These celebration cupcakes are light and fluffy, spiked with prosecco in the cake and the frosting, making them the ultimate treat for any special occasion. Raise a glass with friends and family and celebrate with these delicious cupcakes!
Like a lot of people this year, the added restrictions as a result of the pandemic meant that friends of mine had to cancel their engagement party. Twice.
They had kindly asked me to provide them with a cake to celebrate the occasion and I knew that for such an exciting and special occasion I wanted to make something that would equally reflect that.
Unfortunately with no party going ahead, there was no need for a cake to serve a crowd. What we could do though is gather as a small group of close friends and toast our glasses to a time in the future when the way we remember celebrating these life milestones, to share with friends and family, will be safe to do so again.
I hadn’t completely landed on the final cake flavours, but I knew I wanted to try and make a cake that was flavoured with one of our favourite parts of any celebration – champagne (or sparkling wine).
The result was perfectly delicate vanilla cupcakes lightly spiked with sparkling wine making them perfect for any celebration. It’s hard to explain the flavour that the wine gives the cupcakes, but it totally works and when you eat the cakes, you’ll understand.
Do these cupcakes have alcohol in them?
This simple answer is yes, therefore I would recommend these to be an adults only dessert. However, the alcohol amount will be minimal.
We do cook the sparkling wine down before it goes into the cupcakes which also get baked in the oven, so my understanding is that some of the alcohol will cook out, however not all of it will as we simply don’t cook it for long enough.
If you want these to be a little more boozey, instead of using the reduced wine in the frosting, use a little straight from the bottle. The flavour will be more subtle but it will have a closer flavour to the wine in your glass.
If you’re wondering why we reduce the sparkling wine in the first place, this is so we can use less liquid in the batter, but have a more concentrated flavour.
What sparkling wine should I use?
The cardinal rule applies here; never cook with wine you won’t drink.
When I’m looking for a bottle of bubbles, I usually go with a prosecco. They are generally cheaper, lighter in flavour and not too sweet making it perfect for my tastes and wallet. Of course my true favourite is Champagne but it’s not always in budget for all occasions!
You can use any sparkling wine here, obviously the flavour of the wine will impact the flavour in the cake. I would lean more towards the dryer white varieties instead of something too sweet as this will better compliment all that sugar in the cake, but try what you like. I think these cakes would also work wonderfully with a sparkling rosé, but I haven’t tried that yet!
How to make celebration cupcakes
These cupcakes come together like every other, with the exception of the first step which is the reduction of the prosecco/sparkling wine. Once this is complete, you want to make sure it’s completely cool as these cupcakes do contain eggs so you don’t want to add any heat to the batter (otherwise your eggs will start to cook before the cupcakes hit the oven).
This cupcake recipe requires an electric mixer to beat the dairy-free butter and sugar together to create a light and fluffy base. Add in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
Sift together your flour and baking powder and slowly add to the butter mixture a little at a time alternating with ½ a cup of the wine reduction, until the batter comes together.
We usually use milk in cupcakes to form the batter however in this case the liquid from the wine is enough.
Spoon the batter into your lined muffin pan and bake until lightly golden on top. The cakes will still be quite light in colour.
Make a simple buttercream flavoured with more wine and use your favourite piping tip to decorate the cupcakes. I used my go to which is the Wilton 1M to make soft, creamy swirls. And then because I wanted these to feel a bit special, I topped them off with a light sprinkling of gold sparkle sprinkles.
These cupcakes are pretty simple to make, with the longest part of the process being the reduction of the wine. But a simple, pour some in the saucepan, pour some in a glass for the chef can help here. Kidding, kind of.
Hopefully we are not too far away from being able to gather with our loved ones and once again celebrate these life milestones with those that we want to share the moment with. When we can, I know these cupcakes are going to be the perfect addition to the hugs, the laughs, and the flowing of bubbles.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
- 1 ½ cups prosecco or any sparkling wine
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup prosecco reduction
For the buttercream frosting:
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
- 3 cups icing mixture
- 2 tablespoons prosecco reduction
- gold sprinkles optional
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat add the prosecco and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let reduce by half for about 15 minutes, or until there is ¾ of a cup of liquid remaining. Set aside to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 cup muffin pan with patty cases.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder, stirring a few times to combine.
- In a large bowl, beat dairy-free butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and continue to beat until light and creamy. Slowly add in sifted flour about ¼ cup at a time, alternating with the cooled prosecco reduction, until everything has been added and batter comes together.
- Spoon mixture into the prepared pan ensuring they are ¾ full, and place in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until cakes are lightly golden on top and spring back when lightly touched. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the buttercream. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free butter and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Add in 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in the additional prosecco reduction a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and creamy but still thick enough to stand up on its own.
- Place buttercream into a piping bag with your favourite tip and pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles and enjoy!
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