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.