The title of this post sounds like a term of endearment someone may bestow on a cute little child, but no, the photo is a shot of my Little Peach Cakes made this morning for when my niece and nephew come over to play. My own children were amazed at how real these little cakes appeared. They were almost too cute to cut into and eat but everyone loves a fresh peach right?
I had spotted these in a magazine years and years ago (maybe Southern Living?) and just today thought to make them. Although these do look quite complicated, I was thrilled at how easily they came together; a truly glorified cupcake! It helped that I had frosting already in my freezer and used a cake mix for the cakes. Colored sugar is easy to make by simply adding several drops of food coloring to sugar and shaking to incorporate.
A piece of cinnamon stick and a peppermint leaf complete the finishing touches. The Peach Cakes are placed on a pretty white platter to fool all who look upon them.
How to Make and Assemble:
You will only need 1/2 of a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix to make 6 Peach Cakes. Mix according to package directions- 1/2 cake mix with 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup milk, and 12 drops yellow food coloring. Divide evenly among the 12 greased mini rounds- about +1/4 cup batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 2 minutes in pan then remove to wire rack. If you have one pan this can be done in two shifts!
While cakes are baking make the buttercream frosting and add about 12 drops of yellow food coloring to get a bright yellow. Set aside.
In two separate lidded containers, add 1/2 cup sugar and 12 drops yellow food coloring to one and 1/4 cup sugar and 6 drops red food coloring to the other. Cover each container and shake vigorously until the coloring is fully incorporated. Let the children do this! If there is clumping, break up with a fork and continue shaking. You should have a lovely bright yellow and a nice deep pink. You will have leftovers.
Break the cinnamon stick into small stems by taking a pair of scissors and placing the point into the hollow center of the stick and cutting. You will get both big and small bits, use the prettier pieces. See photo below...
Frost the flat side of six mini rounds, being sure to get the frosting very think along one edge. Place another mini round on the frosting and press together forming a peach. Run your finger or a small spoon along the frosting to make an indentation that mimics the crease on a peach.
Dip each "cheek" of the peach into the pink sugar. I am calling each "fleshy" side of the thick portion of frosting the cheek. Then roll the rest of the peach in the yellow sugar without covering the pink portion. Roll the frosting portion in the yellow sugar as well. Like this...
At the top of each peach, place a piece of cinnamon stick and a peppermint leaf. Arrange in a pretty bowl or on a platter. Decorate with more mint sprigs if desired.
How to Serve:
Once your guests have admired your lovely Little Peach Cakes centerpiece, it is time to serve this special dessert.
Cutting: It is best to use a very sharp, thin knife, cleaning between cuts to divide the peaches. I laid the peach down, thick portion of frosting facing up, and sliced straight down the center of the frosting pulling the knife straight back towards me once it hit the plate. You may smooth the frosting if necessary.
Plating Suggestions: Place an almond in the center of each peach half. I know a peach has but one pit but I think each serving should have its own pit, don't you? If you serve each guest one half of a peach, it would be nice to place a cinnamon stick piece and peppermint leaf in each so that every one's is pretty. For half servings you may want to serve it with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet and a drizzle of raspberry sauce. Whole peaches are quite filling, almost the size of 2 standard cupcakes, but without ice cream finishing a whole peach could be possible!
Storing Cakes: You may refrigerate or freeze cakes for a short time in an airtight container but be sure to serve at room temperature as they taste better that way and are easier to cut.
These are Peachy Keen.