Introduction: Vegan Pink Champagne Cupcakes

These boozy delights will hit the spot if you want a little something decadent and fancy.  The cupcakes are pink champagne flavored with strawberry buttercream frosting topped with a chocolate covered strawberry on top.

They take a bit of time to bake and decorate, but they are so good!

Step 1: Bake Your Cupcakes

Pink Mambo Monsters (I swear this name will make sense in a few paragraphs)

3/4 cup plus two tablespoons (or just under a cup) pink champagne
1/8 cup soymilk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons strawberry extract

Combine all ingredients and mix well. The batter will get slightly frothy at first due to the carbonation in the champagne.

Pour into greased or lined muffin pans and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes (give or take). Remove and let cool. The cupcakes will be very very fluffy.

A Word of Caution: These cupcakes were extremely boozy when I made them. If you want to cut down on the champagne, try 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup soymilk.

After you bake them, you may notice a slightly green tint. I’ll be honest, I don’t have the slightest idea why this happens. I have a theory about the baking soda and alcohol combining to form a weird chemical reaction, but maybe not. It’s a mystery I guess. (see… you get why they are Pink Mambo Monsters now right? Pink Mambo because of the champagne, and Monster because they are now green tinted).

Step 2: Prep Your Strawberries

While your muffins are in the oven, cut six small strawberries in half. Make the chocolate ganache recipe below:

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup soymilk
splash of maple syrup

Place all three ingredients in a microwave bowl and nuke it for about 30 seconds then stir. Heat in additional 10 second increments, while stirring in between, until melted.

Dip each strawberry half in the ganache then set on wax paper to harden.  

Step 3: Whip Up Some Frosting

Finally, while your cupcakes are cooling and your chocolate covered strawberries are setting, make your frosting. I used strawberry buttercream which was really good. It wasn’t super sweet and complimented the champagne flavor of the cupcakes well.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup margarine (Earth Balance)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup soymilk
1 1/2 teaspoons strawberry extract

Cream shortening and margarine together with hand mixer. Slowly add the powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time. Once combined, add in soymilk and strawberry extract. Blend on slow/medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes (trust me, you don’t want to skimp on the 5 to 7). I added about a half a cup of fresh strawberries and folded them into the frosting as well.

If you want to add the strawberries, reduce the amount of soymilk just a tad. The juice from the strawberries will add too much extra liquid to the frosting and make it runny, but decreasing the soymilk will leave the frosting a bit stiff in prep for extra juice.

Step 4: And Assemble!

Once you have your cupcakes, frosting and chocolate covered strawberries set, you have to assemble them. Because I had chunky frosting from bits of strawberry, I found it easier to cut a hole in the top of my cupcake and fill it (think of it as cutting off the top of the pumpkin). Cut the hole in a slightly angled fashion so you have a cone shaped hole (this will prevent you from having to try and detach the top for the bottom and mashing your cupcakes)

Fill the hole with frosting then put the top of the cupcake back on. I did shave a little extra cake off the top piece as to not squish the frosting out the sides. Add a dab of frosting to the underside of a strawberry half and stick it on top of the cupcake.

And there you have it - booze cakes.

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Bio: Avid vegan baker, queen of office supplies, book junkie, grammar enthusiast, freebie fanatic and lover of everything 80's.
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