Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Champagne Cupcakes with Lemon Filling and Buttercream

Nothing labels something a true celebration of life and love like champagne, it's that light bubbly concoction that can bring a feeling of effervescence to your soul. Not only do you feel the slight elation and buzz of alcohol, but there is a sense of decadence that comes with it. Baking with alcohol can at times, be tricky, it can leave an unusual and unappetizing "twang" to your goods, or the flavor can disappear all together. But after seeing it done numerous times with spectacular results on Cupcake Wars, one of this baker's many muses, cupcakes baked with a bit of champagne sounded grand! I will warn you that this particular recipe turns out a rather runny batter, but the small sacrifice of a dirty kitchen counter is easy to bear when your house becomes full of the intoxicating smell of these special cakes. Not only was this cupcake idea one that I have been itching to try, but it happened to coincide with the birthday of a very special friend. She is beautiful inside and out, and the sweet, simple taste of champagne would compliment her personality and her party splendidly. Enjoy!

Champagne Cupcakes with Lemon Filling and Buttercream

Champagne Cupcakes

4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cup milk
1 cup shortening
1/2 to 2/3 cup champagne
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
8 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk, shortening, champagne, and vanilla; beat until well incorporated. Add the egg whites and mix for 2 - 4 minutes, it will have a pretty runny consistency. Fill your desired cupcake liners with the batter, and bake for 12 - 14 minutes, or until edges have browned slightly.

Now, because you have no doubt learned by now that I just can't leave my cakes plain and lifeless, what better filling to add than lemon. It is just as light as the champagne flavor, but has enough of a punch to stand out on its own. I cheated and used a store bought can of lemon pie filling, don't tell, but homemade lemon curd would taste just as good. Simply use a spoon and remove the center of the cooled cupcake and fill it with a small spoonful of the filling.


3/4 cup of unsalted butter
8 cups of powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Food Coloring (optional)

Cream the butter, gradually adding two cups of powdered sugar, until it is smooth. Add in the milk, vanilla, and food coloring. Once it is all combined, with the mixer still on, add the remaining cups of powdered sugar one at a time. This recipe makes roughly 4 cups of buttercream.

I decided to make my cakes more festive for the party by adding a white chocolate "M" to represent the first name of the birthday girl.

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