Sweet Treats Week: Recipe #3

Orange Pineapple Sunshine Cupcakes

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
4 eggs
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!

orange pineapple cupcakes

Written by Missy

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Missy wrote her first book “The Forgetful Easter Bunny” at age 6. Before attending college at the University of Missouri, she enjoyed a full career of writing and passing notes to friends during class as well as writing for school yearbooks and newspapers. She moved to New York in 2007, and has been at UncommonGoods ever since. Missy likes playing outside, watching thunderstorms, eating dessert first, dancing at weddings and giving people hugs.


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