Cranberry Champagne Cupcakes with Sugar Lace

This is the third installment in my New Year's Eve champagne series.  These cupcakes can be made for the new year, or after, when you have boat loads of leftover champagne...that's kinda flat and undrinkable.

Today's recipe also uses something else that you may have laying around your fridge: leftover cranberry sauce.  You can combine that with some leftover champagne and organic sugar to make a great filling for these cupcakes.  And if you don't have it laying around the house, don't sweat it; you can substitute a different jam or just omit it altogether.

Along the way, I'll share the tricks for making the sugar lace and striped frosting :-)

For the cupcakes:
2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/2 c. organic sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/2 c. champagne
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

For the filling:
1 c. leftover cranberry sauce
1/4 c. champagne, more as needed
1/4 c. organic sugar

For the icing:
½ c. organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum
1 c. powdered sugar (vegan), and more as needed
1 tsp. vanilla
champagne, as needed

For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin pan with parchment cups.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add the almond milk and champagne until ingredients are incorporated. (It will be pretty soupy.) Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.

Using a ¼ cup as a scooper, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners.  Fill them almost 2/3 full. (I like bigger cupcakes, so I filled them a little higher. My recipe yielded 9 larger cakes.)

Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

For the filling:
In a small saucepan, heat the filling ingredients over medium heat.  Make sure everything is mixed well.  Bring this mixture to a consistent simmer and remove it from the heat.  Allow it to cool completely.

For the icing:
Cream the shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla. While mixing, slowly add the champagne (a tablespoon at a time) to get a good consistency. If it gets too stiff, add some more champagne to the mixture.  If it gets too soft, add more powdered sugar.

Once you are done mixing and everything is incorporated, you're ready to get your piping bag.  Once your tip is on, take a small spatula and swipe two large streaks of cranberry filling along the bag.  (You can also do this with red gel food coloring.)  It will make a nice swirl pattern while you're icing.  Fill your bag with icing and make those things beautiful.

For the sugar lace: mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with only 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.  You want this icing to be a little stiffer than Elmer's Glue.  Fill a piping bag with this icing and trace a design on some wax paper.  I used a Post-It note with a simple design I drew.  Trace it and repeat.  Allow the lace to dry completely. 

It's sometimes tricky to get off, but try to be patient.  Some pieces will break.  Make extras.

Assemble your cupcakes and wow your friends with this simple, but elegant design.  Happy New Year!

Cheers!
-Aileen

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here