Yes, I was a busy baker this past week, but all of the cupcakes I made were for other people. Besides, eating these was probably the healthiest decision I’d made all year. Let me explain.
Almonds have the most fiber of all nuts, are rich in Vitamin E which is an antioxidant and studies show they can lower your bad cholesterol. Cherries are also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also rich in melatonin and flavonoids. We’re talking two powerhouses of natural goodness here!
According to Dr. PJ Sassifras*, eating these cupcakes every day could help fight against (if not cure) **:
- High cholesterol
- Hoof and Mouth
- Snake Bites
- Forgetting Where You Put Your Keys
- The Urge to Strangle Your Coworkers
* Not an actual doctor.
** This is not sound medical advice, it’s a cupcake blog. You really SHOULD NOT get ANY medical advice from a cupcake blog. If you have ANY of the conditions listed above, go see a doctor. Ask your doctor if Almond Cherry Cupcakes are right for you!
Okay, truthfully, almonds and cherries are very good for you. Pairing them with sugar and fat, however, probably ruins most of the health benefits. What can I say? Life is a bummer. That’s why I make cupcakes.
The good news is these are delicious! I’ve never used almond paste before. I was concerned I wouldn’t like these because I don’t like marzipan (I also don’t like fondant, but that’s another blog). The cake alone had a marzipan-y flavor, but the lemon zest and cherry in the middle really balanced that out. Top it with cream cheese frosting with chunks of black cherry in it, plus the extra almonds, and it was a great combination. I will make this one again, for sure.
Almond Cherry Cupcakes (from Look I Made That )
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 8 oz almond paste, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup, plus 1 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line muffin pan with liners. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse the almond paste and sugar in a food processor (I used my Kitchen Aid blender) until mixture is sandy. Pour almond mixture into a separate bowl and beat for 30 seconds. Add butter to almond mixture one tablespoon at a time, scrape down sides as needed. Once all the butter is added, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and no almond paste lumps are visible. Add eggs in one at a time, mixing after each. Cream until light and fluffy. Add in lemon zest. Add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Pour batter into liners, filling 2/3 full. Before baking, insert a pitted cherry into the middle of cupcake.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted next to cherry comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. Cooling too long in the pan will create soggy bottoms.
The original recipe also brushed them with jam once they came out of the oven. I was afraid the perserves would cause the frosting to fall right off the cupcake…..okay, okay, I’m lying! I completely spaced and forgot that step. I bet it’s even more awesome that way, you should totally do it.
Black Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting (Adapted from Cupcake Project)
Makes enough to frost 18 cupcakes
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tablespoons black cherry preserves
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in preserves and vanilla extract. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cupcakes.
I am all caught up on my baking adventures for now. Until next time, stick a cupcake in your cakehole!