Almond Cupcakes with Chambord Frosting



almond chambord cupcakes

Can you guys believe that it's February 1st? Time is just flying by, and I can't believe we've already crossed off one month of 2018!

Valentine's Day is officially around the corner, and I've got the perfect dessert for you! When I think of a Valentine's Day dessert, chocolate definitely comes to mind. But this year I wanted to try something new. The almond and raspberry flavor combo is a classic, and doesn't disappoint! For the frosting I used Chambord, which is a black raspberry liqueur. You can totally just use raspberry extract if you don't feel like going out and buying Chambord, except that I PROMISE you will drink it all (eventually, not in one sitting). Chambord is awesome to mix into cocktails, and I even drink it on its own like a port.

These cupcakes took me a few tries to get right, which seems to be becoming a theme. When I share recipes on my blog, I want to really know for sure that they are entirely of my own creation, so I don't look at any other recipes before I start experimenting. I must have had plagiarism beaten into my head in school, because I'm really cautious of it. Also, what's the point of having a blog if I'm just sharing other people's recipes? Obviously all bakers make small adjustments to make recipes work best for them, but using a little less sugar, a different flour or a different extract doesn't make the recipe mine - it just makes it an adjusted recipe.

That is NOT to say that I think using someone else's recipes to bake with is wrong or something - that's why they're out there! This week I'm making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and I'm using Giada de Laurentiis' recipe because it's amazing and I love it. My obsession (preference? Obsession sounds intense haha!) to create my own recipes only applies to my blog - not to baking in general. I just wanted to explain that when a recipe takes me three tries, it's not because I've never baked a cupcake in my whole damn life - it's because baking is a science and I start every recipe with a literal blank sheet of paper. Ok, rant over. Phew. Back to cupcakes!

Almond Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 1 (7 oz) package almond paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Chambord Frosting
  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, depending on desired consistency
  • 2 Tbs Chambord
  • 1 tsp raspberry extract
  • 1 small drop red food coloring if you want pink frosting (btw this will not turn your teeth pink)

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin tin with liners (I prefer foil lined baking cups, because their colors stay vibrant after baking).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer, mix together the sugar, butter and almond paste until fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and then add the almond extract.

Add about a third of the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Then add about a third of the buttermilk. Continue alternating between the flour and the buttermilk until both are mixed in. This might seem a little weird, but it's important. Adding all the buttermilk at once will cause the batter to separate, and adding all the flour mixture at once will make the cupcakes tough.

Spoon the batter into the pre-lined muffin tin, and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

Frosting Directions:

Using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add three cups of powdered sugar, a little at a time. Add the Chambord and raspberry extract, and mix until combined.

At this point you can decide if more powdered sugar is needed. If the frosting looks too liquid, and doesn't hold a peak, Add more powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments. The wonderful thing about frosting is that you can also taste it as you go, and adjust accordingly.

Frost your completely cooled cupcakes, and you're done! I used my Wilton 1M tip, and fresh raspberries for garnish.

Enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
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