Mini Sparkling Cider Cupcakes

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

For as long as I can remember when the ball dropped and the clock struck midnight, we'd crack open a few bottles of Martinelli's and sip to the new year. This year Stephen and I started a little early. I found miniature bottles of Martinelli's sparkling cider at the store and decided that they had to come home with me. On Sunday we drank a few and I poured a little into the vanilla cupcakes I was making. I've heard of Sprite cupcakes so I figured the cider would be just as good if not better. Turns out that it made little difference in the taste and texture of the cupcake, but it was still fun to experiment! I topped these minis with a vanilla bean buttercream spiked with sparkling cider and finished them off with sugar pearls. Everyone loved these festive little cupcakes! P.S. Thanks again to all of you readers/loyal followers- you have inspired me and have given me the extra push to be a better blogger! Thank you, thank you!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us!

Mini Sparkling Cider Cupcakes
1½ c. cake flour
1 c. sugar
½ c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
½ c. buttermilk
¼ c. sparkling cider
1¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. vanilla bean paste

For the sparkling vanilla frosting:
3-4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 tbsp. whole milk
3 tbsp. sparking cider
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three miniature muffin or cupcake tins with liners. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. 
3. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt. With mixing speed on low, alternate between adding wet ingredients (buttermilk and cider) and dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
4. Scoop batter into prepared pans, filling each ⅔ of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they become lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pans for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
5. While cupcakes are cooling, to prepare the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together butter for 1 minute until smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, with mixing speed on low, add milk and sparking cider. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy (it should be relatively stiff). Add more powdered sugar if needed.
NOTE: This recipe can make standard size cupcakes, just adjust the baking time to 18-20 minutes.
Adapted from Sur La Table, Mini Vanilla Cupcakes | Makes approximately 30 mini cupcakes


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