Saturday, February 19, 2011

Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (and coconut oil!)

This is a good "plain" cupcake recipe. I am not much of a cake eater unless it's super moist or super flavorful- ok I really only eat cake for the frosting- and this frosting is YUM. So it really doesn't matter what cake you use underneath, but since you have to make might as well make this...

You can substitute vanilla for the almond extract, I just wanted to add some extra flavor...(not that it needs it with a mountain of this yummy frosting!)

Almond (or Vanilla!) Cupcakes
1 cube butter, softenend
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (or vanilla)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar- let sit 10 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Sift dry ingredients then stir into butter/sugar mixture. Stir in buttermilk. Pour into 12-15 muffin cups (or 12 full size and a pan of mini muffins). Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting
1 cube butter, softened
2 tablespoons crisco COCONUT OIL
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional but adds great flavor)
1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and crisco coconut oil. Stir in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and milk until desired consistency and beat until fluffy. Add food coloring as desired.

Since embarking on my real food journey, I have discovered there are alternatives to crisco for this heavenly frosting, coconut oil! Doesn't affect the flavor at all, keeps the texture light and creamy, and is good for you! (Ok, so it doesn't reduce the effect of sugar- even organic sugar- but hey, it makes me feel better ;)

It is important that you use crisco coconut oil- many recipes call for 1/2 a cup- because it makes the frosting really fluffy, but I found that just 2 tablespoons was enough to do the trick without tasting like you're eating crisco. Here are pictures with and without the crisco- you can see that the one without starts to separate and is not as creamy as the one with crisco- so just close your eyes and add it- it's only 2T, and your arteries will be clogged if you make any of these desserts anyway ;)

                                   with Crisco                                                           without crisco

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