Let’s be honest here……..is there anything more exciting than the sight of cupcakes????
Well, okay maybe there are just one or two things in life that hold a bit more weight and therefore top cupcakes if we’re being serious. However, at the moment nothing is coming to mind. Cupcakes = Happiness ?
I’m sorry, I just can’t get over how surprised I was to find that something as simple as baking cupcakes could be enough to brighten a bad day. Due to traveling and being sick recently I haven’t made them in months, (that’s like forever in cupcake years!) I know, I’m obsessed with baking, you don’t even have to tell me. Hey, but it’s like what I’ve said countless times before, “Baking is cheaper than therapy.”
Anyway, these cupcakes are very basic and simple, but don’t mistake that as meaning plain and boring because they’re anything but. I used my all-time favorite vanilla cake recipe and adapted it into these almond cupcakes for a fun Easter themed recipe. I topped them with Jordan almonds and some chocolate sprinkles for an instant “nest” topper. Truthfully it’s one of the laziest ways ever to top a cupcake. but I thought they were pretty cute regardless.
I really hope you decide to try them because they are some of my new favorites. If you’ve followed for a while you might even remember me admitting that when given the option I’d probably go for vanilla over chocolate 9 times out of 10. I mean chocolate definitely has its place in my heart, but I’ve got a thing for vanilla. What about you? Are you chocolate or vanilla? Oh and let me know if you try these because I’d love to hear what you think and if you share it on your socials be sure to tag me.
Almond Vanilla Bean Easter Nest Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup applesauce can sub pumpkin puree if you don't mind a little more golden color
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan "butter" or organic vegetable shortening room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- chocolate sprinkles optional
- Jordan almonds *see note
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 12-count cupcake pan with oil or line with cupcake liners. Pour aquafaba into bowl of stand mixer and beat until its begins to look light and fluffy. Slowly drizzle in sugar while beating on high and continue until it forms stiff peaks (it should take about 5 minutes). In separate bowl, stir together the coconut milk, lemon juice, applesauce, melted coconut oil, oil, and extracts.
Now, while continuing to beat the aquafaba mixture, slowly pour in the liquids and beat just until evenly combined (the volume of fluffiness will fall a bit but don't worry, it was still worth it for the end result).
Now in another separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients. Use a large spatula to gently fold in the ingredients just until fairly combined. (It's actually better to leave some small lumps then to overmix and lose volume.)
Divide batter into the cupcake slots as evenly as possible. Bake for 22 - 28 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges are lightly golden. Remove the cupcakes from oven and cool completely before frosting.
Beat "butter" in a large mixing bowl until creamed. Add vanilla and almond extract, salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add milk beat until light and fluffy. You may need to add more milk as needed for frosting consistency to be light and fluffy.
Fit a piping bag with a large round or star tip and fill with the frosting. Pipe frosting as desired onto cupcakes and decorate with chocolate sprinkles and Jordan almonds as desired.
Okay, a word on the Jordan almonds, any Jordan almond could be vegan but it depends on 1) how the sugar was processed 2) how the dye was derived. If it's done by a Jewish kosher place it will be vegan (as the kosher sugar and dies used cannot be insect derived) You could also get them from a vegan place online to be extra careful if you wish.