Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

If you love almond, these Almond Cupcakes are for you! Filled with almonds, the cupcakes are topped with a caramel frosting that tastes like fudge!

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel frosting by crazyforcrust.com

I just did something I never thought I’d do:

I called the American Girl Store in LA and asked if I could schedule an appointment for a doll to get her hair done and her ears pierced.

{Yes, doll ear piercing is a thing.}

I also uttered the following sentence to Jordan:

“If the salon can’t fix Jenny’s hair, she may have to make a trip to the doll hospital for a new head.”

Go ahead. You can say it. I’m totally that parent. The one who is obsessed with making her daughter’s doll human.

{In my defense, Jenny’s hair is pretty bad. I tried the whole downy/water spray. We brushed it. She needs a style or a new head and that’s that. It’s gotten so I make her wear a hat in public.}

I was having a discussion with a friend about how crazy I am recently, and I realized that, yes, I’m that parent. But there is a reason behind my madness:

The longer Jordan plays with Jenny, the longer that she cares about things like doll hair, ear piercing, and bunk beds that cost more than a real bunk bed, the longer she stays a kid.

In this age of an 8-year-old having her own iPod, worrying about if her shorts are “fingertip length,” and grown-up style music and TV shows, I think fostering a relationship with a doll is an awesome idea. Do I like spending $25 on a doll ‘do? No, but if it keeps my kind younger for even a minute, I’m okay with that.

So, next week on our way to Disneyland, I’m going to be that parent who stops for lunch at The Grove in LA. While my husband scouts out Maria Menounos, I’ll spend an hour walking seven miles around and around a doll store trying to find the perfect doll outfit that can be bought with a $30 gift card.

And I’m okay with that.

What I’m also okay (more than okay) with?

Almond Cupcakes. With a to-die-for caramel frosting!

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel frosting by crazyforcrust.com

I would rather sit and eat one of these cupcakes than watch Jordan decide between a wheel chair for a doll and a new bathing suit that will never see water.

Really, I would rather eat this frosting with a spoon than do most things.

It’s from-scratch cooked caramel frosting, people. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Unless you put it on top of Triple Threat Almond Cupcakes.

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel frosting by crazyforcrust.com

The cupcakes start with a box mix. The mix is doctored with crushed almonds, almond milk, and almond extract. Triple the almond flavor! (I can never get enough almond, how about you?)

Then the frosting. Oh, the frosting. It’s seriously like fudge. It’s hard to spread, but it’s the best stuff ever. Add a little salt for a salted caramel frosting.

If the frosting doesn’t make it to the cupcakes, that’s okay. Serve the cupcakes for breakfast and call them muffins. No one will know!

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel frosting by crazyforcrust.com

Can someone have these waiting for me at The Grove next week? And maybe a martini? I’ll need both.

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Almonds in every bite of cake and a caramel frosting that's to die for! {Recipe from Betty Crocker.}

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups toasted almonds, divided (see note)
  • 1 box French Vanilla or Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (or water)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners (24 cupcakes).
  2. Place 1/2 cup of the toasted almonds in a food processor and grind until they are finely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, almond milk, oil, eggs, and almond extract with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat for two minutes. Fold in ground almonds.
  4. Divide batter evenly amongst cupcake liners. Bake 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. To make the frosting, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and boil and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat back to boiling then remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.
  6. Carefully stir powdered sugar into pan of brown sugar mixture. Place the pan in a bowl of cold water and beat with a spoon until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. (I added 1 teaspoon, but should have added 2.) Frost cupcakes, a few at a time, and press remaining toasted almonds into the frosting. The frosting dries quickly, so be sure to only do about 3 at a time. (I found it easier to frost by piping frosting on the top of the cupcake, and then pressing the almonds into it, instead of using a knife. The frosting gets thick quick and can rip the top of the cupcakes if you’re not careful.)

