Fast forward a week and the lovely Julie from This Gal Cooks and Carrie the Frugal Foodie Mama made a great announcement. They have started a new challenge where every two months there is a new booze to incorporate into a non-beverage recipe. January is, fittingly, Champagne!
This recipe is the result of quite a few other recipes intersecting and mingling. Usually I use a white cupcake recipe that is the product of Paula Deen's Old Fashioned Cupcake Recipe and How Sweet Treats' Funfetti Cupcake. So I took my low altitude cupcake batter (sans sprinkles) and obliterated it to make it High Altitude friendly, made some adjustments to add the booze, and called it a day!
To me, just a champagne flavored cake wasn't "ME". I typically enjoy my glasses of prosecco, moscato, and champagne with a few frozen berries. It keeps my glass chilled while adding a sweet tang. So I ventured into unknown territory (for me)! A berry champagne filling! The final touch to my Pièce de résistance is the champagne icing!
As a reminder, the following recipe for the cupcakes is adjusted for high altitudes. The above Martha Stewart recipe can easily be adapted for champagne or sparkling wine. Just use half of the milk and the other half is wine. Both the filling and the icing do not need to be altered for altitude considerations and can be made as is. Also, I had the champagne reducing on a bak burner while I filled the pot with berries. A rogue chunk of raspberry fell into the champagne hence the light pink hue of the icing.
Sparkling Berry Champagne Cupcakes (High-Altitude)
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 egg whites
- 3 cups minus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup sparkling wine (I used Cupcake Moscato d'Asti)
- Preheat your oven to 350* Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, roughly 3-4 minutes.
- Add the salt and vanilla. Beat in the egg whites one at a time, blending each into the batter before adding the next.
- Combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a bowl.
- Add the flour mixture and cream and wine alternating between the three, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Stop mixing and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 10 seconds.
- Portion the batter into lined muffin cups. Fill 2/3 full.
- Bake for about 18 minutes or until the centers spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely. While baking cupcakes start making filling and frosting.
- 2 cups mixed berries (I used frozen raspberry, blackberry, blueberry mix)
- 2 Tbsp sparkling wine (Cupcake Moscato d'Asti)
- sugar to taste
- orange zest
- Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium to low heat until desired consistency
- Press through a strainer to remove seeds and set aside to cool.
- Once cupcakes and filling are cool, use a small sharp knife to cut a 1 inch circle through the top of the cupcake.
- Gently core the cupcake. Spoon in desired amount of filling.
- Trim the cored out cupcake and to make a top to cover filling, then frost!
- 1 1/2 cup sparkling wine, set 2 Tbsp aside (again Cupcake Moscato d'Asti)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar (plus more)
- Place moscato (minus the 2 Tbsp) in a small saucepan. Simmer until moscato is reduced to 2-3 Tbsp. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, cream softened butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined.
- Add in the reduced moscato and the remaining 2 Tbsp of moscato and mix well.
- The icing may be runny at this point. Add more confectioner's sugar as needed to get a desired sweetness/consistency you like.
- Frost cupcake and ENJOY!