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Polka-Dot Cupcakes

These cupcakes, which are flavored with orange zest, can be made ahead and kept in airtight containers at room temperature overnight or in the freezer up to one week. Decorated cupcakes will keep at room temperature up to three hours.

  • Yield: Makes 26
Polka-Dot Cupcakes

Source: Martha Stewart Kids


For the Cupcakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup milk

For the Icing

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (not whipped)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in top and bottom thirds. Line twenty-four muffin cups (1-cup capacity) with paper or foil liners, and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.

  2. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add orange zest. Beat in flour mixture and milk in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture. After each addition, beat until just combined, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as necessary.

  3. Fill prepared muffin cups with about 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans once, until cupcakes are just golden brown and spring back to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in tins, about 5 minutes, then turn them out onto wire racks. Repeat with any remaining batter. Let cool completely.

  4. Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar in a small bowl until just smooth. Add milk and vanilla; beat frosting until combined. Use immediately.

Reviews (11)

  • Mairaed Elise 24 Jun, 2012

    Its a great idea but personally I don't like cream cheese
    Because I'm not o good artist, I don't make the icing look that good so I just used whipped cream and it tasted great

  • Lsav 15 Oct, 2011

    The decorating idea is cute, but the recipe is not very good.. They tasted a bit like cornbread? I wouldn't bake these again, but I would use the decorating example!

  • marman 22 Mar, 2011

    i like so much

  • stacee 27 Feb, 2011

    The candies to me look like colored chocolate chips.

  • yogamamaslc 28 May, 2009

    What are the polka dots made out of ....frosting, or candy? Thanks!:o)

  • MLaetitia 18 Apr, 2009

    What do you call cream cheese? Is it kind of Philadelplhia chesse? Or by what I can replace it?

  • fannybrice 11 Apr, 2009

    Actually, a stick of American butter equals 4 ounces or 1/2 cup. You can find lots of conversion calculators on line to find a measurement that you're familiar with. I use them often when I cook with European recipes.

  • tschierling 10 Jan, 2009

    i believe a "Stick" and "8 Ounces" equal 1 cup

  • tschierling 10 Jan, 2009

    i believe a "Stick" and "8 Ounces" equal 1 cup

  • XAJYMX 12 Dec, 2008

    what is mean with 'ounces'?

  • aussiecupcakequeen 16 Apr, 2008

    Thanks for specifying weight of butter in your recipe! Here in Australia we don't know what a "stick" of butter is, but always use grams (or ounces is fine).
    Thanks again.

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