These Peach Melba Cupcakes are based on the classic Peach Melba dessert. Fabulous raspberry and peach cupcakes with a creamy vanilla frosting.
These cupcakes combine gorgeous, bright flavours and all my favourite elements of a cupcake. Hello fluffy cupcake, hello surprise centre and, why yes, hello there super creamy frosting. I went one step further with these though and made a three-tone frosting and I just adore the colour and fun of these little handfuls. Don’t they just make you smile?
Why you’ll love Peach Melba Cupcakes
Fresh flavours of peach and raspberry combine beautifully with creamy vanilla frosting and fluffy cupcake.
DIFFICULTY – Easy, but plan ahead as there are 4 components. You could simplify – see my substitutions list below.
MAKE AHEAD – Yes. You can make the peach cupcakes ahead of time (2-3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer). The raspberry filling can also be made 2 days ahead.
- Fridge: Store the finished cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.
- Freezer: Freeze the cake portion for up to 3 months, wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then into an airtight container or ziplock bag.
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What is Peach Melba?
Peach Melba is a classic dessert of ice cream, peaches and a raspberry puree made famous by a French chef when he created it in honour of Dame Nellie Melba – a much accomplished Australian opera singer. The dessert, just like Dame Nellie has travelled the world and it’s fresh and simple flavours are absolutely sublime.
A 4 part cupcake
This cupcake is made up of 4 components – one more than the original dessert itself.
- A fluffy vanilla and peach cupcake. Soft light and a lovely vessel for the rest of the flavours
- A thick raspberry puree filling – which covers the raspberry puree portion of the Peach Melba
- A creamy vanilla and raspberry, three-toned frosting – to mimic the ice cream portion and a little pizzazz
- Lightly stewed peaches – these take just a few minutes but stewing them intensifies their peachiness
How to make Peach Melba Cupcakes
The batter is based around my favourite Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes recipe but this time I added in some peach puree. This puree doesn’t give a strong flavour of peach to the cupcakes but just a little hint. You could leave the peach puree out and just increase the milk to 3/4 cup if you prefer.
The last of the peach puree gets swirled through the batter but try not to leave any big blobs of it, or the cupcakes may not cook properly in those spots. I use a medium ice cream scoop to portion my cupcake batter and I love using these silicone muffin trays for their shape and flexibility.
The raspberry puree is simple to make. It gets cooked on the stove for a short time with some corn flour (cornstarch) added, to thicken it up. This way it holds up nicely inside the cupcakes without soaking into the cake. I also like to strain out the seeds.
I use a cupcake corer to cut holes in the centre of the cupcakes. Feel free to use a small sharp knife but I find the corer much quicker. Then fill the holes with the thick raspberry puree and push a little piece of the hole offcut back on top to seal it all in.
The three-tone frosting
The three-tone frosting is part whipped vanilla buttercream, then the same buttercream with some raspberry puree mixed through and finally a streak of raspberry puree. It makes for a really beautiful topping. One-third of the frosting has a little raspberry puree mixed through it but be careful not to overmix, just mix until it is combined as the acidity from the raspberry can cause the buttercream to split if you mix for too long. Here’s the trick to piping it.
Lay out a sheet of baking paper, then a piece of plastic wrap on top of that. Put the white frosting in a thick line down the centre. Next to that, add the pink frosting, then pipe a line of raspberry puree at the end. Fold one side of the plastic wrap over the frosting then use the baking paper to help you roll it up.
Impressive but impressively easy too.
Want to save time?
- Swap the raspberry filling for store-bought raspberry jam
- Swap the stewed peaches for slices of fresh peach
- Leave the peach puree out of the cake and increase the milk to 3/4 cup.
The flavour of these pretty Peach Melba Cupcakes is fresh and fruity but also delectably creamy. Total decadence and they’d be perfect for a girls birthday party, Mums birthday or mothers day if not just ’cause.
Peach Melba Cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 1/2 cup peach purée (from approx 2 peaches)
- 215 g (1 2/3 cups / 7.5oz) plain (all-purp) flour
- 30 g (1oz) corn flour (cornstarch)
- 1 1/3 cup (267g / 9.5oz) granulated white sugar
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 135 g (5oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup milk (light is fine)
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE RASPBERRY PUREE
- 1 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
- 2 tablespoons water (notes)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (notes)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn flour (cornstarch) (notes)
FOR THE WHIPPED BUTTERCREAM
- 226 g (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (260g / 9.2oz) icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons thickened cream (notes)
FOR THE PEACH TOPPING
- 1 peach, peeled, pitted & diced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Make the peach puree - destone and roughly chop the peaches then puree in a blender until smooth. Push the puree through a strainer and discard any solids.
- In a large bowl, sift together the plain flour and corn flour. Add the sugar, baking powder, ginger and salt and stir well so everything is evenly distributed
- Beat the eggs well, until they become frothy (you can do this by hand, or with a hand beater or in a stand mixer). Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla, and fold to combine (a few very small lumps is fine). Add the peach puree and fold through until almost completely combined leaving just a few thin swirls.
- Fill the cupcake liners to about 3⁄4 full, then bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Make sure to turn the tray halfway through cooking so they all cook evenly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes before transferring the cupcakes to a wire rack.
FOR THE RASPBERRY PUREE
- Use a blender to purée the raspberries, water, sugar and cornflour. Transfer to a saucepan and cook over low heat. Stirring constantly until so thick the spoon leaves a trail that takes a few seconds to fill in again. Strain out the seeds if you prefer then store in the fridge until ready.
- Once the cupcakes and the raspberry filling are cool, cut holes out of the centre of each cupcake about 2cm x 2cm. You can use a cupcake corer or just a knife. Now transfer the raspberry filling to a piping bag (or plastic ziplock bag) and cut just the tip off. Fill the hole of each cupcake with the filling, then trim a small piece of the cupcake holes to place back on top to seal it like a plug. Make sure to keep about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the raspberry filling for the following steps.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with 1 tablespoon of the sugar for 5-6 minutes on medium. It needs to be very pale and soft when done. Scrape down the sides half way through then continue beating.
- With the mixer on low, add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the salt, vanilla and cream and beat for 5 minutes at medium speed until it looks even lighter, thick and whipped.
- Transfer a third of the buttercream to another bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the remaining raspberry filling just until combined (if you overmix, the buttercream could split so just until combined).
- Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface and spoon the white buttercream in a thick line about 5x25cm (2.5x10 inches). Spoon the raspberry buttercream right alongside it in a thinner line but the same length. Finally pipe a thin line of the raspberry filling alongside that. Roll the plastic wrap up gently, pulling it together so there is no air bubbles, then slot the whole thing down into a prepared piping bag with tip already in place. Now simply pipe the top of the cupcakes as you normally would.
FOR THE STEWED PEACHES
- Place the peaches, water, sugar and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, just until the peaches have softened and the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool before topping the cupcakes.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- I use cornstarch a lot in my baking. Cake flour is a combination of all-purpose and corn starch but in Australia is not so readily available. I use this combo in my recipes a lot instead of using cake flour.
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- I use these silicone muffin trays for all my cupcakes
- A medium ice cream scoop is very handy for portioning out the batter
- Either a stand mixer or handheld beater will work great
- A cupcake corer is great for cutting a hole in the middle but a sharp knife works too
CHECK OUT ALL MY CUPCAKE RECIPES HERE
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