In case you’re sitting in an air-conditioned office with no windows right now (guilty), I just want you to know: It’s still decidedly summer. Hyper-summer even. So summer that I am a constant mess of mosquito bites and sticky curls, and my primary activity—when I can muster the strength to remove my face from in front of the air conditioner—is drinking cold beer. (Wait, I mean exercising, Mom! No seriously, exercising!)
But despite this omnipresent boggy misery, there was no stopping the summer-spirited recipe for peach cupcakes posted on SmittenKitchen last week. If stone fruit cupcakes are what we can expect as a product of the summer season, well than I’d say that the asphalt-melting, crazy-making heat is a reasonable sacrifice.
Adapted from SmittenKitchen from which the frosting scheme was also shamelessly copied. Makes about 24.
3 cups cake flour (I used all-purpose unbleached)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk* (or sour cream or full-fat yogurt )
3 large peaches, cored and chopped small (I went for a 1/3-inch dice)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then add the vanilla. Gently mix in the buttermilk. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tins, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
*Remember, if you’re out of buttermilk or don’t want to buy any, you can substitute a mixture of milk and white distilled vinegar. In this case, add 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar to 1 ½ cups milk, set aside to let curdle for ten minutes, then you’re good to go!
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth and light. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator until it thickens back up a bit, about 30 minutes, then spread or dollop on cooled cupcakes.