orange creamsicle cupcakes

As of this weekend, we have only one house! We are all moved out of the old place, and can relax a little bit. Then I start unpacking here…

In the short time we have been in our new house, we have met a few of the neighbors, all very nice. There are two other dachshunds on our street, one right next door! Basil is thrilled. After we are settled in, I am going to look up Oregon Dachshund Rescue again, and look into Dachshund #4 for the street – a sister for Basil.

This weekend, out of nowhere, I had a cake craving.

Since we are seeing awesome weather in the 80’s here, I was thinking something light. Sunny. Fresh.


We were headed to a patio party, and I brought these along for dessert. These were very easy to make, using that box of cake and bottle of soda method, and while I wouldn’t really call that a recipe, I will tell you what I did.

orange creamsicle cupcakes

dairy and egg free, vegan

makes 12 cupcakesย 

1 package vanilla cake mix
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (or extract)
pulp from 1 orange (reserve juice for frosting)

10 ounces orange soda

Combine cake mix and soda, stirring until just combined. Fold in vanilla and orange pulp. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

citrus cream cheese frosting

gluten, dairy and egg free, vegan

8 ounces cream cheese (Tofutti)
2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 1 orange
2 droppers full Orange NuStevia

Beat cream cheese, orange juice and NuStevia until softened, gradually adding powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to piping bag or frost as normal.

Yum. These are bright and light, sweet and citrusy. Perfect for sunny summer.



    • spabettie says

      YES it is such a relief! I have to go over tomorrow to drag out the last garbages, and get rid of the furniture around the pool… (we WILL miss the pool…). I still need to unpack most of my kitchen, but I knew where the muffin tin was, so I dug through that box… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • spabettie says

      I am loving the new citrus stevias… and WEEEE – we’re all excited about a second pup. I caught Jason talking to the neighbor about it already! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. says

    My husband would DIE for these! He made me get him orange creamsicle pops a few weeks ago, he loves them so much! These look so damn good and they are so pretty!!!

    Congrats on the house again! SO happy for you 3!

    Tell your dad hello, thinking of him, please let me know how he is <3

    • spabettie says

      Katie you need to make these immediately! ๐Ÿ˜‰ the flavor is unreal!

      I will tell Dad hello – he is doing okay right now. we are waiting for ct scan results, to see if he starts the chemo + radiation, or just goes to surgery. his big aggressive chemo treatments are over, finally. *whew* his spirits are good. thank you SO much for asking, for your continued support, for just being YOU. XO

    • spabettie says

      thanks Nora! I thought so too, when I decided on this flavor… then when I tasted them? OOH yum. I hope the sunny days continue …

      • says

        Now moment of truth–do you remember the owner’s names too, or are you like me and just have to refer to someone as “___’s mom” for the next month? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • spabettie says

          ha! the neighbor next door, we know his name as we’ve talked to him several times… but sadly, the others are “Minnie’s parents” …and yep, her name is Minnie. I just realized I called her Millie before. I can’t even get THAT right? I am exhausted – don’t believe anything I say.

  2. says

    I think these are the best rising gf/vegan cupcakes known to man–and to think, it’s because of a flippin’ can of orange soda! *running to the store to buy 8 cases*

    • spabettie says

      I seriously could not believe it. I bought that mix at Food Fight, so I knew I could trust it, but I STILL looked twice at the ingredients. There HAD to be something in there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Now someone this morning has told me Duncan Heinz mix is already vegan, I’m not sure if they have a GF mix…) ANYWAY, you must try the soda thing – it’s crazy cool. The batter fluffs up as you stir it. I may never make my own cake again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. says

    Hold the phone. Orange soda!? GENIUS!!!! I was just scheming with my cousin a few days ago while in California about orange creamsicle baked delights. I love these!

    • spabettie says

      I know… I’m not a fan of drinking orange soda, but in these? It’s pretty amazing how these work!

  4. says

    one house – yay!! So exciting! can’t wait to see pics! and um, how DO you do it, seriously. you just whip these up all fancy like on the fly? You are GOOD.

  5. says

    I’m happy to hear you’re feeling well with the new neighborhood. Yay dachshunds! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve never heard of this method to make muffins or a cake, but the idea seems really clever, and the result looks absolutely fancy! ๐Ÿ˜€ Also, creamsicle rhymes with whimsical, so these are already a winner.

