These incredibly tender almond cupcakes are a delight! The almond flour aids to their moistness and the creamy frosting effortlessly swirls on top to make the cutest individual desserts.
You will love these golden-hued almond cupcakes. While some almond cupcakes just use almond extract, these include almond flour that adds a true nutty flavor and keeps them extra moist.
What is Almond Flour?
Almond meal and almond flour are both made out of ground almonds. Almond meal uses the whole almond while almond flour uses blanched, skinless almonds.
Depending on the dish, the recipe may call for one or the other. In baking, almond flour is preferred because it has finer grains where the almond meal might have a slightly bitter taste from the skins.
Almond flour is has protein and nutrients that lend themselves to delicious cakes and cookies. The oils from the nuts keep things extra moist.
Almond flour - blanched almond flour is preferred, but any almond meal will work in this recipe.
All-purpose flour - the bulk of the structure is made with plain all-purpose flour
Unsalted butter - make sure to use softened butter for extra fluffy cupcakes
Avocado oil - any neutral oil will do
Light Brown Sugar - you can use regular granulated sugar, but light brown sugar adds a bit of extra flavor
Vanilla extract - vanilla and almond are the perfect pair; be sure to use pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Almond extract - this is the primary flavor so pick a pure almond extract
Eggs - you will use both whole eggs and egg yolks for richness
Milk - whole milk is preferred but any percentage or non-dairy milk is fine
Tools and Equipment
Here are some of the things you will need to prepare this recipe:
- Hand or stand mixer
- Spring-loaded ice cream scooper
- Muffin tin
- Cupcakes Liners
- Offset spatula
- Large silicone spatula
Steps for Making Almond Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven. This is such an easy yet very important step. The cupcakes need to go into a hot oven for their short bake time.
- Combine the dry ingredients. This does not include sugar. Mixing the flours, baking powder, and salt together first gets this step out of the way.
- Mix the butter and sugar. Use an electric hand or stand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. This makes the batter light and fluffy.
- Add the oil, eggs, and extracts. Finish adding in these ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Add half the flour mixture. Start with half at a time for better absorption without over-mixing.
- Alternate the milk with the rest of the flour. This keeps the batter from over-mixing which results in dense, dry cupcakes.
- Make the frosting. The almond buttercream frosting comes together super fast with only 6 ingredients.
- Ice and decorate! I used slivered almonds to denote the flavor along with sugar pearls for extra glam.
Serving and Storage
Store the cupcakes at room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover in a cake box or in an air-tight container.
In order to extend their freshness, transfer leftovers in an air-tight container to the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Unfrosted cupcakes may be wrapped in bundles of 4 or 6 and stored in the freezer for up to one month.
Likewise, wrap leftover buttercream in plastic and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw and rewhip the frosting before using.
Gluten-free flour: Almond flour is naturally gluten-free. Try a one-for-one gluten free flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
Dairy free: Use plant-based butter and milk for a dairy free version.
Do I Have to Use Almond Flour?
For this recipe, you need to use almond flour. It is different from other grain flours because it has fat from the ground nuts. You could use other nut flours, but the recipe will not work by substituting all-purpose flour.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
For the Almond Cupcakes
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup avocado or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup whole milk
For the Almond Buttercream
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted as needed
- 2 to 3 tablespoon cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Make the Almond Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Fill muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer), mix together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, add the oil and mix to combine. Add the vanilla, almond extract, eggs - one at at time, and the yolk. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add the milk and mix until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Fill the cupcakes liners about ¾ of the way full and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack before adding the buttercream.
Make the Almond Buttercream
- Using a stand (or hand) mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer off and add the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cream, and vanilla. Begin mixing on low speed until the ingredients come together - scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Turn up the speed and mix at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until the buttercream is light and fluffy. If needed, add the remains cream until desired consistency is achieved. The buttercream should spread smoothly without tearing the crumb of the cake but thick enough that it holds shape when piped and spread between the layers.
- Spread the buttercream over the top of the cooled cupcakes with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Decorate with sliced almonds and sugar pearls, or as desired.