Gluten-Free Almond Cupcakes With Apricot Filling
While there's no scientific proof cupcakes have healing powers, these gluten-free almond cupcakes from Mary Fran might just have you prescribing them.
Servings: 18 cupcakes
For the cakes
- 85 grams 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 175 grams 1¼ cups gluten-free all purpose flour such as Cup4Cup*
- ½ tsp xantham gum (omit if your AP blend includes this)
- 4 grams ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 gram ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 200 grams 1 cup sugar
- 130 grams ½ cup almond paste**
- 4 large eggs, separated
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup milk (I used 2%)
For the Honey Merengue Buttercream
- 4 large egg whites, 30g each–total120g, or ½ cup
- 200 grams ½ cup plus 1½ tablespoons honey
- 280 grams 20 tbsp or 2½ sticks of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
- 30 ml 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- orange gel food coloring, optional
Make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.
Put ¾ cup sugar and the almond paste into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Raise speed to medium-high.
Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
Put egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until foamy.
Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
Fill the cake wells ⅔ full (I used a standard cupcake scoop). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cakes should be a light golden brown and should spring back when tapped lightly or a cake tester should come out clean when inserted. Remove cupcakes from pan and place on a cooling rack. Put 6 cupcake liners in your pan
Make the buttercream
Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk attachment, small bowl, and whisk with paper towel and lemon juice (or vinegar), to remove any trace of grease.
In a clean pot, combine the egg whites and honey over medium heat, whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F.
Take off of stove, and pour the mixture into your clean bowl for your electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and neutral (you can feel outside of the bowl to test temperature).
Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on low speed continuously, add butter one cube at a time until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth – it just means that your butter was probably a little too cold). Add vanilla, honey and salt, mix well. If you want to color your frosting, now would be the time to do it and gel or paste colors work best. I used Wilton orange gel color.
If your frosting is too runny, your butter was probably too soft. Pop the bowl from the mixer into the fridge for 15-so minutes to allow the butter to firm up.
Assemble the cupcakes
Remove some cake from the center of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or a paring knife, making sure to leave a half inch of cake at the bottom so your jam doesn’t leak out.
In a pastry bag fit with a large, plain tip, place the apricot preserves. Pipe some filling in each cake to fill the empty centers.
In another pastry bag, fit with your favorite tip, add the buttercream and make sure to remove any air bubbles. Pipe a swirl of frosting on each cupcake. The recipe is enough to do a rose-type swirl on each cake.