Strawberries and champagne. Is there a more perfect combination of flavors that say love and romance? I don't think so! I was so excited when my friend asked me to bake up a batch of these yummy, romantic cupcakes to present to his wife on Valentine's Day. Would I be able to do it? Yes! What an honor!
This recipe is another one from The Cupcake Diaries by the sisters from Georgetown Cupcake. I got this book as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law and I was really excited to make this recipe for our New Year's Eve celebration. I followed the recipe and made these in mini-form. Though they were ok, I wasn't completely happy with them. This time around I made these in the standard cupcake pan and tweaked the frosting just a bit - I kept the ingredients exactly the same but added them in the same order/technique that I usually do. One thing I found a bit odd about the cupcake recipe directions is that it called for room temperature eggs and milk, but not butter. I did as directed and used cold butter and this batch came out amazing! I was so proud to present these to my friends! They were a hit all-around and a perfect little treat on Valentine's Day!
Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream
Makes 20-24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 cup good champagne
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour **
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.
Soak the strawberries in the champagne. Set aside.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter for about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowing after each addition. Add the vanilla extract to the milk in a liquid measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then gradually add one third of the flour mixture, followed by one third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by another third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl, as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture followed by the remaining milk mixture and mix until just combined.
Drain the strawberries of the excess champagne and gently fold the strawberries into the batter, just until incorporated. Scoop the batter into the liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
** These cupcakes can be made Gluten Free by using 2 1/2 cups high-quality Gluten Free Flour Mix. I use Gluuteny Basic Flour Mix from Gluuteny.
For the Champagne Buttercream
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I prefer European butter, such as Plugra)
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
1/2 cup good champagne
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter for about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and mix on low until well combined. Add vanilla, milk, salt and champagne, mixing for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and mix until just incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Swirl frosting onto cupcake and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from The Cupcake Diaries
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!