These cupcakes are to die for. In fact the first time that I made them I ate four that night (yes you heard me correctly...4 cupcakes). For those of you who know me, I am not a big fan of cake so taking more then a bite is out of character for me. First time I made them I didnt not expect them to go so quickly so I missed out on photographing. The second batch I reserved 3 cupcakes so I could photograph them the next day, good thing too, because these were gone in less then a day. The moist almond cake topped with the caramel frosting and toasted almonds are heavenly, I suggest making these and bringing them to your next get together, they will be the hit of the party.
Toasted Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
Source: Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes Book
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 box white cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 1/4 cups milk (or water)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract
1 stick of butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (I like dark)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, spread almonds over baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, flipping/mixing around about halfway through. Cool for 10-15 minutes and ground 1/2 cup of almonds in a food processor.
2. Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk/water, oil, extract together. Fold in ground almonds and put into cupcake tins.
3. Bake for time directed on back of cake box.
4. In 2-quart saucepan (I used a double boiler...or a metal bowl on top of a pot of water), melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat and cool for about 15-20 minutes.
5. Gradually stir powdered sugar into mixture. Place saucepan of frosting in bowl of cold water. Beat with spoon until smooth and spreadable. If frosting becomes too stiff, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
6. Ice a few cupcakes at a time and press remaining toasted almonds on top. Store in an air tight container.
-I forgot to use pudding mix the second time around, and while the cupcakes were still good, it was missing that extra moistness that you need when using cakemix. With the pudding mix you couldn't tell it was cake mix.