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Peach Melba Cupcakes

Ingredients

For Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups Cup4Cup flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup peach preserves

For Italian Meringue Buttercream:

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large egg whites

2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup raspberry preserves

1 peach, sliced thinly, for garnish

1/2 pint raspberries, for garnish

Instructions

For the Cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

3. In a large bowl, combine Cup4Cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to combine.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the eggs and beat for about 10-20 seconds. Add in sugar and beat on medium for about 30 seconds. Add in vanilla & vegetable oil and mix.

5. Reduce mixer speed to low, slowly add in half of the flour mixture. Add in half the buttermilk, then the other half of the flour and combine. Then add in the rest of the buttermilk and beat until just combined.

6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the peach preserves until fully combined.

7. Spoon batter into the lined muffin pan, filling each one about ½-way full.

8. Bake cupcakes in oven for about 12-14 minutes and until cooked through.

9. Cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Note: If you do not have buttermilk use ½ cup milk plus ½ tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Add the lemon juice/vinegar acid to the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes before using.

For the Buttercream:

1. Place the egg whites in the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

2. Place ¾ cups sugar and ¼ cup water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium to high heat. Bring to a soft ball stage (240 degrees F), about 4 to 7 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whip the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar, continuing to whip until medium peaks form.

4. When the sugar-water reaches 240 degrees F, raise the speed to high and gradually add in the sugar water to the egg whites in a thin stream to avoid cooking the egg whites. Leave the mixer on high for 2 minutes, and then reduce the speed to medium until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, 5 to 8 minutes.

5. Once cooled, add the butter in increments, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the vanilla and whip. Transfer into a piping bag.

To Assemble:

1. Place raspberry preserves into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe the preserves into the center of each cupcake.

2. Pipe buttercream onto the top of each cupcake, as desired.

3. For garnish, place 1 raspberry & 2-3 peach slices on top of each cupcake.