Happy 2012, everyone! To celebrate the new year, I popped open a bottle of Champagne (technically it was sparkling wine since it wasn’t from Champagne, France- but who’s keeping track?!) and made these cupcakes with a Chambord champagne buttercream icing. I first heard of champagne cupcakes last year when I saw them on The Curvy Carrot. There were so pretty. I knew these beauties were something I wanted to try to recreate, so I filed the recipe into my folder of cupcakes to try.
Fast forward 12 short months and I thought a New Year’s Eve party would be the perfect opportunity. The cake portion was light and fluffy with just a slight hint of champagne while the icing was delicate with a delicious note of my new favorite liqueur, Chambord. I also loved how the Chambord added a light pink tint to the buttercream that gave it a very feminine look. To add extra pizazz and sparkle to the cupcakes, I garnished them with spun sugar. This was my first attempt at making this glass-like decoration and I turns out to be both a fun and frustrating process (but mostly fun). There are so many fun possibilities for decorating with spun sugar and I am looking forward to trying this method again soon. I included pictures of how it’s done below.
In the end, I really loved how these cupcakes turned out. They’re perfect for a New Year’s celebration, but they would also be a really nice addition to a menu for a bridal shower or a girl’s baby shower.
Happy new year, everyone! May 2012 be the best year yet!
Champagne Cupcakes with Chambord Champagne Buttercream
For the Cupcakes:
- 2 3/4 cups plus 5 tablespoons cake flour (or 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup Champagne (I used a dry champagne)
- 6 egg whites, at room temperature
For the Frosting:
- 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Chambord
For the Spun Sugar:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into butter mixture alternately with champagne. In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
For the frosting:
Whip the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add in the Chambord and Champagne and mix until combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
For the spun sugar:
Secure two wooden spoons so that the handles are sticking out over a counter or over the counter top (as I did with my stackable cooling racks). Line the floor or countertop with parchment paper or newspaper to avoid making a mess.
Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside. Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan, stirring occasionally. When the mixture begins to boil, attach a candy thermometer and stop stirring the mixture. Allow the syrup to reach 300 degrees, or hard crack stage. Immediately remove from the heat and place the pot in the ice water, keeping the thermometer in the pan. BE CAREFUL- the mixture will bubble/steam! Allow the mixture to cool to 250 degrees. Remove from the ice bath.
Dip a fork or spoon in the mixture and, holding it about one foot above, carefully drizzle the mixture back and forth over the two spoon handles.
Allow to cool. Break into pieces and decorate as desired.