Can you believe there are only *checks calendar* three days left in 2021!?? I feel like the last two years have been so incredibly slow, but at the same time, it feels too soon to be at the end of another one. I’m ready for it, though! All about some moving forward. And that’s why we’re going all out with these Champagne Cupcakes!
There are probably a million champagne cupcake recipes on the internets, but I wanted to share my version. Can you believe there’s a whole bottle of champagne in these babies 😏
When you drink champagne, you can obviously taste the flavor. When you pour it directly into a bowl of cake batter and taste the end product? Not so much. Sometimes with liquids, it’s hard to get the flavor to come through after baking without using a whole lot of it. And we don’t want to do that because too much liquid wrecks the texture of our cake batter, and, consequently, the cake.
SO, we make a reduction. Which is essentially simmering out a large portion of the liquid and keeping all of the flavor. When you do this with a liquid, sometimes it can become a little syrupy. If you do this with fruit or pureed fruit, you end up with what is almost like a homemade berry sauce or jelly. I love using this method to flavor cakes because it just works so well! It might take a little bit longer, might be one extra step you have to do, but it’s totally worth it in my book.
While doing research for what kind of champagne cupcakes already exist out there in the world wide web, I came across several with reviews stating the flavor didn’t really come through, or was hardly noticeable. I was originally going to reduce 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of champagne, but then I decided… you know what, let’s just dump the whole bottle in there.
This champagne reduction not only goes into the cake batter and the frosting, I also brushed some over the over the tops of the just-baked cupcakes for good measure. No bland cupcakes on my watch!
You can use any champagne for these cupcakes! To be super real with you, I used a pretty cheap bottle from the grocery store because ya girl is on a budget! You can go sweet or super dry, Prosecco, moscato, rosé, literally anything you want.
If you’re super ready to move on to another year like me, these cupcakes are a fun and festive way to do it! I don’t really make resolutions for the new year, but I do have some small, general goals, one of which is to focus on making more of what makes me happy. And these cupcakes sure did the trick!
Hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season and here’s to 2022! Happy baking!
MORE CHAMPAGNE RECIPES:
- 1 750 mL bottle champagne
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp butter or cake flavoring
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup champagne reduction divided
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 8-oz pkg shortening
- 2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
- 3 tbsp champagne reduction
- 5 cups powdered sugar
To make the champagne reduction
- Bring champagne to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium/medium-low and simmer until reduced to ¾ cup, about 25 to 30 minutes. You can check to see how much the liquid has reduced by pouring into a glass measuring cup. If it needs to be reduced some more, pour it back into the pot and continue simmering.
- Let the reduction cool completely before using.
To make the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add eggs, oil, cake flavoring, milk, and ⅓ cup champagne reduction. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until all ingredients are incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes..
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown and set in the center. (Test by inserting a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, they're done!)
- Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When cupcakes are cool, brush additional champagne reduction over the tops and let it dry before frosting.
To make the frosting
- Cream butter on medium-high speed with an electric mixer. Add shortening and cream. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add the champagne reduction and half of powdered sugar; mix until well blended. Repeat with second half of powdered sugar, and mix for 1 minute.
- Pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with festive sprinkles!
- Store cupcakes in an air-tight container at room temperature.
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