I created these champagne cupcakes in honor of my brother-in-law’s proposal to his girlfriend last weekend. She’s the most perfect girl for him and we’re so lucky that she’s going to soon become part of our family–seriously, this chick rocks! Their engagement inspired this romantic recipe, made with bubbly and fresh strawberries. These cupcakes would be a great compliment to an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, anniversary, or Valentine’s Day dessert! The bubbles in the champagne keep the cake very light, and the best part of this recipe is that since you’ll only need a little over half a cup of champagne for the recipe, there will be plenty left over to toast with! Cheers!
Champagne Strawberry Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Time: 40 minutes active; 1 hour 10 minutes total
¾ cup flour
½ cup cake flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
5 tbsp. butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup sugar
¾ tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
3 eggs (you’ll use one yolk and all three egg whites)
3/8 cup champagne
½ cup strawberry jam
10 fresh strawberries
3 tbsp. champagne
1½ tsp. milk
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
6 tbsp. butter, softened to room temperature
decorative sprinkles and/or sanding sugar
fresh strawberries for garnish, optional
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix together.
2. In another medium mixing bowl, cream together 5 tablespoons of butter and the sugar using a pastry blender. Stir in the vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the three egg whites and one egg yolk until pale yellow. Gently fold into the butter/sugar mixture.
4. Add the champagne and the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture a bit little at a time, alternating between the two.
5. Bake at 350˚F for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed upon (or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). Set aside to cool completely before filling.
6. Meanwhile, dice up the strawberries into small pieces. Mix together with the jam.
7. Once the cupcakes are cool, remove a portion of cake from the center of each cupcake. (I do this using a cupcake corer—a utensil that’s easily found in the housewares section of stores like Bed Bath and Beyond or Macy’s for about $5-10. If you do not have a cupcake corer, you can gently carve out the cupcake’s “core” with a knife.) Remove the “core”, and set aside, or gobble up immediately and enjoy the light, fluffy, moist champagne cake! Fill the hole with the strawberry/jam mixture.
8. To make the frosting, beat the 6 tablespoons of softened butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioner’s sugar, champagne, and milk. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip of your liking. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Sprinkle with decorative sprinkles or sanding sugar. Top with fresh strawberries for garnish, if desired. And pour yourself a glass of champagne to celebrate your gorgeous cupcakes!