Notes

To toast almonds: place on a baking sheet and bake at 350, stirring pan often, for a few minutes. Alternately, you can put them in a frying pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring often. Do NOT walk away from the stove. They cook fast and burn faster!

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Almond Pudding Cookies

Sweets from friends:
Zucchini Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting by Baker by Nature
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes by The Domestic Rebel
Nutella Almond Muddy Buddies by Something Swanky

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This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff Saturday, Weekend PotluckWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!








Comments

  1. Oooh these cupcakes are prettyyyy, I love how that caramel frosting sounds too!

    American Girl dolls are THE BEST and I totally agree about doing what you can to keep your kid a kid as long as possible-smart lady you are!

  2. Aww, I love that she loves her doll :) The doctor thinks our baby is a girl (they guessed at an early ultrasound, so we’ll see in a month if it sticks!). My husband is going to make sure she plays with legos and tools, and I’ll be pushing princesses…and, yes, dolls! I kind of love the American Girl dolls but felt kind of weird buying one for myself ;)

    Oh, and I love your cupcakes…and the liners!
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted..Roasted Strawberry HandpiesMy Profile

  3. Love, love, love this! Almonds make everything better! :)
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted..Cotton Candy Funfetti CupcakesMy Profile

  4. Gorgeous pics seriously! Almond is my favorite flavor and these look ah-mazing!
    Jenn@eatcakefordinner recently posted..Chicken Broccoli Supreme – No Canned SoupMy Profile

  5. Those cupcakes sound absolutely AMAZING! And I have two boys, so the whole doll ear piercing thing is kinda awesome ;)
    keri @ shaken together recently posted..10 savory appetizers & side dishes featured from the {what’s shakin’} link partyMy Profile

  6. You are SUCH an amazing mom!! American Girl Dolls are worth every penny spent. I received Kirsten as a Christmas present when I was, umm, around 8 maybe? And I still have her! My grandma sewed me homemade doll clothes every year (at least 2 or 3), and I actually liked those better than what I saw in catalogs. But I still asked for a horse for Kirsten to ride!

    Have a great trip, and good luck with the doll’s hair!
    Amy recently posted..Food Photo Composition: Point of ViewMy Profile

  7. You know, my mom was totally THAT mom that took me the the American Girl store and spent money to have a tea with my doll and take her to the hair salon and all that… and I loved it. And I still love that my parents took me! It was something really special and I know that Jordan will love and appreciate it!

    Those cupcakes look amazing and I love that they’re a doctored up cake mix!
    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen recently posted..Homemade Pita Chips and HummusMy Profile

  8. I think it’s important for a girl to look good, even if she IS a doll. ;-) And don’t feel bad, I make my animals seem like people. The cupcakes sound sinful. I could never pass up anything with almonds and caramel.
    Michele recently posted..Berry Cream PieMy Profile

  9. These cupcakes sound wonderful and sound super simple to make! I look forward to giving these a try!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted..Power Foods FridayMy Profile

  10. Sherlyn says:

    Seems like it would be easy to make this in a 9×13 inch pan? Since we have no more kids at home, a cake works better for us – what do you think?

  11. I have a caramel frosting recipe on my site that I made sort of by accident last fall to go with an apple bundt and it’s my fave frosting I’ve ever made! Yours looks incredible! I love almond extract.

    And as a mom, trying to hang onto dollie stage rather than ipad stage is one of those things I’m going thru too!

  12. The Grove! Brings back lots of great memories :)

  13. LOVE these! Almond is my favorite flavor, hands down!

  14. What a yummy little cupcake! I love the toasted almonds and that caramel frosting! YUM!

    I also love you story! Made me smile! LOL
    Tieghan recently posted..Everything Bagel Slider BunsMy Profile

  15. I DO love almonds. I love these cupcakes. Wait, I haven’t had them yet. But I will. Soon. Very soon. Maybe tomorrow.
    Have fun in doll hell. :)
    Mindy recently posted..The Salvia Is Blooming!My Profile

