At 9:07 a.m. Pacific Time, one year ago, our little Princess entered the world. Today she turns one, and I can’t even begin to tell you where the year went. When did the precious tiny baby who entered our lives become this vivacious, bright-eyed toddler? Happy birthday baby girl! Your daddy and I are so blessed to have you in our lives and grow with you.
We celebrated Princess A’s first birthday in Florida while visiting family with a small birthday party. I, of course, baked for the occasion and got a bit carried away with cupcakes. I knew I was not going to have enough time to make a large cake, I didn’t even have a chance to finish the edible hot air balloon I planned for the dessert table, but I knew I would have time to make some beautiful cupcakes. I made chocolate dipped “cloud pops” (marshmallow pops), hot air balloon and cloud cookies, and four different kinds of cupcakes: guava cheese, salted malted chocolate, caramel mocha, and champagne and strawberry. The original plan was to make two kinds of cupcakes, but I can’t choose and so we made four narrowed from a list of nearly eight.
The champagne and strawberry cupcakes were a huge hit and I decided to share the recipe so I could have it to reference later instead of making it up as I go each time, which is a bad habit I don’t really intend to break soon.
When choosing your champagne, you’ll want to select a brut to balance the sweetness of the champagne with the sugar in the cupcake. An extra dry champagne is actually sweeter than a brut, and the extra brut is drier.
Fun fact, but did you know that not all sparkling wines can be called champagne? The “champagne” designation is reserved for sparkling wines made in the Champagne region of France and there are actually treaties and international laws protecting this labeling. I personally used a California sparkling wine for both the cupcakes at Princess’ party and the batch I made this week. 😉
I hope you enjoy the cupcakes, and maybe take a moment to celebrate with us as our little girl reaches her first milestone birthday, or for the Godfather’s birthday tomorrow. What a beautiful way to ring in each New Year, with hope, joy, and birthdays galore! Cheers to 2015 darlings!
Champagne and Strawberry Cupcakes
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1/4 c champagne or sparkling wine
- 8-10 oz strawberry preserves
- 2 tbsp sticks unsalted butter* softened, 16
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp champagne
- Preheat your oven to 350 F, and prepare a standard cupcake pan with liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium mixing bowl), beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Stir in the 1/4 cup of champagne and then spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until the cupcake tops spring back when gently pressed.
- Remove from the oven immediately and transfer to a cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by whipping the butter and salt until light and fluffy at medium speed, then adding the powdered sugar slowly at low speed. Add the champagne.
To finish the cupcakes:
- Fit a piping bag with a cupcake filler tip and fill each cupcake with about a teaspoon or so of strawberry preserves.
- Fill another bag, fitted with a jumbo frosting tip, with your buttercream frosting and top the cupcakes.