Chocolate paired with fresh oranges has always been one of my favorite flavor combinations. The contrast of the bitter chocolate and the sweetness of the citrus is amazing! When I made gluten free chocolate cupcakes recently I knew right away that I wanted to top them with a frosting made from fresh oranges. But not just any old frosting would do. Nope, those big and fluffy cupcakes deserved something truly special- Fresh Orange and Mascarpone Frosting!
This is not your typical sugar-laden frosting. It’s a delicious, rich, and creamy frosting that is unlike any other I’ve ever made (or tasted, for that matter). Fresh orange zest, orange juice, and mascarpone cheese are all whipped together into one gloriously and sinfully delicious spread. Not overly sweet, this is the perfect topping for rich chocolate cake or cupcakes.
This was the first time that I’ve used mascarpone as the base for frosting, but it turned out so well that I’m definitely going to be experimenting with it again! Happy baking!
Fresh Orange and Mascarpone Frosting
8oz cream cheese
1 stick unsalted organic butter
12oz mascarpone cheese
4 TBS honey
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1-2 cups confectioners sugar (optional)
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and mascarpone cheese until smooth, about 4-5 minutes on medium-high speed.
Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the honey, orange zest, orange juice, sea salt, vanilla, and orange extract. Whisk on medium speed until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
Give it a taste test to see if any additional orange juice or honey needs to be added to suit your flavor preferences.
At this point, you can frost your cupcakes (or cake) or, if you prefer a firmer frosting (one that can be piped on) continue to the next step. If you stop here, you will have a decadent and moist frosting that can easily be spread onto cupcakes or a cake. It won’t form peaks or hold up to decorative piping, but the flavor will be fantastic without the addition of powdered sugar.
If you want a frosting that can be piped on for a more polished look, then whisk in 1-2 cups of confectioners sugar. This will make the frosting thicker and better able to hold its shape when piped on.