1/2vanilla beansplit lengthwise and seeds scraped and reserved
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, almonds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine.Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating until mixture is smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating on low speed until well combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Spread Vanilla Buttercream Frosting over cooled cupcakes. Garnish with almonds, if desired. Store in refrigerator.
VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cream as needed until mixture is smooth. Add reserved vanilla bean seeds, beating to combine.