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Vanilla Almond Cherry Cupcakes

Light, fluffy vanilla cupcakes with a hint of fragrant almond, topped with a creamy vanilla bean studded, cherry flavored frosting. Top it off with a cute little maraschino cherry, and you have got the cutest cupcakes on the block. 

There is something that is just so much fun about desserts topped with maraschino cherries. The pop of that iconic, vibrant red, sugar soaked, topping just makes any treat so much cuter. 



These cupcakes are perfect for Valentine's Day, or any time you want a sweet, light and fragrant cupcake, all topped off with a cherry on top.






The addition of a hint of almond extract in the cake and cherry extract in the frosting, pairs so wonderfully with the vanilla throughout. Moist, fluffy, sweet, perfection.



I love a classic round swirl for these. Simple yet elegant. Serve 'em up any time and enjoy!




Vanilla Almond Cherry Cupcakes

Yield: 13 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cup (140g) cake flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup (144g) granulated white sugar 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/57g) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature 
Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste OR 1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cherry extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)


Directions

Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a medium bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for about 20 seconds. Add butter and oil and mix for about 1-2 minutes to coat the flour, until mixture resembles wet sand.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yolk, vanilla, almond extract, and sour cream until smooth. Slowly add the wet mixture on low speed. Increase to medium speed and beat for about 1 minute until batter is smooth.

Distribute the batter between the baking cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (About 10 minutes for mini cupcakes)*. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, beat in vanilla, cherry extract and salt. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, about a half cup at a time, followed by the cream. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.