“SO GOOD” Chocolate Almond Cupcakes

Finished From Above

It doesn’t take much for me to be inspired. I wanted to try to create a chocolate almond cupcake because I had a whole bunch of chocolate covered almonds sitting on my counter and thought, well those two flavors should be in a cupcake.

And here we are.

These are named “SO GOOD” because that’s what people kept saying when they tried them. (Thanks, everyone that tried one!) They are also “SO GOOD” because they’re really pretty easy to make. Win/win.

This is a marble cupcake – part chocolate, part almond, with a chocolate almond frosting.

For the Chocolate Cake Batter
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee (I used instant coffee added to boiling water, or use your favorite brand)

For the Almond Cake Batter
2/3 cups all-purpose flour, or 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup almond meal (I used almond meal for added texture/flavor)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2½ tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
2½ tablespoons milk
1 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a cupcake pan with paper cups, or grease each cup. This recipe makes 20 – 24 cupcakes, which I made in 2 batches of 12.

For the chocolate batter:

  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and blend well. Using an electric mixer on low, mix in canola oil. Mixture will be relatively dry and crumbly at this point.
  2. Again on low speed, mix in eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Add hot coffee and mix until just blended.  Set aside.

For the almond batter:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in almond flour, if using, and sugar. Using an electric mixer, mix in canola oil, same as described in the chocolate batter steps.
  2. Mix in egg, milk, and almond extract. Carefully add the boiling water and mix until blended.

Prep for baking:

This cupcake is approximately 2/3 chocolate cake and 1/3 almond cake. I used a medium sized cookie scoop (holds about 2 tablespoons) to prep.

  • Fill 12 lined cups about 1/2 full with chocolate batter. (This is about 2 scoops worth of batter. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, please consider buying one because they’re great for prepping desserts other than cookies!)
  • Add one heaping scoop of almond batter right on top of the chocolate batter. Repeat for each cupcake. Each cupcake gets one almond batter scoop (two heaping tablespoons).
  • Using a clean butter knife, gently swirl the almond batter into the chocolate batter. Use a light touch – the almond batter is slightly heavier than the chocolate, if you’re using the almond meal, and we don’t want it all to sink to the bottom!
  • If you have extra batter, make an all-almond or all chocolate cupcake – don’t waste the batter! 🙂

Bake the cupcakes for 25-27 minutes. Check for doneness at about the 22 minute mark – a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean.

Don’t overbake cupcakes! Time will vary depending on the type of pan, amount of batter in each cup, and oven variations. Trust the toothpick method to get it right.

While the cupcakes bake, make the frosting (recipe below).

Pre-Frosted Cupcakes
Cupcakes, Unfrosted

When finished baking, let the cupcakes rest in the pan for a couple of minutes to set. Remove and place on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Almond Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used regular Crisco)
3 – 4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hersey’s Special Dark)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate covered almonds for decoration

Sift together 3 cups of confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, blend the butter and vegetable shortening until well blended.  Add almond extract, mix well. About 1/2 cup at a time, add the confectioners sugar/cocoa powder blend. If frosting isn’t sweet enough for your taste, or if you like a firmer icing, add the additional confectioners sugar and blend on medium-high speed, until light and well mixed.

Frost cupcakes once they are cooled completely.

I topped half of the cupcakes with crushed chocolate covered almonds. I froze them for about 30 minutes and chopped them in a food processor. Or, feel free to add one whole chocolate covered almond to the top of each cupcake. The other half I topped with a piece of salted almond chocolate bar.

Cover to store. Refrigerate finished cupcakes if not eaten within a day or so, but bring to room temperature before serving (or the frosting will be stiff). Enjoy!

Finished Close

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