Almond Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream
Pillowy, almond scented cakes; puréed fresh raspberries whipped into silky buttercream. Sounds pretty fancy, right? To me, this is the quintessential birthday cake. Almond and raspberry make a perfect team... like chocolate and peanut butter, only not so rich and decadent. Fall berries are nearly out of season at the local farm so I scooped some up to give these cupcakes a vibrant and natural pink hue.
I'll admit, making a simple vanilla buttercream would've been so much easier, but just look at how gorgeous these are! Making the purée only takes an additional 15 minutes out of your day, and you can make it ahead of time. Plus, that fresh berry flavor is unmistakable. What a great way to kick off a birthday or special celebration than with these Almond & Raspberry Cupcakes!
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg and 1 eggs yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (more if needed), sifted
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream (more if needed)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with papers and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt). Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk, one at a time until well incorporated, about two minutes more. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture alternating with half of the sour cream, until both are incorporated (mixing for approximately 30 seconds between each addition). Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter among the 18-22 prepared muffin cups (3/4 full). Slide it the muffin tins, one at a time into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, checking early with a toothpick or metal cake tester. I like to bake only one batch at a time to ensure even baking and rise. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for five minutes before removing each one and cooling completely on a rack. Make sure they're completely cool before you attempt to frost them. While they cool, mix together the butter cream.
To make a purée, combined the lemon juice and berries in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and stir often so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. That the mixture thickens and reduced to approximately 1/3 cup. Set aside and let it cool completely. If placing in a refrigerator overnight, be sure to cover with plastic wrap first.
Once cooled, make the buttercream: place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high until completely smooth; about 2 minutes. Add in only 1/4 cup of the raspberry purée and beat until completely combined; about 1 minute (the mixture may look curdled at this point, but that's okay). Add in the confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, on low speed. Then add in the cream and salt, then beat on high-speed for a full 2 minutes (this thickens and aerates the frosting, making it fluffy). Scoop into a zip top baggie, fitted with a large piping tip. Decorate the cooled cupcakes with as much or as little as you like. You can also garnish with a fresh berry on top and drizzle with the remaining purée. Enjoy!
*fresh or frozen berries can be used; if using frozen, don't thaw.
recipe modified from Baker by Nature