Although I’ve been lucky enough to have a summer full of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, I haven’t been eating many fresh peaches and nectarines. Not long in to my pregnancy, both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, the two grocery stores just down the road from our house, were affected by a peach recall out of concern for Listeria contamination (and Listeria is the one that’s pretty scary for pregnant women because it can cause miscarriage). Even though peach season was just starting to blossom, I skipped eating them raw for a few weeks. Instead, I made my way through a spattering of baking projects with cooked peaches.
These cupcakes originally started as a quick and easy skillet biscuit. The first recipe was a bit of a flop. The biscuits were not airy, flaky, or light. They came out of the oven kind of rubbery and seemed to even deflate as the day wore on. The good news, though, was that the ginger-peach combination was an absolute winner, so it was just a matter of finding a better dough in which to house the spiced summer fruit. I tinkered a bit more with the biscuit idea before jumping ship altogether for cupcakes.
I’ve been making these cupcakes with a cream-cheese frosting, but I think they’d work well with a simple vanilla frosting, too. The ginger and peach combination is really the star of the show, so you don’t need much frosting. After snacking on the first few, I scaled back on the frosting a bit so the cream cheese didn’t overwhelm the ginger flavor.
I also skipped peeling the peaches. A lot of recipes I’ve seen out there for peach desserts require a quick dunk in a pot of boiling water, allowing the peaches to cool, and peeling them before chopping. I simply haven’t found those extra steps worth the effort, so I omit them here. These cupcakes aren’t crowded with flecks of undercooked, tough peach skins; they’re just loaded with juicy bits of peaches and specks of ginger. It works just fine without the extra work.
Ginger-Peach Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 16 cupcakes
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), cut into smaller pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
For the peaches
2 cups diced peaches (about 3 medium-sized peaches)
1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 1-2 inches of peeled ginger root)
For the cream cheese frosting
6 ounces whipped cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated (white) sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1. Prepare the peaches: Wash the fruit, then slice the flesh away from the pit and chop into rough one-inch pieces. Peel the ginger and grate until you get 1 tablespoon. Combine the ginger and peaches in a small sauce pan and heat over a low flame for about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the batter: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and Greek yogurt (using an electric mixer will make this easier). Add the butter and sugars and mix again until well incorporated, mixing for about 3 minutes. Finally, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
3. Gently fold the fruit into the cupcake batter. Spoon into greased or lined cupcake tins, filling each tin almost up to the top. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through baking. Check to ensure the cupcakes are done (a toothpick inserted into a cupcake should come out clean) before removing from the oven. Allow to cool before frosting.
4. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together in a bowl until well mixed and fluffy. Keep cool until ready to frost the cupcakes. Use a knife to spread the frosting over the tops of the cupcakes in an even layer.