Don't let another New Year's Eve go by without making these gluten free champagne cupcakes. Their intense champagne flavor and light texture will knock your socks off!
When I first made these cupcakes, I had no idea they'd become the hit that they are in my family. They're so light and luscious, you'd never know they're gluten free. They're one of my mom's and son's favorite cupcakes that I make, which says a lot because Brandon isn't into champagne at all.
What Makes These Gluten Free Champagne Cupcakes So Special?
When I was making the cupcakes, I was trying to figure out how to get the most flavor from the champagne without there being too much liquid in both the cake and frosting.
The cake part was pretty easy. I just substituted ⅓ cup of the milk in the recipe with bubbly champagne. That was just enough to have the essence of the champagne without altering the consistency of the batter.
But what about the frosting? A lot of liquid added to buttercream will just make it soupy and not hold up well when piping. So I used an old trick and reduced the champagne to a syrup. And let me tell ya, this champagne syrup is like liquid gold (or pink in this case). The flavor of the champagne is intensified so a little goes a long way, which is perfect for adding to buttercream.
The Easy Cake Recipe
This vanilla cake is so easy to whip up in no time. And because of the vegetable or canola oil used as the fat (instead of butter), the cake is very light in texture. This is one of my favorite cake recipes for that reason. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE butter (if you haven't yet figured that out), but there's plenty of butter in the buttercream and I like the lightness of the cake itself. Here are the ingredients:
- Vegetable or canola oil
- Granulated sugar
- Kim's gluten free flour blend -- you can use any other blend you'd like, such as Cup4Cup.
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk
- Champagne -- I like to use Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato Champagne, but whatever brand you'd like is fine.
- Sour cream
Making the Most Fantastic Champagne Buttercream
After popping open the bottle of champagne, pour ⅓ a cup of into a small measuring cup and use that in the cake as instructed. Dump the rest of the entire bottle into a small to medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and let it simmer down until it reduces to about 3-4 tablespoons. Remove it from the heat and pour it into a small container and allow it to cool completely.
This buttercream is an American buttercream, but is one of the best American buttercreams you'll ever have! The ratio of butter to sugar is 1:1 in weight, which is not the typical amount. Usually there's way more sugar to butter, which is why most people think American buttercream is sickeningly sweet.
Begin by briefly whipping cool room temperature butter until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, pulsing so it doesn't all go flying in your face, haha!
Once all the powdered sugar has been added, drizzle in 3 tablespoons of champagne syrup and the vanilla extract on low, followed by pink gel color if desired. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then bump the speed up to medium high and mix until the buttercream is lighter in color and texture and is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
For the love of all that is cupcakes, I urge you to make these gluten free champagne cupcakes for your New Year's Eve party, or just because. You'll be in heaven with how light and airy and decadent they are!
Gluten Free Champagne Cupcakes
- 2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoon (331 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or any flour blend of your choice containing xanthan gum)
- 2½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2⅓ cups (466 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) whole milk
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) pink champagne (I used Barefoot Bubbly pink moscato champagne)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 g) sour cream
- 3 cups (6 sticks or 680 g) butter, at cool room temperature
- 6 cups (680 g) powdered sugar, sifted or whisked well
- 3 tablespoon champagne reduction
- 1 bottle minus ⅓ cup pink champagne
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a small measuring cup, add the milk to the reserved ⅓ cup of champagne. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, mix together the granulated sugar, oil, and eggs on medium speed until well combined and lightened slightly in color. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix just until combined. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add half the flour mixture, followed by half the milk mixture. Alternate with the final half of the flour and final half of the milk, just until combined. Don't overmix.
- Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full and bake cupcakes for about 25-28 minutes, or until cake bounces back when lightly touched.
- Remove from the oven and place on baking racks to cool.
FOR THE CHAMPAGNE REDUCTION:
- Pour what's left of the champagne bottle (minus the ⅓ cup for the cupcake batter) into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce temperature to maintain a constant simmer until the champagne is reduced to about 3-4 tablespoons (about 30 minutes).
- Pour into a heat-proof container and place in the refrigerator to cool.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the sifted (or whisked) powdered sugar on low, about a cup at a time, pulsing on and off so the sugar doesn't fly out of bowl.
- When all sugar has been incorporated, add the cooled champagne reduction and vanilla extract (and a little pink gel color if desired). Mix to combine and then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer up to medium high and whip until light and fluffy and lighter in color, about 5 minutes.
- Put a large star tip in a pastry bag and fill with buttercream. Pipe onto cupcakes. Alternatively, spread on cupcakes. Add sprinkles if desired.
- Cupcakes will keep for about 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about one week.
Adapted from Jennifer Shea’s classes on Bluprint
Gluten Free Champagne Cupcakes was originally posted on December 30, 2018. It has been updated with new pictures, new techniques, and an easier cake recipe.