Strawberry Champagne Sparkler Cupcakes
Recipe created by Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis
Servings: Serves 12
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries , diced
  • 1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour , sifted
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder , sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup zero-calorie sweetener (e.g., Splenda)
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract plus seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/4 cups skim milk , at room temperature
  • 16 Tbsp. (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar , sifted
  • 1 tsp. skim milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
  • 24 fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup good Champagne (sweet rose Champagne suggested)
  • 2 cups high-quality dark chocolate
Directions
For Serving:

12 glass Champagne flutes

12 long spoons

12 indoor-safe sparkler candles

Step 1: Baking the Mini Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 mini cupcake pans with 36 mini baking cups or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.

Dice up 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries and soak in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Mix in applesauce slowly.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.

Gently fold in the diced Champagne-soaked strawberries, just until incorporated.

Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. If using paper baking cups, peel off all the paper baking cups from the cupcakes at this time.

Step 2: Making the Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract, milk, salt and Champagne, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Place frosting in a disposable piping bag with a large round tip.

Step 3: Preparing the Strawberries

Slice 24 strawberries lengthwise and soak in 1 cup of Champagne for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Melting the Chocolate Ganache

Break the dark chocolate into small pieces. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or 2 of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the dark chocolate pieces in a medium glass bowl over the saucepan and melt slowly. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the saucepan. Pour the melted chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle. (If a squeeze bottle is not available, you can drizzle with a spoon.)

Step 5: Assembling Layers in Champagne Flutes

Line up 12 glass Champagne flutes. Insert 1 mini strawberry Champagne cupcake in the bottom of each glass. Next, pipe a swirl of Champagne buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake. Add several slices of Champagne-soaked strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate. Repeat layers. Finally, place a third mini strawberry Champagne cupcake at the top of each glass, pipe with a final "Georgetown Cupcake signature swirl" of Champagne buttercream frosting, and top with a final drizzle of melted chocolate.

Step 6: Serving

Insert 1 indoor-safe sparkler candle in the top of each glass. Light the candles at midnight, serve with spoons, and enjoy!