The weather has been really weird. One day it feels like February, the next like June. It’s foggy in the morning and sweltering in the afternoon. The cherry blossoms bloomed early, and now it’s raining pink petals all over the DC area. So, basically, it’s spring. And that means… time for Peeps!
You probably recall that I adore Peeps, and last year baked a Peepcake for my friend Olga (whose love for Peeps rivals mine). This year, after she got a new (and fabulous) job, I decided to bake her some Peep cupcakes to celebrate.
Full disclosure: I made these (for Olga) as soon as I saw the first Easter-y Peeps of the year… which was in January. That meant I didn’t have many Peep options. But these yellow guys are the originals anyway.
Still, I couldn’t do something Peep-y without some pink.
I felt like the cake recipe I used last year was sub-par, so this time I tried a new one. It was much better. And in addition to the marshmallow frosting and Peep on top, I decided to put some marshmallow cream in the center of the cupcakes.
I used an apple corer to cut a hole in the middle of the cupcake, spooned some marshmallow goo in the middle and then put the little round piece of cake back on top.You don’t have to put the center back in if it is too much of a pain, though.
Just a heads up: Marshmallow creme is super sticky, so the whole cupcake-filling process is quite a mess. You could probably use the marshmallow creme as the frosting, too, but 7-minute frosting is a lot easier to deal with.
If you don’t have a double boiler, it’s totally fine to just put a heat-proof bowl (preferably metal, but Pyrex can work, too) in a pot over some simmering water. Just be careful.
Cute, right? But it’s missing something…
Peep cupcakes (Adapted from Bakerella, makes about 16 cupcakes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (at room temperature, if possible)
1 1/2 cups sifted self-rising flour (I may have not sifted mine… don’t tell!)
1/2 cup whole milk (at room temperature, if possible)
Neon pink food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seven-minute frosting (recipe below)
Peeps (chick shape recommend)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a cupcake pan or two by filling with paper liners.
Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or with a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and keep beating until the mixture is extremely light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add a good squirt of pink food coloring to the milk and stir.
Add half the flour to the butter mixture, then the milk, then the rest of the flour, mixing after each addition just until combined. Add the vanilla (and more food coloring, if necessary) and beat until combined.
Spoon batter into cupcake liners (in the cupcake pan, of course), filling each about 2/3 of the way. Bake cupcakes for about 25 minutes, until tops bounce back when pressed lightly with your finger. Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack (or plate).
Once cupcakes are cool, cut a small hole out of the center of each using an apple corer or small knife. Keep the little circles of cake (assuming they don’t fall apart immediately). Spoon some marshmallow creme into the hole in the cupcake, then stick the circle back on top.
Once all cupcakes are filled, frost with seven-minute frosting and top with a marshmallow Peep. Store in an air-tight container so Peeps don’t harden.
Seven-minute frosting (From the Gourmet cookbook)
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Place all ingredients in a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer at low speed until mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved. Increase speed to high and beat about seven minutes — until the frosting is thick and fluffy.
Remove from heat and beat until frosting is slightly cooled.