Cherry & Almond Cupcakes (makes 20)

It’s been a while since I have posted a recipe up on here, and  while since I put a cupcake post up.

I love a Bakewell Tart, and think Cherry & Almond is an amazing flavour combination, in any form (I had a Cherry Bakewell cocktail a week or so ago and it literally blew my mind!).

This is a really simple recipe to make, and the flavours really stand out. One top tip, for the cherry jam, the tablespoon that is mixed with the icing sugar needs to be as smooth as possible in order to pipe the buttercream. In order to get the jam smooth I popped it in the microwave for 20 seconds to loosen it up and passed it through a sieve, then let it cool. This helps with the piping, but if you are not using a piping bag, you needn’t bother making it smooth, just plop that buttercream on!

(For the cupcakes)

250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
250g golden caster sugar (normal caster sugar can be used also)
2 tsp French Almond Extract
4 eggs (always try to use free range, think of the chickens!)
250g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
340g jar of cherry jam (Minus 1-2 tbsp for the buttercream)

(For the Buttercream)

200g unsalted butter (room temperature)
450g icing sugar
1 tsp French Almond Extract
1-2 tbsp cherry jam
1-2 tbsp milk

Glace cherries, to decorate (Optional)

To start, heat your oven to 160 Fan, 180 Electric or Gas Mark 4 and line a baking or muffin tray with 20 baking cups or muffin cases.

In a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment, place the butter and sugar and cream together for a few minutes, before adding the almond extract, then add the eggs, one at a time. If the mixture looks like it is starting to split, don’t worry, just add a spoonful of flour and this will come back together.

Now add your flour and combine. Get a spatula at this point and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure that everything is combined. Now give your mixture one last blast, and add the milk just to loosen this mixture up a little bit.

Fill your cupcake cases up to two-thirds full and pop into the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until golden in colour and bounce back when lightly pressed. Now leave to cool on a wire rack.

When the cakes have cooled, you need to make a hole in the middle of the cupcake. You can do this using a cupcake plunger and cutter, which you can find here or you can use a knife and cut out a peice of cake from the middle (not going all the way down). Fill this hole with a spoon of cherry jam, and pop the cake you have just cut out back in.

Now to make your buttercream. Using a freestanding mixer, again with paddle attachment, beat your butter for a good 4-5 minutes, until it goes pale in colour. Now add your almond extract follwed by the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time until it is fully combined. Again, grab a spatula and scrape the bowl to make sure it is all incorporated. Now add your cherry jam, and milk, if it needed to loosen the buttercream up. You may just need a touch.

Now just pipe or plop your buttercream on your cakes, and decorate with a glace cherry, or flaked almonds, or sprinkles and serve!

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Coconut Cupcakes (makes 12)
Salted Caramel Brownies

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