Pretty in Pink Champagne Cupcakes

Each sweet and tender morsel of these showstoppers boasts a hint of bubbly Champagne, a twist of pink and white buttercream and a sprinkling of glitter bling. They're ideal for weddings, baby showers or tea parties. Use a sweeter Champagne in the recipe and keep the rest for mimosas.

CUPCAKES

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pink Champagne*
1 to 3 drops red food coloring

FROSTING

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, divided
1/4 cup pink Champagne*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 drops red food coloring

GARNISH

2 tablespoons sparkling sugar or edible pink sugar pearls

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl.

2. Beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar in large bowl at medium speed 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. At low speed, slowly beat in flour mixture; gradually beat in 1/2 cup Champagne. Slowly add 1 to 3 drops red food coloring to desired color. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup.

3. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.

4. Beat 1/2 cup butter in large bowl at medium speed until creamy. At low speed, beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat in 1/4 cup Champagne, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slowly beat in remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, adding additional powdered sugar to desired frosting consistency.

5. Divide frosting between 2 small bowls. Leave one bowl plain; add 1 to 2 drops red food coloring to second bowl. Using pastry bag fitted with medium star tip or resealable plastic bag with corner cut off, spoon pink frosting on one side of pastry bag and plain frosting on opposite side of same bag. Pipe decoratively over each cupcake; sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

24 mini cupcakes

PER CUPCAKE: 205 calories, 8 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 1 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 35 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

TIP *Use a sweet, less-expensive Champagne for this recipe. Chill thoroughly before opening. Opening warm Champagne can be difficult, even dangerous, because pressure from the warm unstable carbon dioxide bubbles forces the cork out quickly while the Champagne foams up spilling out easily. After opening, the Champagne used in the recipe can be brought to room temperature before using.


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