Thursday, July 14, 2011

Raspberry & Champagne Cupcakes

Remember when Mountain Man and I got stuck in Atlanta?

wasting our extra day at the aquarium

Well, on top of the fabulous wedding we attended, one of our friends who also made the trip to hotlanta happened to have a birthday that fell on the same weekend.

Now you all know how I feel about birthdays and I absolutely can't let one of my friends go without something sweet, especially when she's having to spend her birthday away from home!  

So I whipped up a batch of cupcakes, found a nifty little disposable cupcake carrier perfect for 6 little sweets and brought them as my carry on.

You'd be amazed at the amount of people who will make comments as you walk through the airport carrying a box of cupcakes, but much to their dismay the cupcakes made it all the way to Georgia and made their special delivery to the birthday girl.

Raspberry Cake 
Oven: 350 Bake time: 20 minutes
Makes 3 8-inch cakes or 24 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 package raspberry jello
4 eggs, separated
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 cup flour, sifted
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup pureed raspberries  

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pan with liners and set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add jello and mix until incorporated (this lends for pretty in pink cake)
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
Alternate flour and milk, incorporating after each addition- beginning and ending with flour.
Using a spatula mix in pureed strawberries.
In separate bowl, whip egg whites until slightly stiff peaks form.
Fold egg whites slowly into batter.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each liner with one scoop. 
Transfer to oven and bake for about 20 minutes- check with toothpick and adjust time if necessary.
Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool in pan for for about 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with the Champagne Buttercream listed below.

Champagne Buttercream
1 cup shortening (I use high-ratio shortening)
1 cup butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup cheap champagne* I used Andre-Blush
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place shortening and butter in a large bowl and beat until combined and smooth.
Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
About 4 cups in, add 1/4 cup of champagne and vanilla.
Continue to beat and add remaining powdered sugar and more champagne as necessary. 
Beat/whip on high until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

*The frosting on these cupcakes is amazing- the tartness of the champagne blends well with the normally sweet buttercream.  Even though everyone liked the cupcakes I thought they were a little sweet..I always get such rave reviews on my strawberry cake I thought swapping in raspberries would work too, but there was something just a little off. I think I might go for a more natural raspberry flavor next time.

Happy Baking!