In the spirit of all things Spring, I jumped at the chance to make these oh so pretty champagne and raspberry cupcakes for another sweet Sinful Sunday treat. The champagne and vanilla cupcake is SO light and fluffy and the fresh raspberry adds an amazing tang to the decadent buttercream icing.
Pretty cupcakes always remind me of Spring-time picnics or champagne filled week-end lunches with friends. You make them ahead of time so you can spend more time with your friends, and they display beautifully! These also make a great Valentine’s Day treat.
(makes 20 champagne and raspberry cupcakes)
For the champagne and vanilla cupcakes
350g (2¾ cups) cake flour, sifted (I sift all my dry ingredients to add lightness and get rid of any clotted bits before I mix them into the batter or icing)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
300g (1½ cups) caster sugar
1 cup champagne, room temperature (I used a Graham Beck Brut Rose which is a dry champagne because the recipe doesn’t need any additional sweetness)
5 egg whites, separate individually
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract (See my notes at the end of this recipe for the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence)
For the champagne and raspberry buttercream icing
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
5 tablespoons pureed raspberries, strained to remove seeds (I got 6 tablespoons from 160g fresh raspberries)
650g (5 cups) icing sugar
1/4 cup champagne
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (I used a Madagascan vanilla extract)
20 fresh, whole raspberries for decorating
Ideally you need a stand mixer for the cupcakes (like this one from SMEG which is on my baking equipment shopping list) and/or a hand mixer for the icing (like this highly rated Dualit hand mixer). However, a food processor and a whisk (and elbow grease) will work as well.
2 X 12 cup large muffin pans – like any of these this from Yuppiechef.
20 pretty cupcake cases.
Icing tools – piping bag and nozzles. (This cute kit of 16 comes in its own storage can so you don’t lose any of your nozzles.)
See our video on how to make
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Place your cupcake holders in your muffin pans.
The champagne and vanilla cupcakes
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites to the butter and sugar mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed to make sure everything is incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and the champagne to the butter mixture, alternating, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
Fill the cupcake holders 2/3 full with the cake batter (you should get 20 champagne and vanilla cupcakes).
Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
While the cupcakes are baking, make your champagne and raspberry buttercream icing.
Champagne and raspberry buttercream icing
In a clean bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the raspberry puree and vanilla extract. Mix well. At this point I needed to add some of the icing sugar (say ½ cup) because the raspberry puree wasn’t incorporating into the butter. Mix until the butter is pink and creamy.
Gradually add the icing sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the champagne as necessary to create the desired consistency – it shouldn’t be too runny or the buttercream will simply slip of your cupcakes.
Once the cupcakes are completely cool (this is very important or again, the buttercream will simply melt off the cupcakes), place the icing in a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and ice. Garnish with a raspberry on top. Feel free to add an edible gold dusting for a sparkling finish.
For more Sinful Sunday recipes click here.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VANILLA EXTRACT AND VANILLA ESSENCE
Vanilla extract is a natural product made from real vanilla pods whereas vanilla essence is an artificial flavouring manufactured using chemicals (extracted from coal, tar and wood).
Vanilla extract has a far more robust, full flavour than vanilla essence. You can even choose different vanilla flavours according to the variety of vanilla bean featured in an extract. Mexican, Madagascan and Tahitian vanilla extracts offer varying flavors and aroma. Tahitian vanilla is the most aromatic, Mexican vanilla has a nuttier taste, and Madagascar vanilla has a buttery flavor.