Peach cupcakes are a great way to start a summer time tradition of seasonal baked goods (Image courtesy of How To Eat A Cupcake)
CakeWalk is a weekly column by Mary Ann Porch dedicated to every baker who has ever struggled to achieve the right consistency with their icing, unsuccessfully searched for the perfect cupcake topper or just wants to learn something new. Because with a few helpful tips, cupcakes are a cakewalk.
Growing up in Oklahoma, I remember visiting a peach farm during the summers with my grandmother. I can’t recall where exactly the peach farm was in regard to the distance from Oklahoma City or the name of the farmer, but I do remember thinking that the peaches we took home were the biggest peaches on the planet. Granted, I was about 5 or 6 years old at the time, so keeping in mind my physical size, the peaches could have just been slightly larger than normal. But in my memory, these peaches rivaled the fruit of choice in Roald Dahl’s classic James and the Giant Peach.
I believe it’s because of these journeys to the peach farm that I associate peaches with summer. I can’t smell a peach without being reminded of those summer trips to the farm or my mother making homemade peaches and cream ice cream on the Fourth of July in the backyard. As far as summer goes, it’s THE seasonal fruit for at least one of the summer months.
With that in mind, peach season is in full swing so it is only appropriate to crank out a few seasonally appropriate recipes. This applies to cupcakes too.
Of course Martha Stewart has her own peach cupcake recipe - try it with mascarpone frosting (Image courtesy of Cupcake Queen via Flickr)
Well, thank goodness for the Internet and it’s bounty of peach cupcake recipes. I’ve compiled a pretty thorough list below of recipes you can use. Feel free to mix and match as well (i.e. different cake recipes with icing, etc.):
~ Roasted Peach Cupcakes (from Recipe Zaar)
~ Peach Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting (from How to Eat a Cupcake)
~ Vanilla Peach Cupcakes (from Erin Does Cupcakes)
~ Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream Icing (from Taste of Home)
~ Peach Cupcakes with Sage-infused Homemade Ricotta and Honey Frosting (from Diced Tomato)
~ Mini Vanilla-Almond Peach Cupcakes with Fresh Peach Frosting (from Eat California Fruit)
~ Peach Melba Cupcakes (from A Good Appetite)
~ Maple Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream Cupcakes (from Cupcake Project)
Peach cupcakes can bring out creative icing options, such as sage-infused homemade ricotta icing (Image courtesy of Diced Tomato)
Additionally, sourcing your own peaches is a great way to spend a summer afternoon. I recently came upon this fantastic site called PickYourOwn.org which gives you access to Pick Your Own farms all over the United States. The site even lists farms in a handful of other countries. Although I haven't visited any peach farms since I was a kid, I have visited an apple orchard or two since moving to New York and I have to say, it's a great way to spend an afternoon outdoors with friends or family.
Visiting a local peach farm is a great way to source your own fruit, as well as making the cupcakes a real family affair (Image courtesy of Country Living)
Using seasonal fruit is a great way to support local farmers in your area and at the same time, crank out some delicious, fresh recipes. I find sense of pride knowing that I'm using the freshest ingredients available, and if I can help out a farmer or two in the process, that's alright by me too.
After you tackle your first peach-themed cupcake recipe, I hope you'll agree that it's as simple as a cakewalk.
Previous CakeWalk Columns:
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream…cupcakes! (July 17, 2009)
Bastille Day offers perfect excuse for cupcakes that are tres chic (July 10, 2009)
Celebrate your Fourth of July with one of America’s favorite treats (July 3, 2009)
The symbolic power of the cupcake (June 26, 2009)
Giving something back to your community by simply making a cupcake (June 19, 2009)
The secret delights of regional cupcakes (June 12, 2009)
The silver dragée strikes again! (June 5, 2009)
Chic cupcakes for any budget - take that recession! (May 29, 2009)
Top me off bartender…err, baker in this case (May 22, 2009)
The importance of a moist cake (May 15, 2009)
The Savory Cupcake Dilemma of 2009 (May 8, 2009)
Will the real buttercream icing please stand up? (May 1, 2009)
Mary Ann is the founder of the New York City chapter of CupcakeCamp NYC, an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment. She is also the founder of Puff and Choux, a blog dedicated to the pastry and dessert arts. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, ideas or just to chit chat. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MaryAPorch.