New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the year that’s ending and to dream about the year to come. For me, 2018 was admittedly a little rough. But there were a lot of bright spots worth celebrating, like my blog launch, moving to North Carolina, celebrating my first wedding anniversary and adopting a new cat. There’s also a lot to look forward to in 2019, which is why I’m ringing in the new year with some celebratory treats, starting with these salted caramel champagne buttercream cupcakes!
I love the idea of champagne cupcakes, but I don’t actually like champagne. Whenever I opt for something bubbly I drink Moscato champagne, which is more of a carbonated wine than a real champagne. But you can use whatever brand of champagne that you love. I accidentally bought a strawberry-flavored Moscato champagne for these cupcakes, which turned into a happy mistake. I love how the fruity tartness of the buttercream interacts with the salty sweetness of the cupcakes.
(Or try these cupcakes with salted caramel frosting!)
Most recipes call for unsalted butter, but for these cupcakes you’ll want to use salted butter. It also calls for a mix of light and dark brown sugar. Use my favorite gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute gluten-full flour.
When you’re ready to mix in the dry ingredients and the milk, make sure to alternate, starting and ending with the flour. Butter doesn’t absorb liquid very well, but if you add the dry ingredients first that will help the batter absorb the liquid. Only stir until the ingredients are just combined. Overmixing can affect the texture of the cupcakes.
Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Because the recipe makes 15 cupcakes, you’ll need two standard muffin pans. For a more even baking, divide the batter between the two pans and fill the empty cups 3/4 full of water.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let them cool completely before frosting. I dyed the frosting pink and used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe these pretty rosettes. Top with gold sugar sprinkles and sprinkle pearls for a little sparkle and texture!
Add these to your New Year’s Eve menu or make them for any celebration. You can also substitute the champagne buttercream for an alcohol-free vanilla buttercream. Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try it and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers.
Salted Caramel Champagne Buttercream Cupcakes
- 1 3/4 cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cupcakes
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup Crisco
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp whole milk
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 2-3 tbsp your favorite champagne
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line cupcake pans with wrappers or lightly grease with cooking spray.
- Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and sour cream until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated into the batter. Mix in vanilla.
- Stir in the flour mixture on low speed, alternating with milk until just combined. Spoon into prepared pan, filling each cup 3/4 full. Fill any empty cups 3/4 full of water for a more even baking.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Leave the cupcakes in the pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let them cool completely.
- Make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. Cream butter and Crisco until smooth. Mix in half of the powdered sugar on low speed. Then add milk, heavy cream, 2 tbsp of champagne and the remaining powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until just combined, and then beat on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add up to 1 tbsp of champagne if needed for taste.
- Decorate as desired and store in an airtight container. I used a Wilton 1M tip.