Thursday, May 13, 2010

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

So here's recipe #2 in my attempt to post the three recipes I made while my laptop had died on me as quickly as possible. It's funny. When I made these, it actually wasn't because I expressly desired to eat a cupcake, but merely because I really wanted to make some since I hadn't in a long time. I thought about maybe a chocolate cupcake at first but decided I wanted something different and came to an almond cupcake. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE almond extract? I do, really and truly. I have to admit that I was apprehensive the first time I bought it. I always seemed to read over reviews claiming that the almond in the recipe was too strong, so I came to the conclusion that this stuff could quickly become overpowering, which I don't like in a recipe. But I thought I'd give the extract a try anyway since I saw it so many times when looking through recipes. To my delight, when a first opened the bottle and gave it a whiff, I recognized the flavor! It was just like those Chinese marble cookies from Wegman's that I love! Sure enough, when I tasted it, that was indeed the flavor and my love for almond extract (which I don't find overpowering at all) has been going strong since.

When I began searching for a recipe, I found that it's kind of hard to find just a plain almond cupcake recipe. Most of the recipes I found paired the almond with something else, like chocolate or fruit or what not, or they used actual almond meal in the recipe and I didn't want that. I just wanted a nice, plain almond flavor using extract. Finally I came across this recipe on Recipezaar and it sounded like a winner. I did, however, double the almond extract. At first I was going to pair these cupcakes with an almond Swiss meringue buttercream, but eventually decided against it. Even though I have a love for almond extract, I thought almond on almond might not be exciting enough. In the end, I decided to go with this chocolate buttercream from Joy the Baker that I've been dying to try. I ended up with a nice and tender almond cupcake that was paired with a very delicious chocolate buttercream, neither flavors overpowering the other. And, I finally got to use my 1M tip! Hurrah! Now on to the recipe.

Almond Cupcakes
(adapted from Recipezaar)
Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract (If you don't like as much almond flavor, you can reduce the extract back down to it's original measurement, 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with liners.
  2. Cream the butter at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and extracts and beat until combined.
  3. Combine the baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  4. Divide the batter in between 24 cups and bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes. (I seem to remember my batch taking only about 17 minutes to bake, so make sure to watch them.) Allow the cupcakes to cool for a couple minutes in the pans and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

The "Best" Chocolate Buttercream (from Joy the Baker)
Makes enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I used salted butter)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (I didn't add this since I used salted butter, but in the end I did end up using another small pinch of salt)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I would halve this...more notes below)
  • 2/3 cup Ovaltine
  1. Cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt. The mixture will be very thick. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and then add the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low and mix in the powdered sugar slowly while adding the milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer and beat the frosting. Beat until smooth.
  2. In a 2-cup measuring glass, mix together the heavy cream and Ovaltine. Turn the mixer on medium speed and stream in the Ovaltine mixture slowly until you have reached the desired consistency. You may not need the full amount of cream and Ovaltine. (In my experience, I ended up barely needing any of it. I actually ended up adding a bit more Ovaltine to my buttercream, so I would highly suggest halving the cream but keeping the Ovaltine amount the same.)

No comments:

Post a Comment