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A super sweet collaboration with Vera from Voice of Vera inspired a whole new world of connections and custom cupcake creations. This Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing was created just for her.
One of my favorite things to do is to go gift shopping for someone special. I like the feeling of thinking about them and thinking about what they would enjoy while searching the aisles. Many times, a type of candy , a specific animal or a figurine will remind me of a memory we shared together.
Baking isn’t much different. I was making Little Cakeasaurus Rex his Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and I was thinking about him the entire time. Thoughts of his monkey toes curling around my finger when he was a baby and how he would even hold his bottle with his feet spun around my mind like the batter around the beater.
I decided it might be fun to start connecting my recipes to people. How neat would it be to connect with other inspiring and adventurous people and create a custom cupcake flavor representative of who they are and what they do?
Who is Vera?
I was discussing this idea with Vera from Voice of Vera and she was excited to start swapping recipes and have me make a custom cupcake recipe for her.
Vera is a creative mom of four and blogs about her adventures including fashion and DIY. One of my favorite things about her blog is that it is full of inspiration and her uplifting motto says it all: “The best is yet to come!”
When she described her favorite flavors as being sweet, tart and fruity, the recipe practically wrote itself. I knew I needed something fun and flavorful for this awesome woman.
Custom Cupcake Creation
When the warm weather comes around, I can’t help but get a taste for fresh tropical fruit. Pineapples, kiwis, raspberries,you name it, I love them!
Growing up in North Carolina, our summer vacation was always a four hour trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Along the way, the family tradition was always to stop at a fruit stand and grab a basket full of big juicy South Carolina peaches. One bite of that peach and you would have sweet syrupy juice dripping down your chin. That sweet nostalgic flavor equates to summer for me. Now that we are knee deep into summer vacation, I am having an intense hankering for that sweet peach deliciousness.
This Peach Spice Cupcake recipe satisfies all of those tropical fruit cravings and has the added bonus of reminding me of a cocktail.
Peaches check off the sweet and fruity requirements for Vera’s custom cupcake. Now, I needed that tart flavor to bring it all together.
Peach and Kiwi
Peaches and kiwis? I know, right?! Who knew? The fact is, peaches have such a sugary taste to them that I felt a peach cupcake in the middle of summer desperately needed a complementary tart icing.
Kiwis provided the tartness to balance this recipe and make it the perfect sweet, tart and fruity flavor we were looking for.
A Kiwi Sparkler is a summer cocktail that includes kiwi and peach scnapps. How perfect?! The peach schnapps is what I would use to tie the kiwi icing to its peachy cupcake counterpart.
Now, I used Florida peaches for the Peach Spice Cupcake. Florida peaches are much smaller and less juicy than their Georgia and South Carolina relatives. They still provided that popping peach flavor though which is all I needed.
However, the difference is important. Pay attention!
If you are using a juicier peach for your baking endeavors, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe. If your ingredients are too wet, your cupcakes will shrink or sink in the middle. To offset this, you can either bump up your dry ingredients accordingly or you can just reduce the amount of peaches you use.
Personally, I would just do the latter. Adding in less peaches is way easier than adjusting the rest of the recipe and if they are that juicy, you won’t be losing any of the flavor.
Let’s get started!
Go ahead and set your oven to our favorite temperature of 350 degrees. Now is a good time to go ahead and put cute cupcake liners in your tin. You can get colorful and thematic ones here.
In a large mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar on medium speed until nice and smooth. Then, add in your egg, vanilla and rum. The rum is going to make your batter look pretty wet and runny. It may also make it look like it is separating. It is okay and it won’t be ugly for long.
In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. This is your flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. It doesn’t matter how many cupcakes I make, every time I add in the baking soda, salt and baking powder, I always feel like I am about to create a science experiment. I mean, I am a culinary chemist to some extent.
Usually a recipe like this will use buttermilk to mix alternately with the dry ingredients. I decided to try something a little different by using Greek yogurt instead. The step works out about the same.
Pour about a third of your dry ingredients into your wet batter mix. Mix on low speed until well blended. Then add in half of the Greek yogurt and blend again. Keep alternating until you finish with the last third of the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended but do not over mix.
Fold in the peaches with a spatula and spoon batter into cupcake liners. You want to fill the cups three-fourths of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty-four to twenty-eight minutes. Mine were done at about twenty-six minutes. Just keep an eye out on them and check with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean when the cupcakes are ready.
Now for the Icing!
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth. This is easily accomplished with a whisk attachment for a stand mixer, but I’ve been successful using my old hand-me-down GE hand mixer too. To make sure the icing stays smooth and silky, sift the powdered sugar in to the bowl one cup at a time, beating between each cup.
In a blender, blend about three kiwis into a puree. Peel the kiwis first with a potato peeler, leaving just the fleshy green fruit. I used the Ninja Blender to make the puree. Two presses of the pulse button and the kiwis are liquefied into a tart puree.
The kiwi puree definitely resembles baby food at this point. I thought it might make the icing a strange pea green color but the white powdered sugar lightens the color tremendously. Add the kiwi puree, salt, peach schnapps and vanilla extract to the powdered sugar mixture. You will want to mix that on medium speed until well blended.
Sift the last cup of powdered sugar into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed. Your icing will be smooth and almost silky feeling. There will be some specks from the kiwi seeds mixed throughout the icing.
Now it is time to enjoy.
Top those juicy sweet Peach Spice cupcakes with the Kiwi Sparkler icing and you have the perfect summer treat. I hope you love the sweet, tart and fruity flavors of this unique cupcake.
Make sure to head over to Voice of Vera and let her know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor.
If you are interested in developing your own custom flavor or having me develop one for you, please leave a comment below. I’d love to connect to with you!
This is how we make life taste sweeter together!