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These cupcakes are a special treat. Light and fluffy, their mild almond taste is a perfect complement to the sweet vanilla buttercream.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix butter, almond paste and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time. On low, alternately add milk and flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Fill cups 2/3 full and then bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until done.
I know it sounds weird to use almond paste, but it really works. You need to heat it up a little to make it pliable before you use it. In the store it is normally in the highest, furthest corner of the baking aisle, near the marzipan and other such things. I really wouldn’t try and substitute almond extract for the paste—it would make it too runny. But if you want a more almond-y flavor, I am sure you could add some extract in too.
Now let those puppies cool completely before piping on this awesome butter cream (yields 2 cups).
Cream the butter, vanilla bean paste, and salt together. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk until creamy. You may need to add in some more milk or sugar until you get the consistency you want. I like a really stiff consistency just so my ridges in the icing don’t fall apart. Then pipe on the icing with a fun wavy tip. Sprinkle cinnamon on top for added flavor and prettiness.