Scented with elderflower liqueur, lemon zest, and bubbly champagne, these champagne elderflower cupcakes are a festive dessert to include in your holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations!
Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes
For the cupcakes
3 cups cake flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup canola oil
1 cup dry champagne or sparkling white wine
2 tablespoons of elderflower liquor (St. Germain)
For the custard
1-1/2 cups half and half
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup dry champagne or sparkling white wine
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
For the frosting
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons elderflower liquor
2 teaspoons lemon zest
To prepare the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 24 cupcake tins with papers.
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the oil.
Add half of the dry ingredients and stir on low speed to combine. Add the wine and liquor, stirring briefly to combine, and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix just until combined- do not overmix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold the batter to ensure it is thoroughly mixed.
Put approximately 1/4 cup of batter in each cupcake liner (I use a large cookie scoop to fill mine), and then place the prepared pans in the oven. I typically bake one pan at a time to ensure even baking, but you can prepare them how you prefer. Rotate in the oven if you notice on side of the pan getting darker than the other. Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack while you prepare the remaining elements.
To prepare the custard
Heat the half and half in a medium sized saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat until it is hot (but not boiling). In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add the wine and cornstarch, whisking until combined. Slowly add 1/3 of the hot half and half, whisking the whole time to ensure the eggs don’t get cooked. Pour the entirety of the mixture back in the saucepan and continue to cook it all on the stove over medium-low heat. You’ll notice that the mixture will begin to thicken and perhaps even bubble slightly. Remove from the heat when the custard is a thick pudding consistency. Whisk in the butter and vanilla and place the custard into a small bowl. Place a sheet of plastic directly on top of the custard, to prevent a skin from forming on the top, and place the bowl in the fridge to cool.
To prepare the frosting
Beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, elderflower liquor, and zest and continue beating just until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chilled custard into the whipped cream.
To assemble the cupcakes
Using a paring knife, cut a small, tablespoon sized whole in the top of each cupcake. This is where the custard filling will go, so feel free to make the hole somewhat deep but not wider than half the width of the cupcake.
Spoon or pipe the custard into the holes in the cupcakes. About 1 tablespoon of custard should go in each cupcake.
Pipe or dollop the whipping cream frosting on each cupcake. I used a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip to pipe my frosting.
Store the cupcakes in the fridge. They are best eaten on the day they are assembled.