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Raspberry-Filled Almond Cupcakes with Amaretto Buttercream Frosting

By 8:57 AM , , , , ,

For our anniversary this year, I had been thinking about replicating our wedding cake, but in a smaller version. Well, like it always does, time crept up on me and before I knew it we were only a few days from our anniversary and I hadn't had a chance to practice working with fondant or marzipan - not to mention the scroll work that covered our cake, so I knew I had to scratch that idea.

I figured the next best thing would be to replicate the flavors, and forget about the appearance (ouch, I know). I also settled on cupcake form since Hubby was planning a big meal and cupcakes would be easier to send to neighbors and in to his office.

Each tier of our wedding cake had different flavors, but the top tier that Hubby & I shared on our one year anniversary was almond/amaretto cake with raspberry filling. It was great, even after being frozen for a year!

I knew I wanted to take some recipes from my Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book and adapt them for the flavors I needed for the cake and frosting. When I went in search of a raspberry filling recipe that didn't consist of store bought jelly/jam, I found a great recipe on the blog Tidy Mom that was perfect with the cake and frosting and exactly what I wanted.

The making of these cupcakes is a little time consuming with the the filling and all, but I think they're definitely worth it. I really wish I had concentrated more on the decorating, which I normally do, but I started these the afternoon of our anniversary when the Husband had come home with several of bottles of Champagne and was getting pretty impatient with the hours I was devoting to these cupcakes and not to him! :)

Flavor wise, these were phenomenal. The flavors all worked so well together. The cupcakes were light and airy. The raspberry filling was fantastic - not too sweet and very fresh tasting. The almond buttercream frosting was delicious. It really took both of us back!

Raspberry-Filled Almond Cupcakes with Amaretto Buttercream Frosting

(Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)

3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp almond extract
1 cup 1% milk, plus 2 tbsp
1/2 cup, plus 6 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup sugar
5 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir almond extract into milk.

With a mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth.  Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until just combined after each.

In another bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not overmix).  Fold one third of the egg whites into batter to lighten.  Gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Firmly tap the tins once on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 - 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Raspberry Filling:
(Recipe by Tidy Mom)

2 full cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thaw with 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups water*
6 Tbsp flour (or 3 T. corn starch - I didn't have corn starch)
1 tsp lemon juice

In a medium sauce pan, combine water*, sugar, flour and lemon juice and mix well. If there is any juice in your raspberries, drain the juice and add to water = 1-1/4 liquid. (I didn't have much juice at all, but if you by sweetened raspberries, they may yield more sauce.)

Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens.

Cool completely.

Stir in thawed raspberries.

Yields approximately 2 cups of filling.

Amaretto Buttercream Frosting:
(Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tbsps
3 tbsp amaretto liquer
Combine eggs whites, sugar & salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingers).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachement.  Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
With mixter on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tbsps at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Once all butter has been added, mix in amaretto.  Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.
Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.  Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
To Assemble:
Prepare cupcakes as directed.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare filling as directed.  Once filling has cooled, use a pairing knife to cut a cone shape out of each cupcake. Size of cone depends on the amount of filling you prefer. The bigger the cone, the more filling.

Fill the cupcake with the raspberry filling.

Replace the tops on the cupcakes. Don't worry if it does not close perfectly. Also, to allow for more filling, cut part of the cone top off before replacing.

Ice and garnish as desired.

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