Is there anything made with more love than a made-from-scratch dessert, especially one that's infused with alcohol? Strawberries and Champagne Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting are surprisingly simple to make and so delicious to eat! These pink bite-sized romantic treats will make a perfect dessert to accompany your Valentine's Day (or Galentines Day!) dinner, a bridal shower or baby shower, an elegant dinner party, or any time you need to add a bright and sweet treat to your life!
Why this recipe works
When it comes to strawberries, I don't know which pairing I love better - strawberries and chocolate or strawberries and champagne. These pink mini cupcake bites combine all three - they're like chocolate strawberries infused with champagne!
This recipe starts by making the best light and fluffy pink cupcakes with blended strawberries and sparkling champagne baked right into the batter. A quick and easy jam is made without gelatin or pectin, bursting with flavor from the boozy strawberries. And lastly, a light and sweet fluffy Nutella frosting tops off these delicate bite-sized treats.
Ingredients and notes
Strawberries - Strawberries are used in both the cake batter and the homemade jam. You can use frozen strawberries or fresh strawberries, but if you use frozen, you'll want to defrost them a bit so that they are soft enough to cut through them. If strawberries don't excite you, raspberries would make a delicious flavor subsitution! Either berry will give your cake a faint pink color, but you can add pink food coloring to make it even more vibrant!
Champagne - Champagne works great in this recipe, but you could use any sparkling wine that you like - pink champagne, prosecco, moscato, sparkling rosè - this recipe only needs a little bit of the bottle so use the bubbly you enjoy drinking the most!
Nutella - This recipe calls for Nutella in the buttercream frosting, but you could easily make this a nut-free recipe by using a simple chocolate buttercream frosting instead. Or if you want to keep it extra easy, you could just spread Nutella on top of the cupcakes instead of piping frosting.
How to make this recipe
Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in one bowl and wet ingredients (champagne, strawberry puree, and vanilla) in another. Set both bowls aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and half the sugar until light and fluffy, then alternate adding dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry, until just incorporated.
In a separate clean, dry mixing bowl, begin beating the egg whites, then when they get foamy, add the cream of tartar and gradually add in the rest of the sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites become glossy and form stiff peaks.
Fold the meringue into the cake batter. If you want to brighten up the pink color of your cupcakes, you can add pink food coloring at this stage as well.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, and then cool completely before filling and frosting.
Heat diced strawberries over medium heat until the juices release. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
Add the sugar, champagne, and cornstarch, and continue stirring for about 2 more minutes, then let cool.
Once cooled, remove the middle of each cupcake (see the Tips and Tricks section below for tips on coring cupcakes!) and spoon the filling into the hole. You can then replace the removed cupcake core on top of the filling if you'd like - it will be covered with the frosting so it's okay if it doesn't look pretty here!
Beat the butter until it's light and fluffy, then add the remaining ingredients.
Spread or pipe onto cooled and filled cupcakes.
I am a strong advocate of using what you like. Any champagne you like will go great with strawberries! I tend to be partial to a sparkling rosè or prosecco, but if you're going to sweeten it up a bit, you may want to go with a drier champagne.
Absolutely!! Making the buttercream frosting in the recipe will give you a bit stiffer of a frosting that will allow you to pipe the frosting decoratively on top. Nutella will not hold its shape in the same way, but you could definitely still spread or pipe it on top and it will taste incredible! Or you could add some powdered sugar to the Nutella to thicken it up a bit.
If you're running low on powdered sugar (sometimes called icing sugar), you can make it by grinding together granulated sugar and corn starch. I've never tested any substitutes with this recipe, but grinding cocoa powder with sugar (or even using a packet of powdered hot cocoa mix) should also work as a chocolatey substitute to thicken up the frosting.
Tips & Tricks
- To know if your egg whites are properly beaten into a meringue, pull the beater straight up from the mixture. If the egg white in the bowl forms a peak that doesn't droop over at the top, it's done!
- To fold, I generally run the spatula around the outside of the batter, against the edge of the bowl, and then fold the outside batter onto the batter in the center of the bowl, and continue stirring in that method until the egg whites are fully incorporated into the batter. This method keeps your egg whites from deflating, making the cake light and fluffy.
- To remove the center of the cupcake, you can simply cut the middle out with a knife. Just be careful to not cut in too deep as you need the bottom of the cupcake intact and thick enough to support the filling! You can also use a cupcake corer or a small round cookie cutter and twist it into and out of the middle of the cupcake. Another option is to use your (clean) fingers or a rounded utensil to press a hole down into the cupcake.
- To pipe frosting without a piping bag or tip, you can put the frosting in a Ziploc baggie and cut off a corner of the bag.
Did you try this recipe? Review and comment below, and share a photo on Instagram and tag @flourdeliz!
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Strawberries & Champagne Cupcakes with Easy Nutella Buttercream Frosting
- mini cupcake pan
- 2 small bowls
- 2 mixing bowls
- silicone spatula
- small saucepan
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt Diamond Crystal
- ½ cup champagne
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup pureed strawberries (about 5-6 berries)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup sugar divided in half
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- A few drops pink food coloring optional
- 1 cup strawberries finely diced (about 8 berries)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon champagne
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup Nutella
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a mini cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt (dry ingredients). In another bowl, combine champagne, vanilla, and strawberry puree (wet ingredients).
- In your mixing bowl, beat butter and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy.
- On low speed add ⅓ of the dry ingredients, and once almost combined, add half the wet ingredients, continuing to alternate dry and wet until all are combined.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and slowly and gradually add in ½ cup sugar beating until glossy and stiff.
- Fold the egg white mixture into the batter.
- OPTIONAL: add a few drops of pink food coloring to the batter.
- Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center the cupcakes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, the move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place diced strawberries in a saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring constantly, until juices are released (about 4 minutes).
- Add the sugar, cornstarch, and champagne, and continue stirring for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Once cooled, create a small hole in the center of cooled cupcakes and pour a small amount of filling into the hole.
- Beat butter until fluffy.
- Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined.
- If the icing is too thick, add a little bit more cream. If the icing is too thin, add a little bit more powdered sugar. Continue adjusting until frosting is desired consistency.
- Swirl frosting onto cooled, filled cupcakes, and decorate with sprinkles!
This recipe was originally posted on January 21, 2019, but was republished with new photos, additional information about the recipe, step-by-step instructions, FAQs, and tips and tricks in January of 2022.