April 30th, otherwise known as Queen's Day in The Netherlands, is always a festive celebration. But this year, it's even more special because our Queen Beatrix, is descending from her throne and her son, Willem-Alexander will become our new King! We haven't had a King since 1890. He and his Argentinian wife, Maxima and their three daugthers will lead new the monarchy in Holland.
Normally I don't really care much for Queen's Day. But I'm actually heading to Amsterdam this year to celebrate it all day long. Amsterdam is turned into a sea of orange! Everyone dresses up in orange clothing, wears orange hats, carries red-white-blue flags, and is cheerful (read: drunk). I'm still debating whether to wear a traditional Dutch dress, or to go full out on accessories. I bought an orange tiara, red-white-blue nails, and have plenty of other things to wear! I might show you a picture later on.
But for now, I baked these cheerful bright orange cupcakes to get in the mood! I used my go-to cupcake recipe from Magnolia Bakery, added orange zest and rubbed it together with the sugar. Added fresh orange juice from 1 orange to the batter, and made orange-flavored buttercream frosting. I decorated them with special Queen's Day sugar toppings and orange cupcake liners which I bought at the Xenos (Dutchies will know ;). Rating: 5 out of 5!
Orange Cupcakes: adapted from 'The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook'
Ingredients: makes 24 cupcakes, you can halve if you want to
- 1 ½ cup self-rising flour
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest from 2 oranges, chopped finely
- fresh juice squeezed from 2 oranges
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Mix the sugar and orange zest together in a small bowl, and rub the sugar with your fingers until it is very orange. Add the orange-sugar gradually to the butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk mixed together with the vanilla and orange juice. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Orange is such a perfect flavor for Queen's Day!
The sugar toppings include: a 'W' for Willem-Alexander, red-white-blue tulips, a Queen's tiara,
the Dutch flag & orange flowers á la Keukenhof.
For other Dutch-inspired to make for Queen's Day, check out these Stroopwafel Cupcakes or this Dutch Apple Pie!