Red, White, & Blue Sangria Cupcakes

The 4th of July is such an excellent¬†holiday (and also an excellent opportunity to bake delicious cupcakes and make lots of new friends at BBQs and parties). When I was deciding what kind of sugary treats to make, I couldn’t think of a better drink than sangria to emulate in baked form. It’s the perfect summer drink. Of course, sangria originates in Spain/Portugal, so I had to throw in a little red, white, and blue in there for America ūüėČ

4thofjulysangria

The Cupcakes:
Strawberry white wine cake
Blueberry brandy compote filling
Chambord raspberry buttercream
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and apples

The recipe:

Strawberry white wine cake (yields about 20 cupcakes):
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 C milk (whole milk is best)
2 tbsp strawberry compound*
2/3 C white wine
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you:) )

*Note: Strawberry compound isn’t a particularly common ingredient – my mom is a professional pastry chef and I was lucky enough to use her kitchen and baking ingredients this time around. You can easily sub in strawberry puree.

Blueberry brandy compote filling:
1 package (6 oz) fresh blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp cornstarch
2-3 tbsp brandy

Chambord raspberry buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
3-4 tbsp Chambord

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add milk, egg whites, and strawberry compound to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine white wine with vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add white wine mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the blueberry brandy compote filling:
1. Mash blueberries.
2. Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and brandy together in a saucepan.
3. Bring ingredients to a boil over low heat while stirring routinely. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until thickened and remove from heat.
4. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
5. Once the filling is cool, you’re ready to fill.

For the Chambord raspberry buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites, Chambord, and vanilla with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg whites, Chambord, and vanilla while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. You’re all ready to frost! Top iced cupcakes with the fresh fruit of your choice. I used a mini star cookie cutter to cut the stars out of granny smith apples (to keep from turning brown, soak the stars in a little lemon juice).

Happy 4th of July, everyone!