The Last Taste of Summer


The Last Taste of Summer

  • Mali C

    This bio will be short and sweet like me. I am not formally trained as a writer. My ego will never be so great to say my talents are in writing. However, I fully and proudly admit that I am an...

Fresh Peach Cupcakes

Recently one of my Instagram followers mentioned that based on my posts the Asheville Grit must have a substantial food budget. I wish! My writing at Asheville Grit is definitely a passion hobby. The role is unpaid and I’m very, very grateful when an event coordinator reaches out and offers a press pass. I love this job; it gives me the opportunity to meet so many of the wonderful people making the 828 great. Otherwise, I’m just a prolific photographer who actually cooks at home often and loves living in a town blessed with a gorgeous food culture.

Today’s post is a tribute to eating at home and farmers market finds. The recipe is Fresh Peach Cupcakes with Carolina Reaper Pepper Honey Frosting.  It was born from impulse shopping and a peck of peaches bought at the Asheville City Market.

Fresh Peach Cupcakes

I use the same cupcake base recipe for almost all of my cupcakes. I like to cut my white sugar with brown sugar by half because I like the richness brown sugar brings. I always use both baking soda and baking powder. I’m sure the cupcake recipe can be altered to your cupcake recipe preferences and the fruit can be changed to whatever fruit you fancy. It’s peach season, though, and peaches are one of my top 10 favorite fruits. If peaches are out of season, any other fruit puree (with no seeds) would work.

Ingredients (makes appx 24 cupcakes):

3 cups flour (I used all-purpose but if you use cake flour it will come out slightly more delicate)

1½ tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp powdered ginger (optional)

¾ cup butter (room temp)

¾ cup brown sugar (for lighter cupcakes use all white sugar)

¾ cup white sugar

2 eggs

1½ tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk (sour cream or yogurt are good substitutions)

1 cup pureed ripe peaches (I blended skin and all, peeling is up to you)



Preheat oven 350 °F. Line muffin tin with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, salt. Set aside.

In a second large bowl, cream together room temp butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Once well combined, add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, and peach puree. Then, stir in the dry ingredients; I like to break these up into three additions to make sure the batter is mixed completely.  

Fill cupcake papers 2/3 of the way full and bake for 16-20 min. Once baked through (clean toothpick check) cool completely before frosting.

Carolina Reaper Pepper Honey Frosting (say that 5 times fast):

Anyone who’s shopped with me will realize I’m super impulsive. It takes all my willpower not to bring all the shinies home with me. Sometimes I think I might never retire at this rate. I’ve resisted buying Horse Creek Honey Farms Killer Bee Honey (the Carolina Reaper Pepper-infused honey) sold at Ingles Markets for at least a year. I was doing pretty good, but I broke down a couple weeks ago and decided to purchase the honey that may be too hot to ever eat. I brought it home and stared at it while I made my tea every morning and contemplated what I should do with this bottle of deadly sounding honey before I decided to test it out on some cupcake frosting.


1 cup room temperature butter

3½ cups powdered sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup Killer Bee Honey/Carolina Reaper Pepper Honey (cut in half with plain honey for less heat)

Crushed Aleppo peppers (to top the cupcakes for pretties)


In a mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth. Sift in 3 cups of powdered sugar and salt, stirring as it is added. Add vanilla and honey and stir to combine. If the frosting is not thick enough to form stiff peaks, add the rest of the powdered sugar. Frost your cupcakes and top with crushed Aleppo pepper flakes and any other desired decorations. 

If you’re wondering: The honey isn’t too hot to eat straight. It has a short but fiery burn that is a nice treat sometimes.

Photos of my food adventures are posted on instagram @emporiumofyum.