Say you meet a man. He spends the evening flirting and you find yourself flirting right back. He asks for your number, calls, and you start dating him. Even though it’s early, it feels like the sort of connection that could become something special. Then, you find out that his birthday is right around the corner.
How do you celebrate with someone special, who you happen to have only just met?
This man, as it turns out, has an affinity for Gran Marnier. Slowly, an idea started forming. Orange and vanilla is nice but orange and chocolate, now we’re talking. Chocolate orange cupcakes. Yup, that’s a winning combination.
And as for the man? Well, we’ve been happily dating for over two years. I’m not saying it’s because of these cupcakes, but I have a feeling they didn’t hurt.
This recipe is adapted from Cupcake Project's "Chocolate Cupcake Recipe" —Stephanie
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set these mixed dry ingredients aside.
In a small bowl, mix sugar and orange zest. Use your fingertips to really work the orange oils into the sugar!
Cream butter and orange sugar in a stand mixer (or with handheld mixer). Meanwhile, in a microwave or over a double broiler, melt the chocolate (but be careful not to burn it!).
Gently mix the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar, just until combined. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, mixing completely between additions. Stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the orange juice. Mix in oil, vanilla extract, and yogurt.
Fold about 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients.
Stir in Gran Marnier.
Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake 16-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (For mini cupcakes, fill liners half full and reduce baking time to 10-11 minutes.) Cool on wire rack.
I recommend icing with Gran Marnier buttercream. Easy adaptation on the icing, just use your favorite standard buttercream recipe and replace any milk with Gran Marnier. Delicious!