Recipe courtesy of Diana Colletti

Orange Sleepy Poppy Cupcake with Spiked Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 26 cupcakes
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Orange Poppy Cake Batter:

21 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

6 tablespoons poppy seed filling 

1/2 cup buttermilk 

3 cups all-purpose flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste 

5 drops pure orange oil 

Zest of 3 oranges 

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup cream cheese, softened

4 cups confectioners' sugar 

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice 

1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Cointreau

2 drops pure orange oil 

Zest of 2 large oranges 


  1. For the orange poppy cake batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners (for a total of 26 cupcakes).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and poppy seed filling. Stir in the buttermilk. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk thoroughly. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and incorporate without over-mixing. Stir in the vanilla, orange oil and orange zest.
  3. Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds full; bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  4. For the orange cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat an additional 4 minutes. Turn off the mixer, add the confectioners' sugar one cup at a time and mix until fully incorporated. While on a low speed, mix in the orange juice, orange liqueur, orange oil and orange zest. Beat on high for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Using a piping bag, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.