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Cherry Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my most popular recipes, so moist and elegant! The cherry works perfectly with the almond, the tang of the cream cheese frosting, and the whimsical, crunchy slivered almonds.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Author Cheryl Malik

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy milk or regular milk, no higher than 2%
  • 1 tsp . apple cider vinegar ideally with "the mother", but regular ole ACV will do, too
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp . cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp . baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp . baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp . salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar see note about sugar when using fresh cherries
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp . almond extract
  • 8 oz . canned dark cherries drained, and torn in halves
  • OR
  • 8 oz . fresh sweet cherries see note on additional sugar if using fresh cherries, pitted and quartered

Frosting

  • 1 stick butter room temperature
  • 1 package cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp . almond extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar To be totally honest, I just start with about a cup and keep adding until I’m pleased with the texture and taste.
  • Skin-on slivered almonds I get mine at the bulk section at Whole Foods, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners (I’m a big fan of dark brown liners in this case, but any will do).
  2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled.
  3. Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until no large lumps remain.
  4. Fold in cherries
  5. Fill cupcake liners about half of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

For frosting

  1. Using a handheld mixer or standing mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla and beat again.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, and beat until well-incorporated and to your liking.

To assemble

  1. Frost completely cooled cupcakes with a substantial layer of cream cheese frosting, then dip into a bowl of the almonds to give a light covering. Fill in by hand any bald frosting spots with additional slices, until you get the look you want.

Recipe Notes

I used fresh cherries here, partly because I was trying to be fancy and partly because they’re in season. If you use fresh cherries, add about two tablespoons of sugar, to mimic the extra sweetness that you get from canned cherries. If your cherries are particularly sweet, you can probably get away with no additional sugar. If they’re particularly sour, you could probably up it to 1/4 cup.
You can also do a traditional piped-swirl of frosting, but I am particularly fond of the sliced almonds on top. Make sure you get sliced almonds with skins on, so you get color and contrast.
This recipe makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes piped high, or 24 cupcakes frosted and topped with almonds. However, did you know you can freeze frosting? You can! I froze the other half, so that the next time I need to make someone love me a little more (particularly the person that may or may not live with me and share my bed), I’m already halfway there.
Make sure you don’t fill these liners quite as full as you would another cupcake that you want to have a nice dome. These should be a bit flatter if you plan to sprinkle the frosting with almond slivers.
- This recipe is based on the golden vanilla recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Am I vegan? No. Why do I use this base recipe still, then? Because it’s that good. You can do almost anything with it; it’s a perfect base.