Bubbly Peach Cupcakes

I have to be honest, I don’t really care for cupcakes. Well, at least the prepackaged, mass-produced ones. I was at a party in NYC last fall and had the most amazing cupcakes on the face of the planet. I think they were made with orange, ginger, and champagne, but I can’t quite remember. These things made me question my whole existence. They were beyond perfect. I’ve been meaning to try to make them ever since but just never got around to it until now. Peaches were BOGO at the grocery store, so I decided to try Peach Champagne Cupcakes.

Uncle Dick-The Red Brute
Uncle Dick-The Red Brute

I don’t know if mine are as good as the ones I had last year, but they are incredibly moist and light. I bought a bottle of Shiraz champagne both intentionally and by accident. I wasn’t sure what kind to use but I knew I wanted sweet. I ended up picking out a sweet one and missed the whole “Red Shiraz” label on the bottle…oops. When I tasted the champagne I didn’t think it was very good and was a little worried it was too cheap ($15 and 14% abv), but it was the perfect complement to the batter. The batter (and cupcakes) was sweet with a little bit of tangy-ness, and the alcohol aftertaste was gone.

I used 7 small donut peaches. It probably came out to be about a cup after I had cut them all up. I don’t have a grater, so after I blanched the peaches I used a peeler to slice them up as thin as possible. There were a few bigger chunks, but I’m okay with that. I don’t mind there being bits of peach in the cupcake, but you may want to grate them if you want it more uniform.
Modified from YumSugar.

Cupcakes:

2 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
7 donut peaches
1 cup champagne

Frosting:

½ stick butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbs champagne

Blanching Peaches

Blanch, skin, and grate the peaches. (Blanch: Dip peaches in boiling water for 30-90 seconds, dip in cold water to cool, and then the skins should peel right off.)

Preheat oven to 350°. In small bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt-set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until mixed and airy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg/butter/sugar mixture. Stir in vanilla and champagne. Add peaches to the batter.

Line cupcake tin with papers and pour an equal amount of batter in each cup. Bake approximately 14-18 minutes, until firm but springy. Let stand for 2 minutes in tin, and then let cool on a rack. Frost when they are completely cooled.

Note: There is a slight green color that the batter got while the first batch was in the oven. I’m guessing the champagne may have oxidized, or could have just happened from the red champagne mixing with the peaches and everything else. Either way, they don’t taste “green” and the subtle color contrasts nice with the pink icing.

Frosting:
Mix cream cheese and butter together. Add powdered sugar and whip until smooth. Add champagne. You can add more powdered sugar for different consistency. Frost when the cupcakes are cool.

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