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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 and almonds on top on white plate with teal napkin and coffee behind

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!

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.

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!

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 and almonds on top on white plate with teal napkin and coffee behind

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

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Toasted almond cupcakes that have a rich and sweet caramel frosting!
Yield 24 cupcakes


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners (24 cupcakes).
  • Place 1/2 cup of the toasted almonds in a food processor and grind until they are finely ground.
  • 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.
  • Divide batter evenly amongst cupcake liners. Bake 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Author Dorothy Kern

almond cupcakes with caramel frosting and almonds on top on white plate with teal napkin and coffee behind

You might also like:

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

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

Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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    1. OMG I am SO sorry! It was supposed to be 350! I missed that one big time. 🙁 I just fixed the instructions. Again, I’m SO sorry!

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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!!