Champagne Cupcakes: A Labor of Love

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Champagne Cupcakes with Raspberry and Orange Buttercream Frosting is a “sweet” way to say “Be My Valentine.”

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and with Valentine’s Day just a few days away, it’s time to get cookin’! All jokes aside, I don’t think there’s a better way to show you care than by cooking or baking for someone you love. I’ve got a special recipe to share today, and it’s exciting for two reasons: 1) It’s seriously Some Kinda Good (you get to bake with champagne!), and 2) It’s developed by a really inspirational person I had the privilege of meeting and competing with on ABC’s The Taste

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Audrey Johns (Photo Credit: LoseWeightByEating. com)

My friend, Audrey Johns, is the trailblazer behind the popular weight loss blog, Lose Weight by Eating.  Her incredible weight loss journey has inspired thousands–she lost 150 pounds in one year by teaching herself to eat clean–and now she’s on the verge of releasing, with Harper Collins, the Lose Weight By Eating cookbook. The book will hit stores this April, but I’m one of the lucky few to have received an advanced copy. Packed with 130 recipe makeovers, the cookbook contains recipes for real food like my favorite pizza: Hawaiian Pizza and Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Jalapeno Poppers and Peanut Butter Waffles!

I can personally attest to the flavors and incredible genius behind these well conceived recipes. Audrey, you are brilliant! Thank you for sharing your story and your food with the world. I admire you for attaining your dreams.

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Look for these cupcakes in the Lose Weight By Eating cookbook this April! (Contributed Photo)

Now, let’s get down to the romance! Champagne Cupcakes with Raspberry and Orange Buttercream Frosting is a labor of love that I just know your Valentine will appreciate.
In the Orange Frosting, the tablespoon of orange juice concentrate packs a bright punch. You’ll also notice Audrey uses unsweetened applesauce to cut out sugar and butter in the cake. The best part about this recipe is that it requires two cups of champagne, and you can drink the rest! Surprisingly, you can really taste the champagne once these are baked. In honor of my California friend, I used The Golden State’s Brut by Andre. In the words of Audrey, “You get the best of both worlds—a glass of bubbly in the form of a cupcake!”

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! Make it Some Kinda Good. ❤


Champagne Cupcakes with Raspberry and Orange Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 Cupcakes
Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
Per Serving: Calories 154; Fat 3 g; Fiber 0.5; Protein 1 g; Carbohydrates 28 g

“These champagne cupcakes aren’t for your kid’s birthday party; they pack an elegant punch as a dessert at cocktail or dinner parties…The sweet orange frosting gives a mimosa effect and the tart raspberry frosting gives you a Chambord cupcake.” – Audrey Johns

Cupcakes
Butter wrapper or olive oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups champagne, prosecco, or sparkling white wine
½ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
 
Raspberry Frosting
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon raspberry jam


Orange Frosting

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

Fresh raspberries (optional)
Orange slices (optional)
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease two 12- cup muffin tins with the inside of a butter wrapper, or if you’re using paper liners, spray them with olive oil spray.
 
2. Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly pour in the champagne so it doesn’t bubble over, then add the applesauce and gently mix together with a spatula or spoon (not a mixer). When the mixture is mostly combined, add the almond milk and mix until there are no lumps. Don’t overmix, as it will make tough cupcakes.
 
3. Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to cool completely while you make the frosting.
 
4. Make the raspberry frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a whisk, whisk the butter, sugar, raspberry jam, and 1 teaspoon warm water until the frosting starts to ball up on the whisk. If necessary, add warm water 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency; you want it thick enough not to run or drip.
 

5. Make the orange frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a whisk, whisk the butter, sugar, orange juice concentrate, and 1 teaspoon warm water until the frosting starts to ball up on the whisk. If needed, add 1 teaspoon warm water at a time until you reach the right consistency; you want it thick enough not to run or drip.

6. With a decorating bag or a spoon, top 12 of the cupcakes with the raspberry frosting and 12 with the orange frosting. Let the cupcakes sit for a couple of minutes, then garnish them with fresh raspberries or orange slices, if desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the frosting.

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Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” she is the former Statesboro Herald food columnist and past host of the television program “Statesboro Cooks.” From 2012 – ’14, she appeared regularly as Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market and wrote as a guest blogger for Visit Savannah and The Local Palate. In addition, her work is published in Moments magazine and Connect Statesboro. Her culinary accomplishments are recognized in two publications: She is a featured alumna in Georgia Southern Magazine (Spring ’14) and the “Go Girl!” in Moments magazine (March 2104), a tabloid for moms and modern women. To learn more, visit RebekahFaulk.wix.com/RebekahFaulk.

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