(Just a heads up! I have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this recipe.)
Guys. Guys. This is one of the best experiments I have ever done, sorry Tidepool Jello Cups. Pound cake cupcakes infused with nutty Amaretto, topped with a sweet but sour lemon frosting…
They are perfection.
These are now my official, go-to cupcake recipe because they are literally bliss in a wrapper. Like, “choirs of angels singing, grass between your toes, your favourite song on the radio” bliss.
If you need me, I’ll be sitting on my patio with one of these in my hand.
The amaretto-flavoured cupcake itself is an adaptation of my family’s pound cake recipe, which makes them both hearty and fluffy without too much sweetness, even when infused with Disaronno.
As for the lemon frosting (our ‘sour’), I adapted my go-to buttercream recipe: Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life. Seriously, I’ve used this frosting for everything cake related and it never, EVER lets me down. I’ve never used a more delicious frosting, and adapting with a lemony twist only further convinced me that this is the best frosting recipe in existence. It’s so easy to make thinner with a little more cream, or thicker with a little more icing sugar as you need. It’s magic, I tell you. MAGIC.
The first thing we need to do is make our cupcakes, so we’re going to cream some butter and sugar. Erm… yes, I am making them in a pot… our ‘furnished’ place didn’t come with a mixing bowl and I realized it too late. (And I’m stubborn and refuse to buy a mixing bowl since we’re only here for two more months. We’ll see if I break down and get one).
You can do this by hand or in your mixer, but the butter should be room temperature if you, like me, are handing it to facilitate the ease of mixing.
Add all the rest of your wet ingredients, the eggs, milk, Disaronno for the alcoholic version or almond extract for the non-alcoholic version, and stir until it’s smooth (or as smooth as you can get it).
Now the flour, baking powder and salt!
Mix away! Keep mixing until it’s as smooth as you can get it. If you’ve got a mixer, just set that bad boy to beat the batter for 5 minutes. This will make it nice and fluffy and completely smooth. If you’re going by hand, 5 minutes of fairly continuous stirring should do the trick.
Ohhhh man… I ate way more of this raw batter than I should have. Alcohol will counteract any salmonella in the eggs, right? That’s how science works, right, right???
We’re putting a tablespoon of Disaronno in the bottom of each of our cupcake wrappers. I’m using the Tin Foil Baking Cups for this in order to hold the liquor better, as it’ll just soak right through paper ones. Ew. Silicone Cupcake Liners would work too. If you’re doing the NA version, obviously you can skip this step.
Drop the normal amount of batter in each cup, so about ¾ full. You’ll see the liquor come up around the batter and that’s perfect. We’re infusing the cupcakes with delicious amaretto flavour. Don’t worry, you need to eat a lot of these suckers to get drunk. Don’t let me stop you from trying, though.
Pop those babies in a 350° oven and let ‘em cook for 16-18 minutes, until the sides are browned and your kitchen smells like heaven’s bakery.
Now for our lemon frosting! You could probably do this with limes too if you prefer those as your ‘sour’, but I haven’t tried it yet. Yet…
Find some lemons and then zest them. The easiest way to do that is to use the more prickly side of a cheese grater, or you can use a potato peeler and cut the pieces very small for a slightly more decorative look. Either way, the outside of one lemon is enough.
Mix the lemon rind in with your butter.
Then add your icing sugar, milk or cream, and lemon juice… Sample some because it’s very important that you, the cook, test for quality… and, you know, poison… your sacrifice is much appreciated.
Then frost once the cupcakes are cool. Any earlier and your frosting will melt and you’ll have a sticky mess.
They come out so pretty. I topped mine with sliced almonds and lemons.
They’re so magical…
The combination of amaretto and sour flavours are complete perfection. Why would I order an amaretto sour when I can eat one of these???
Somehow both dense and light….
Perfect for parties and picnics…
Saturday afternoon snack…
These really just aren’t even fair.
Screw it, eat all the batter out of the bowl with a spoon in your bed while watching Netflix.
No judgements here. Just make sure you have a bowl of the frosting too.
No matter what, these will be a HUGE hit.
Now to go try a lime version….
- Amaretto Cupcakes:
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- For Alcoholic Version:
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup and ¼ cup + 1 tbsp Disaronno
- OR For Non-Alcoholic Version (‘NA’):
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened (be careful not to melt it!)
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp milk or cream (I suggest cream)
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup + 1 tbsp Disaronno. (NA: ½ milk and 1 tbsp almond extract) and mix.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat for 5 minutes until smooth.
Add 1 tbsp Disaronno to the bottom of each tin foil cupcake wrapper in a cupcake tin. I recommend Silicone Cupcake Liners or Tin Foil Baking Cups so the alcohol doesn't soak through. This will help us infuse the cupcakes with flavour. (Leave this out for the NA version, of course)
Pour the batter into the cupcake wrappers, so they are about ¾ full.
Pop in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, until the sides are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
On to the frosting! Zest one lemon either on the more pokey side of a cheese grater or with a potato peeler for a more decorative look.
Cream butter, lemon zest, icing sugar, salt, lemon juice and milk or cream. If the consistency is too runny, add a bit more icing sugar. If it’s too stiff, add a little more cream as you see fit.
Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them as you like and eat! Enjoy!
I’m not being sponsored by Disaronno, it’s just perfect for this recipe!
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