Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Buttercream

chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercreamHow does one create the perfect swirl of frosting on top of a cupcake? By using the Wilton 1M piping tip. And last night, after months – perhaps years – of looking at it every time I went to the craft store, I finally bought it, along with the enormous coupler and 14-inch pastry bag that need to accompany such a piping tool.

I can honestly say that this piping tip has changed my life, because I finally piped buttercream without feeling like a total amateur. Ordinarily, my buttercream piping endeavors end in frustration…and with me smoothing  down lopsided, air-bubble-filled piping attempts with an offset spatula for a more “homemade” look. But no more! At last, I can have that perfect swirl, for cupcakes that aren’t just tasty, but adorable as well.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

For the frosting

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Preparation

Bake cupcakes and allow to cool completely before frosting.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute, then add salt and beat another minute.

Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes.

Add vanilla extract and almond extract, beating well to combine. Taste; add more extract if desired.

Fit a 14-inch piping bag with the 1M Wilton tip; fill bag with frosting and pipe onto cupcakes in a swirl. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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