Lazy Days: Strawberry & Champagne Cupcakes

At Arlo & Jacob, we believe every week should be National Cupcake Week! In light of this, Peggy Porschen, the bespoke cake makers from Belgravia, shares with us their luxurious cupcake recipe. This scrumptious recipe for Strawberry & Champagne Cupcakes would make the perfect treat for Sunday afternoon tea. The light and fluffy sponge is made with fresh strawberry jam and quality fizz is folded into the syrup and frosting, creating a delicate, fragrant flavour.

strawberry cupcake in a glass

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod/3 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
225g self-raising flour
About 250g Peggy’s Strawberry & Champagne Jam or any other good-quality strawberry jam

For the syrup:
60ml water
60g caster sugar
Marc de Champagne, to taste

For the Champagne frosting:
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g full-fat cream cheese, slightly softened
625g icing sugar, sifted
Marc de Champagne, to taste
a little pink food colour

Method

Preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 4 and line the muffin trays with cupcake cases.

Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.

Beat the eggs lightly in a separate jug and slowly add to the butter mixture while beating quickly. If the mixture starts to separate or curdle, stop adding the egg and beat in 2–3 tablespoons of flour. This will rebind the batter.

Once all the egg has been incorporated into the butter mixture, sift in the flour and fold until the batter is just combined. Use a plastic piping bag or tablespoon, carefully place the batter into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking, make up the sugar syrup. Place the water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring just to the boil. Stir until the sugar crystals have all dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool a little. Flavour to taste with the Marc de Champagne.

Once the cupcakes are baked, let them rest for a few minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the cupcakes with sugar syrup while they are still warm.

Once just warm, remove the cupcakes from the trays and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack. When they are cold, hollow out a small hole in the middle of each cupcake and fill with the strawberry jam.

To decorate

Make up the basic cream cheese frosting as above. Flavour to taste with the Marc de Champagne, making sure the frosting doesn’t become too runny. Add a small amount of pink food colour and mix to a pale pastel shade. Chill until firm enough to pipe.

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