Champagne Cupcakes

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Moist and fluffy homemade champagne cupcakes are topped with a silky champagne Swiss meringue buttercream. These are perfect for birthdays, brunch or a New Year’s Eve dessert.

If you love champagne desserts, you’ll love my Mimosa Cake.

A gorgeous champagne cupcake with frosting and sprinkles

Homemade Champagne Cupcakes

Champagne is my weakness, my drink of choice, and absolutely perfect for making cupcakes with. The bubbles give an extra boost of fluffy texture to these cupcakes. Plus, if you’re cracking open a bottle to make these, you might as well pour yourself a glass to go along with it. It’s a win-win.

I’ve made several champagne infused desserts including my Mimosa Cake and my No-Bake Mimosa Cheesecake, but these Champagne Cupcakes might just be my new favorite recipe.

They’re extra fancy topped with a velvety Swiss Meringue buttercream that’s also flavored with champagne and a little bit of orange zest. If you’ve never made this type of frosting before, it will knock your sock off. It’s the ultimately light and fluffy buttercream with a very subtle sweetness. It gives these cupcakes a very elegant finish.

There are a few steps involved and a little bit of patience, but it’s so worth it. I’ll walk you through each step and provide some tips along the way.

A frosted cupcake with a bite taken out of it

Champagne Cupcake Ingredients

  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sour cream
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Sparkling champagne, prosecco or rosé
  • Milk

How to make champagne cupcakes

  • Combine: The sugar with oil, eggs and vanilla and beat until combine. Then add the sour cream and beat until incorporated.
  • Combine the dry ingredients and add to the batter with the milk. Beat just until combined.
  • Add the champagne and beat until combined.
  • Fill the pan: Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  • Bake and cool: Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
a stack of baked cupcakes

Champagne Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

  • Sparkling champagne: You will be reducing the champagne on the stovetop to create a concentrated syrup which will intensify the flavor of the champagne.
  • Egg whites: Be sure you have no trace of egg yolks in your whites, as this can cause the meringue to fail.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter: I recommend using unsalted butter and adding salt to taste. Otherwise you won’t be able to control the taste as much. Be sure the butter is at room temperature, but not soft and melty.
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Orange zest (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

How to make this buttercream

  • Prep: Remove the butter from the refrigerator. Slice into 1 tablespoon size cubes. Wipe down the inside of your mixing bowl and utensils with vinegar to remove any lingering grease.
  • Reduce the champagne: Cook the champagne in a small saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to more than half. About 10-15 minutes, you should have 1/4-1/3 cup remaining. Set aside to cool completely.
a glass measuring bowl with reduced champagne
  • Heat the egg whites and sugar: In the mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites. Set the bowl over top of a saucepan with 1 ¼ cups water covering the bottom. Attach a candy thermometer to the mixing bowl. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture reaches 140°-160°  
  • Transfer bowl to a mixture and beat until soft peak form: Immediately place the mixing bowl on your stand mixer. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the eggs white on medium speed for approximately 5-8 minutes until the egg whites have turned into runny white liquid. Increase the mixing speed to high until the meringue thickens to soft glossy peaks, and the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm
  • Add the butter: Turn your mixer down to low. Slowly add your butter, 1 tbsp at a time. As you add more butter, the frosting might appear to have curdled and lost its body, that’s ok. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Continue mixing and add flavors: Switch to the paddle attachment and continue beating on medium-high speed until your frosting turns to stiff peaks. Add the vanilla extract, 2 1/2 tablespoons of the champagne reduction and the orange zest. Beat for an additional 2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
overhead view into a glass mixing bowl with frosting and mixer attachment
  • To decorate the cupcakes, fit a large piping bag with a 1M piping tip and fill with frosting. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles or fruit.

