What is the first thing you think of when you think of bees? For me, I think honey, of course! But what if I told you that bees aren’t just good for making honey and pollinating flowers? Would you believe it if I told you bees are the main reason you get to snack on delicious almonds?
Every February, almond farmers in California prepare for the huge crowd of beekeepers.. The beekeepers are flocking there with their bee colonies because they want to rent their fuzzy little bees out to farmers. I know you’re probably thinking “okay, so who cares”. Well you should! Those little bees are there to pollinate the thousands and thousands of almond trees which provide you with delicious nuts to eat and make baked goods. This massive pollination effort is even referred to as the “Super Bowl of Beekeeping.”
Beekeepers started bringing their honey bee colonies to California because the farmers couldn’t rely on the need of insects to pollinate all the flowers. Every year there are more than 30 billion bees working hard to bring us almonds.
Most people don’t realize that the California almond crop requires more than just water and land, the $5 billion industry is completely dependent on honeybees.
Could you imagine if we didn’t have any almonds?!? That would mean no almond flour, which would mean so many of our favorite desserts couldn’t be made...I’m talking macarons. No almonds, no almond flour, no macarons. We should be so thankful for bees!
While this technically isn’t a history of almonds or bees or honey, it was just too interesting to not share! What’s your favorite use for almonds or honey? Did you realize how important bees are?
This post probably contains affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it HERE)
Almond Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2½ sticks salted butter, room temperature – I used Kerrygold Pure Irish butter
- 1¾ cups AP flour – I used King Arthur Flour - All Purpose Unbleached, 5-Pounds (Pack of 2)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder – I used Clabber Girl
- 1 cup sugar – I used Florida Crystals Demerara Sugar 44 oz (Pack Of 2)
- 5 large eggs – I used Happy Egg Co Heritage Breed.
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract – I used Simply Organic Pure Vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour – I used Bob’s Mill
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tbsp. of honey
- 1 package of cream cheese
- 1 stick butter, unsalted at room temp.
- 2 tsp. of vanilla
For the cupcake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with cupcake papers.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour and baking powder.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing each in thoroughly before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the lemon zest and almond extract, then raise the speed to high and beat the batter until light, a minute or more.
- At low speed, mix in half of the sifted flour mixture, beating just until it is incorporated; beat in half the almond flour. Scrape the bowl and mix in the remaining flour and almond flour. Beat briefly at medium speed to make a smooth batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it in an even layer or for cupcakes, use a scoop making each about ¾ full.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the cake is golden brown on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 12-15 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. These cakes are supposed to be more dense, so don't worry if you think they are thick!
For the frosting
- Beat the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Reduce speed to low and beat in the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, increasing the speed to medium-high.
- Add in vanilla and salt.
- Slowly add in the honey and make sure it is mixed well.
- Fill plastic piping bag with frosting with the tip of your choice.You can use any tip like this 7pcs Set Stainless Steel Sphere Ball Tips Russian Icing Piping Nozzles Tips Pastry Cake Fondant Cupcake Buttercream DIY Baking Tools. Begin piping on each cupcake! Enjoy!