6 tablespoons unsalted Butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes, room temperature
2 large Egg Whites
1 whole large Egg
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces plain Cream Cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup Confectioner's Sugar
1-2 tablespoons Heavy Cream or Milk
For the filling:
Combine the cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cherries have softened and the mixture is thickened and pulls away from the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the almond extract.
Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 (175C) degrees, with the oven racks arranged in the center. Place liners in a 12-cup muffin pan, or spray with non-stick spray and lightly dust with flour.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer on low speed with the paddle attachment. Add the cubes of butter and increase the speed to medium. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add the egg whites, whole egg, buttermilk and extracts. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Portion 2 tablespoons of the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the filling. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the remaining batter over the filling.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely.
For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks too thick, add some of the cream a little bit at a time, until the mixture resembles soft whipped cream.
Spread the frosting over each cupcake (you can also put the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip). Top each cupcake with a cherry, if desired.