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Orange and Almond Cupcakes

These are divine! They have an almond macaroon quality, and the pretty rosette icing make them ever so special. To pipe the icing, you will need a large curved star piping tip fitted into a piping bag or zip-lock bag. The secret is to hold the tip directly over the cupcake and start in the middle, circling out to the edge of the cupcake. You’ll be surprised how easy it is!!!

Orange and Almond Cupcakes

11 oz. butter, softened (22 tbs.)
11 oz. golden caster sugar (1½ cups)
4 eggs
9 oz. all-purpose flour (2¼ cups)
9 oz. ground almonds (1 cup plus 2 tbs.)
2½ tsp. baking powder
zest of 1 orange, plus 2 tbs. juice
1 tsp. almond extract

For the buttercream:

3½ oz. butter, softened (7 tbs.)
3½ oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. confectioner’s sugar (2 cups)
½ tbs. orange juice
½ tsp. almond extract
orange food coloring, if desired

Heat the oven to 350°F.  Line 18 cupcake tin cups with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Finally, mix in the orange zest, juice, and almond extract. Divide between cupcake tins (use an ice cream scoop to make them all equal) and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the icing by beating the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar, orange juice, almond extract, and food coloring. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large curved star nozzle. Hold the nozzle directly over the cupcake and, starting in the center, work outward to create a swirl. At the edge, swipe the nozzle to create a smooth finish.

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