Vanilla-Almond Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Almond-Cream Cheese Frosting

Vanilla-Almond Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Almond-Cream Cheese FrostingThese cupcakes are a little different (aaah yes, that’s what they all say…).  But it’s true–they are a little different.  They’re like your garden variety mutt–with a rhinestone collar…or your standard old school chucks, but with a high heel…ew.  Okay, bad example–but you get the idea.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say (albeit failing miserably–falling-crashing-burning to a slow, painful death amidst the pungent fumes) is that these cupcakes are just a little twist on plain vanilla.  The brown sugar and almond give a nod to the changing seasons without drifting too far out to sea (now, wasn’t that eloquent?).  Make some, you’ll understand…I think. Have them with a tall glass of milk. Come on–the National Dairy Council wants you to.

Ingredients (Cupcakes):
3 c Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 c Butter, softened
1 c Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract

Ingredients (Frosting):
1/4 c Butter, softened
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
2 c Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
2 Tbs Vanilla Almond Milk or Soy Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract

Directions (Cupcakes):
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour cupcake tins (who does this, really?) or line with paper liners (cute ones, please).  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the extracts.  Slowly beat in the flour mixture until well-combined and all is right in the world.

Distribute batter evenly amongst (love that word) the cupcake cavities (hate that word), filling about 2/3 full.  I had some batter left over (yeah, I’m cool like that), so I made a few minis too (bonus cute points).

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  For those of you who lack common sense and/or have deductive reasoning skill whatsoever, I baked the minis for about 15 minutes and the regular cupcakes for about 20.

Yield: About 24 Cupcakes and maybe a few minis to boot

Directions (Frosting):
Beat together the butter and cream cheese.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until well-blended, then beat in the extracts.

Yield: Enough icing for 24+ cupcakes

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