Champagne Cupcakes – Your Taste Buds will Thank You!

Champagne Cupcakes_WWIN

A few years ago while I was looking for different cupcake recipes to make when I came across this one.  I hadn’t made a cupcake with champagne before so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Over time it’s become one of my family and friend’s favorite recipes.  When I’m feeling I need to up the ante on this champagne cupcake a bit, I core the cupcake and stuff it with fresh strawberries that I’ve let sit a few minutes in sugar.  Delicious!

Triple Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Heart Decorations

Triple Chocolate Cupcake - CCTNT

 

Yesterday I shared my Triple Chocolate Cupcake recipe over at Chick Chat This and That.  Same recipe that I shared here last year (can you believe we’re already saying last year?!) except for I’ve added some instructions on how to make the chocolate hearts.

Head over and read the post if you’re looking for a super easy recipe to wow your friends.

When God Slaps Us Upside the Head

 

Have you ever felt like God reached down and just slapped you upside the head?  Did you do anything about it?

Recently I’ve been a little disgruntled at my day job.  There have been a lot of changes and I’ve felt like my career has stalled.  The dissatisfaction has been so deep that I’ve actually started sending out resumes.  The real problem is that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  I really don’t want to jump from one frying pan into another one.

Sitting around doing nothing to change my situation just isn’t my style.  Sure, I may sulk a little bit but I firmly believe that when we’re faced with a situation we don’t like we have two options.  1) adjust our situation or 2) adjust our attitude. Typically I try to do a little bit of both.

Over the last few months I’ve shared with you my participation in an investment club (or as we like to affectionately call  it The Mile High Club and no, it really isn’t what it sounds like).  What I haven’t been able to go into details about though previously is we actually started a new blog called Chick Chat This and That.  Be sure and check it out!  These ladies have done a lot to motivate me!

On the professional front, the couple resumes that I sent out didn’t produce any results so I decided to adjust my attitude as well as branch out and try some other things to “round out my resume”.  In addition to working with the “Chicks” on the new blog I started volunteering at our local domestic shelter and Habitat for Humanity.

Where does the head slap come in, I’m sure you are wondering.  Here’s the deal.  While working at a brat stand (if you don’t know what a brat is you can read about them here) for Habitat for Humanity I shared a batch of my cupcakes with my co-workers.  Women that I’ve never met before.  As they were oohing and aahing over how beautiful they were and how awesome they tasted one of the ladies looked at me and said “Do you sell these?”  Ummmm – no!  Where would I find the time to make them and who would buy them?  I’m not in the cupcake business!

“You really need to sell these” she said “and I’ll tell you why.  I need 200 cupcakes in a month and I want you to do them”.  Huh?  200 cupcakes when I don’t even have a cupcake business.  Yup, that was the first slap I felt.

Even though I poohed poohed the idea a little bit I did take her name and number.  I felt the slap and while I thought I was going to ignore it I figured I better at least have a way to get a hold of the woman.

I”m sure some of you can relate to what comes next.  A little bit of bargaining and “prove it to me”.  I decided that if I could 1) find a commercial kitchen to rent 2) get licensed by the state 3) get everything else set up within one week I would take that as a sign that I was meant to do it.  Come on, who really gets a state license in three days?

Yup, you guessed it.  Monday I found a kitchen (right down the street from my day job) and it just so happened that the state inspector was going be there on Wednesday.  The state inspector who was getting ready to leave for a two week vacation and who would be more than happy to see me and get me a license yet that week.

Ok, there was the second slap.  A little bit harder that time.  I think it may have been followed by a kick in the pants but I’m really not sure.

Soooo, guess who’s in the cupcake business?  Within a month I’ve managed to get my business up and running.  I’ve already done two shows, the dinner and booked a wedding.  Oh yeah, I’m now looking for a location closer to home because, are you ready for this?  Another baker approached me and wants to work with me.

I really don’t know what the future holds regarding the success of my little cupcake business but I do know this.  During a time when I was dissatisfied with my life, all the pieces fell into place for a business that I’ve dreamed about but not felt motivated to start.  At this point I guess all I can do is hold on and enjoy the ride!

I’d love to hear about a time when you too were slapped upside the head.

 

Champagne Cupcakes

 

 

While brainstorming and searching the internet for this week’s cupcake idea I stumbled across this Champagne Cupcake at Gimme Some Oven. Based on what I’ve seen, this girl can cook!  Plus, her most recent post was a whoopie pie which one of my taste testers recently recommended I try.  Hold on Ann – I’ve found a recipe!

