Mike loves peach cobbler, and I’ve been trying to think of a peachy cupcake, but the two ideas didn’t meet until recently. A cobbler and a cupcake? One a sultry, spicy, fruity dessert and the other a cute, frosted mini-cake? The meeting of the desserts — living quite independently until now, thank you very much! — reminds me of one of my favorite poems, Thomas Hardy’s “The Convergence of the Twain.”

Alien they seemed to be:
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history.

Or sign that they were bent
By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one August event…

Or in this case, a June event!  And a much happier one than that of the Titanic meeting an iceberg (read the rest of Hardy’s poem for that more morbid meeting).

It struck me while driving one day that a peach cobbler cupcake would be fun to construct — the spices of a cobbler, chunks of fresh peach, the crunch of some streusel, and a little cream cheese frosting to mimic a rich scoop of ice cream.  I “cobbled” this recipe together after looking through recipes for brown sugar cupcakes, cobblers, and fruit-filled cupcakes. The result is delicious. If you love carrot cake, you’ll love these little peach spice cakes. One of my lovely Charlotte taste testers (my boyfriend’s mom) said that this is her favorite cupcake yet!

You may be looking at the photos and wondering why the cupcakes are a little flat up top. Initially, I only used baking soda to react with the acidity of the buttermilk, and no baking powder. Baking soda reacts immediately and therefore must be baked immediately to have an effect on the rise of the cupcake.  With all the streusel and peach additions to these cakes, though, it’s hard to get them in the oven fast. I tweaked the recipe a bit, so the version below should produce cupcakes that are a little lighter and prettier.

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes


Recipe By:  Me, “cobbled” together from this and this. Frosting by Paula Deen, with tweaking.
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 stick butter
3/8 cup light brown sugar
3/8 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Splash of peach syrup from canned peaches (if you used canned)
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Fresh or canned peaches, chopped

Streusel Ingredients:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons)

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of peach syrup from canned peaches (if you used canned)
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 wells in a cupcake pan. In a small bowl, make streusel. Add all the ingredients and cut the mixture into crumbles with two knives until it’s about the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, and a little peach syrup.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add a little of the flour mixture at a time to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Beat the batter well until air is incorporated, about 2 more minutes.

Pour just enough batter into each of 12 cupcake wells to cover the bottom. Spoon a thin layer of streusel over this batter, and drop a 3-5 pieces of chopped peach on top (depending on the size of the pieces and your personal taste). Spoon another layer of batter over each well until each is about 3/4 full.   If you love a lot of peach in your “cobbler,” you can add a few more hunks on top.  Spoon a sprinkle of streusel over the top of the batter in each well. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan for a couple of minutes, and then on a cooling rack. Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost them.


Almost ready for the oven!


Mmm, these make the kitchen smell amazing.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter vanilla, and splash of peach syrup (this might also be nice with a spoonful of peach jam or preserves) together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip (I used star tip 1M.) I only put a puff of frosting in the middle so as not to overwhelm the peach cobbler flavor, or overdo the sweetness!


All frosted!

NOTE: I tried two methods for inserting the peach into the cupcake. The first and most successful is described above — chunks of peaches in a middle layer of the cupcake. The second, pushing a larger chunk of peach into the middle of the cupcake, was good but not great. I liked the fact that having many chunks of peaches ensured you’d get more peach per bite.

If you don’t use canned peaches, feel free to leave out the peach syrup in the cupcake batter and frosting and add more peach chunks.

Don’t overfill your cupcake wells, by the way! I always overfill mine and the cupcake “outgrows” its well as it bakes. This leads to the edges of the cupcake top being overdone.

Enjoy!