Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

Adam has been teasing me for the last few days that I quite possibly might be the most anti-Valentine's Day girl he knows. I just don't see the point in spending money on flowers that cost over three times their normal price or buying some thoughtless heart-shaped diamond pendant that thousands of other guys are buying just because it's that store's "special line" they are pushing for the holiday. As for chocolates? Well, it's not like I would refuse them. Let's not be silly now.

Yet every time he teases me, I simply remind him how lucky he is that I don't expect (or want) all the bells and whistles today. I always feel bad for the guys with girls who do -- it never fails at some point they are going to miss something (whether it's the flowers or the dinner reservations), then end up in the dog-house for it. It's just seems strange to me that so much emphasis is placed on material things to show how much someone means to you. I see how much my husband loves me everyday, I don't need flowers or some necklace on one day to tell me that.

Despite the fact that Valentine's Day isn't my favorite holiday, it still works well as an excuse to make goodies. And I do like my excuses to bake. I decided to stick with the Valentine's Day theme, and go simple with some cupcakes. What? Cupcakes are sooo 2010, I know. But here's the long and short of it: I don't care. First off, I enjoy eating cupcakes -- as long as the frosting isn't so ridiculously sweet it makes my teeth feel like they are going to rot out right then and there. Secondly, they are far easier and quicker to decorate than a regular cake. And thirdly (is that even a word?), they travel much easier and are far more convenient for people to just pick up and eat. No forks or plates necessary. We won't even go into all the crazy fun flavor combinations you can have with them, or how you can either dress them up or dress them down, depending on the occasion. These cupcakes may appear to be dressed down a bit, but the champagne inside makes them perfect for Valentine's Day, don't you think?

Pink Champagne Cupcakes
Adapted from: Squirrel Bakes

3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups pink champagne, divided
6 egg whites
4-5 drops red food coloring

1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons pink champagne
4-5 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In the large bowl of a mixer, beat eggs whites with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Divide the champagne into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup.

In another large bowl, cream the 2/3 cup butter and granulated sugar. Slowly mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the 3/4 cup of champagne. Add the next 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, mixing until almost fully incorporated, followed by the remaining 1/2 of the 3/4 cup champagne. Add the remaining flour mixture and food coloring. Gently fold in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in remaining egg white mixture until combined.

Divide the batter between the muffin tins, filling each cupcake liner 1/2-2/3 full of batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on wire rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, poke 8-10 holes in each cupcake using a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, coat each cupcake with remaining 1/2 cup champagne.

In a large bowl, cream together the remaining 1 cup butter and champagne. Slowly add the powdered sugar and food coloring, mixing well until the frosting is smooth. (If too stiff add more champagne, if too runny add more powdered sugar.) Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off), and decorate cupcakes.

Makes: 24 cupcakes

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting out of these, but the champagne flavor was very muted. As in, I'm pretty sure you would miss it if you didn't know that's what you were eating. They still tasted pretty good though, I mean, they are cupcakes after all. I'm not positive that whipping the egg whites, then folding them in was completely worth the work, however. These fell right in the middle of the cupcake density scale -- not overly heavy, but not super light and fluffy either. This flavor combo might actually work a little better with my Strawberry Basil Lemonade Cupcake base -- subbing out the strawberries (and basil) for the champagne.

And yes, I totally used "sparkling wine" for these, not actual champagne. You say tomato, I say tomahto.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 307Calories from fat 117
% Daily Value
Total Fat 13.0g20%
Saturated Fat 8.1g41%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 203mg8%
Total Carbs 43.8g15%
Sugars 31.1g
Protein 2.6g
Vitamin A 8%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 3%Iron 4%


  1. They do look delicious, even if you don't taste champagne naming them champagne cupcakes sounds pretty good

  2. These are so pretty! If the champagne does nothing else, it makes them sound so elegant!

  3. These are so cute! Love the frosting job, so pretty. I wonder if these would work with a sparkling juice, rather than a champagne?

  4. @Wilde in the Kitchen Thanks! I'm sure they would work fine with a sparkling juice -- maybe even better?

  5. I love these!! Sometime cupcakes can be too heavy on the flavorings, and these sound so light. MMmmmm, looks like the long process of letting your butter come to room temp paid off ;)

  6. Yum! I love sparkling wine--these are definitely going on my "to bake" list. :)

  7. awww! what a great way to use champagne : j

  8. I love your new layout! By the way, I'm bummed that I can't have one of these yummy cupcakes.

  9. Wow these look so delicious! Love the addition of the champagne too!

  10. I was just thinking about making champagne cupcakes the other day, but after your review I'm going to rethink this. However, even though the flavor wasn't what you expected, they look beautiful! Love the piping!

  11. I LOVE pink champagne cake, it's one of my favorites. A local bakery makes it and you can really taste the champagne flavor.
    Your cupcakes are so beautiful. The piping is perfect! I love cupcakes too and will keep making them and eating them!

  12. I am a recent pink champagne fan!! Put in in a cupcake and you have a winner. Then maybe serve the rest alongside??
    Valentine's Day is not one of my favorite either, Mr. and Mrs. Romance we are not. However, my 11 y/o daughter today said "I love Valentine's Day! What's not to love? A day about love and you get to wear pink and red. Perfect!"

  13. Your photos are the cutest ever! I actually just had pink champagne for the first time on New years and I really liked it. Definitely sweeter. At least mine was, but I can totally see how perfect this would work in these cupcakes.

  14. These are so pretty, I had to buzz them! I am not a huge V-day person either, so I am pleasantly surprised if my husband does something but I certainly don't sit there expecting it. I'd hate to be with someone who does!

  15. Adorable and I love the little heart toppers.

  16. I would hate to feel all that pressure for this one particular day ... that's why I don't care much for it.
    But I do care for your adorable cupcakes! They would be a perfect gift.

    The one time that I did make a champagne cupcake, unlike you, all I could taste was the champagne ... didn't like it so I haven't made them since. :)

  17. me too, i love your new layout! great pictures in cupcakes online

  18. They're beautiful but I know I just couldn't bring myself to put champagne into a cake. It wouldn't make it. Maybe prosecco or cava. Actually, they wouldn't make it either. Oops.

  19. Beautiful sweetness. Congrats on the Top 9.

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  20. I'm a very anti-Valentines girl too....I always say its for the people who have to be forced to show affection/attention to their significant other b/c Hallmark said so :) Very cute cupcakes too!!

  21. These are stunning, and I love that you grade your recipes! I just saw a post yesterday about champagne cupcakes and thought what a great idea! Even if you didn't think they were "A" quality, they turned out beautiful.



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