Sugared Toasted Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.

Ugh. You know what I really want to do right now?

BESIDES gorge on tacos and watch a Felicty marathon while simultaneously going on a shoe shopping spree.*

Face plant into this frosting.

According to my cousin, it tastes “like E.L. Fudge filling on crack.” Remember E.L. Fudge? Um hello my favorite store bought cookie… ever. Well, maybe. I don’t know. Need to think about this one for a second. Really I think I’m just partial to them because Mother Lovett always had a package in her cupboard that also housed really old, yellowed recipes on newspaper, a can of Nestea to which she’d put six freaking scoops in a quart to make iced tea so sweet it would hurt your teeth and two boxes of oatmeal cream pies. Which I hated. But sort of loved. Then couldn’t stand. Then liked. I never really made up my mind about those. But I’m pretty sure I just wanted to like them since everybody else did.

So goes the mind of a first born child.

I hate to say it… but I wasn’t always a fan of the almond cake. My mom used to love this almond torte from our local grocery store when I was growing up and I’d enjoy a slice, but that was it… just a slice. After one slice, I was good for another year or so because you know I pretty much live by the motto “give me chocolate or give me death.” Oh and add peanut butter in there too. I could’ve cared less about some dumb almond stuff.

And wedding cakes… well, I’ve only been to handful that had almond cake, and mine was not one of them. Because of course I had to have over-the-top chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling and white chocolate frosting and white chocolate curls. Because I’m the queen of excess!

It’s true.

It wasn’t until I learned about almond cake with chocolate frosting that I figured out where I had went wrong all those years… the icing. On the cake. Literally. White frosting is not my number #1 choice, so almond cake with white frosting didn’t cut it. However, right about now it sounds freaking delicious but I think that’s because I just ate pretzels for dinner. So there’s that.

But almond cake with CHOCOLATE frosting?

This I can get behind. And on top of. And in the middle of.


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Sugared Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Yield: about 16 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: about 1 hour (includes cake cooling time)

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk

Frosting
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

Sugared Toasted Almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg white and sugar until smooth and combine. Gradually add melted butter while whisking constantly, then add in extracts. Stir in dry ingredients until well combined, then add in milk and stir until a smooth batter forms. Using a 1/4 cup measure or ice cream scoop, fill liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cupcakes are set. Let cool completely.

Frosting
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in sugar and cocoa powder with the mixer on low, speeding up once combined. Add in extract and beat on medium, scraping down the sides if necessary, for 2-3 minutes. If frosting is too thick (I like mine thick), add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, beating for another minute or two to smooth it out. Repeat if necessary. If frosting isn't thick enough to be spreadable, add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar while beating until it thickens. Frost and top with sugared almonds below.

Sugared Toasted Almonds
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add almonds. Tossing and stirring constantly, toast for 1-2 minutes, just until almonds start to brown. Reduce heat to low and toss in sugar, stirring to coat. Stir constantly and cook for another minute, then remove and place almonds in a bowl. After a few minutes of cooling they will harden and you can break them apart and place on frosting.

[these cupcakes are slightly dense but soft. if you prefer a super fluffy and light cupcake, i suggest using your favorite white cake recipe and adding almond extract!]

*someone please make this happen. puhlease.