Doesn’t the name alone just make you smile? I’ve never met a more cheerful, upbeat dessert! If you have a summer birthday coming up, these are a fun alternative to typical ice cream cakes. They have a wonderfully delicate tropical-meets-vanilla flavor. And they feel very light and airy – thanks to applesauce as a substitute for oil and whip cream frosting. Plus, with oranges, pineapples and applesauce – it’s practically like eating a fruit salad! At least that’s what I told myself as I ate one for breakfast this morning…
And as if sunshine cupcakes weren’t cute enough – these adorable little birds and happy striped wrappers take things to a whole new level.
You can make this recipe in cupcake form or as a layer cake, which is what my mom always used to do. Cupcakes are lots of fun, but the layer cake looks very elegant in a glass cake stand; the colors of the creamy yellow frosting and yellow-orange cake play so nicely together.
Orange-Pineapple Sunshine Cupcakes or Cake (Serves 21 or 16)
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup applesauce
1 can mandarin oranges in light syrup (11 oz.)
1 8 oz. container Cool Whip (Lite or Regular)
1 pkg (3-4 oz.) INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 1/2 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice
1) Preheat oven to 350 deg. In a large bowl, stir together all the cake ingredients until moist. Beat by hand for 2 minutes. Chop up the oranges as you mix.
2) Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers or coat a 13×9 cake pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the papers/pan. Bake cupcakes for
25 minutes or bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
3) Frosting: In a large bowl, mix together all the frosting ingredients until well blended. Spread over the cupcakes/cake. Store in fridge. Enjoy!