Almond Joy Cupcakes

I'm a sentimental person. I get aggressively nostalgic for past times, and I associate them with certain music, books, movies, tastes... This spring, I've been extremely nostalgic for my time in London. The trigger? Sunshine and warm weather. I'm serious. Some of the best times I spent in London happened after the cloudy skies finally cleared and the temperatures finally warmed enough for me to forego a jacket. Apparently that's enough to send me down memory at the first touch of the warming rays of spring sunshine on my skin.

I first made these cupcakes in the spring of my sophomore year. They were such a hit that I made them twice, back to back. I haven't made them since, but as we approach our final weeks (!!) of college, I've been asking my friends to request their favorite things I've made over the last four years so that I can bake them one last time. These were high on the list.

These cupcakes were inspired by roommate's love of Almond Joy candy bars. The cupcake is tender and full of almond flavor. I smothered it in our favorite chocolate butter cream (of course). And in honor of Easter, I packed the coconut on top so that it would look like a bird's nest and I would have an excuse to top them with Cadbury mini eggs. 

If you need something cute, festive, and seasonally delicious to make this Easter weekend, look no further!

- Molly

Almond Joy Cupcakes

Cupcakes

1 cup flour

scant 3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

3 tbsp butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup whole milk

1 egg

3  tsp almond extract

Beat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter on slow speed until it reaches a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until milk is just incorporated.

Whisk egg, almond extract, and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. COntinue mixing for a couple more minutes until batter is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon matter into cupcake liners until 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cake is light golden and bounces back when touched. Let cupcakes cool in pan slightly before moving onto wire rack to cool completely. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting.

Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup Ovaltine

1 cup sweetend shredded coconut

Cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Butter mixture will be very thick. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar. Turn mixer on low and mix in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth. In a 1-cup measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and Ovaltine. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  You may not need the full amount of Ovaltine and cream.

Frost cupcakes. Cover frosting with shredded coconut. Decorate with Cadbury mini eggs.

Cupcakes adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook; Frosting from Joy the Baker