Orange and Honey Cupcakes With Sweet Ricotta Frosting

David Rash’s Orange & Honey Cupcakes with Sweet Ricotta Frosting entry in the Sue Bee® honey Sweet Eats Recipe Contest!


For the cake

  • 1/4 cup Sue Bee® Clover Honey
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 1/4 cup Sue Bee Clover Honey
  • 2 cups ricotta, preferably whole milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and cooled, for garnish


  • Begin with the icing. In a standup mixer, whisk together the ricotta, powdered sugar and vanilla until combined. Turn mixer off.
  • Pour in the cream then turn mixer on low to incorporate it into the ricotta before turning it on full speed and whipping it for about 3 minutes and it is puffy.
  • Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth (or damp paper towel) and place in a bowl in which the bottom of the sieve won’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
  • Pour the ricotta mixture into the prepared sieve, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 24 hours.
  • Once all the water and whey have drained out of the frosting, discard it and turn out the ricotta mixture into a bowl.
  • Beat in the softened butter and the Sue Bee® honey and refrigerate until the cupcakes are ready.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. In a standup mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and puffy.
  • Add in the Sue Bee® honey and orange zest and beat until well-combined.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing the first to completely incorporate before adding the second.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring dish.
  • Add the dry and wet ingredients, alternately in thirds, starting with the dry and ending with the wet. Mix until just combined.
  • Portion the batter into 24 paper-lined cupcake tin in 1/4 cup amounts and bake 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before removing them to completely cool on a wire cooling wrack. Once completely cooled, frost with the icing and top with the pine nuts.
Sue Bee Pro Recipe Tip: For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.
Sue Bee® Pro Recipe Tip: For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.

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