Chocolate. Champagne. Romance. The only thing I’m missing from this scene here are some fresh sweet strawberries. Can we move Valentine’s Day to June? Of course if you reside in Florida or California you are lucky enough to have access to fresh strawberries in the winter. I digress.
Can you really think of a more perfect combination to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Both get enjoyed in mass amounts and it just made perfect sense to pair them together in cupcake form. Serve them to your sweetheart or bring them to an anti-Valentine’s Day party with your girlfriends (come on, if you are coupled now you know you did this when you were single).
Being married to a food blogger, my husband has the pleasure of eating Valentine’s Day themed food for a few weeks prior to the actual holiday. I always cook us a nice meal instead of going out, but can I tell you a little secret? Dessert tends to be left behind. We are a couple that is always satisfied with a shared pint of really good ice cream. Maybe. . . just maybe I’ll quickly whip up some hot fudge to go on top of it and I’d most likely dig out whatever candy is stashed in the freezer but that’s about it.
So instead I’m bring my cupcakes to my favorite virtual holiday food party. Yes my friends and I are back again and I have to admit this is the prettiest out of all our parties. Just look at these desserts? Are you drooling? I am.
1. Chocolate Dipped Sttrawberry Hi Hat Cupcakes (Gluten Free) from Pineapple and Coconut
2. Frosted Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies from Magnolia Days
3. White Chocolate Mousse with Frangelico from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
4. Chocolate Caramel Pretzel ‘n Chip Tart from Gotta Get Baked
5. White Chocolate Cherry Brownies from The Messy Baker
6. Chocolate Champagne Cupcakes from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
7. Sugar-Free Blueberry Yogurt Truffles from What Smells So Good
8. Strawberry Cheesecake Heart Pie from Hungry Couple NYC
9 Red Velvet Heart Sandwich Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
10. Chocolate Cannoli Cones from Created By Diane
11. Cherry Cheesecake Stuffed Cupcakes from Chocolate Moosey
12. Nutella Brownie Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
13. Valentines Smores Hearts from Kelly Bakes
14. Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies from Roxana’s Home Baking
Before we get to the recipe, can we just take a moment to discuss the awesome dome on these cupcakes? How often do you bake cupcakes, see a beautiful dome only to have it deflate after it cools? All the time for me. Some how, whatever I did with this recipe, created picture perfect cupcakes. These guys are dense and cakey but also nice and chocolatey thanks to the addition of melted chocolate and cocoa powder. One final touch of white chocolate is added to the champagne buttercream to add some decadent richness, which is exactly what you need on Valentine’s Day.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup low-fat greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6oz dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup champagne or prosecco
- ½ cup (1stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup champagne or prosecco
- 2oz good quality white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake tins with liners.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa flour salt, baking powder, baking soda and espresso powder.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in the vegetable oil and the eggs, one at a time until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the greek yogurt, vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
- Scrape down the sides again and mix in the champagne.
- Add the flour in two parts until completely combined but be careful not to over mix.
- Using a scoop, fill the lined cupcake tins ⅔ of the way full and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Clean out your mixer bowl and paddle attachment and replace on your stand mixer.
- On a low speed, mix the butter and sugar until it is combined and starts to cream together. Pour in the champagne and increase the speed to medium/medium high.
- Continue to mix for 3-4 minutes for the buttercream to come together. The color should turn white and the texture be nice and light.
- Turn off the speed, add the melted white chocolate and mix again for another minute on high.
- Scoop the buttercream into a pastry bag with your choice of tip and pipe onto the cupcakes.
- Makes approximately 20 to 22 cupcakes.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.