It’s no surprise, Almond is my absolute favorite flavor…yep, even more than chocolate. My mom makes me a killer almond cake for my birthday every year. The first time she made it for me was my 50th birthday. I had 75 people so she made a 3 tiered cake. The bottom tier was the almond cake. I ate what was left of it (about 2/3). All. By. Myself. Yes, I did. Not all in one fell swoop or anything, I froze some, but over the course of 2 weeks, I managed to eat what remained. I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to this cake. None. She uses almond paste that she gets in the mail from The American Almond Company in Brooklyn, because it’s the best ever. Yes, I do eat it straight out of the tub..yes, it comes in a tub. Warning, if you don’t like almond paste…stop reading! It’s moist on the inside from all that almond paste.
Mom wasn’t in town for my birthday this year, so I didn’t get my Almond Cake. That’s ok, I didn’t really need it or anything. We were visiting my mom last week and guess what she made? My birthday Almond Cupcakes. And the worse bit? She made them gluten free! That guaranteed that I would eat at least
1 or 2, ok, 3! She knows I like to have something to shoot when I’m out there, so she made a dozen. They were there, all naked, waiting for me. I ate one before I set down my purse. I am not a frosting girl, I always scrapped off the frosting, even when I was a kid. Problem is, a naked cupcake is pretty boring. We all brainstormed a frosting for those cupcakes.
Now, my other favorite desserts would have to be, Cheesecake and Carrot Cake, mostly for the cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting makes everything taste just that much better! It just so happened mom had cream cheese and cherries in her fridge. Cherry and almond play so nicely together, we decided on a Cherry Almond Cream Cheese frosting for those cupcakes. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do first, lick of the frosting or take a big bit of cake and frosting together. I’ll leave it to you! This recipe is from when I first started my blog a little over two years ago. Since we now eat mostly gluten free, mom substituted the flour mixture with Jeanne’s Gluten Free Flour mixture, which I found in her book, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays. So what you see in the photo are the gluten free version. Both versions are incredible! Mom got this recipe from, Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse, by Kay Hansen and Liv Hansen. (Click on highlighted recipes for more almond recipes)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 8 oz. almond paste
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons rum
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (for gluten-free, substitute Jeanne's GF flour mix)
- ⅓ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Line a tin with 12 cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350*
- Have all ingredients at room temperature
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until crumbly, sugar and almond paste.
- Add butter and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time and beat on medium speed until well creamed.
- Add rum and almond extracts.
- Mix dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture at low speed, just until combined.
- Do not over mix!
- Fill ¾'s full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. the tops should spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool a few minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack.
This recipe for cream cheese frosting, is just a basic cream cheese frosting with almond extract and a handful of fresh, chopped cherries. That’s it!
- 1 lb. cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces of unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup pitted, chopped cherries, (measure after you pit and chop)
- Beat cream cheese and butter together.
- Add almond extract.
- Slowly add powdered sugar
- Mix in chopped cherries.
- Refrigerate if necessary.