Anyway, since a champagne cupcake was on my to-do list I snagged her recipe to recreate here.  I have a club meeting this afternoon.  Since we are in the final stages of getting to launch a fabulous and fun new project I thought a champagne cupcake would be a fitting dessert to take.  Of course I also need to take the unused champagne!  We do need something to wash down these awesome cupcakes, don’t we?

Of course, half the fun of making cupcakes is figuring out how to decorate them.  After dinner and a visit to the local Harley shop, Mike and I stopped at the local Michael’s Craft Store to see what they had to offer.  Wow!  They had all kinds of cool things.  As we were browsing, one of the workers (over hearing our conversation) suggested I take their decorating class.  Bonus for it being half off right now!  My first class is the first week of September.  I’ll be sharing my journey with you.

For today’s cupcake I decided to bake them in  Wilton Baking Cups – Double Ruffle – Pink liners.  To frost them I’ve stepped away from my usual zip top sandwich bag and actually used a decorating bag with a Wilton Decorating Tip: #2D Drop Flower to pipe the frosting on.  The final decorations were Wilton Pearlized Sprinkles, Pink  and Wilton White Cake Sparkles.

I couldn’t decide which one of the pictures was my favorite so here’s another view.

 

Here’s the recipe:

 Champagne Cupcake

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup sweet champagne
  • 6 egg whites

Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting 

  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (for my non-USA friends that would be 176 degrees C).  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Slowly blend in champagne.

In a separate 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.  Note:  The batter is pretty thick.  GENTLY add the egg whites so you don’t mix the air out of them.

Bake at 350 degrees F  for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  These cupcakes don’t “brown” like many do.  Cupcake will be firm to the touch when done.

Frosting:

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.  Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.

For my champagne I chose an inexpensive Pink Moscato from Barefoot Bubbly.  It cost me about $8 for the bottle and was absolutely delicious!  You will want to make sure that whatever champagne you choose is sweet.  Depending upon how much frosting you use you may want to double the frosting recipe.  I did double it and had a little bit left over.

Overall  initial feedback from my taste testers is 4 out of 5 stars.  The frosting is unbelievable!  Best buttercream frosting I think I’ve ever tasted.  The cupcake is a little denser than I expected but has a nice flavor to it.

Enjoy!

You might also like:

 Triple Chocolate Cupcake

Applesauce Cupcake

Orange Marmalade Cupcake

 

 

 

Orange Marmalade Cupcakes

My mom doesn’t bake a lot but she has some pretty creative ideas.  Knowing my penchant for cupcakes she enjoys coming up with suggestions for me to try.  This recipe is actually a twist on a desert she likes to make using frozen pound cake.  Don’t let the fact that it’s made of pound cake scare you off.  This cupcake was light, incredibly moist and very flavorful.

Orange Marmalade Cupcakes

1 box pound cake mix (plus ingredients needed from the box)
Orange juice (optional)
Orange (optional)
1 can mandarin oranges
1 8oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
Powdered sugar
Orange marmalade

Following the directions on the pound cake box, bake the pound cake in cupcake tins.  Instead of the water that my pound cake called for I used the juice from the mandarin oranges as well a handful of crushed mandarin oranges.  Because I used the Tastefully Simple pound cake which has a distinctive almond flavor I didn’t want the orange to be overwhelming.  If you are going to use a little blander pound cake I would recommend substituting the water with orange juice to give the cake a little more flavor.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, melt about four tablespoons of orange marmalade in the microwave.  Using a barbecue brush, “paint” the tops of the cupcakes with the melted marmalade.

In a mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese and butter with approximately 3 cups of powered sugar (more or less sugar to your taste).  If you desire a little “orangier” taste to your frosting you can add a little fresh squeezed orange or use some orange juice.  Make sure the frosting still maintains peaks so it doesn’t run off your cupcakes.

Add your frosting to a zip topped sandwich bag.  Cut a small amount of the corner off to use as a frosting bag.  Squeeze a small amount on the top of your cupcake.  While I’m a huge fan of frosting, I found this cake to be so flavorful that to much frosting was overwhelming.

Top your cupcake with a mandarin orange.

Note:  The number of cupcakes you get depends on the pound cake that you use.  The Tastefully Simple Pound Cake I used resulted in 12 cupcakes.

Enjoy!

You might also like:

Triple Chocolate Cupcake
Pink Lemonade Cupcake