Thursday, February 20, 2014

White Almond Cupcakes with Cherry Filling

As I've mentioned before, Annalyn and I have been watching Cupcake Wars on TV every now and then.  It's a nice break from the usual cartoons she requests and usually leads to some snuggle time.  The downside?  She always wants cupcakes when it's over.  So this year when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday cake, it was no surprise that she said "pink cupcakes."  In an effort to make them a little more fun, I decided to make white almond sour cream cupcakes and bake the cherry filling into them.  I was a little nervous about baking the filling right in the cupcakes, but I'd done it before with muffins, so I figured it was worth a shot!  (And after this debacle, I needed to make up for some lost time!)  They turned out great and were a big hit.  It made enough batter that I could make Annalyn a little individual cake (from one of Great Grandma Eddie's old pans that she plays with) and a small 6" cake that I let her help decorate on her birthday.  We took half of them up to Emily and Aaron's for her first birthday celebration and froze the rest to take to my side the next weekend.  Here's how Mama makes it:

White Almond Cupcakes with Cherry Filling

Ingredients: (makes 24 cupcakes plus one 6" cake)
- 1 boxed cake mix (white)
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 3/4 t. salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/3 c. water
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 t. almond extract
for the filling:
- 1 (30 oz.) can cherry pie filling
- 1/2 t. almond extract
for the icing:
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 3/4 t. vanilla extract
- 3/4 t. almond extract
- 6 c. powdered sugar (1 1/2 lb.)
- 3 T. milk
- food coloring, as desired
- sliced almonds, sprinkles, and/or cherries to garnish


1.   Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients for cake.  Add wet ingredients and blend on low-medium speed for 2 minutes.

2.  For the filling, spoon out the cherries and coarsely chop.  Place chopped cherries (and small amount of the filling) in a small bowl.  Add almond extract and stir to combine.

3.  Assemble the cupcakes:  Prepare muffin tins by greasing or using cupcake liners.  Grease the 6" pan, if using.  Place a spoonful of batter in each cup, followed by about 1/2 T. cherry filling, then cover with enough cake batter to completely cover the filling.

4.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-23 minutes for cupcakes, 30-35 minutes for 6" pans.  Test with toothpick since tops shouldn't brown too much.

I had enough leftover to make a tiny
funfetti style cake for the birthday girl

5.  For icing:  Cream the butter, then add extracts and blend until combined.  Slowly add powdered sugar until incorporated.  Add milk to thin and blend until smooth.  Add coloring as desired.

6.  Decorate!  Add sprinkles, sliced almonds, cherries, really whatever you like! 
the cherry filling was awesome with ice cream!
special cupcake for Miss Annalyn
7.  Celebrate!  This is from our first birthday celebration with Grandma & Grandpa Eddie and Aunt Emmy and Uncle Aaron.
she really liked the happy birthday song!
but needs more practice blowing out candles...
now this she knew just what to do with!
get your own, Uncle Aaron!
And here's some from her actual birthday with Mama and Daddy.  I let her decorate the small cake all by herself (she even picked out the flags/stars candy at the store).
mastered blowing out the candles!

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