Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add butter and vanilla and beat on low speed for 1 minute.
Alternately adding the sour cream and dry ingredients in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
(**Although many recipes say to “beat in the dry ingredients”, I almost NEVER do this as I have a sad tendency of over-beating and ending up with very dense and hard cupcakes. So when in doubt, FOLD IN THE DRY)
Mix in jam.
Divide batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners. Bake @ 350F for about 23 minutes.
**Here’s a baking tip – always, always, ALWAYS leave your cupcakes alone for the first 10 minutes, then rotate the pan in the oven to ensure an even cooking time. And start checking from about 18 minutes because there’s nothing worse than an overdone cupcake! You’ll know they’re done when they tops spring back under your touch. And when in doubt, do the old toothpick check!**
VANILLA PEACH BUTTERCREAM ICING
3 cups icing sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature – unsalted butter is what makes a good buttercream. Without the salt, the icing is not as sickeningly sweet (strange, I know, but it’s true!), AND it keeps a really nice white colour!
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste -or 1 whole vanilla bean
Costco has a really good deal on some high quality vanilla beans – I think 5 large ones for $11. I’ve been making cupcakes probably once a month using them and I think I still have 3 left? It you want a more intense vanilla flavour, these beans are the way to go, but I don’t typically use them on chocolate recipes.
4 tablespoons peach jam (APRICOT!)
Mix together sugar and butter until blended and creamy.
Add vanilla bean paste and continue to beat for another minute.
Mix gently, or fold in jam just until combined.
Because of the fruit chunks in this icing, you will need to ice with a wider tip – my 1M had some problems handling it, but that was BEFORE I realized that somehow the prongs had all collapsed inward and it was a frustrating half hour before I figured out the problem :D I think I ended up using a Wilton 4B, which worked beautifully.
When you’re finished icing, top the cupcakes off with a slice of canned peach – 1 No Name brand can from No Frills had enough whole peach slices in there to top 1 recipe of cupcakes.
That’s it for cupcake 2!