You guys loved my WASC cake recipe so much, I decided to base this recipe for almond cupcakes on it! It uses the perfect amount of almond extract to create well-balanced, absolutely delicious white almond cupcakes.
This recipe uses sour cream, which creates soft and tender cupcakes that are a bright white color! It might sound like an odd ingredient in a cupcake recipe, but sour cream is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with.
The other key ingredient in these cupcakes and their frosting is almond extract! While this recipe also uses vanilla extract, the almond extract is what really gives these cupcakes their amazing flavor.
Substitutions and Swaps
While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!
Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:
- All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten free flour blend (be sure to also follow my tips below) or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand. I don’t recommend using straight almond flour though!
- Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cupcakes.
- Baking Powder – If you only have baking soda on hand use 1/2 tsp of baking soda (it’s much more potent than baking soda) and add a teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar to activate it.
- Sour Cream – You can also use full fat yogurt, buttermilk, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
- 1 Large Egg – If you don’t have eggs on hand or you have an egg allergy you can use a flaxseed egg in its place or 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
- Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe, so canola or even sunflower oil would work great! I advise against olive oil, as it doesn’t taste great with the almond extract.
- Almond Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the almond extract like coconut extract, hazelnut extract, or even pistachio extract.
- Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
- Heavy Cream – Whole milk or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat) will work fine in this frosting recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
If You Want to Make Gluten Free Almond Cupcakes
Gluten free flour can be used in place of the all-purpose flour if you want to make gluten free almond cupcakes.
I prefer King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend, and find that 1 1/4 cups of GF flour weigh about 150 grams.
In addition to swapping the flour, there are two additional steps you need to take when making gluten free almond cupcakes.
Gluten Free Baking Tip #1: Overmix Your Batter
The first step is to vigorously whisk your batter for a few minutes once it’s made to help give it structure.
Now, I know this goes against everything you’ve ever heard about baking! But over mixing your batter is key when making anything gluten free.
It helps cupcakes rise better as they bake, and gives the cupcake a more tender crumb.
Gluten Free Baking Tip #2: Let Your Batter Rest
The second step I recommend is letting your batter rest for about 30 minutes before baking your cupcakes.
Gluten free flour blends can have a hard time absorbing moisture and fats. Letting the batter sit before baking it gives the flour more time to absorb all that goodness.
This helps thicken the batter, and prevents your cupcakes from having a gritty texture.
Tips for Making The Best Almond Cupcakes:
- Use a cookie scoop to easily fill your cupcake liners.
- Be sure to use high quality almond extract in this recipe, since it is the main flavoring!
- To make gluten free almond cupcakes, swap in your favorite GF flour blend for the AP flour in this recipe. Be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
- Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set your cold ingredients ahead of time.
- Bang your cupcake pan on the counter before putting it in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
Making These Almond Cupcakes In Advance & Storage Tips:
- Make your cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Make your frosting ahead of time too or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
- Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container. However I find frosting them right before serving is best!
Let Me Know What You Think!
If you try this recipe for almond cupcakes, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂
Also please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!
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- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend (150 grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature (128 grams)
- 1/2 cup water (118 grams)
- 1 large egg, room temperature (57 grams)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (56 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract (6 grams)
Vanilla Almond Buttercream:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
- 1/4 tsp salt (1 grams)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 grams)
- 3/4 tsp almond extract (3 grams)
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (220 grams)
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream, or milk (15 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C), and place cupcake liners in muffin pans.
- Sift 1 ¼ cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 ½ tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt together into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Pour in the ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup water, 1 large egg, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 ½ tsp almond extract into a separate, large bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula. Mix until the ingredients are just combined and you can’t see any streaks of flour.
- Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. If you want to accelerate the cooling process, pop the pans into your freezer for about 30 minutes.
Almond Vanilla Buttercream:
- Beat 1/2 cup of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with stand mixer or hand mixer until smooth.
- Add in 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 3/4 tsp almond extract and beat on low until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with the 1 Tbsp of heavy cream of milk.
- Once fully mixed, if the frosting seems too thick, add in additional cream or milk (1 tsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
- Mix on a low speed for a few minutes to make the frosting super smooth.
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag fit with a fun frosting tip (I love using a Wilton 1M), and decorate the cooled cupcakes as desired!
- You can also get creative with the type of extract you use! This recipe would also be great with coconut extract, hazelnut extract, or even pistachio extract! Use the same quantity of any of these extracts in place of the almond extract in this recipe.
- To make eggless, dairy free almond cupcakes, use an alternative dairy milk to replace the whole milk (almond, oat, or soy) and dairy free yogurt (almond, oat, or soy) in place of the sour cream
- To make gluten free almond cupcakes, swap in your favorite gluten free flour blend for the AP flour this recipe calls for, and be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results
Making These Almond Cupcakes In Advance & Storage Tips:
Make your cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can last for 2 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer
Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
Frosted cupcakes can sit out at room temperature overnight in an airtight container, but I find frosting them right before serving is best.
Amount Per Serving Calories 372Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 47mgSodium 229mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 1gSugar 33gProtein 4g