PINK. CHAMPAGNE. FUNFETTI. CUPCAKES!!! To me, birthdays are an excuse to pretend calories don’t count and drink as much champagne and eat as many cupcakes as possible. What’s even better than that?! COMBINING them! Although, I have to admit… I had champagne and these cupcakes, so… whatever!
I discovered these cupcakes a few weeks ago. I was in Minnesota at the General Mills HQ (coolest place EVER! And kinda literally, it was negative 17 degrees one day) working/observing the next Hungry Girl book shoot which is professionally in the Betty Crocker Kitchens. I spotted the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes and was in awe. I stared at the photos and pages of the book for a day or two until they gave me a copy for myself! Side note: the people I work with in Minneapolis are the nicest, most caring and compassionate people ever! Despite the cold weather in the winter (and most months of the year really) I would totally move there! Who knows… Maybe one day.
Anyway, I have always been really intimidated by elaborately decorated cakes and cupcakes — desserts overall really. I don’t have any special tools like piping bags or stencils, not yet at least! And I always felt like I never had the artistic talent to be able to decorate anything so beautifully. But as I become more expirienced as a food stylist, I realized while flipping through the pages of this cupcake cookbook, that I may actually be capable of making beautiful cupcakes or desserts! I decided then that I would begin a new journey of mastering cake decorating. I went out and got some pipping bags and ingredients and began my new challenge.
Now, I’m definitely still learning and I will say now that while I do think these cupcakes look cute, they are no where NEAR the Betty Crocker photos. That’s because I had a little frosting mishap and my frosting wasn’t thick enough to hold after being pipped. This was because I kept tasting the frosting and thought it didn’t taste like champagne enough and added more. FAIL. Lesson learned: always, ALWAYS follow directions in baking. Because I added more liquid, not only would the frosting not hold beautiful pipping designs, it also was SO strong in the alcohol flavor department that we couldn’t even eat them without scrapping off the frosting.
I made this frosting the night before I frosted my cupcakes and turns out, for whatever reason, my theory at least is that when you refrigerate frosting with alcohol in it, it gets veryyyy strong overnight. I could be making this up, but that is what happened to me, because the frosting actually tasted good when I had added the extra champagne the night before. And no, I hadn’t been drinking then.
Needless to say, I want to try these again soon following the directions. The base was really good! All I did was adapt the Betty Crocker recipe by adding some sprinkles into the batter. Everything is better with sprinkles!
Try these out — don’t add extra champagne to your frosting! I also recommend not refrigerating your frosting either. Frost your cupcakes the day you make the frosting.
Pink Champagne Funfetti Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes
slightly adapted from Betty Crocker
1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups champagne
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
4 to 5 drops red food color
2 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup champagne (room temp)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 to 5 drops red food color
Sprinkles for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with baking cups.
In a large bowl, beat all cake ingredients except sprinkles for 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in sprinkles. Divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake for 17 – 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely.
Once ready to frost, beat all frosting ingredients on medium speed until smooth. Frost cupcakes and decorate.