Easy (Leftover) Champagne Cupcakes
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Got leftover champagne? Put it to a good use and make these light and fluffy champagne cupcakes with an irresistibly tangy champagne buttercream.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe:
Champagne desserts are great for New Year’s Eve, birthday parties, Valentine’s Day, and bridal showers!
I can’t think of a better way to jazz up a cupcake than a splash of bubbly champagne. Or if you end up with leftover champagne, it’s a great way to put it to a delicious use!
This fruity, carbonated beverage makes the cupcakes extra light and fluffy, like any good cupcake should be.
- Perfect cupcake flavor for special occasions
- Velvety smooth buttercream with a hint of cream cheese and champagne
- Perfectly textured, moist, and light white cupcakes
Champagne cupcakes are beautiful as-is, but I like to add sugar pearls, gold sprinkles and edible glitter for extra pizzazz. Everyone loves these celebratory cupcakes!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- All-purpose flour – Use the spoon and level method to measure the flour. To do this, spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the flat edge of a butter knife. If you dunk the cup into the flour, the flour compresses, and you end up with too much!
- Egg whites – I use egg whites instead of whole eggs to give the cupcakes an extra light texture and beautifully white color.
- Sugar – White sugar sweetens the cupcakes without competing with the champagne.
- Champagne – The star ingredient! The fizz creates a moist yet light textured cupcake with a hint of champagne flavor. Even if you don’t like champagne, you will love these cupcakes!
- Unsalted butter – To compensate for the loss of fat from the egg yolks, I upped the butter content slightly. The result? A tender, moist crumb!
- Champagne reduction adds extra tanginess to the frosting. We’ve tested the buttercream with both straight champagne and champagne reduction. Champagne adds lighter flavor, whereas champagne reduction makes a bolder flavor that I loved a lot more.
- Cream cheese and butter– Half butter, half cream cheese is a creamy and irresistible frosting combo! It’s buttery, slightly tangy, and velvety smooth.
How to make this recipe:
1. Make the cupcake batter
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside for later.
- In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes.
- Stir in half of the flour mixture. Then pour in the champagne.
- Finally add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Now, gently fold half of the egg white mixture into the batter, then fold in the rest until the batter is smooth.
2. Bake the cupcakes
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter into 12 cups with cupcake liners. They should be about 2/3rds of the way full.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over-bake the cupcakes or they will taste dry!
- Let the champagne cupcakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack. This way they won’t fall apart when you move them.
3. Make the champagne frosting
- Pour the champagne into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then simmer it until it reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Cool the champagne reduction completely.
- In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
- Pour in 1 tablespoon of champagne reduction and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more reduction to taste, if desired.
4. Frost the cupcakes
- You can use a butter knife or piping bag to top the cupcakes with the frosting. And decorate with sprinkles and/or dusting sugar for some more sparkles!
Tips for Success:
- Cream the butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes! This step is crucial because creaming creates an airy foam as the sugar crystals cut into the butter. These air bubbles expand in the hot oven, creating nice and light cupcakes.
- Don’t overmix the cupcake batter. Once you add the flour, gluten begins to develop. If you overmix the batter, the cupcakes will be dense instead of airy. Simply mix the batter until just combined.
- Don’t overbake the cupcakes. Since the cupcakes are made with whipped egg whites and no yolks, it’s important not to overbake them or they will dry out. Eighteen minutes doesn’t seem like long, but these cupcakes bake fast.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before you ice them! Otherwise, the cupcakes will melt the frosting and you will have frosting soup.
- Adjust the champagne flavor in the frosting to your taste. Start with 1 tablespoon of reduction and add more if desired.
- Frosted cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator, since the frosting contains perishable cream cheese.
- Store them for up to three days, and let them come to room temperature before digging in!
- You can also freeze the frosted cupcakes. Place the cupcakes in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight.
There’s 3/4 cup of champagne in the cupcake batter. Since most of the alcohol evaporates during baking and cooking the champagne reduction, I think they are safe for kids. But use your own judgement.
The carbon dioxide bubbles in the champagne act as a leavening agent, giving you cupcakes with a light an airy texture!
Champagne cake has a delicate and sweet flavor that tastes like champagne! It has a slight tang with subtle notes of vanilla, citrus, and white flowers.
- 1 ½ cup (190g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (115g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 70 g egg whites from 2 eggs, at room temperature Note 1
- ¾ cup (180ml) champagne Note 2
For champagne frosting:
- 1/2 cup champagne
- 3 oz (85g) cream cheese softened
- 5 tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups (260g) powdered sugar
- Sprinkles for decorations if desired
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 12 cupcake cups with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, at least 3 minutes.
- Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by champagne, and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until mostly combined. (Don’t overmix it.)
- Fold in half of the whipped egg whites into the batter, then add remaining egg whites and gently mix until no egg whites visible.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter into 12 cupcake cups. (Cups should be 2/3 way full.)
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the baking tin for about 10 minutes and then transfer onto the wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- To make champagne reduction, pour the champagne into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then simmer it until it reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in powdered sugar.
- Then add the champagne reduction and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the cupcakes:
- Place the frosting in a piping bag with round tip and frost the cooled cupcakes.
- Decorate with sprinkles, or gold or silver sanding sugar, if desired.
Tips & Notes
– Frosted cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator, since the frosting contains perishable cream cheese. Store them for up to three days, and let them come to room temperature before digging in!
– You can also freeze the frosted cupcakes. Place the cupcakes in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight.
This recipe was originally published on December 26th, 2014.