Orange Cornmeal Cupcakes with White Wine & Olive Oil

Sunday, January 7, 2007

These cupcakes are a taste of Tuscany in my opinion, and for any girl or guy on the go, a perfect cupcake. At first glance these look like corn muffins, but do not be fooled as you couldn't be farther from the truth. These are cupcakes indeed. And even better, a bit healthy for you due to the wine, corn meal, and orange oil.

But how to describe the flavor? Well, when wine and olive oil are combined in baking they produce a sublte, almost etheral, fruity flavor. The orange oil from the zest permeates the entire cake. The sugar crusts on top during baking and maintains it's snowy sprakle. You can't help but imagine eating them with slices of ripe orange and a glass of white wine, which consequently is how I suggest you eat them. You can't help but close your eyes and imagine eating them at a wrought iron table over looking a tuscan vineyard in the afternoon sun. Due to the cornmeal they're very dense too, so one cupcake is the perfect serving (as opposed to five).

Another plus is these take about oh, 5 minutes of prep time. With about 25 minutes for baking time, these are great time savers if you want an impressive dessert for little effort using ingredients you probably have on hand. As for the wine I used, I went with a Geyser Peak 05' Sauvignon Blanc. It was dry, not too fruity, not too grassy. It really accomplished all it needed to in the cupcake, and was the perfect accompaniment with the oranges and cupcakes. I also suggest a high quality olive oil for this if you have it, though everyday will do just fine as well.

This is a definite winner in my book and a total keeper. Easy, tasty, refined, and a real crowd pleaser.

Orange Cornmeal Cupcakes with White Wine & Olive Oil
Makes about 10 cupcakes / 375 Degrees
Adapted From Martha Stewart

What You'll Need...
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup of sugar, plus 1/3 cup for topping
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Finely grated zest of one orange

What You'll Do...
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, sugar, and wine until smooth. Add the other dry ingredients and the zest; whisk together gently.

3) Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers and spoon into the papers about 4/5 full. Sprinkle on the sugar (topping will be thick). Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out. clean.


  1. hmm..these look and sound delish!

  2. Just when I was thinking I should use up the really nice stoneground cornmeal I've had in the freezer for a while! Today you're my Mr. Perfect Timing Guy.

  3. Grate recipe,simple and easy to cook.I just want to ask whether olive oil taste will be felt in the cake? Thank you.

  4. Wow, now you've crossed into "non-stop cornmeal force--armed with white wine and olive oil" territory. Simply inspirational!

  5. Catherine - Try them, they're divine!

    Brian W - I'm always Mister Perfect Timing. ;)

    Home Cook - Just slightly, like the wine it's a subtle background flavor, and very tasty.

    Acme - I just laughed so hard I got queer stares at work.

  6. Cornmeal, wine and olive oil? Sounds like it could be my kinda thing.

  7. sounds like something you eat with your most sophisticated friends...

    I'll bring them to work and impress my boss.

  8. Oh my gosh, these sound good. And your photography is lovely these days, Garrett. You're doing that new camera proud!

  9. I don't know why, but for some reason I just had to bake something last night. Being out of butter and low on eggs my options were limited. I came here, knowing you wouldn't let me down. And you did not. These are delicious! So delicate and subtle without being bland. I didn't have orange, so I zested two lemons and added a bit of the juice to the batter. I used a Gewurztraminer (only white wine in the house) instead of something dry. The result was fabulous! These are sweet enough to be dessert, but not too sweet to eat for breakfast. I can't wait to make these again so I can play around with different wines and oils. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  10. I made a few batches of these this morning. So tasty! They've been my go-to muffin for since I first tried them a few years back. They're sophisticated without being fussy... and they've always impressed!


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