CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES

These CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES will put a smile on your face the minute you bite into them!

CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES

CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES

CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES

What better way to cheer up your kids on a cold winters day than by making them these CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES!  That is exactly what I did for my kids today.  I had one home with the flu, one home from pre-k because his schools heat went out and another one home…well because…he is 3!  I told them that when the fourth child came home from school I would have a treat ready for them and we could have a little tea party!  The excitement of a cupcake and tea party actually made them behave pretty much the rest of the day…Thank God!!!!  I had a citrus cake that I had planned to make for citrus week here on La Mia Tabella, but I decided cupcakes are just…well…cupcakes just make you happy!  I did not want to make the super sweet kind of cupcakes that would have my kids bouncing off the wall until  bed time either. 

FRESH CLEMENTINES

FRESH CLEMENTINES

No one ever really comes back from Italy saying “Wow!  Italy has the best cupcakes ever!”  They do however,  come back saying that the food and desserts are to die for.  If I was going to come up with a new cupcake flavor I had to brain storm.  I know Italian desserts all have two things in common:  One, their desserts are never overly sweet and sugary.  Two, Italian desserts always have a “hint” of flavoring in their desserts such as almond, citrus, rum or coffee. Since it is citrus week I knew I had to use citrus.  There were some beautiful clementine’s in my fridge that I had picked up from Whole Foods.  Ok…hmmm…what pairs good with clementine’s….easy…almonds.  So I decided to use these two stars of the show and create an Italian cake like base to my cupcakes.  When I say “Italian cake like base” I mean it is more of a sponge cake like consistency, more dense in texture and less overall sugar than the cupcakes that we all consume in the U.S.  Now I had to think about what kind of frosting would go great with the cake base….and it came to me in a flash…Ricotta & Fresh Whipped Cream Frosting!

CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES

CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES

These CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES turned out great!!  My kids devoured them!  Even my flu girl decided her stomach would be ok if she had half a cupcake.  In the end I made 18 cupcakes…some for the kids, some for the hubby and even some neighbors lucked out and scored a few.  You want to put a smile on someone’s face (even if it is just yours) make these CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES!  You will be happy you did!

THANKS MOM!

THANKS MOM!

 

CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES
Serves 18
An Italian cake like base with a hint of almond & clementine flavors, topped with ricotta & fresh whipped cream frosting.
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For Cupcakes
  1. 2 cups cake flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  10. 1/4 teaspoon clementine zest
  11. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed clementine juice
For Frosting
  1. 1/2 stick of butter
  2. 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  3. 1/4 teaspoon clementine zest
  4. 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  5. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
For Cupcakes
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat together sugar & butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
  5. Add vanilla & almond extract. Mix well.
  6. Mix in the flour mixture and fresh clementine juice alternately; starting and ending with flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated well.
  7. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 way with batter. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until light golden on top and toothpick comes out clean when center is pricked.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
For Frosting
  1. In medium bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add in the ricotta and whip until it mixes in well with butter mixture. Mix in clementine zest. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add the butter/ricotta mixture to the whipped cream. Carefully fold in the butter/ricotta mixture into the whipped cream until it is all incorporated.
  3. Frost cupcakes. Can place a tiny slice of clementine on top for decoration.
  4. Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.
Notes
  1. * Do not overly mix the butter/ricotta mixture into the whipped cream as the stiff peaks will soften.
  2. ** When frosting cupcakes it is best to use a cake/frosting decorating tool so it can be piped on instead of spread on to preserve the peaks of the whipped cream.
  3. *** These are best served the day you made them as the frosting will "fall" slightly by the next day.
La Mia Tabella http://lamiatabella.com/

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