These elegant Pink Champagne Cupcakes are infused with bubbly bliss and crowned with rich champagne buttercream — a sparkling treat that elevates any occasion!
There’s something about bubbly that makes any occasion extra special!
While I’m definitely a fan of the champagne toast, I’ve really taken a liking to desserts made with champagne! If you love the way champagne tastes on its own, then just imagine it in cupcake and frosting form…and that’s how these champagne cupcakes came to be!
Yep, we made gummy bears with rosé!! And they are every bit as awesome as you’d imagine!
These gorgeous pink champagne cupcakes are SO easy to make! My husband got most of the cooking talent in our family — not that I’m complaining about a husband who cooks! — so if I say a recipe is easy, then seriously anyone can make it!
I’ll readily admit that I love to use a box cake shortcut because it saves time and it’s practically foolproof! When I’m baking treats for a party, I don’t want to take a chance that I’ll mess up because I tried a new recipe for the first time. With homemade icing, these will taste like fancy bakery cupcakes, without as much time needed!
There’s no shame in using a box cake mix — no one ever has to know!
Now when I say this recipe is foolproof, I mean it! All you do is swap out sparkling wine for the water that you would normally use to make box cake mix.
If you’re looking for a unique treat for an upcoming celebration, then these cupcakes are a must-try! I mean, how perfect would these champagne cupcakes be for wedding festivities or a New Year’s Eve party?!
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- White or vanilla cake mix — Plus ingredients listed on the back of the box
- Champagne — Or your favorite sparkling wine (to be used in place of water in cake directions)
For the Champagne Buttercream Frosting:
- Butter — Be sure to use unsalted butter!
- Powdered sugar
- Champagne extract — Optional, but adds even more fabulous champagne flavor! Champagne extract is a flavoring, like vanilla extract.
- Milk — You can use any type of milk that you prefer, even dairy free!
- Pink gel food coloring — We love gel food coloring because it creates beautiful vibrant colors with just a few drops!
Kitchen Tools Used
- Stand mixer — You can also use an electric hand mixer if that’s what you have at home. But if you’ve been eyeing a gorgeous KitchenAid mixer, check out the refurbished options! We bought ours refurbished and saved a ton of money! Or you can use a hand mixer and large bowl.
- Muffin tin
- Cupcake liners
- Batter scoop
- Frosting decorating bag — We love these reusable silicone piping bags because you can wash and use them over and over again. A star tip makes those gorgeous icing swirls that you see at fancy bakeries.
To Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
To Make The Cupcakes
- Prepare cupcake batter according to package directions, substituting champagne for the liquid listed in the directions. (You’ll still add the eggs and oil though).
- Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about halfway full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cupcake comes out clean.
To Make The Champagne Buttercream:
- Cream butter and powder sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed, adding the sugar gradually.
- Add champagne, champagne extract (optional), food coloring, and milk. Add more milk a Tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is smooth and creamy, but also holds stiff peaks. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
- When your frosting is your desired consistency, scoop into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
- Cupcakes – We used a simple box cake for these cupcakes because it is so easy and a cake mix already contains all the dry ingredients you’d use to make cupcakes from scratch. You can use any brand that you like, even gluten free cake mix. I recommend using a white cake mix or vanilla cake mix, so it won’t clash with the champagne flavors. Using a cookie scoop makes portioning out the batter a breeze! Be sure to fill the cupcake liners up no more than halfway, as the batter will rise while baking.
- Food Coloring – To achieve that beautiful pink color for the icing, you can use 3-4 drops of pink food coloring or 2 drops of red food coloring. Always start conservatively with food coloring — you can add more if needed.
- Butter – Cubing the butter and allowing it to soften to room temperature makes it much easier to mix.
- Champagne – If you have questions about what type of champagne to use or if the alcohol bakes out of the cupcakes, I’ve provided more detailed answers in the FAQ section below.
- Frosting – Canned icing doesn’t keep its shape as well as homemade buttercream, when you pipe it onto the cupcakes. While I totally love to use a box cake shortcut, when it comes to icing, it is worth the extra time to whip up a batch from scratch. It also allows you too really get the best flavor from the champagne and extract, without watering down the frosting.
- Decorate – These cupcakes would look fabulous with festive sprinkles on top! Feel free to customize for different occasions, such as a birthday or baby showers.
- Yield – On average, one box of cake mix makes 24 regular sized cupcakes. The size of your cupcake pans may mean that you get more or less, but two dozen is a good estimate.
- Storage – These cupcakes do not require refrigeration and can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Champagne Should I Use?
To be called Champagne, a sparkling wine must be made in the Champagne region of France through a highly regulated process. While this creates a high quality and incredible tasting product, true Champagne is often pretty pricey.
Even though I know the distinction (I studied wine after college), I’ll admit that I’m guilty of calling sparkling wine “champagne” in the generic sense. Kind of like we often say “Kleenex” when we simply mean tissues.
That’s why you’ll see me say “champagne” throughout the recipe, as well as use it in the name. It’s a habit y’all!
For this recipe, you’re welcome to use any type of sparkling wine — whether or not it is actually real Champagne. I usually choose something that’s tasty enough to drink on its own, but nothing that’s going to break the bank.
I personally love Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) or a fun rose sparkling wine, which is already a light pinkish color.
Does Alcohol Bake Out of Cake?
Alcoholic beverages are a popular addition to baked goods and not only for the flavor of the drink itself. Using alcohol in baked goods also:
- Enhances ALL of the flavors of the recipe
- Creates a delightful crumbly texture to cakes and cupcakes
However, you may be wondering if it is safe to let children eat cakes and cupcakes made with alcohol. Does the alcohol cook out of baked goods?
While much of the alcohol does cook out, there is a fair amount that remains. According to The Cake Blog, after 30 minutes of baking, about 35% of alcoholic content will still be in the cake.
If you want to make a completely family friendly version of this recipe, use the following tips:
How to Make Non-Alcoholic Champagne Cupcakes
First, you’ll want to grab a bottle of champagne extract. This is available at many specialty cooking stores, or you can order on Amazon.
- Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box. Do not substitute sparkling wine for water. Instead, use the water that is listed in directions AND add 1 teaspoon of champagne extract.
- When preparing the buttercream frosting, use only milk (no sparkling wine). Add 1 teaspoon of champagne extract for flavor.
Now you have a gorgeous and delicious treat that the whole family can enjoy!
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Champagne Cupcake Recipe (Printable Copy)
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Pink Champagne Cupcakes
- Stand mixer
Champagne Cupcakes Ingredients
- 1 box white cake mix plus ingredients on box
- champagne swap champagne for water in box cake ingredient list
Champagne Buttercream Ingredients
- 2 sticks butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar or more, as needed
- 2 Tablespoons champagne
- 1 teaspoon champagne extract optional
- 3 drops pink food coloring
- 2-4 Tablespoons milk
To Make the Cupcakes
- Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box, using champagne or sparkling wine in place of water.
- Scoop batter into lined muffin pan, filling each cup no more than halfway.
- Bake cupcakes and allow to cool before frosting.
To Make the Frosting
- Cream softened butter using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing as you go.
- Add champagne, champagne extract (optional), food coloring and 2 Tablespoons milk. Continue adding milk a Tablespoon at a time, as needed, until your frosting is smooth and fluffy consistency, but will still form stiff peaks. (About 2-3 minutes)
- Use a frosting decorating bag fitted with a star tip to pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
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