Tonight, my mom is having “the kids” over for dinner. The kids” used to mean my brother Andy and me, then morphed into either one of us and our spouses, or all four of us. Add my nephew Roman in and “the kids” range in age from five to 39.
Because there will be a small group of us at dinner and I’m not eating sweets for the next four months (let’s just say my scale and I aren’t friends at the moment and leave it at that for now), I wanted a recipe that would make just one dozen, so I adapted a basic one-dozen recipe to include both almond and vanilla flavors, then added caramel icing because my mom is a caramel fan. Midway through the caramel, I decided to whip up some chocolate drizzle icing to embellish half of the cupcakes for those who are chocolate fans. The end result is a cupcake from my wildest dreams. Too bad I won’t be eating them!
Almond Vanilla Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time; scrape down bowl, and beat in vanilla.
Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among liners, about three-quarters full each.
Bake until golden and tops spring back to touch, 20-22 minutes.
Transfer pans to wire rack; cool completely before frosting.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- About 1.5 ounces milk (you need half of 1/3 of a cup of milk)
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- About 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.
Boil for one minute, remove from heat, and stir in milk.
Return to heat and bring to a boil once again.
Pour mixture into mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Beat caramel mixture on medium speed for a few minutes to disperse heat; the mixing bowl should not be too hot for you to touch, but if it remains warm that is fine.
Add one cup powdered sugar and one teaspoon vanilla, beating until smooth.
Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.
Transfer frosting to a 12-inch piping bag fitted with a large plain tip. Working quickly, pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 1 cup powdered sugar
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Add cocoa powder and stir to combine, then remove from heat.
Add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar, stirring until smooth. It may be necessary to add additional powdered sugar to ensure that your drizzle isn’t too thin.
Transfer drizzle to an 8-inch piping bag fitted with a medium plain tip. Pipe drizzle over caramel frosting. Alternatively, you could just use a spoon and literally drizzle the drizzle.