Are you a fan of tender and moist cupcakes? Look no further! These golden-hued almond cupcakes are a true delight for nut enthusiasts. Enriched with almond flour, they boast a genuine nutty flavor that keeps them irresistibly moist. With a creamy almond buttercream frosting that swirls effortlessly on top, these individual desserts are simply adorable.
What is Almond Flour?
Almond flour, also known as almond meal, is made by grinding almonds. There are two types – almond meal includes the whole almond, while almond flour uses blanched, skinless almonds. In baking, almond flour is preferred due to its finer grains and absence of any bitter taste from the skins. It is rich in protein and nutrients, contributing to the delectable texture and moisture of cakes and cookies.
To bring these almond cupcakes to life, you will need the following ingredients:
- Almond flour (blanched almond flour is preferred, but any almond meal will work)
- All-purpose flour (provides the structure for the cupcakes)
- Unsalted butter (softened for extra fluffiness)
- Avocado oil (or any neutral oil)
- Light brown sugar (adds extra flavor)
- Vanilla extract (pairs perfectly with almond)
- Almond extract (provides the primary flavor)
- Eggs (both whole eggs and egg yolks for richness)
- Milk (whole milk is preferred, but any percentage or non-dairy milk will do)
Tools and Equipment
In order to prepare this recipe, you will need the following:
- Hand or stand mixer
- Spring-loaded ice cream scooper
- Muffin tin
- Cupcake liners
- Offset spatula
- Large silicone spatula
Steps for Making Almond Cupcakes
Let’s dive into the process of creating these delightful almond cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven: Ensure the oven is hot before baking the cupcakes. This step is crucial for their short bake time.
- Combine the dry ingredients: Mix the flours, baking powder, and salt together, excluding the sugar. This step eliminates any lumps and ensures even distribution.
- Mix the butter and sugar: Cream the butter and sugar using an electric hand or stand mixer until the batter becomes light and fluffy.
- Add the oil, eggs, and extracts: Incorporate these ingredients into the batter and mix until smooth.
- Add half the flour mixture: Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the batter to prevent over-mixing.
- Alternate the milk with the rest of the flour: Add the milk in stages, alternating with the remaining flour mixture. This method prevents the batter from becoming dense and dry.
- Bake!: Place the cupcakes in the oven and let them bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Make the frosting: Whip up the almond buttercream frosting using just six simple ingredients.
- Ice and decorate!: Frost the cupcakes with the almond buttercream and add slivered almonds and sugar pearls for an extra touch of glamour.
Serving and Storage
To ensure maximum freshness, store the cupcakes at room temperature for up to two days. Place them in a cake box or an airtight container. If you wish to extend their shelf life, transfer the leftovers to the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.
Unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in bundles of four or six and stored in the freezer for up to one month. Additionally, you can wrap leftover buttercream in plastic and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Just remember to thaw and rewhip the frosting before using it.
If you have specific dietary preferences or requirements, here are a couple of substitutions you can make:
- Gluten-free flour: You can use a one-to-one gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour, as almond flour is naturally gluten-free.
- Dairy-free: For a dairy-free version, substitute plant-based butter and milk.
Do I Have to Use Almond Flour?
Yes, for this recipe, almond flour is essential. Unlike other grain flours, almond flour contains fat from the ground nuts. Substituting it with all-purpose flour will not yield the same results.
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These almond cupcakes are a treat for the senses. With their incredible tenderness, delightful almond flavor, and heavenly almond buttercream frosting, they are sure to please any nut lover. So why wait? Give this recipe a try and indulge in a truly nutty delight!