1) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/Gas Mark 3. Line a 24 count regular-size cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
2) In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream together the butter and shortening on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time until, completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the sugar with the mixer set to low speed. Once combined, set the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes.
3) Sift together the cake flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Begin to add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the warm milk. Fold in the sliced almonds.
4) Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 16 to 20 minutes. Use a toothpick to poke in the center of the cupcake and if it comes out clean then the cupcakes are done. Remove from the pan and place onto a tray to cool.
For the fig filling:
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 1 minute. Once blended, move the mixture into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until thick, about 2 minutes. Mix well after microwaving.
For the maple buttercream:
In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add just under half the icing sugar and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and pour in the non-dairy whipping cream. Mix on low speed until completely mixed. Add the remaining sugar. Fold in the maple essence.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, fill the center of the cupcakes with 1 tbsp. fig filling. Using a pastry bag and piping tip, frost the cupcakes with the maple buttercream. Pat the sides of the buttercream with the toasted almonds.