My husband has a sterling pedigree, and claims that his family landed in America sometime before the Mohegans. I am a bit dubious, of course, and the truth is, I would’ve married him
if he had been a plumber named Manny, because I’m crazy about
him (and plumbers are so expensive), but that’s another story. Despite his Mayflower lineage, some of Dicky’s tastes can only be described as, well, low. VERY low. On one of our first dates, for example, he stopped at a newsstand to get some Chuckles after
dinner. Chuckles??? Who knew they even made those squashed gumdrops anymore, for Pete’s sake?? I tried to convince myself that they were really just commercially-made pates des fruits, but, deep-down, I knew better. And then there’s his unapologetic, misty-eyed
nostalgia for Swanson’s turkey T.V. dinners. What would the pilgrims say? They feed those to prisoners, don’t they? But nothing is more alarming than his occasional penchant for late-night trips to buy Hostess Orange Cupcakes. You, know, those chemically
enhanced yellow-orange numbers topped with neon-orange plaster and a squiggle of something that looks very suspiciously like Elmer’s Glue. It’s all quite shocking, particularly given my chosen occupation as a dessert and baking expert. But “in for a penny, in for a pound,” as they say, so I embrace all of Dicky’s low-brow preferences (Salisbury steak, anyone?). So, here’s my homage to that icon of the chemically-enhanced dessert snack world, the Hostess Orange Cupcake, made with real ingredients. It’s an American classic, after all. Just like Dicky.
Note: I used Cara Cara orange zest and juice in this recipe. The Cara Cara is a sweet, low-acid navel orange which has the appearance of a common orange on the outside, but has a pinkish colored pulp as seen in the photo above. For the chocolate version of these cupcakes, click here.