  16. Doll ear piercing? Wow, those American girl dolls have come a long way since I was a kid. I still have my Samantha doll! Caramel frosting is my favorite thing ever, so I will definitely be trying this recipe. Enjoy your time in LA!
    Natasha @ The Cake Merchant recently posted..Simple Vanilla Cupcakes and My First Blogiversary!My Profile

  17. Ooooooo! I CAN’T get enough almond! Also, fingertip length?!?!? Sweet lord. Keep my baby girl two forever thankyouverymuch!
    Lisa @ Wine & Glue recently posted..Snap It or Bake It Giveaway!My Profile

  18. Caramel frosting that tastes like fudge? Sign me up! I absolutely loved American Girl dolls – they just started to get big when I was a kid (but they only had the original few dolls at that point). Not gonna lie that I am pretty jealous they have all these cool other options for kids now! haha
    Ashley recently posted..Life Lately – Start of SummerMy Profile

  19. These cupcakes are so pretty, Dorothy! I love the way the almonds are effortlessly sprinkled on top of that glorious caramel frosting. Caramel frosting is my favorite flavor! Hope you had a blast in Austin! I wish I could’ve made it.

  20. These look so delicious, Dorothy! Great recipe and lovely flavors. It was so nice to meet you at BlogHer this weekend!

  21. I’m all for frosting that tastes like fudge, especially caramel fudge!!
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction recently posted..Peaches and Cream CakeMy Profile

  22. I am such a sucker for almond, my husband tries to hide it from me to keep me from putting in EVERYTHINg… These cupcakes with that caramel frosting look absolutely wonderfully, can’t wait to try these!

  23. That’s so funny that you’re taking Jenny to get her hair done and ears pierced!! My boss’s daughter JUST had an American Girl themed birthday party where they had a spa day for the dolls. Did you know the “salons” have a full spa day with facials for the dolls? Craziness!! And almond is like my favorite flavor ever!! Combine that with caramel frosting… SOLD!!
    Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} recently posted..salted caramel browniesMy Profile

  24. Loving these flavors! I would die for one of these right now! I’m just waiting for the day my little girl starts playing with American Doll. I’ll be just like you when she’s 8. :)
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme recently posted..Key Lime Angel Food CakeMy Profile

  25. I love almonds and these cupcakes look so moist and delicious Dorothy. YUM!
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted..Linguini with Shrimp and Olive TapenadeMy Profile

  26. I completely understand where you are coming from. Especially for a girl. It seems like they grow up way too fast these days. Some things are worth the $$ ;) So jealous you are going to Disneyland next week! I hope you will write a big post about it.

    Gorgeous pictures. These look like they walked right out of a magazine.
    Katie @ Dip It In Chocolate recently posted..Deep Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel FrostingMy Profile

  27. What a delicious paring of flavors!!! Thats almond and caramel combo must be amazing!!

  28. Sending you a virtual martini now :)
    Katrina @ In Katrina’s Kitchen recently posted..S’mores Cereal Treats for TwoMy Profile

  29. If it makes you feel any better, I still have my American Doll (and I’m turning 33 on Friday!). Maybe Jordan will always love her Jenny! There are just some childhood things that will always be special to Jordan, no matter how old she gets. :)

    That caramel frosting sounds AMAZING! I need that in my life.
    Meghan @ The Tasty Fork recently posted..Snap it or Bake it Giveaway!!My Profile

  30. how i wish I was “that” parent…Stella is DONE with dolls and I am very sad:( but i can make those cupcakes for sure
    Heather @ French Press recently posted..Cherry ClafoutisMy Profile

  31. Never enough almond is right! And never feel guilty for indulging your kid in American Girl swag. When I was little, I wanted nothing more than a Samantha doll! They are awesome and wholesome, and like you say, so much better than a lot of stuff young kids get exposed to now.

    Plus it teaches you about history right?

