These delectable cupcakes are perfect for people who don't like frosting but still like an exciting and delicious cupcake. These are also my grandmother's favourite cupcakes!
For the cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113g) soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large orange zested
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (for coating the chopped almonds)
For the garnish:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
2) In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk this together until well combined.
3)Make orange sugar, add the orange zest and sugar in a small bowl, and rub it with your fingers until fragrant.
4) In a large bowl cream the butter and orange sugar together with an electric mixer/whisk/wooden spoon until pale and fluffy for about 5 minutes.
5)Add the eggs, one at a time along with the vanilla extract. Mix this till combined.
6)Add a third of the flour mixture and roughly mix, then add in a third of the buttermilk and repeat till you have used all your flour and buttermilk. Make sure not to over-mix the batter and stop the moment you don't see any flour streaks.
7)In a small bowl combine the smaller amount of all-purpose and chopped almonds. Coating the almonds in the flour will ensure that they don't sink to the bottom of the cupcakes. Fold the flour-coated almonds into the batter.
8)Divide the batter into the cupcake liners using a spoon/ice-cream scoop. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.
9)Bake for 20 minutes and check with a toothpick to see if your cupcakes are cooked. Insert the toothpick in the centre of the cupcake and remove it to see if your cupcakes are ready. If there are a few crumbs on the toothpick, the cupcakes are ready. If it's still runny then bake for another 5 minutes and check until they are cooked.
10)Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake tray for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack and let them completely.
11)Garnish by sprinkling the cupcakes with powdered sugar and decorate them with slivered almonds.