Almond Pear Cupcakes

My kitchen windowsill is lined with ripening Bartlett pears, each one holding the other on the shelf of its curvy hip. Their flavor is so gentle, it’s commanding. I can’t help but buy them by the bag this time of year. I’ve tucked the extras into cupcakes with a bit of almond extract. They sing the best duet of the season.

To include the pear into the cake, I’ve blended it with the milk for an even crumb. The buttercream is rich in flavor from the Kerrygold butter. I always add a bit of heavy cream into my buttercreams to help with structure (think whipped cream). Once the chilled ingredients come to room temperature, these cupcakes come together in about an hour. Get to ripening those pears because cupcakes are back in style.

Serves:  12 cupcakes

1 stick (8 tbsp.) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, room temperature
⅔ c. sugar
½ c. ripe pear, diced and peeled
½ c. whole milk, room temperature
¼ tsp. almond extract
1 ¼ c. all purpose flour
½ tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs, room temperature


2 sticks (16 tbsp.) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, room temperature
4 c. powdered sugar
2-4 tbsp. heavy cream
½ tsp. almond extract
pinch of salt
sprinkles (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, using a blender, puree the diced pears, milk, and almond extract until smooth. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Once the butter has been creamed, add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat on medium-low until evenly combined. Turn the mixer to low speed. Add the wet and dry ingredients in three additions, alternating quickly. This should take only a minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix again on medium speed for 10-15 seconds to incorporate the batter. Using a spring release scoop, evenly distribute the batter. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until barely golden, and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the buttercream. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add in the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Add in the heavy cream, extract, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. If buttercream is too stiff, add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe a generous dome of buttercream. Using a small offset spatula, lightly pull a circle around the center to create the nook for holding sprinkles. Add sprinkles if desired. Serve or store in an airtight container.

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