Tips for making Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Proper preparation: Prior to starting, clean all your bowls and utensils down with a vinegar-soaked paper towel to remove any grease. Using metal bowls and whisks are best. I have a dedicated rubber spatula that I only use for Swiss meringue buttercream so there’s no risk of cross contamination with excess grease that could cause the meringue to flop.
  • Preparing the egg whites: Crack the egg whites individually in a separate bowl. If any of the yolk gets into the egg whites, you’ll need to discard it, as this can cause the meringue to flop.
  • Preparing the saucepan: Make sure to use enough water to cover the bottom of the saucepan about 1 inch high, but do not let it touch the bottom of the mixing bowl. Additionally, do not turn the heat up too high because you don’t want to cook the eggs whites to a solid. Stir frequently and don’t walk away.
  • Dissolving the sugar in the egg whites: When the mixture reaches the correct temperature, the sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. You can test this by placing a drop on your fingertips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth.
  • Room temperature butter: Be sure the butter is at room temperature but not too soft or starting to melt, as this can lead to a runny buttercream.
  • Frosting consistency: During the process of making this buttercream, it may appear to be curdled. Just keep mixing, and it will eventually come together. When the butter is added, the stiff meringue turns back into a softer, more runny texture, but as you keep beating it, it comes back together to be light and fluffy.
a white plate with chunks of cut up butter

How to make the frosting in advance

I’ve read that Swiss Meringue Buttercream can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and beyond that it should be frozen. I have not froze this particular buttercream myself.

Regardless if you put this frosting in the refrigerator or freezer, it will need to come back to room temperature prior to using, and you may need to rewhip it with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer.

How to store frosted cupcakes

I store my cupcakes in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days once they are frosted. If you live in a hot and humid environment, then I would suggest that you refrigerate cupcakes that are frosted and allow them to come to room temperature before serving. This is an all butter frosting and can melt in hot temperatures.

How to Freeze these cupcakes

I prefer to freeze unfrosted cupcakes, then thaw and add the frosting the day I am serving. I recommend flash freezing the cupcake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes and then transferring them to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Thaw to room temperature prior to frosting.

An unwrapped frosted cupcake with sprinkles

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A gorgeous champagne cupcake with frosting and sprinkles and roses in the background

Champagne Cupcake

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

Moist and fluffy homemade champagne cupcakes are topped with a velvety champagne Swiss meringue buttercream. 

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup (143g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (5.6g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) sparkling champagne
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) milk

For the frosting

  • 1 cup (236ml) sparkling champagne (reduced)
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup (143g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 teaspoons orange zest (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and milk; mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Add the champagne and continue mixing until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the frosting

  1. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Slice into 1 tablespoon size cubes. Wipe down the inside of your mixing bowl and utensils with vinegar to remove any lingering grease.
  2. Reduce the champagne: Cook the champagne in a small saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to more than half. About 10-15 minutes, you should have 1/4-1/3 cup remaining. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. In the mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites. Set the bowl over top of a saucepan with 1 ¼ cups water covering the bottom. Attach a candy thermometer to the mixing bowl.
  4. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture reaches 140°-160°  The sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. 
  5. Immediately place the mixing bowl on your stand mixer. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the eggs white on medium speed for approximately 5-8 minutes until the egg whites have turned into runny white liquid. Increase the mixing speed to high until the meringue thickens to soft glossy peaks, and the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm.
  6. Turn your mixer down to low. Slowly add your butter, 1 tbsp at a time. As you add more butter, the frosting might appear to have curdled and lost its body, that’s ok. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Once all the butter has been added, switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on medium-high speed until your frosting turns to stiff peaks. Add the vanilla extract, 2 1/2 tablespoons of the champagne reduction and the orange zest. Beat for an additional 2 minutes until the frosting is fluffy and all ingredients as well combined.
  8. Fit a large piping bag with a 1M piping tip and fill with frosting. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles or fruit.

Notes

  • This frosting will make more than enough for 12 cupcakes, you should expect to have leftovers which you can serve with strawberries. It will also make enough to frost a 9×13 inch cake

Frosting notes:

  • If you’ve never made Swiss meringue buttercream before, I recommend reading through my full tutorial prior to starting
  • Reducing the champagne: The champagne reduction must be fully cooled prior to adding to the buttercream
  • Cooking the egg whites and sugar: In order to prevent a grainy frosting, make sure the sugar is fully dissolved. You can test this by placing a drop on your fingertips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth. Carefully it will be quite warm!
  • Room temperature butter: Be sure the butter is at room temperature but not too soft or starting to melt, as this can lead to a runny buttercream. Be sure your mixing bowl is not too warm before adding the butter, you do not want it to melt the butter. 
Nutrition Information:
1 cupcake
385
26g
325mg
21.5g
36g
.4g
4g
73mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Champagne cupcakes, new years eve dessert, champagne buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream

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