Pomegranate Christmas Cupcakes

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLANDA pomegranate seed garnish offers a festive finish to Pomegranate Christmas Cupcakes. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLANDA pomegranate seed garnish offers a festive finish to Pomegranate Christmas Cupcakes.

Advocate-tested recipe

Pomegranate Christmas Cupcakes

Yields 28-30 cupcakes. Recipe is from Helana Brigman.

31/2 cups all-purpose flour

6 tsps. baking powder

11/2 tsps. salt

21/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

11/2 cups milk

9 egg whites

Icing

1 stick salted butter, softened

8 ozs. cream cheese (regular, room temperature)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Pomegranate seeds, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cream sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extracts, milk and egg whites. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until the batter is fully incorporated, making sure to scrape down your bowl for any leftover dry ingredients.

2. Line a standard 12 (1-cup) cupcake pan with cupcake liners and pour batter three-quarters full. Bake cupcakes for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

3. Meanwhile, prepare icing: Cream butter and cream cheese with vanilla and almond extracts until well incorporated and smooth, making sure to whip out any lumps created from the butter or cheese. Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar, adding 1 cup of sugar at a time. (I like to use the medium-fast speed on my Kitchenaid standing mixer so that all of the ingredients are incorporated smoothly and evenly.)

4. Remove cupcakes from oven and transfer to a rack, cooling completely. When cool, ice cupcakes and sprinkle with pomegranates seeds for a ruby red Christmas touch.