Anything, if it's almond might be an inner motto of mine, I just love almond flavor so much. These cupcakes were a treat for the hubs who also adores almond and dried cherries OR cherry juice (but not fresh...the weirdo).
The nice thing about this recipe is it 'zooshes' up a regular boxed cake mix. (For those days when the thought of getting out all of the ingredients and upping your measuring game makes you feel faint.) You can still have great cupcakes and simply add a few things to make them taste not-boxed. Give these babies a go.
I used a tablespoon of cherry concentrate to tint the cupcakes a peachy-pink color. If you can't find it, two drops of red food coloring works. Or skip it. Up to you.
Notes: Oil is grape seed. Butter is unsalted.
CHERRY CUPCAKES WITH ALMOND BUTTERCREAM
Ingredients: 1 box yellow cake mix, 3 eggs at room temperature, 1/2 cup neutral oil, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 1 tbsp. cherry juice concentrate, scant 1 cup dried cherries. For the Almond Buttercream: 2 sticks (1 cup) very soft butter, 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 1 tbsp. milk. 1/4 cup shaved almonds (optional).
Makes 24 cupcakes.
1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and spritz with cooking spray.
2. Combine cake mix, eggs, milk, oil, and sour cream in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Beat in almond extract and cherry concentrate.
3. Roughly chop cherries and fold into the batter. Fill muffin cups to just over half. Do not overfill! Bake for 18-22 minutes, until risen and firm and lightly colored. Cool completely.
5. Make frosting: Whip butter, powdered sugar and milk until combined, but stiff. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts well.
6. Spoon frosting into a piping bag or large zip baggie (snipping the tip of one corner of baggie). Squeeze frosting onto cupcakes in whatever way you like. Press in a few shaved almonds on the top.