Saturday and Sunday mornings are when I cook/bake and photograph my recipes for Devour. This past Saturday, I woke up with what I believed to be a brilliant idea for a Valentine’s Day recipe: Raspberry Mimosa Cupcakes! They would be delightfully pink, flavoured with fresh raspberry puree and sparkling wine, and topped with a creamy mimosa frosting.
I’ve often used raspberry puree in my desserts. I have a raspberry bush in my backyard that produces oodles of fresh berries that I have to pick every single day in the summer, and as much as I enjoy fresh berries I am always trying to find ways to use them up. I made a lovely Pink Lemonade Square last year that combined lemon and raspberries into a delightfully pink curd sitting atop a shortbread crust. In my mind, adding the vibrant, reddish-pink raspberry puree to my cupcake batter would have a similar colouring effect.
Can you tell where this is going? I knew something was wrong when my batter turned, not pink, but a shade of pale lavender in the mixer. No big deal, I thought: purple is just as nice a colour for cupcakes as pink. I scooped the purplish batter into the cupcake liners and popped them in the oven. Reader, my cupcakes turned blue while they baked. Blue! I was not expecting that.
Those of you who’ve mixed pureed raspberries into cake or muffin batter before are probably laughing and/or rolling your eyes at my naiveté, but I definitely learned my lesson! The good thing is they actually turned out to be amazingly delicious, even if they were a bit of an alarming colour inside. The sparkling wine and the raspberries in the batter were a perfect marriage of flavours, and the bubbles in the wine helped the texture of the cakes to be fluffy and soft.
I am happy with how these turned out, but next time if I want to impart a pinkish colour to my cupcakes, I’ll try some strawberries. Or maybe a drop or two of red food colouring, although I much prefer to use natural colour agents.
The mimosa frosting turned out exactly how I had hoped – thank goodness! – with its combination of orange juice and sparkling wine. Because I was feeling fancy, I made some candied orange peel to drape artfully atop of each cupcake: I used this Giada De Laurentiis recipe, omitting the chocolate. It was certainly a nice addition, but a simple slice of orange or a whole fresh raspberry would be a nice cupcake topper as well.
Although these didn’t end up the blushing pink hue I’d imagined, they would still make a fabulous Valentine’s Day treat. One of these cupcakes with a tall glass of bubbly would make a perfect end to any celebratory meal.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cups white sugar
- 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sparkling wine, such as Champagne (I used Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine)
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco
- Candied orange peel or other garnish, for decoration (optional)
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
- Puree raspberries and strain mixture into a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a very large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the milk, Champagne, vanilla and the flour mixture and beat on low to medium speed for about 30 seconds, or until just combined. Scrape the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and raspberry puree and beat for 2 minutes more.
- Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ full with batter and bake until the center springs back when touched, about 18-23 minutes. Cool before frosting.
- Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar, orange juice and sparkling wine and mix until smooth. If the icing is too runny, add a bit more icing sugar; if it is too stiff, add a bit more liquid until the desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cupcakes.
- Best served the day they are made, or the day after. Can keep refrigerated for 2-3 days if necessary.
Source: Cupcake recipe adapted from The Food Network’s Champagne Cupcakes recipe. The Mimosa Buttercream is my own concoction.