Nothing says “Opening Night” like popping the cork on a bottle (read: several bottles) of bubbly!
The thrill and joy of opening night is often topped off with celebration after the performance. Most theatre companies I’ve worked with over the years have had some sort of opening night tradition, and almost all of them involved pouring out the champagne.
As a theatre artist, the opening night party isn’t just any party. It’s a celebration of finally being able to share the hard work you’ve been doing for weeks or even months. It’s a moment of triumph. And it’s the kick off to what you always hope will be a successful and enjoyable run.
Since launching this project feels like opening night, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick of Center Stage Sweets than with my prosecco cupcakes to celebrate our Opening Night!
Baking up a boozy batch
These cupcakes are based off of a silver cake and vanilla buttercream, but with a little bubbly twist. And for a special taste, I’ve added in a little surprise flavor injection!
This was the fourth recipe I came up with while prepping to launch Center Stage Sweets. But it was instantly the favorite of my loyal taste testers (aka my fiance and my dear friend Laura, among others). I can’t wait for you all to try them and tell me what you think in the comments.
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line cupake pans with festive wrapper of your choosing (I like a shiny gold). Spray the rappers with cooking spray for baking to ensure an easy experience unwrapping your tasty treat.
2. Separate eggs and beat egg whites in your mixer on medium using the whisk attachment until they are no longer translucent. Then slowly start to mix in the sugar. Add vanilla after the sugar is incorporated. Continue to mix until the egg whites are opaque and can have soft peaks. The point is to get air into the egg whites, but not to create a meringue. They will deflate a little when you begin to mix in other ingredients, and that is OK.
3. Stir in the oil. From here on out for the cake portion, you’ll do all mixing by hand, preferably with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
4. Sift the dry ingredients (cake flour, baking powder, kosher salt) into a separate bowl. Once sifted, combine with the egg white mixture alternating with the prosecco. Begin and end the alteration with the dry ingredients.
5. Fill the cupcake tins approximately 2/3 of the way up the paper with the batter. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling and frosting.
6. Combine the strawberries and sugar for the filling in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until a syrup is formed. You will need to smash down the strawberries periodically (can be done with a wooden spoon or potato masher). Strain and cool.
7. Poke 3 small holes in the top of each cupcake with a toothpick. The holes should be about 1mm in diameter – large enough for the syrup to get into. With a spoon drizzle the top of the cupcakes with the syrup, focusing on the holes. Don’t worry if you get the syrup on the top of the cupcakes between the holes – the cupcakes will absorb it.
8. For the frosting, cream the butter in your mixer on medium and add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at at time. After the first 2 cups, add the vanilla, and alternate the remaining confectioner’s sugar and prosecco. You made need to adjust the sugar and prosecco depending on your preferred texture for decorating.
9. Place a star tip into a pastry bag and fill with the frosting. Pipe onto the cupcakes. Add gold glitter sprinkles if desired.
Yields 24 cupcakes. 281 calories per cupcake.
A note about the booze – The alcohol in the cupcake batter will cook off. However the frosting will contain alcohol (approximately 3/4 of a teaspoon – so not a lot). If you would prefer to eliminate the alcohol in the frosting, I would suggest subbing in milk for the prosecco, but start with only 4 tablespoons of milk, and see how the texture of your frosting is before adding in the remaining 2 tablespoons. Please bake & enjoy responsibly.