Nicole is a lot of things that I am not- like quiet. And modest. She quietly and modestly goes about doing her very excellent photography and baking and designing and I loudly go about pretending I am good at some things while mostly just excelling at being loud. If we were children-version of ourselves, she would be the one in the beautiful, clean dress reciting a Wordsworth poem and I would be the one with a strainer on my head. (Actually, she is much feistier than she appears. But anyway.)
Quiet as she may seem, when she revealed she got engaged (!) last Friday (!), it was hard for her to hide how happy she was. You know that glowing happiness that people talk about? Seeing it in person is really something to behold. It’s downright infectious. It warms the insides.
She wanted to make Champagne Cupcakes to celebrate. They were good. Very good. Frothy. Resplendent with butter. Almost too pretty to eat. And I doubled over laughing when I saw where she had gotten those little candy pearls- from a Disney Princess candy kit that included tiny glass slippers and tiaras. As soon as we frosted them, I could not wait for her photos. And like these cupcakes, they do not disappoint. The ring’s pretty too.
The recipe came our way via Gimme Some Oven. Ali’s blog is lovely and her recipes are extremely accessible. She, in turn, sourced and adapted this recipe from AllRecipes. There now- everyone accounted for? Good. To celebrate, it takes a village.
… made 36 mini cupcakes…
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup champagne (we used Korbel. And then I drank some. And went back to work.)
6 egg whites
Champagne Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. (This recipe yielded about 20 for me.)
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.
In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.