Baking with Bubbly

Cupcakes. Champagne. Cupcakes + Champagne. Can it get any better?

As a good friend of mine always says, “Life’s a celebration.” And, that celebration should always include a glass of bubbly. So, why shouldn’t baking as well?!

To ring in 2012, it was the perfect time to attempt this adventure in baking. The good news is you only need approximately half the bottle (if that) for the cake and icing, leaving you with plenty to sip on throughout the process.

I did take the easy route — using a cake mix as a shortcut — but am incredibly pleased with the end result. The champagne flavor is not overpowering, but the hint of bubbly in the icing leaves you wondering what other events in 2012 will warrant breaking out this recipe. Bachelorette party, wedding shower…

Finished product!

I followed this very easy Betty Crocker recipe — minus the food coloring. And, during my hours of champagne cupcake research came across this fun tip from I Am Baker. Firework toppers!

Simply melt white chocolate chips in a plastic bag in 30 second increments in the microwave. Cut off the tip and design away. Of course, coating with sparkling white sugar.

Can’t wait to see the reaction these delightful treats get tonight!

One thing I haven’t done in my short time in Champaign is treat myself to the local bakeries. I’ve heard great things about several, such as Cupcakes on Walnut, that are sure to come close to my all-time favorite Chicago cupcake spot, Sweet Mandy B’s. If not, I may just have to follow my dream and open my own! Champagne cupcakes will definitely be on the menu.

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Welcome to Cashmere Meets Corn

I recently made the move from the big city to a small town. A move many that know me questioned. I had grown up close to said small town and was right there alongside my friends and former classmates in declaring, “Get me the h*ll out of here. I’ll never be back but to visit.” But, alas the city-dweller in me got weary and broke from over 6 years of cab-hailing, walking to and from the grocery store, a commute down Michigan Avenue (attempting to avoid shopping daily), and double-digit costing cocktails.

When the opportunity presented itself to return, the decision was surprisingly an easy one. Yes, I’d be leaving the best of friends and a mesmerizing city I’d come to call home, but I’d be furthering my PR career in ways that wouldn’t be possible in Chicago (surprisingly!), dramatically decreasing my cost of living, while also moving closer to family during a time in my life when family matters most.

I knew it would be an adjustment moving back to the land of corn fields, but I didn’t realize it would be this big of an adjustment! So, while my mind, body and soul yearns to be a cab ride away from Nordstrom, I’m set out to prove that life can be just as fabulous in good ol’ Central Illinois.

Cashmere Meets Corn will chronicle my attempt at city-fying my re-found country life. And, what I hope will ultimately become a guide to chic living — Champaign style. You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl. That’s how the saying goes, right?

P.S. Bear with me as I get started. Posts may be far and few between as I find my ‘voice’ and what defines Cashmere Meets Corn.