Monday, February 20, 2012

Almond Raspberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

My husband loves the show The Walking Dead.  I really want to like it, but it totally creeps me out.  I can only watch it out of the corner of my eye-- so I'm blogging about cupcakes and sneaking glances at the screen while he watches.  I'm also pretending that I'm not crying my eyes out over one of the story lines-- who knew that I would sob like a baby over zombies?  Zombies scare the mess out of me.  These cupcakes are, strangely, very appropriate to death and violence.  I've made them twice-- once for a friend's birthday, and again for my bookclub.  We read Heartsick by Chelsea Cain, a novel about a female serial killer who carves hearts into her victims (among other things...), so I called these "Bleeding Heart" cupcakes and piped little pink hearts on the top of them.  Yay for making serial killers cute!

Besides being appropriate for gore and death, these cupcakes are delicious.  I brought them to work, where they netted me a marriage proposal.  No joke.  They stay moist and yummy and the cream cheese frosting is fantastic.  The raspberry filling is great too-- however, the recipe makes a LOT of filling.  I used about half and froze the rest.  When I defrosted the filling, it was definitely a lot more runny than when I initially made it, and I was afraid that it would make the cupcakes soggy, so I used a fork to fill the cupcakes in an attempt to get less of the liquid and more of the filling.  It seemed to work pretty well-- the cupcakes didn't seem to suffer and everyone enjoyed them! 

Almond Cupcakes
(Adapted from Good Thymes and Good Food)
Makes approx 12 cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (at room temp)
1 egg (at room temp)
1 tsp almond extract
1/4- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*

*I usually make my own buttermilk-- combine 1 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp vinegar, and let it set about 10 min.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, almond, and vanilla extracts until thoroughly combined.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour (I did three additions of flour and two additions of buttermilk.)

Line a cupcake tin with liners.  Fill each liner about 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick/tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  (The tops should be a nicce brown color, not too light.  My surface-of-the-sun oven took the whole 18 minutes to fully bake these.)  remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  When the cupcakes are cool, core them in preparation for filling.

Raspberry Filling
(Adapted from Wilton)
Makes about 2 cups of filling

1 pkg (12 oz) frozen raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp lemon juice

Defrost raspberries, then drain, reserving juice (it's a good idea to drain the juice into a liquid measuring cup).  Add enough water to juice to equal 1 1/4 cup total liquid.  In a medium saucepan, combine the liquid, sugar, corn starch, and lemon juice.  Heat and stir until liquid boils and thickens.  Cool completely, then stir defrosted raspberries into the mixture.  Fill the cupcakes.

Almond Cream Cheese Icing
Note: this recipe makes juuuust enough to frost the 12 cupcakes.  If you like extra icing, you'll want to make more than what's listed here!

4 Tbsp butter (at room temp)
4 oz cream cheese
1/2- 3/4 tsp almond extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until well-combined.  Add almond extract and mix until incorporated.  Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until icing reaches desired consistency.


  1. I shared this with Chelsea Cain. Maybe we can net an advance copy of Kill You Twice :)


  2. "My surface-of-the-sun oven..." LOVE that!!!!

  3. To make your own buttermilk, does it matter what kind of milk you use? (2%, skim, etc?)

    1. I've made it with whole milk, 2% milk, and almond milk (weird, I know), and I've had success with all of them. My educated guess is that any milk would work...but I haven't researched it any further than that. I hope this helps!

  4. Could you substitute fresh raspberries? They are in season and I have a bumper crop.

  5. I have not used fresh raspberries, so I can't testify to the results. If you are going to use fresh ones, I would add 1/4 cup sugar to the berries and macerate them, letting them sit for at least 30 min. Then, pick up the recipe at the point where you'd drain the berries. Hope this works! Let me know if you try it. :)