Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe: Fresh Peach Cupcakes with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting

My kitchen smells like fresh-picked peaches and it's absolutely heavenly! I ran across this recipe for peach cupcakes while browsing through posts on TasteSpotting and, as a peach lover and a wannabe baker, I knew I had to make them. I made up a half batch (I've posted the full recipe though), seeing as I'm on my own this week, and I'm hoping I can resist their delicately sweet call, beckoning to me from the fridge. These cupcakes are light, with a sweet peach flavor that's very present without being overpowering. The cream cheese frosting also incorporates the sweetness of the peach, but with the creaminess of butter and the tangy flavor of cream cheese. Perfect for a summer brunch or dinner party and such a pretty, pale peachy-pink color!

Yields: 24 cupcakes
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Baking time: 21-24 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Equipment: Electric mixer

For the cakes

  • 2 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pureed fresh peaches (cut slices off of the peach, being sure not to include the pit; skin on is okay)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 1.75 oz freeze-dried peaches, pulverized (use food processor or place in Ziploc bag and crush with mallet; Target's Archer Farms brand sells 1.75 oz. bags of freeze dried peaches, which is perfect)

For the frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1.75 oz. freeze-dried peaches, pulverized
  • 3-5 cups of powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)

For the cakes
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line cupcake tins with liners.In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, pureed fresh peaches, and vanilla, then set aside. Add the butter and sugar for the cakes to the bowl of the electric mixture and, using the paddle attachment, blend on medium speed until the mixture is pale and well-blended (approx. 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the freeze dried peaches. Mix in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of the buttermilk mixture (i.e. flour, then buttermilk, then flour, then buttermilk, then flour, and then all of both mixtures will be incorporated). Mix until just blended, scraping the batter down the side of the bowl as needed. Scoop even amounts of batter into the cupcake tins and bake for 21-24 minutes, until golden brown (a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean or slightly crumby). Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

For the frosting
Using the paddle attachment on the electric mixer, mix the butter until softened and pale in color. Add the cream cheese and beat to combine, then add the vanilla extract. Add the pulverized peaches and blend thoroughly. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar to the mixture and mix. Add more as desired, and mix until the frosting is creamy, thick, and spreadable.

Spread or pipe frosting onto each of the cupcakes. Garnish each with a dusting of pulverized, freeze-dried peaches or a slice of fresh peach. Can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge (I like to keep mine in the fridge because of the cream cheese and butter in the frosting).

These cupcakes are perfect for the summer time! Fresh and dried peaches offer light, sweet, and fruity flavor, while the cream cheese in the frosting creates a tangy, buttery taste that blends well with the sweetness of the cakes.


  1. What if we just have fresh peaches? Can we just use more of those instead of the freeze-dried ones?

  2. Well, just to warn you: I'm first and foremost a cook, not a baker, so I'm not as knowledgeable about baking facts as I am about cooking facts. But here's what I'm thinking: the juice and flesh of fresh peaches could alter the texture and consistency of the frosting, possibly making it loose and somewhat wet, which isn't very desirable. The other thing is that, much like herbs (dried herbs are stronger in flavor than fresh herbs, which is why you need less of them when cooking), freeze-dried fruit is gonna pack a bit more of a punch than fresh fruit, so using fresh instead of freeze-dried in the frosting could result in weaker flavor.

    Freeze-dried peaches are fairly inexpensive (I got mine at Target) and if you end up with any leftovers, you can definitely find a way to use 'em could add them to cereal for a little extra punch (like those yummy freeze-dried strawberries in Special K) or use them in another dessert, like creme brulee or a peach pudding.