    PS. I’m impressed by the homemade caramel frosting. I’ve made it before and it’s not that easy!
    Lindsey (Lou Lou Biscuit) recently posted..Mini Chocolate Bundt CakeMy Profile

  32. No dolls in my household! All boys here! And they would devour these cupcakes within seconds!
    Tahnycooks recently posted..Lemon & Lime Marinated Watermelon Kabobs {and how to cut watermelon}My Profile

  33. Sounds like a great flavor combo and looks awesome! I LOVE caramel and have been wanting to make a caramel icing for forever!
    Lindsay@Life, Live and Sugar recently posted..Strawberry and Blueberry White Chocolate Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

  34. This sounds like an awesome flavor combo! What is the consistency of the icing like? If you pipe it on the cupcake will it hold its shape?
    Janine | sugarkissed.net recently posted..Chocolate Cookies with Raspberry Royal Icing RecipeMy Profile

  35. I am all about making sure my kiddo stays a KID as long as possible…so yeah, I’m probably that parent, too. Totally okay with it.

    I’m also really okay with these cupcakes and frosting. I love almond anything – I put almond extract in just about everything, because it’s the bomb. And these pics are fab, Dorothy!
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl recently posted..What’s In Your Kitchen WednesdayMy Profile

  36. You’re going to be in my neck of the woods, I live 15 minutes from d land ;) Hope you have a fabulous time with your family! I love Disneyland so much always had passes up until a few years ago. You know what else I love? That caramel frosting, I would take that bowl of frosting down!!!

  37. Wow I am impressed that American Doll is still around! I wonder if I still have mine? Prob stashed in my parents basement somewhere.
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie recently posted..Honey-Lime Chicken KebabsMy Profile

  38. My 4 year old is obsessed with American Dolls, and she doesn’t even have one yet! I told her she has to be 8 before she can get one – I’m hoping she’ll be responsible enough to take care of it at that point. But I’m totally with you – keep them young as long as possible!! And these cupcakes? I need!
    Deborah recently posted..Corn and Bacon CasseroleMy Profile

  39. Last Xmas, I bought my daughter an American Girl knock-off from Kohl’s. She loves it, but I don’t think I am going to get away with it for long. American Girl really has us parents under their thumb!!! Love the cuppy cakes, I need to make a low carb GF version of these!
    Carolyn recently posted..Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo-Avocado SauceMy Profile

  40. Sherry Murphy says:

    I notice it says to preheat the oven to 250 degrees – should that be 350 degrees? I love almonds so this sounds wonderful!

  41. These cupcakes look amazing…and the almond/caramel combo sounds to die for. I love your thinking on the doll… I am always trying to keep my girls little (Max & Ruby instead of Disney Channel, kids’ songs instead of radio…even though I’d SO rather listen to the radio….) Thanks for sharing. Go AG!!

  42. I think it is ok that you are that parent in this way…kids grow up way too fast now. So, whatever it takes to keep them innocent and childlike. My daughter hardly touches her AG dolls now, and it makes me sad she is past the doll stage. Love those cupcakes…and caramel frosting that is like fudge? I must have some!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..BlogHer Food Conference WeekendMy Profile

  43. One: I was obsessed with American Girl Dolls when I was ten. I even sewed them sleeping bags and did their hair every morning. Two: I think I am going to be obsessed with these cupcakes. Caramel and almond sounds killer. Triple threat is aptly titled!
    Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life recently posted..Peanut Butter Snickers S’mores Cheesecake Bars {Gluten Free!}My Profile

  44. I never had an American Girl doll and I never let my mom forget it ;) I still secretly hope to get one each Christmas. I had no idea you could get their ears pierced. Now I want one even more. Sometimes it’s fun to still be a kid at heart!
    Laura Dembowski recently posted..Rich Carob Powder BrowniesMy Profile

  45. Jenle82 says:

    I baked these at 250 per your instructions and they didn’t cool at all

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  4. [...] all know my hands are both firmly raised. I’ve talked about Jordan’s obsession here, and here, here, and many more times. I gotta hand it to that company – their marketing team [...]

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