June 17, 2011

Almond cupcakes with Caramel frosting

This is one of those recipes that I almost hesitate to share. It is so incredibly good, that I want to hide it and make it my secret ingredient recipe. But, I am willing to be generous, so here you go.  


  • 1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Add the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, almond extract and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds.  Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. Increase speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy, 2 minutes longer.
Pour or scoop the batter into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.

Frosting (the best part)

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. water

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
    Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla (just start with a tablespoon or two), stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. (Be careful, as the mixture will definitely bubble up and possibly splatter a bit as you add in the cream.)  Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
    Beat the butter ]in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.  Turn off the mixer, and then add caramel. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate if not using immediately (or to harden the frosting a bit).

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