes / 350F oven


For the CupcakeEdit

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of grated orange zest
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of orange juice (no pulp)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cloves

For the Vanilla ButtercreamEdit

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the cloved and Candied orange peelEdit

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 cups of sugar, plus some extra for rolling


For the cupcakeEdit

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, zest, ground cloves, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Place eggs and sugar in a mixer and beat on high for 30 seconds until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and oil and mix until just combined.
  4. Add some of the dry ingredients and then the orange juice. Alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry.
  5. Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 minutes. Check with a cake tester or toothpick for doneness.

For the Vanilla ButtercreamEdit

  1. Cream the butter until soft.
  2. Add the sugar and then the milk and vanilla extract. Cream till soft. Spread on cooled cupcakes.

For the cloved and candied orange peelEdit

  1. Zest the peel into long strips with a citrus zester. (You can cut off the zest as well with e a vegetable peeler, then cut into strips, just be sure to scrape off all of the white pith as it's nasty bitter.) Add salt and peel to 4 cups of water and let stand overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat to boiling and then drain. Repeat 3 times (this is to remove any bitter taste).
  3. In sauce pan, combine peel, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until peel is translucent. Drain any liquid.
  4. Place some granulated sugar and a pinch and roll peel in granulated sugar and ground cloves. Be sure to only use a small pinch of cloves, in large amounts by itself raw cloves can create a burning or numbing sensation on the tongue. (By the by never take a pinch of ground cloves and put it on your tongue; can you tell I learned something today?) You just want a very slight taste of it, and when combined with the sugar it's tamed and tasty. Allow to dry.