Let’s Bake Orange & Spiced Rum Cupcakes (updated!)

Orange and Spiced Rum Cupcakes

Update: Now includes a newer/better icing recipe. Scroll to the end of the post to find it.

This weekend, I challenged myself to create a boozy cupcake recipe. How did it turn out? Read on:

The Backstory

Every baking/cooking blog I’ve ever read offers some sort of backstory on a recipe. I suppose I need to do this part first.

In December 2011, while on a business trip to Dublin, I discovered a magical elixir called a Super Split. It was a simple concoction — orange soda and spiced rum — but boy, did I enjoy it.

The drink is called a Super Split since it tastes like the beloved Irish frozen treat. (However, I think it has been re-branded as just Split.) Since a (Formerly-Super) Split is what’s otherwise known as a Creamsicle Stateside, I can vouch for the flavor. It’s like drinking alcoholic orange ice cream. I mean that in the best way possible.

Recently, I came across this post on Lovin’ Dublin about an Irish bakery called Gr8 Cakes and Bakes that offers Super Split Cupcakes. “What? I need these in my life right the damn now!” (Behold my sense of urgency when it comes to boozy cupcakes.)

Sadly, the bakery is located in Lucan, which is thousands of miles away from where I am in Philadelphia. They don’t deliver abroad (although that may change!), and I won’t be in Ireland until the new year. That thwarts my “right the damn now!” request.

I shared my plight with my boyfriend — who lives right next door to Dublin! — and he offered this suggestion:

“Why not try baking them yourself?”

Well, that’d be an ambitious endeavor. I love to bake, especially from scratch. The boyfriend was certainly honing in on this.

However, I could not find a recipe for these specific cupcakes online, which meant I had to come up with one.

I’ve never engineered my own baked good recipe. But I was up for the challenge. 

After doing some research — apparently adding soda to cake recipes is quite common and a great way to cut calories — I came up with a recipe for my own Orange & Spiced Rum Super Split Cupcakes.

The Recipe

Fanta Spiced Rum Cupcake Ingredients

With their powers combined…

Orange & Spiced Rum Super Split Cupcakes (makes 24)

1 box of cake mix (I went with Pilsbury Moist Supreme Classic White)

1 cup of Fanta 

1/2 cup of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

2 egg whites (for fluffiness)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine ingredients. Beat with mixer for about two minutes. Divide batter into paper baking cups, filling each about halfway. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the center of each cake. When cooled, top with frosting (recipe below); garnish with orange slices if you wish.

Orange and Spiced Rum Cupcakes Sans Frosting

So far, so good.

I was pleased with how the cupcakes turned out. They were moist, fluffy, and, oh yeah — tasty!

I couldn’t keep these cupcakes nekkid, so I created an orange-and-rum frosting. I followed the Domino Sugar recipe for buttercream frosting, with some modifications:

Orange & Spiced Rum Buttercream Frosting

3-3/4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1/2 stick of butter, softened

1/4 cup of Fanta 

A splash of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

Instructions: Combine ingredients and mix for about two minutes until creamy.

Now, don’t make the same mistake I did. The recipe above yielded the ideal consistency. 

My issue was with the taste.  It didn’t taste orange-y enough in my opinion, so I added an extra 1/4 cup of soda. As a result, the frosting became too runny. To salvage it, I put it in the freezer. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. (Plus, it tastes fine.) My lesson for next time: Maybe, just maybe, add a tiny splash of Fanta if I want that extra boost of orange flavor. (Say, a teaspoon?)

The final result:

Orange and Spiced Rum Super Split Cupcakes

The frosting doesn’t look *too* bad at this angle.


Orange and Spiced Rum Super Split Cupcake

The imperfection of the frosting can be seen here, but it’s still edible.


Verdict: These get a pass. I like them — they’re good. My younger brother acted as a guinea pig and he was a fan, too. Overall, I’m happy with how they turned out. I plan on baking them for the family Christmas party, albeit with less runny frosting. (OK, I’ll stop obsessing over that now, but I am open to suggestions on how to make it better!)

As for creating my own cupcake recipe? Again, it was a challenge, but a fun one. Fortunately, the end result was positive — no one got sick! How these compare to the originals from Gr8 Cakes and Bakes, I don’t know (and probably won’t know until I make it to Dublin next year), but for now, these will certainly suffice.

The Monday Question

Have you ever created a baked good recipe from scratch? What motivated you to do it, and were you pleased with the result? Share your stories (and recipes!) in the comments.

Til next Monday!


The Wednesday Update!

I’ve baked another round of these cuppies for friends and family for Christmas. I must say, these turned out much nicer than the first time:

fanta and spiced rum cupcakes

The difference? The icing.

I was inspired by commenter Jade to use orange extract in an attempt to keep the icing smooth (and not too runny). This is my modified-modified icing recipe:

Orange & Spiced Rum Buttercream Frosting (v2.0)

3-3/4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1/2 stick of butter, softened

3 tablespoons of orange extract

A splash of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

Instructions: Combine ingredients and mix for about two minutes until creamy.

I did add a small splash of Fanta, for color. It didn’t do much. You can go without it.

The consistency is just right. The rum flavor seems to be more potent this time around. Not a bad thing, really!



7 thoughts on “Let’s Bake Orange & Spiced Rum Cupcakes (updated!)

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