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This discussion of Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver requires a light, sweet concoction. These nectarine cupcakes—with their fruity cake and light-as-air whipped topping—are a perfect solution. The touch of honey, hint of rum, and ripe nectarines create a delightful treat for your next book club discussion.

Nectarine Cupcakes

Nectarine cupcakes for Flight BehaviorModified from Martha Stewart Living, August 2010

  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 nectarines, peeled, halved, pitted, and finely chopped ( approx. 1 1/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add cupcake liners to a cupcake pan. Makes 18 cupcakes.

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Add rum extract, honey, baking powder, and salt. Finally add flour and milk, alternating. Mix until incorporated without overmixing.

Fold in the finely chopped nectarines. Divide batter into muffin tins.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Let cool thoroughly.  Cupcakes taste best chilled.

Fresh Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 nectarine, halved, pitted, and very thinly sliced, for garnish

HINT: Put your bowl and/or mixer attachments in the freezer before making the topping. It will speed the process.

Beat together cream, sour cream, and sugar to medium peaks on high speed. Right before serving, top cupcakes with a dollop of cream and nectarine slices.

If you add sprinkles (as pictured), they bleed colors if left too long due to the moisture. The topping is best if added to cupcakes right before serving. You can store the whipped topping in the refrigerator for up to a day. Just stir it vigorously before using to reincorporate.

These butterfly-kissed cupcakes could also be decorated with cute butterfly cupcake toppers, edible flowers, or colored sugars. They are a charming summertime treat as well as book club treat.

May words nourish your soul.

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