Oh my! Maple leaves! This has started out as another great day. Why? Because breakfast was a warm, maple-y, almond cake of goodness! I need to start by saying I would never have made this recipe without the encouragement of my MIL. You know how you buy those cute baking pans that are the size of cupcakes, but in different shapes? Things like mini bundt pans, sandcastles, or in our case, maple leaves? They usually come with a recipe on the packaging, right? Well, me being the brilliant baker I think I am, I always throw them out. Surely I will find a better recipe than this standard issue, with the box, creation. Go figure, I have been proven wrong. Don’t tell my husband I said that.
The recipe with the pan is titled Almond Butter leaves and we thought it would be worth a try. My MIL had all the ingredients (almost) and it sounded like it might be good. I should also tell you that I don’t like almonds. I don’t like nuts in anything I bake. My mom spent YEARS leaving the nuts out of her banana nut bread for me. My tastes are obviously changing though, because these really were great almost just the way they were written.
So before I give you the recipe, I’ll tell you what I did different. The one ingredient we didn’t have was vanilla. Yep, trusty vanilla. Oops! We used the last of it on the PUD cake last night. At first we thought we would put more almond extract in, but then found a container of maple extract and thought, why not?! So we substituted the maple for the almond. Holy maple, I am so glad we did that! Next time, and this is definitely something I will make again, I might even take out the almond extract too and sub it all with maple. Uh, YUM!
Also, the recipe called for 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds to be mixed into the recipe. Since we wouldn’t be icing these things, I decided to REALLY thinly chop them and I placed them in the bottom of the pan. That way it would have a nicer presentation when we flipped them out. They looked super cute and I would highly recommend it if you are using a decorative pan. Of course, if you are using cupcake tins/cups this won’t really matter since the bottoms won’t be seen. Just dump the almonds in with the recipe.
Why did I love this recipe? First of all, I wanted to eat all six of the cakes myself and not share them with anyone. Good sign. That leads me into the second reason. The recipe only made enough mix to fill the pan – a six maple leaf pan (or if you want, six cupcakes). Again, since I have been baking EVERY day, the smaller the recipe for me right now, the better. It was perfect for three of us to eat for breakfast and not eat too many. If my kids were here, though, I would have had to make them twice. This of course leads me to my “third of all.” I think my children would love this recipe. I can’t say that about too many things, especially for my son. He doesn’t eat much of anything, let alone sweet things. He is certainly not reaping any benefits of 30D30B!
If you want to add something extra to it, it lends itself to being drenched with maple syrup. The cakes taste like amazing pancakes with all of those flavors. Awesome!
- 1/4 c. butter, softened
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 c. confectioners sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. maple flavor/extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 3/4 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. slivered almonds, really finely chopped
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Generously grease six individual mini cake pans or cupcake
- Sprinkle chopped almonds in bottom of each pan to cover the entire bottom
- In large bowl, combine all ingredients
- Blend on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl often
- Beat on medium speed 2 minutes
- Pour batter into prepared pan
- Bake 20 - 22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
- Cool in pan 5 minutes; turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely
- Makes 6 leaves or mini cakes.