Chocolate Strawberry and Champagne Cupcakes





I hope you had a fan-freakin’tastic Valentine’s Day.


I know how much my single friends count down the days for the 14th to arrive.

Really, they do. All because I transform myself into a little cupid, making it my mission to “shoot” everyone around me with the arrow of love.

Maybe you saw me prancing around in my little diaper, with wings and carrying a bow and arrow. Thank goodness I stick to Pearl Street, so I blend right in.

What I actually give away is fantastic treats that make them feel like they are one in a million, sweetheart of all sweethearts. This year it was Chocolate Strawberry and Champagne Cupcakes. Who needs someone sending you a Valentine when you can have a sinfully delicious aphrodisiac treat warming the cockles of your heart? See, Valentine’s Day is over now, but these treats mean so much more when you are making them just because. Aren’t you lucky you have me and Hallmark to tell you these things?

These cupcakes, besides being tasty, are really pretty and fun to make. I add a bit of champagne to the batter, which makes them light and fluffy, and I add a bit to the chocolate frosting. Of course, this goes without saying, but the rest of the champagne I just enjoy right out of the bottle — I mean, I use a glass, for cupid’s sake.

Dipping strawberries in chocolate and popping them on the top of the cupcake makes a nice presentation, and anyone can do it. Try dipping in some white chocolate to really kick up the esthetic factor.

So, I’m hoping you are having a wonderful February, baking lots of things that make you feel warm and cozy inside and out, and if you see a crazy cupid roaming the streets, please don’t call the police, it’s just me.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.

Chocolate Strawberry and Champagne Cupcakes

1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup champagne
1 tsp. instant espresso (you can use coffee)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla chocolate frosting (recipe below)
16 ounces strawberries powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners ( I used gold ones, looked cute with chocolate and strawberries) In small bowl, add cocoa powder to 1/2 cup warm water, whisk until smooth. Stir in champagne and espresso. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.

In large bowl with electric mixer, or by hand, cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Mix flour into butter mixture and stir until incorporated. Add cocoa/ champagne mix and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 to 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes (in my oven, 16 minutes is perfect) until toothpick comes out clean and cupcake springs back when lightly touched. take out of oven and transfer to wire rack. When cooled, frost and place a strawberry on top, dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!


1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbls. champagne
2-3 tbsp. milk (add slowly, might need a bit more or a bit less)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together butter and powdered sugar. Sift cocoa powder into mix. Stir in champagne, milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Note: You can omit the champagne in the batter and the frosting. Use one cup water for cupcakes, and use all milk for frosting.