This is probably one of my all-time favorite cupcakes. The spice cake batter is filled with chunks of fresh pears, raisins, coconut, and nuts. The frosting is orange cream cheese made with fresh orange juice and orange zest. I love carrot cake, but honestly, these are tons better!
Love, love these! I still think I’d like to open up my own cupcake shoppe. Maybe one of these days.
I made these mini cupcakes for my grandma’s 80th birthday party in March 2010. For a spring “Easter” touch, I added pastel sprinkles and Whoppers-brand Robin eggs candies.
3 firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored, diced
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoons salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the pears in a large bowl with the sugar; stir, then set aside for 15 minutes.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Then sift the flour mixture into the bowl containing the pears. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, raisins, and nuts and mix well.
Line cupcake pans. Fill nearly to the top of the liner because they don’t rise very much. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
15 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (nearly 2 bags)
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
In medium mixer bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar one cup at a time alternating with milk & orange juice. Mix well. Beat on high until smooth (only 30 seconds to 1 minute). Thin to ice cake smooth; use full strength for piping borders.
NOTE: Do not use light cream cheese or butter substitute. If margarine is used, icing will be softer.
Makes: About 5 1/2 cups of icing.