Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream landscape image

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream (Gluten-Free)

These Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream are light, fluffy and tender with a sticky caramel centre topped with white chocolate buttercream. They are quick and easy to make for celebrations and are naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Take a look at the recipe video here.

Nothing says happy new year quite like a glass, or cupcake, or champagne and these celebration cupcakes are the perfect way to welcome in a new year. Or, they are great for birthdays, parties and all types of special occasions, even those rainy day baking sessions. These are the prefect easy cupcake to make, decorate and enjoy with a cup of tea (or glass of champagne).

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream cut open and with a caramel middle
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

What are these cupcakes like?

These Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream are so special but really so easy to make, they come together in half an hour. These cupcakes are:

  • Light, fluffy and spongey
  • Filled with a gooey caramel centre
  • Topped with luscious white chocolate buttercream
  • Easy and quick to make
  • Sweet but not too sweet
  • Great for celebrations and parties
  • Like champagne in a cupcake form

If you already love the sound of these cupcakes, skip ahead to the recipe card below, or let’s discuss the ingredients and method in more detail.

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream on a metal pot
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

What ingredients go into these Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream?

The cupcake recipe is an easy one, but works every time and uses basic ingredients:

  • Champagne or prosecco: or any sparkling white wine drink will work here. This is the main flavour of the cupcakes and carries through so well after they are baked. It does not have to be just opened, you could use day-old, slightly flatter champagne, too.
  • Caster sugar: to keep the colour quite light and yellow, I’ve used white caster sugar but coconut or golden caster sugar will also work, the cupcakes will just be a little more golden.
  • Sunflower oil: this keeps the batter really light and fluffy. You can also use light olive oil, vegetable oil or I can imagine melted and cooled coconut oil will also work.
  • Applesauce: this adds a lovely texture, fluffiness and lightness to the batter without tasting of apple. The main reason for the apple is to work as an egg replacement and bind the batter. You could try the same amount of mashed banana, too.
  • Vanilla essence: as the main flavour is champagne, the vanilla helps to boost these cupcakes and make them more delicious.
  • Plain flour: or if you are gluten-free you can use a GF flour blend with xantham gum to help bind the batter. This makes sure the cupcakes are light and fluffy.
  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise. These rise quite a bit in the oven, so don’t be fooled and rush to overfill the cupcake liners.
  • Salt: to enhance the flavours:
  • Caramel: for the filling. Either use one of my homemade ones like my simple cheat’s caramel, my salted sticky caramel or a shop-bought one.

Method wise, this is similar to most of my cakes and bakes; whisk together the wet ingredients, sift in the dry ingredients and then whisk to a smooth batter. Fill the cupcake cases to about 2/3 full and bake until fluffy and just baked through. Allow the cupcakes to cool before coring the centre and filling with the caramel and decorating with buttercream.

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream with a lit up candle
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

What is the white chocolate buttercream like?

This is a revelation to me and I am officially hooked. It is not as sweet as you’d like given that it’s made from icing sugar and white chocolate, but the texture is amazing. It’s silky smooth, rich and luscious and really easy.

  • Vegan butter: as for all buttercreams, make sure the butter is room temperature and softened before using it. This usually means I rest the butter in the kitchen for 1-2 hours first.
  • White chocolate: make sure it is dairy-free where needed. The trick is to melt the chocolate and then allow it to cool for 15 minutes or so; it’s still liquid but much cooler so it won’t melt the butter.
  • Icing sugar: like you’d use for all good buttercreams.
  • Plant-based milk: just a plash for the texture.

If you do not have any white chocolate to hand, you can use regular vanilla buttercream or Swiss meringue style buttercream, too.

What if I don’t have any champagne?

You can use prosecco or any other sparkling white wine for this recipe and they will work just as well. I like to buy a smaller bottle so that there is not much leftover, but it is perfect for using up day-old champagne that isn’t quite as bubbly. You can use non-alcoholic prosecco/champagne, too, to make this alcohol free.

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream with a candle blown out
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

Are these cupcakes gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, to make these Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream gluten-free, use your favourite gluten-free flour blend with xantham gum and to keep these cupcakes nut-free, make sure the caramel filling does not contain nuts. For my cheat’s caramel, this means using a seed butter instead.

Any top tips for making these cupcakes perfectly?

These cupcakes are really easy to make now I’ve nailed down the recipe but a few things to keep in mind:

  • Measure the champagne accurately: it will naturally bubble and froth as you pour it, but you must have enough liquid to keep these cupcakes moist. Make sure you allow the champagne to settle and reach the required volume before moving on.
  • Do not overfill the cases: these Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream do rise quite a lot, so filling them 2/3 full is perfect for a fluffy cupcake that just rises above the edge of the case.
  • Spread the cases out in the tin: I read somewhere that spacing out the cupcakes as much as possible (i.e. don’t place all 8 cases side by side, use up a range of the 12 holes) helps the cupcakes bake more evenly and it is true!
  • Remove the cakes from the tin quickly: do not let baked cupcakes sit in the tin for too long as the heat from the tin and cupcake will cause condensation and the cupcake cases to become soggy and also the heat means that the cupcakes will continue to cook and could over-bake.
  • Make sure the buttercream ingredients are the correct temperature: as in the method, the butter must be softened and the white chocolate must be melted and cooled.
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream cut in half
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

How long will these last?

These Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream are a huge hit at home for all types of celebrations and once decorated, they will last for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature before eating them. You can keep them at room temperature for 1-2 days or unfrosted and unfilled cakes will keep for 1 month in the freezer.

I love these, what other cupcakes and cakes can I make?

I hope you will fall in love with these delicate and delicious cupcakes and if you are looking for more baking ideas, how about my:

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream (Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream are light, fluffy and tender with a sticky caramel centre topped with white chocolate buttercream. They are quick and easy to make for celebrations and are naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 120ml champagne or prosecco
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 60ml sunflower oil
  • 50g applesauce
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 210g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 8 tsp caramel
  • Sprinkles
  • For the buttercream:
  • 115g vegan butter, softened
  • 30g white chocolate
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp plant-based milk

Directions

  1. If making homemade caramel, make that now so it can cool down slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line 8 muffin holes with cases.
  3. Pour the champagne into a large mixing bowl (make sure it’s the correct amount and the bubbles don’t fool you), sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla and whisk until fully combined.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Whisk until smooth with no specks of flour (the batter is fairly thick).
  5. use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide between the 8 cases, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Carefully remove from the tins and cool fully on a wire rack.
  7. When ready, make the buttercream. Melt the white chocolate and allow to cool for 15 minutes, so it’s still liquid but cooler.
  8. Beat the butter with an electric mixer (handheld or freestanding) until smooth. Now whisk in the white chocolate and mix until combined. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and milk and continue to beat until fluffy and smooth.
  9. Core the centre of the cupcakes and fill with the caramel. Place the top piece of cake over the caramel and use a star-shaped nozzle to pipe the buttercream on top.
  10. Decorate with sprinkles and eat straight away or store in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge, allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before eating. Un-filled and un-frosted cakes will keep for up to 1 month in the freezer.
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream landscape image
Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Vegan Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make them, I would love to see your cakes, so please tag me in them, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With champagne cupcake love x

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