For the vanilla cupcakes:
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs (beaten)
1tsp vanilla extract
175g self raising flour

For the orange frosting:
100g butter
200g full fat soft cheese
200g icing sugar
1 well scrubbed orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C on the Circulaire setting if using a Smeg Oven. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with large cupcake cases.
  2. To make the cupcake batter, beat the butter and sugar together with Smeg’s Stand Mixer fitted with wire whisk attachment until very light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour over the top and fold in with a spatula.
  4. Divide the cake batter between the paper cases. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until well risen and pale golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
  5. To make the frosting, sift the icing sugar into the Smeg Stand Mixer bowl and add the butter and vanilla extract. Using Smeg’s Stand Mixer fitted with flex-edges beater, beat the mixture until smooth and creamy.
  6. Finely grate half the orange zest and set aside for garnish later. For the other half of the orange, use a citrus zester to make thin stands of orange zest. Mix in the soft cheese and finely grated orange zest into the mixture until thoroughly combined.
  7. Once the cakes are cool, pipe or swirl the frosting on top. Sprinkle a few strands of orange zest over the cakes and serve.

Product used: Oven, Stand Mixer