Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Spring"ing Forward With Almond Cupcakes

The pretty little cupcakes :)
Hey friends. It's back to the sweet stuff from the land of meat and potatoes for this post. This is where I'm comfortable. It's home. The fluffy deliciousness of these white almond cupcakes is one of the many reasons why I have a love affair with cupcakes. I made this cake for the first time for my sister's wedding last year. It was such a huge hit and my cousin, Elizabeth (or "Licka" as we call her), fell in love immediately. Yes, she may kill me for putting her nickname out there in cyber space for all to see but it's how I think of her. She turned 18 last month but I still remember her as a little 2 yr old squirt with blond hair who used to look up at me from her playpen, waiting to be picked up. She has grown into quite the young lady with a personality bigger than life. She makes me laugh constantly and we love when she comes down to visit! So, Lick, this one's for you! ;)

Licka - isn't she adorable? Love this girl!

First things first. The cupcake. I came across this recipe last year when I needed a fluffy almond cake for one of the tiers of my sister's Mad Hatter Tea Party wedding cake. I needed something that would be light and moist but also somewhat sturdy as it was to be formed into a topsy-turvy Mad Hatter's top hat. Cool, right?

Mad Hatter Tea Party wedding cake that I made for my sister's wedding. Photo credit goes to Lauren Mason from  Piccadilly Pictures.

Anyway, I found this as a result of a google search and will never make any other almond cake again! I love it. Now, when you read the ingredients, do not freak out! Are you ready for this? It starts with a....gulp....box mix! I know! So not like me!! However, I went with it because it is so doctored that by the time you're finished you don't even remember that Betty Crocker or Pillsbury helped. (Don't get me wrong...they have a time and a place...I just don't usually use them.) I also used this recipe for the groom's cake (my BIL asked for a vanilla/white chocolate concoction) and just left out the almond extract - also gave a great result! Another key ingredient in this cake is sour cream. I've decided that I just love sour cream in my cakes. If I'm looking for a new cake recipe and one of the options has sour cream in it, chances are I'm gonna pick that one.

White Almond Sour Cream Wedding Cake: (adapted from here)

2 18 oz boxes white cake mix
2 cups AP flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 t salt
2 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 t almond extract
2 cups sour cream
8 egg whites

1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large* mixing bowl. *If you're using the full recipe, then I mean LARGE. This recipe makes a ton of batter. The full recipe made about 4 doz standard size cupcakes. And, when you're using your countertop convection oven because your regular oven is broken, and can only bake six at a time....well, you can guess how long that took!

2. Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for two minutes. 

3. Pour into prepared liners, tapping to let out air bubbles. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

For the icing on these babies I used my standard Wilton White Chocolate Buttercream. I had about half a recipe left in my freezer from a previous cake. I let that thaw out on the counter then added about 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, and 1-2 teaspoons of almond extract to it in my stand mixer and whipped til fluffy - unbelievably good! When I made this cake for the wedding, though, I used Wilton's Snow White Buttercream as my base and made some slight changes to it. Either way is delicious. I just wanted to use up what I already had handy.

Next, we have the decorations. I wanted to do something to celebrate the fact that spring has officially arrived. While looking around Pinterest I saw a really cute idea that used Haystacks as birds' nests with cute little Whoppers eggs in them. Oh my word. I love this idea and used them as my toppers. Traditionally, haystacks are chow mein noodles mixed together with butterscotch, chocolate, and peanut butter chips. I decided to leave the butterscotch out and used just semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in equal amounts because, lets be honest....peanut butter is just about the best thing out there! :) These turned out so adorably and, while I think I may have made them just a tad too big to top the cupcakes, I love them nevertheless.

I left the birds' nests off some of them so that people had options. With the nests they were really two treats in one.

There you have it. My first spring cupcake. I'm sure there will be many more to come. I know for a fact that there are PB&J cupcakes and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Cupcakes on our horizon and I am equally excited about both! Until next time, happy reading and, more importantly, happy cupcake-ing!


  1. Elizabeth BienerApril 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Awhhh, Heeboo I love you<3

    1. I love you too, kiddo. I guess I should've figured my nickname would be sent out into cyber space after this one! :)

  2. stumbled onto your blog via the blog hop and just wanted to leave you a little blog luv! Def enjoyed this post!! new follower :-)


  3. Cute cupcakes! Loving the cake you had made too! Thanks for sharing at {Homemade By You}

  4. Found you thru Mingle With Us hop and I'm glad I did...who can resist cupcakes?! It's funny that you chose this recipe bc it's the exact one I use too! I was like you at first. There was no way I was going to use from a box, but I was blown away. It has the perfect mixture of moistness and density for decorating. LOVE it. Following thru GFC, but I'll check out your other social media as well :)

    Have a great weekend, Heather!
    Erika @ Southern Belle as an Army Wife

    1. Welcome, Erika! (That's the same way my best friend spells her name, BTW) It sounds like you and I are kindred spirits. :) Thanks for stopping by here and on FB. I hope you have fun reading....

  5. Wow, your cakes and cupcakes looks soooooo good! Seriously dude, you have a gift!

  6. Hey, Miss Heather! I was glad to see you had the time to visit me, and then I come to visit you, and now I am starving to death. I make you laugh, you make me hungry. No fair, sister. Absolutly no fair. I bet those cupcake would travel, think so?? "Cause a recipe does me no good. (I love Alice in Wonderland...love the Mad Hatters theme...)

    Be sweet, darlin'
    Vicky @ sleeping in an unmade bed

    1. You're right...it's not fair. I go to your blog and laugh some calories off, you come to mine and it causes you to eat! :) Thanks for coming by!!

  7. These looks splendid! Thank you for linking to Foodie Friday!

  8. These cupcakes are adorable and no doubt yummy too, thanks for sharing the recipe, I'll be trying that one!

  9. Love the cupcakes! Found you from Flour me With Love!!

  10. Everything looks delicious! I love the cake, you did an amazing job. Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  11. I LOVE your MadHatter cake, and those cupcakes are pretty dang cute as well. I love your blog, and you've been awarded a Liebster Award. Head on over to accept it! http://happyfoodhealthylife.com/2012/04/10/first-award-liebster-award/

  12. Wow! The cake is amazing! Found you through Mix it up Monday! What a delicious looking blog you have!

  13. First your Mad Hatter Cake is fantastic!! The cupcakes are so cute! They are much more my speed.:) Thanks so much for sharing with us at Link It UP Thursday.

  14. These cupcakes are so cute and look yummy. We hope you'll be back to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday". We loved having you! -The Sisters

  15. Guess who has another feature over at Happy Go Lucky? I just love everything you make and now I'm craving almond cupcakes. I love almond cakes!! Thanks for being so fabulous and sharing your awesomeness with us at Shine on Friday. Can't wait for tomorrow's party!

    1. Thanks, Kara! Almond is one of my favorites too!! Excited about tomorrow :)

  16. OH that cake is awesome! Found you via the blog hop. Janelle @ Emmaline Bags


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