  6. says

    You are so resourceful! I love how easy the recipe looks – I’m always looking for ways to show my friends that vegan cooking doesn’t have to be complicated and this recipe is perfect! Also – I LOVE citrus! Perfect for summer!

    • spabettie says

      I am always trying for that too – uncomplicated and accessible. you should make these for a skeptic – they are SO good! (and after the fact I hear that many regular store brands – Duncan Heinz – are already naturally vegan?)

  7. Gia says

    what a fun technique! great idea on the orange soda, I followed exact recipe and now we are in heaven over here LOL. so flavorful.

  8. says

    Hi Spabettie!! Thank you so much for using Wholesome Chow’s Organic Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Cake Mix in your recipe! We are so honored.

    We added your recipe to our recipe listings on our website:

    Please let us know if you use our products again, we would love to display them on our facebook:

    Thanks again Spabettie!

    • spabettie says

      I love your cake mix! Are you still selling in Food Fight Grocery in Portland? The last couple times I’ve been there I have not seen it (I THINK I got it there once?).

      Thanks for adding me to your website!

      • says

        Thanks Spabettie! Yes, our products are still for sale at Food Fight! Grocery in Portland. You can also purchase them online with free shipping on our website,

        PS – did you know our entire line of gluten free vegan products is now certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten Free Certified, Kosher and Vegan Verified?

  9. Nancy says


    Would love to make these for my son’s bday. He has food allergies. I have a question. Did you add any of the ingredients the cake mix asked for like milk, oil and apple vinegar as well as the vanilla extract, soda, and orange pulp?


    • spabettie says

      hi Nancy! nope, that is what is so cool about this “recipe” – the dry cake mix and 8- 10 ounces of soda is all you need – a little less than a full can or bottle, and I start with 8 ounces because some of the gluten free cake mixes are smaller than normal cake mix. I added the orange as extras, but you can use any flavor cake mix + soda and it makes REALLY fluffy cakes!

      Enjoy… happy birthday to your son!

  10. says

    This look wonderful! I am excited to try the soda trick.

    Question though, the GF cake mix I got calls for eggs (an insists the mix does not work without eggs). The mix is “Camela’s Classic Vanilla Cake Mix”. Do you see a problem with the whole soda technique if I use eggs as well?

    Also.. If this works I will post my recipe: Vanilla Blackberry Cupcakes with Matcha Frosting :)

    • spabettie says

      hi Caitlin!

      I have not tried that brand of cake mix, but if it says it will not work without eggs, I’d believe them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (there are many things people substitute for eggs, I am assuming they know most of those will not work and are giving you fair warning!) I have not seen the soda technique used with eggs, but I don’t see why it would not work? please do let me know how it goes! vanilla blackberry sounds fantastic!

      cheers, Kristina

  11. Marci says

    Made these last night — they were delicious but definitely not light & fluffy. Very heavy & cake — I am just taking a stab, but I am thinking that it’s because I used an all-natural orange soda (Zevia)? That’s the only difference I can find.

    Had a terrible time with the frosting, too… again, it tasted delicious, but was super runny & I had to add a ton more sugar just to get it usable. Super-sweet & tasty, but still too thin. Perhaps I used too much orange juice here. The recipe called for the pulp/juice of one orange, but all I had available were small clemetines, so I used 2. Too much?

  12. Andrina says

    This looks so great but I was wondering if you know of anything else that could be used besides the soda? I wanted to use this recipe for my son’s first birthday party but we don’t do soda around here.

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Andrina,

      since this recipe relies heavily on the soda, I’m not sure of a substitution. If the box cake mix is okay with you, I’d suggest making the cake batter as directed, adding orange flavor (possibly a small amount of orange juice concentrate) to the batter. I don’t ever drink soda, but this was a one time thing for a fun recipe.

      hope that helps,


  13. Shawna says

    So, I am in the middle of making these and the recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes and I have way more batter. Anyone else have this happen? Not complaining about extra cupcakes, I just hope I didn’t mess up. I am using Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix.

      • Kristina Sloggett says

        Shawna I am so sorry to hear this! I have only used one kind of vegan/gluten free cake mix (I will update the link, it seems to be broken). I am planning to make these cupcakes again this weekend, so I will try a different brand and update the post with my results.


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