blood orange | candied citrus | cupcake photos | cupcakes | decorations | frosting | fruit

True “blood-orange” cupcakes.

June 1, 2011

If you follow my site at all, you know I’m a big vampire fan. Some people are into zombies, I’m into blood suckers. Not so much Twilight, those movies are absolute shit (the books were marginally better, as is always the case)… but definitely Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles & definitely True Blood. I was into the books before I watched the series, but the series has me (& my mom!) hooked. Of course, he was my favorite character in the books but after seeing the show, the actor that plays Eric doesn’t hurt matters any. I even went as a Merlotte’s waitress for Halloween.

Anyway, season 4 of True Blood starts June 26th, and it just so happens to be that my favorite book (or one of ’em) in the series was book 4, or Dead To The World. So while that may be almost a month away, I felt the need to come up with some cupcake-y way to celebrate this, and also use some of the fresh fruit that’s available now that the weather is warmer. Back in October, I made some True Blood Velvet cupcakes and they went over so big, the official Tru Beverage website actually wrote an entire post about them and linked to me! In case you missed all that, here’s my little blurb about it from back then:

Before I get started on this post, I want to say how awesome it is that on October 13th the official Tru Blood Beverage website wrote a post about my True Blood Velvet cupcakes on their news page! So exciting, especially for me, I’m a huge fan of the show True Blood & the Sookie Stackhouse books. It was really spiffy that they noticed me & my lil’ ol cupcakes. I really geeked out over it for a while, truth be told (and still am, kinda). If you missed the post, and can’t find it, don’t worry. If you check out my press page, you’ll see a screenshot of what was written.

So using that as inspiration, I decided to go with blood oranges for my cupcakes. The True Blood Tru beverage is flavored blood orange, so I thought that would be absolutely perfect! Of course, finding the blood oranges weren’t as easy as I thought, but I managed to find ’em!

Blood oranges, in case you’re wondering, are:

a variety of orange (Citrus sinensis) with crimson, blood-colored flesh. The fruit is smaller than an average orange; its skin is usually pitted, but can be smooth. The distinctive dark flesh color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a family of pigments common to many flowers and fruit, but uncommon in citrus fruits.[1] The flesh develops its characteristic maroon color when the fruit develops with low temperatures during the night.[2] Sometimes there is dark coloring on the exterior of the rind as well, depending on the variety of blood orange. The skin can also be tougher, and harder to peel than other oranges.

While all oranges are likely of hybrid origin between the pomelo and the tangerine,[3] blood oranges originated as a mutation of the sweet orange.[4]

Within Europe, the Arancia Rossa di Sicilia (Red Orange of Sicily) has Protected Geographical Status.[5]

They’re gorgeous. They look just like oranges, but when you slice them, the inside is a deep blood-red color, and so is the juice. How appropriate, right? It looks normal on the outside, but inside… muahaha.

I decided to do a blood orange cupcake, and frost it with some very lightly flavored vanilla buttercream, and then top them with a candied slice of blood orange. The slices became almost stained-glass like, which gave a lovely look.  Black liners are from Bake It Pretty (but I can’t seem to find them on their site now, so they might be sold out).



  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, separated and whites beaten until stiff
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup blood orange juice
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • dash of orange food coloring
  • dash of red coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside. Cream butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until fluffy.
  3. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together in a separate mixing bowl, and do a quick sift with a whisk. Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients a little at a time alternating with adding portions of the orange juice to the creamed mixture. Add two dashes of food coloring until the batter is desired color (remember, it’ll get lighter once the egg whites are folded in!)
  4. Fold in beaten egg whites gently, one half at a time. Spoon batter into cupcake liners.
  5. Bake  for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For those of you who aren’t True Blood fans (THE HORROR!) or if you want to make them for a summer party or picnic, you can make ’em plain blood orange cupcakes too. The orange liners are also from Bake It Pretty.




  • 1 blood orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  1. Slice the blood orange as thinly as you can manage. Bring water and sugar to a simmer in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add blood orange slices and keep on a low simmer, turning them over after 30 minutes. Simmer for a total of 45-60 minutes, or until the peel on the slices starts to become translucent.
  2. If you want to make more oranges, simply increase the amount of water and sugar (such as 1 ½ cups of each for 3-4 oranges).

So all you Trubies out there… make these on June 26th, crack open some Tru Blood’s and GET PSYCHED.


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  1. these.are.amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are awesome.

    if these were being sold at a bakery near me, i would def stop by after work just to get one. i love blood orange EVERYTHING! i will def have to attempt these next time i’m in the baking mood.

  2. LOVE IT! I can’t wait for Season 4 to start – this was my favorite book of the series and the previews have me wanting more! I may need to begin the hunt for some blood oranges so I can whip these cupcakes up.

  3. Can you tell me how many he recipe makes? I’m assuming 24 cupcakes? Can you confirm this? They look delicious and since I am going as Sookie this Halloween it seems like a requirement to make your delicious sounding cupcakes!

  4. Hi Grace. I think it makes 24 cupcakes, but I can’t swear to it in a court of law. I always end up with more cupcakes than the average person anyway, I think my pans might be smaller, so it’s possible it made even more. I hope you enjoy them & Happy Halloween!

  5. I never get the right amount either 🙂

    I can’t wait to make them – they really look delicious!

    Thanks for the feedback on quantity!

  6. Anytime, Grace. I always think I’m in a parallel universe when it comes to baking pans because I always get more cupcakes & my loaves always overflow!

    Anyway I hope you like the cupcakes… 🙂

  7. Hi there, these look delicious! I can’t wait to make them. I was just wondering, I may have missed this somewhere but I can’t find it (I’ll blame it on tiredness), how many does this recipe make? Am I right to assume 12?
    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Hi Beverley!

    It’s been a while- its possible that the recipe makes 24. I’m not 100% sure. Sorry 🙁 If you make them, let me know 😉

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  25. When you say 1 stick butter, do you mean 1/2 cup? I’ve seen different sized sticks of butter!

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