Orange & Almond Mini Cakes with Anise Buttercream Frosting

Well, we are four days in to our first full week of elementary school here and let’s just say…it’s been a doozie.  New school, taking a bus for the first time…it all adds up when you are in first and second grade and so sometimes it is just nice to come home and find that mommy has made a really yummy treat.  Because we are such mean caring parents, we don’t let the kids eat an abundance of sugary treats.  They don’t drink soda, they don’t chew gum, most of the Easter candy is discarded when they are sound asleep…the list goes on and on.  We try to stay away from artificial colorings in food and do believe that we see a difference in our kids when they eat stuff with not such healthy ingredients inside of them.  Of course, after the week we are having so far, that theory might be thrown to bits because really, what else can I blame for a certain six year old’s very naughty behavior?! Did he sneak something with orange food color in it? Did he swap lunches and eat a Lunchable?! Did someone give him (gulp) a Capri Sun?! Was it my Mine Craft bribe for good behavior? I don’t know.  But I’m choosing to tackle this head on with copious amounts of love, affection, attention and a little bit of sugar because maybe, just maybe they need a little to remember they really are sweet children.

Not having much time I wanted to make something quick.  I also wanted to make something mini in size because, like I said, we don’t eat a lot of treats and those little mini sized desserts are really just perfect for us.  I turned to Susanna Tee’s Cupcakes.  She has a lot of nice recipes that use all sorts of flavors.  I changed the topping and made them in mini cake wrappers rather than large ones.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter, softened

3/8 cup superfine sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

5/8 cup self-rising white flour

1/4 cup ground almonds

grated rind and juice of 1 small orange

The oven was pre-heated to 350 and my mini muffin tin was lined with paper wraps.

The butter and sugar were placed in a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.

The egg was beat in.

The flour, ground almonds and orange rind were added and then the orange juice was folded in.

The batter was spooned into the wraps and baked for about 10 minutes.

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While they were cooking I made a simple buttercream frosting using confectioners sugar, milk, butter and anise extract.  I only used a very small amount of the extract and it came out with the most subtle flavor- just perfect.  Now- it is really hot here today.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you buttercream frosting & hot days do not make the best of friends.  The buttercream had to continually be placed in the fridge to harden up as I was frosting.  By the time it was photo time things got a little oozy.  Needless to day I’m storing these adorable little cakes in the fridge until the school bus drops off our kids.  The flavor was fantastic.  The ground almonds add texture to this very light cake.  The orange and anise are a match made in heaven.  I know they will wish there were more, but much like that Easter candy…all the extras get hidden away.

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