The very first thing that comes to mind when I think of August in the Midwest is fresh, near impossibly-sweet peaches.
That and blazing hot wretchedness, but I think we pretty much got that taken care of and (hopefully) out of the way earlier this summer, so – peaches it is!
Seriously though, I can’t think of anything more satisfying than sinking my teeth into a juicy peach on a hot August afternoon, when the fruit is at its ultimate ripeness, and practically sweeter than candy (and we all know how much I love my candy.)
Last night I quizzed Ben on my favorite candies in each category – fruit, chocolate, and non-fruit-nor-chocolate. He nailed the fruit and chocolate categories (grape laffy taffy & peanut butter cups) but uncharacteristically faltered on naming my favorite non-fruit-nor-chocolate candy, which is licorice. It was actually a trick question because it’s the only category that contains just one type of candy – licorice – but he wasn’t aware I had categorized it so and, furthermore, thinks licorice falls into the fruit candy category.
I remember many summers as a girl when my Dad would slice me up a big bowl of peaches in the afternoon, then drizzle a wee bit of cream on top for a special treat. The memory is what inspired me to whip up a batch of decadent, dreamy Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes this weekend.
Packed with the summer’s best peaches which keep the cake ultra-moist, Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes are light yet super decadent from the addition of not one, but two types of cream. Wait ’til you try these – they. are. AMAZING!
Begin the Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes with, what else, fresh peaches! Peel, pit, then chop 3 peaches into bite-sized pieces then place them into a big bowl.
Toss the peaches with 2 Tablespoons flour, which help them stay suspended in the cupcake batter and not sink to the bottom, then set the peaches aside.
Next, start the cupcake batter. This is a pretty standard vanilla cupcake batter, with a delightful little twist. Cream together 1 cup sugar with 1/2 cup room temperature butter with an electric or handheld mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in 2 eggs followed by 2 teaspoons vanilla. I read a funny (well, I thought it was funny…) blog post the other day about a woman who doubles the amount of vanilla called for in any recipe she ever makes. I heartily concur, which is why I added a hefty 2 teaspoons to this recipe.
Next comes the first dose of cream in Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes (aka, the delightful little twist!) With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup half & half. The cream makes this cupcake batter incredibly luxurious and, well, creamy!
Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, including 1-1/2 cups flour, 1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then add them to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing well between each batch.
Last step is to gently fold in the chopped peaches.
Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners, then fill each cup 3/4 of the way full (I use an ice cream scoop to make it easy.) Smooth the tops out with the back of a spoon, then pop ‘em in the oven for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then completely on a cooling rack. That’s a wrap for the cupcakes!
While the cupcakes are cooling, start the homemade whipped cream piped sky high on top of the cupcakes. Pardon my shouting but, THIS IS THE BEST STUFF EVER!
Homemade whipped cream is so unbelievably delicious, I cannot even believe I waited until I made these cupcakes to whip some up for the first time. Puffy, soft, and perfectly sweet, it puts the double dose of cream in my Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes.
Simply combine 2 cups heavy whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Start whipping on low speed then slowly sprinkle in 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Turn the speed up to medium high and let ‘er rip for about 3 minutes or until the whipped cream is light and fluffy.
NOW – if you whip too long you’ll get butter, and Peaches ‘n’ Butter Cupcakes don’t quite have the same ring to it. That said, the whipped cream should be stiff enough to hold its shape when piped on top of the cupcakes, but not so whipped that it starts to get a little…not-smooth?…can’t think of the word.
Spoon the whipped cream in a piping or ziplock bag, snip off the end, then pipe in a swirl motion up to the top. Be generous – this stuff is what peaches ‘n’ cream dreams are made of!
Top each cupcake with a fresh peach slice, and prepared to be wowed!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with cupcake wrappers. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well combined before adding the next one. Add vanilla then beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in half & half then beat to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together 1-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. Toss remaining 2 Tablespoons flour with the chopped peaches then fold into the batter by hand.
3. Spoon batter into muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. Smooth tops with the back of a spoon, then bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes rest in the muffin tins for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. For the Whipped Cream Frosting: Place the clean bowl of an electric mixer, or a large mixing bowl, into the freezer for 10 minutes. Fit the electric mixer with the whipping attachment then add whipping cream and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Beat the mixture on medium speed while gradually adding the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until whipped cream can hold it’s shape, but is not lumpy, about 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. When cupcakes are completely cool, scoop whipped cream frosting into a piping or ziplock bag then pipe onto cupcakes. Top with a fresh peach slice. Store in the refrigerator.
These babies are the ultimate! Light yet super moist, biting into pieces of sweet peach in the cake is like finding hidden treasure. (Of course I chose the one cupcake in the batch to feature that didn’t have tons of peach pieces, but believe me – the rest of ‘em are packed!)
The whipped cream on top is what really did it for me though. Homemade really is best!
Definitely give these sweet, summery Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes a try sometime this month!
I’ll be back on KCCI tomorrow morning whipping up a summery dinner menu at 6:38am (ish)! Wish me luck!
What’s your favorite summertime fruit or veggie to devour?