How perfect would these be for a party? So gorgeous and light… They look like they are really complicated and hard to make, but really they are pretty simple, so give them a try!
Here’s the recipe:
For the cupcakes:
- 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup champagne
- 6 egg whites
For the buttercream frosting:
- 3 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature
For the garnish:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.
- In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites.
- Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
For the frosting:
- With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter.
- Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.
- Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.
- Frost each cupcake, either with a pastry bag or freehand!
For the spun sugar: (Disclaimer: this is a little hard to do, but well worth it because it is so beautiful)
- Secure a long-handled wooden spoon under a heavy cutting board on the edge of the counter, with the handle facing out and extending over the edge.
- Place newspapers on the floor, directly under the cutting board. (Believe me, you will need them as this can get messy….)
- Prepare an ice-water bath.
- Bring sugar, corn syrup, and the water to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Stop stirring.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
- Cook until the mixture turns pale amber and registers 300 degrees (hard-crack stage) on the candy thermometer.
- Plunge pan into ice bath to stop the cooking; let cool, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 250 degrees. ***Be careful. The pan is hot and will steam very strongly when you cool it so rapidly.
- Dip the tines of a fork into the caramel.
- Holding the fork about 2 feet above the spoon handle, swing caramel back and forth like a pendulum in long arcs, allowing strands to fall in threads over the handles. **You will most likely lose a lot to the floor below; hence, the newspapers.
- Let stand until ready to use, then gently gather some of the strands and shaped as desired. **I wanted mine to look like fireworks, so I broke them into shorter fragments.
- Garnish the cupcakes with the spun sugar.