Almond Cupcakes with Amaretto Buttercream

Quite a few people said that these were the best cupcakes they’d ever had when I made my cupcake delivery rounds. It is an almond lover’s treat for sure, boasting almond cake that has the perfect density and richness, amaretto icing, and toasted sliced almonds on top for a bit of texture. Even though each element of the cupcake has almond in it, it is delivered in a variety of ways that create fantastic diversity in flavor.

For the cake
1 cup room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 can Solo Almond Cake and Pastry Filling
2 1⁄4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
1⁄4 cup room temperature whole milk
3 teaspoons amaretto (optional)

*Don’t get the almond paste! At my QFC they are right by each other and look relatively similar. Makes sure you get the filling.

For the frosting
1 cup room temperature butter
2- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*3 tablespoons amaretto

3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

*If you don’t want to use amaretto or don’t have any on hand, omit it and bump up the almond extract to 1 1/4 teaspoons.

Yields 24 cupcakes. Recipe adapted from the Solo almond Bundt cake recipe.

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the extracts and almond filling, beating until blended.
3. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to almond mixture alternately with the milk, starting and editing with the dry ingredients. Beat just until completely blended.
4. Fill liners evenly and bake for 20-27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in tins for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. (Optional step) Take a toothpick and make three holes around the center of each cupcake. Take about 1/8th a teaspoon of amaretto and spread over top of cupcake, allowing to soak in.
6. Pipe or spread frosting with a knife. Garnish cupcakes with toasted sliced almonds, gently pressing the almonds into the frosting just so that they will stick.

For frosting:
1. Beat the butter, salt, and powdered sugar (adding sugar in as you see fit to achieve your desired sweetness and consistency) with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add amaretto and almond extract. Whisk until incorporated.

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