Saturday, January 9, 2010

Apricot Almond Cupcakes with Apricot Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

I never really got into the cupcake craze but after watching Cupcake Wars on Food Network last weekend, I got an itch to not only make cupcakes, but create something of my own. I'm pretty proud of these Apricot Almond Cupcakes! Recipes from Anne Byrn's latest The Cake Doctor book were used as a inspiration for both the cake and the icing.

The cake starts with a yellow cake mix as the base. I know baking a cake from scratch is super easy but starting with a cake mix is even easier! Apricot nectar, a new ingredient to me, adds a subtle apricot flavor and additional moistness. I knew I wanted almond flavor in all of the elements of the cupcake and used almond extract instead of vanilla in the cake batter. The cupcakes were super light, moist and delicious.

I decided on a cream cheese frosting and also used a recipe from Anne's book as a starting point. To pick up on the flavors of the cake, I added apricot nectar and almond extract to the frosting as well. A heavy sprinkle of toasted almonds added another layer of almond flavor and crunch to the finished cupcake. I loved the creaminess of the frosting combined with the moistness of the cupcake and was very happy with my creation!

Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Apricot Almond Cupcakes w/Apricot Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box yellow cake mix (I use the kind with pudding in the mix)
1 cup apricot nectar
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
Apricot Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.

Combine cake mix, apricot nectar, butter, and eggs in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Mix until combined. Add almond extract and mix until batter is smooth.

Using a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in cupcake is clean with just a few crumbs. Remove cupcakes to wire rack to cool.

Apricot Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I use reduced-fat)
1 stick butter, softened
1 Tbsp almond nectar
1 tsp almond extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Cream cream cheese and butter in bowl with electric mixer until fluffy. Add almond nectar and almond extract and mix to combine well. Add confectioner's sugar and mix until frosting is fluffy. Frost cupcakes after they have cooled. Sprinkle with almonds.
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  1. I watched Cupcake Wars, too. How fun was that! I love cupcakes, I bake in the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club. Amazing how cupcakes have become so popular these days, even replacing traditional wedding cakes.

    These look yummy. Apricot is a flavor I love but never seem to use. I will have to try these!

  2. apricot nectar? sounds DELICIOUS, is it hard to find?

  3. Stephanie - I found apricot nectar at my local food co-op. I'm sure that Whole Foods has it. I bet larger grocery stores have nectars available in their international aisle too. I'm trying to decide what I can use it in next.

  4. What a delciious combo-and u have a lovely blog filled with delcious baked goodies-loved all ur recipes....fantastic blog.

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