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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Champagne Celebration Cupcakes {with Vanilla Champagne Filling}




Need a pretty and festive cupcake to add to your next celebration?  These cupcakes are sure to please when your peeps like their cupcakes 'just right': not too sweet and just the right amount of champagne flavor to prove you love them!  

And, yes folks, I'm calling them, Champagne, not Sparkling Wine.  Yes, I know.  I'm a champagne snob, too, if the truth be told.  When I'm drinking the stuff, it's méthode champenoise all the way, baby!  Baking, well, I'm not that picky.  

When I first started blogging at BIWB, I made a few attempts at champagne cupcakes.  I've been trying out different recipes in the hopes of finding one that has great textures and great flavor.  This time, I think I've found it!  

I started with some basics that I knew would give me a light cupcake that would not overpower the subtle champagne.  I decided, also, not to splurge on an expensive bubbly or make a champagne reduction for the buttercream.  The former doesn't really add much more flavor, while the latter tends to overpower the buttercream with the given champagne's underlying fruit flavors. 

Rounding out the subtle champagne flavors in the cupcakes is a super-easy filling made with instant pudding and champagne.  Just a little adds so much flavor and really adds a nice finish. 

I took these to work while at a 2 day training.  Folks really loved these and were full of compliments.  I so appreciated that kind of feedback!  Nice to know I'm not baking garbage.  :)




Also, I've entered these cupcakes in this month's SaveMart Ultimate Bake-Off: Bake a Sweet Way to Celebrate!  I hope you have a chance to register and vote for me.  Voting is November 16 - 30th, with one vote/person/day.  I'd so appreciate the support and your vote!    




If I win, that means just that much more Bake It With Booze!

P.S. If you remember, I entered in July with my Campfire Cocktail S'mores Bars.  Believe it or not, I WON!  That was a HUGE shock, trust me, especially after all that voting hub-bub.  I'm very excited to enter this time, as well.  Fingers crossed!


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Step-by-Step


Whisk the filling ingredients until smooth and thick.  Cover and refrigerate.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and cream of tartar. 

Add the sugar to the sifted dry ingredients and sugar, mix on low speed for 30 seconds.With the mixer on low, slowly add the oil to the dry mixture until pea-sized crumbs are formed. 

Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the bowl and paddle, and then mix on medium speed for 1 minute.  Finish mixing by hand.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full and bake as directed.  

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, remove a core from the cupcakes.  I use this nifty cupcake corer, but you can use an apple corer or a small knife.  Save the top portion of the core.

Fill the hole with the vanilla champagne filling, pushing as much filling into the hole as possible.  

Reinsert the top of the core, pushing it down to plug the hole.

This should leave a few treats for the baker!  P.S. I piped the remaining vanilla champagne filling over these treats and let's-just-say, "Swooooooooon!"  Yeah, you could totally do that too!

To make the champagne buttercream, beat the butter until creamy.  Add the vanilla and champagne.  Mix on medium until almost emulsified (most of the liquid is incorporated into the butter), about a minute.  Can you see that part?  

On low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, scraping the sides a few times.  Once all the sugar is incorporated, mix on medium for 30 seconds. 

Adjust the spreading consistency by adding corn syrup, in 1 tbsp increments, and beating on medium for 30 seconds.  Once the desired consistency is achieved, mix on medium high for 1 minute.  I know it sounds anal, but it really, really does make the most fluffy and addictive frosting.  

Pipe or frost the cupcakes with the champagne buttercream and decorate with your favorite sprinkles.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Champagne and candles just seem to scream, "Celebration!"


Champagne Celebration Cupcakes
Makes 16 standard cupcakes

Vanilla Champagne Filling
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup champagne

Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup champagne

Champagne Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
2 tbsp champagne, chilled
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp corn syrup, divided

To make the filling and cupcakes
1. To make the filling, in a small bowl whisk the filling ingredients until smooth and thick.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill the completely cooled cupcakes.
2.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line regular-size cupcake pans with 16 cupcake liners.
3.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and cream of tartar. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add the sifted dry ingredients and sugar, mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
4.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the oil to the dry mixture until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and champagne and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the bowl and paddle, and then mix on medium speed for 1 minute.  Finish mixing by hand to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
5.  Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the champagne buttercream
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy.  Add the vanilla and champagne.  Mix on medium until almost emulsified (most of the liquid is incorporated into the butter), about a minute. 
2. With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, scraping the sides a few times.  Once all the sugar is incorporated, mix on medium for 30 seconds. 
3. Adjust the spreading consistency by adding corn syrup, in 1 tbsp increments, and beating on medium for 30 seconds.  Once the desired consistency is achieved, mix on medium high for 1 minute. 

To fill and frost the cupcakes
1. Remove a core from the cupcakes, using a small knife or a cupcake corer.  Save the top portion of the core.
2. Fill the hole with the vanilla champagne filling, pushing as much filling into the hole as possible.  Reinsert the top of the core, pushing it down to plug the hole.
3. Pipe or frost the cupcakes with the champagne buttercream and decorate with your favorite sprinkles.
4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


I think I've finally 'found' my perfect homemade champagne cupcake.  All ready for my next celebration...Which just might need to be sooner rather than later!  *wink*

Ellen


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5 comments:

  1. Ooh these look lovely! I love the pudding centre. It's always so satisfying when you perfect a recipe. Good luck in the competition!

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  2. Wow! Congrats on the win!! SO cool! And these cupcakes, I love champagne in anything!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dorothy! It was very cool to win and going to your local SaveMart to pick up the winnings was fun. The store manager had no clue. :-) I've got my fingers crossed!

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  3. Thanks, Janine! The centers are an treat and the champagne really does come through, even with a little. ;-) I'm really happy with this recipe and nice to have this as a good 'go-to'. Cheers!

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  4. These look amazing. Like want to eat the computer screen amazing. I've been looking for New Year's Eve dessert ideas and this just rose to the top of my list. Done. Making them. Thanks for the inspiration Ellen! Pinned :)

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