Bourbon Ginger Peach Cupcakes with Browned Butter Vanilla Frosting

Hello.

It’s me.

I was wondering if after all these years (of reading my blog) you’d like to meet (the recipe that will 100% be your dietary downfall).

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Hard to be too mad about losing the light when the sunset looks like this…

Now, listen.  I know you’re thinking, “But lawandlentils, I’ve spent all summer trying to look good in a swimsuit!”  And you may well have done.  But, dear friends, summer is at an end (sob).  I know it might still be hot where you live, but there’s an undeniable nip in the early morning air (I know because I was up to see early morning, once), and that means two things: 1) we’re about to hit peak basic, and 2) you’re going to NEED some extra warmth on your bod.  Sure, you could get that from a partner.  But I feel pretty safe in asserting that no partner could ever love you the way this cupcake will, and the way you will love it in return.

Yeah, I said it.

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And here you thought “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” was about a PERSON.

SO.  These cupcakes.  Lighter than air, with just enough warm flavors to ease the transition out of summer and into autumn.  And that peach compote.  I don’t think I’ve ever done anything better in my whole life, and I’m not sure I ever will top it.  I want to put it on everything.  Every. Damn. Thing.  Even if you don’t make these cupcakes, make the compote.  Put it on french toast.  Put it on pancakes.  Put it on overnight oats.  Put it in your mouth in whatever way you can until you’re at least 50% compote. It’s good for the soul, I swear.

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Ceaselessly “testing” this compote was 100% worth a second trip to the gym today.

Bourbon Ginger Peach Compote

  • 4 good-sized Peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 c. Bourbon
  • 1/3 c. Brown Sugar
  • 2 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 t. Cinnamon
  • 1/2″ knob Ginger, grated
  • Vanilla, to taste

Simmer all ingredients til thick (around 20 minutes).  Set aside.

Cinnamon-Vanilla Cupcakes (makes ~30)

  • 1 1/4 c. + 2 T. Cake Flour
  • 1 1/4 c. + 2 T. Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1 1/2 t. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. Ginger
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter, at room temp.
  • 2 Eggs, at room temp.
  • 2 t. Vanilla
  • 1 c. Buttermilk, at room temp. (if you don’t have any buttermilk, just add 4 T. white vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and wait a few minutes for it to curdle)

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin with paper thingies.  Whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger; set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, and beat until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beat until just combined.  Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, beat until combined.  Repeat until everything has been added– don’t overmix!

You’ve got 2 options for filling the cupcakes– before baking, or after.  You’ll get more filling in the cupcakes if you do it after, but either option will taste good (and you’ll get more mileage out of your compote if you put it in before baking, since you can’t fit as much).

Filling Before Baking: Fill each section of the cupcake tin with enough batter to completely cover the bottom.  Add a spoonful of compote, then cover with more batter (aiming to fill the tin about 2/3 of the way).

Filling After Baking: Fill cupcake tin about 2/3 of the way.  After cupcakes are out of the oven and cooled, spoon a hole out of the middle (being careful not to make a hole in the bottom), and fill with compote.

Either way, bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, til they spring back when pressed.  Cool completely on a rack before frosting.

*Note: I left the spices a little on the light side because I knew I would be putting the strongly-flavored compote in the cupcakes.  If you don’t do this, increase the cinnamon and ginger measurements by 1/2 t. each.

Browned Butter Buttercream

  • 1/2 c. Unsalted Butter
  • 3 c. Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 2 T. Whole Milk, more as needed (I ended up needing 3 T.)
  • Vanilla, to taste (aka a big ole splash)
  • 1/8 t. Salt

Heat butter over low-medium heat, stirring VERY frequently with a spatula.  This is not a time to walk away, friend-o!  Constant vigilance is the name of the game.  The solids will separate and the butter will foam a bit, and eventually the solids will begin to brown (this happens fast, which is why you have to stay put at the stovetop and keep the butter in near-constant motion).  Remove from heat immediately and set aside until cooled to room temp.  Hey, you just made browned butter– you go, Glen Coco!

Beat all ingredients together on low for about 1-2 min, then beat on medium till fluffy (this is your moment to add more milk if you need it).  Frost cupcakes and top with whatever sets your heart aflutter– I went with half compote, half vanilla turbinado sugar ’cause it’s pretty and these were for a friend’s birthday and sparkly cupcakes just felt right.

*Note: I don’t like a lot of frosting, so if you’re a serious frosting enthusiast, you may want to double the recipe.  The cupcakes themselves are pretty sweet, however, so I don’t think they need a ton of frosting.

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I took this photo this morning and then DIDN’T eat this cupcake. I’ll be watching the mail for my “Queen of Self-Restraint” crown to arrive.

I’ve been fighting the urge to go full-on fall SO hard this week, but these cupcakes may have put me over the edge.  If you need me this weekend you’ll probably be able to find me on an apple farm wearing weather-inappropriate flannel and babbling incoherently about “pumpkin spice.”  Let’s just hope it’s an apple farm that’s open to the public, eh?

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