peaches and dream cupcakes

Let me start off by explaining why I named this recipe “peaches and dream.”  Contrary to what my coworkers probably think, I did not choose this name for the sole purpose of of saying, “peaches and dreeeaaam” in my best goofy seduction voice (though it was a nice bonus, and resulted in lots of schoolgirl giggles).  The name is honestly all about the frosting: the mascarpone and heavy cream yield this creamy, pillow-soft texture – a texture I imagine to be akin to that of a cloud.  Obviously clouds = sleep = dreams, so… peaches and dream.  If my twisted naming logic has you lost, here’s all you really need to know: this frosting is the stuff of dreams.

Now, that’s not to say the cake should be overlooked.  I deviated from my go-to variation on a 1-2-3-4 cake to experiment with buttermilk in lieu of the traditional whole milk.  Why, you ask?  Well, I had a lot of it leftover, and I hate to waste.  I also find that buttermilk based batters tend to yield cakes that are incredibly moist, and also, pillow-soft.  I guess that’s the real theme of this recipe.  Maybe I should have titled this post “pillow-soft peach cupcakes” instead.  Oh well.  Anyway, back to the cake.  Because we’re clinging to the edge of summer, the one season where people seem to turn down desserts, I wanted to make sure that these cupcakes had a light, moist mouthfeel – not that I ever advocate for dense, dry cupcakes! I thought the texture and tang of the buttermilk would harmonize nicely with the sweetness and creaminess of the mascarpone frosting.

peach cupcakes on plate

Buttermilk Cupcakes 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15-18 minutes
Total Time: 30-33 minutes

1 1/4 C + 2 TBSP All Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur, but any will do)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 tsp table salt
1 C granulated white sugar
1/2 C butter (one standard stick, or 4 oz; at room temperature)
2 eggs (extra large; at room temperature)
2 TBSP peach schnapps
1/2 C buttermilk (at room temperature)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and line a standard 12-well muffin tin with paper liners
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt into a bowl.  Whisk to ensure salt and leavening agents are dispersed throughout the flour.  If you’re using a stand mixer, you may find it convenient to put your flour mixture on a paper plate or flexible plastic cutting board to make it easier to pour into the bowl.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (I like to cream my butter first, then slowly add the sugar).
  4. Add eggs one at a time; wait until the first egg is completely integrated before adding the second.
  5. Add schnapps; again, mix until fully integrated
  6. With your mixer on low, slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by half the buttermilk, then half of what’s left of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and finally, the last of the flour.  Make sure to allow about 10 seconds of mixing between each addition to give the new ingredients some time to get to know the batter.  Mix on medium speed just until the batter is streak free.
  7. Use a disher (a cookie/ice cream scoop) to portion the batter out evenly over the 12 wells.
  8. Bake until done.  For me, this took exactly 16 minutes.  Most ovens should bake these through in 15-18 minutes.

Notes: to make without schnapps, substitute 1/2 tsp orange extract or vanilla extract.  The orange extract will give the cakes a subtle citrus note that will tie in with the peach topping. 

Mascarpone Frosting
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

2/3 C Mascarpone (cold)
1 C heavy cream (cold)
2/3 C granulated white sugar


  1. Combine cold mascarpone and heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment
  2. Mix on low until the mascarpone and heavy cream are one homogenous mixture
  3. Increase speed to high and slowly add all of the sugar
  4. Whip until soft peaks form
  5. Remove from mixer and finish whipping by hand.  I do this with the whisk attachment in the bowl of the stand mixer.  I prefer to finish by hand to ensure that the cream doesn’t get over-whipped and lose its airy texture.
  6. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with the piping tip of your choice, and pipe onto the fully cooled cupcakes.
  7. Top with diced peaches (I diced 1/2 peach into 1/2 inch cubes and topped each cupcake with 2 segments)

Notes: pipe this frosting immediately after making it for best results.  If you have leftovers (which you probably will, unless you like equal amounts of frosting and cupcake) you can store them in the fridge for about two weeks, or until the earliest expiration date on your ingredients (whichever comes first).  You can always re-whip, gently, with another TBSP of heavy cream.  I like to use my leftovers as an accompaniment to fresh fruit and scones or muffins. 
peach cupcakes in tin
Did this recipe work for you?  Did you make any adjustments?  Tell me about them!

Happy eating!

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