Orange & Rosemary Gimlet Cupcakes Recipe

A favorite retro cocktail gets a new look with this Orange and Rosemary Gimlet Cupcake. A sweet orange cake is spiked with a little gin, then topped with a sweet and savory icing that is just as tasty as it is beautiful. Garnish your cupcakes with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and a Shot Top filled with a mixture of orange juice and gin. Squeeze the Shot Top before taking a bite for a last-minute infusion of flavor! Refreshing and bursting with seasonal flavors, this tasty cupcake would be a lovely addition to any Christmas or New Year’s party.
Makes: 24 cupcakes
Skill Level:

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Step 1

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare muffin pans with baking cups.

Step 2

Zest oranges, measuring 2 teaspoons for cake batter and reserving 2 teaspoons for icing. Juice oranges, reserving 1/4 cup for cake batter, 3 tablespoons for icing and 1/4 cup for infusion. Strain pulp out of juice for infusion.

Step 3

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Step 4

In small bowl, stir together sour cream, 1/4 cup gin and 1/4 cup orange juice.

Step 5

In second large bowl, beat 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary and 2 teaspoons orange zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beating until just combined. Divide batter evenly between baking cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Step 6

Bake 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on grid.

Step 7

For icing, beat shortening, 3/4 cup of butter, reserved 2 teaspoons orange zest and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Gradually add 2 tablespoons gin, reserved 3 tablespoons orange juice and orange extract; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread icing onto cupcakes. Sprinkle cupcakes with coarse salt.

Step 8

For sugared rosemary garnish, dip rosemary sprigs in water, shaking off excess. Then, dip rosemary sprigs in 3/4 cup sugar, turning to coat, and lightly shaking off excess. Set aside on parchment paper to dry, 10-15 minutes.

Step 9

For infused cupcakes, cut a small opening in the tip of Shot Top infuser. In small bowl, stir together strained reserved 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup gin gin. Place cut opening in mixture and squeeze top to fill. Insert into iced cupcake. When ready to eat, squeeze top of Shot Top infuser again to infuse cake with gin mixture.

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3 medium navel oranges

cake flour

3 cups sifted cake flour

baking powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 teaspoon salt

sour cream

1/2 cup sour cream


1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons gin (divided)

butter, softened

6 tablespoons & 3/4 cup butter, softened (2 1/4 sticks, divided)

granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups + 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)

fresh rosemary

24 2-3 inch sprigs fresh rosemary

fresh rosemary, mnced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, mnced (divided)

solid vegetable shortening

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

orange zest

2 teaspoons reserved orange zest

Confectioners’ Sugar

6 cups sifted Confectioners’ Sugar (about 1 1/2 pounds)

fresh orange juice

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons reserved fresh orange juice (divided)

orange extract

1/4 teaspoon orange extract


1/4 cup water


3 eggs



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