Cupcakes With Class: Blackberry Champagne Cupcakes

If you’re like me, when you think of cupcakes, you think fun.  For some reason, if you take a cake mix and put it into a little paper liner, it just gives it energy, and makes it youthful.  Well, I’ve taken cupcakes to another level.  I’ve made them classy.  Yes, even cupcakes can be dressed up.  Here’s proof:

 
I designed this cupcake for my entry in the Duncan Hine’s Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge.  You can vote for my cupcakes everyday through July 28th by clicking hereYou see, the winner of the challenge gets to go the Primetime Emmys in LA, and their cupcake recipe will be served to the stars.  So I didn’t want to just submit any old cupcake recipe.  I wanted it to be elegant.  Enter: champagne and blackberries.  Champagne is the beverage of celebration.  And I personally think blackberries are the most sophisticated berry.  It’s the classy berry.  
The cupcake pictured above is an alternative cupcake.  What does that mean?  That means that instead of sticking a whole blackberry in the middle (as my recipe calls for), I piped blackberry preserves into the center of the baked cupcake.  Either is delicious.  Both are actually very easy.  I’ll let you choose.
Blackberry Champagne Cupcakes
Cake:
1 Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix
1 egg
3 tablespoons oil
1 1/3 cups champagne
2 6-ounce packages blackberries

Frosting:
1 cup shortening
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons champagne
1/4 cup blackberry preserves

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners in each cup.

2. In large mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat cake mix, egg, oil, and champagne on low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat an additional minute.

3. Evenly fill the muffin cups with cake batter. Top each batter-filled muffin cup with one blackberry. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, until cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

4. To prepare frosting, combine shortening, champagne, and blackberry preserves in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with hand or stand mixer on low speed until creamy. Add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes).

5. Use a knife to spread frosting over cooled cupcakes, or use a pastry bag to pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Top each frosted cupcake with one blackberry.

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