dark chocolate, orange zest, and a whole lotta goodness


Since I posted this photo of cupcakes I took to an end of year party, many people have asked for the recipe. Well, here it is and it's incredibly simple. 

You will need your favorite chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 c. orange juice
4 oz. applesauce
4 oranges

your favorite frosting (I used Duncan Hines' chocolate frosting with Hershey's)
dark chocolate chips for garnish and added deliciousness (I just happened to have some leftover from my banana bread baking so I decided to add them last minute)

I started with Duncan Hines dark chocolate cake mix but you could use Devil's food or fudge chocolate or any of your favorite chocolate cake mixes. (Do not follow the directions on the cake mix box just use the mix). And then add:

1 cup of orange juice (depending on the mix you use, you may need to add more for consistency for the dark chocolate box, I used a cup)

3 eggs

4 oz. of applesauce (I used one 3.9 oz container of the Healthy Harvest Green Applesauce)

Beat together on medium for about 3 minutes until batter is mostly smooth.

Zest 3 oranges, mixing after zesting each orange. Save your 4th orange for zesting the top of the iced and cooled cupcake.

Pour batter into lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. If you're using darker muffin tins, bake at 325. 

Cool 15 minutes or so, then frost. 

Add 3 dark chocolate chips to each cupcake. Zest last orange over the top and enjoy!

today, I am 35


I've had a fantastic birthday weekend. Amazing food, great company, champagne toasts, excellent wine and very good cake with candles! I can't remember the last time I blew out candles before now. I also received very thoughtful presents. Thanks to everyone who took time out of their day to wish me well and send me cards, or treat me to brunch. This is going to be a very good year. I just know it.