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Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream


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Why I Love This Recipe

I learned to bake because sharing food has always been important to me. I come from a big family so even if it wasn’t a special occasion, there were a lot of people. Because of that, I’m the person that wants to make sure everyone gets fed at my gathering and cupcakes are just the best way to serve a cake at parties. Everyone gets the same amount of cake, the same amount of frosting.

Honestly, I am just OBSESSED with cupcakes. I think they’re just about the perfect food. Not too messy, comes in its own container, travel-sized. These particular cupcakes are my own recipe and I bring them to New Year’s parties or special occasions to add a touch of culinary sparkle. They’re DEFINITELY an adult flavor, and if you like your sweets not-too-sweet, then I think you’re REALLY gonna like these.

--Bob G.

--Columbus, OH


Ingredients You'll Need

Batter:
3/4 cups champagne (your preferred brand is always acceptable, I use Martini and Rossi Rosé for the color)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups butter (about 11 tbsp, measured on the stick)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 large egg whites (room temperature)

Buttercream:
1 cup champagne (plus 2 tablespoons)
2 sticks of butter (softened)
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
A pinch of salt


Directions

For cake:
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy
2) Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt
3) Alternately blend in flour mixture and champagne, about 1/3rd of each at a time, ending with champagne (but if you end on the dry ingredients, it’s not the end of the world). The batter will be STIFF at this point. Don't panic. It's supposed to be that way.
4) In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. This should take about 3 minutes with a high speed hand mixer or stand mixer.
5) Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter so that it loosens up, then fold in the rest. The batter will look lumpy, but you don't want to overwork it. Otherwise, those egg whites are kinda useless and your cupcakes will not rise..
6) Use an ice cream scoop to measure the batter into your pan. The batter should come to about 2/3rds of the way to the top of the cupcake liner
7) Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

For buttercream:
1) In a saucepan, bring the champagne to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low to simmer until reduced to 2-3 tablespoons of liquid. You MUST watch this and stir constantly because the smell of burnt champagne is all kinds of nasty. Just trust me on this. The reduction is complete when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool.
2) Beat together the butter, salt, and sugar, adding the sugar a little at a time, until light and fluffy. Do not overbeat. It is possible to fix a broken frosting but it’s better if you don’t have to.
3) When your buttercream is just about done, add the reduced champagne a little at a time then add 2 tablespoons of champagne fresh from the bottle, mixing in completely. You may wish to add a little more powdered sugar to balance out the liquid but you’ll want to play that by ear.
4) Frost and decorate your cupcakes to your liking. I use a piping bag but spreading the frosting with a spatula is certainly acceptable, too. This is a cupcake that screams “black-tie party” so go big but elegant. Edible glitter, sprinkles, dragees, etc., are all part of the fun but, remember, just like Coco Chanel said, “Before you leave the house, remove one accessory.” Too much is definitely too much.
5) Arrange on your serving apparatus, whatever that may be, and enjoy the party!


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