Whether sipping bubbly at midnight or enjoying a mimosa with brunch, many of us will celebrate the new year with champagne glasses clinking left and right. My favorite version of the sparkling spirit comes in the form of a festive dessert I created: mini mimosa cupcakes. Topped with beautiful candied mimosa flowers, these champagne-spiked, orange-flecked treats offer a delicate, celebratory sweetness and a burst of crisp, floral flavor. For me, this delightful concoction is just as perfect for saying cheers as the cocktail that inspired it.
1¼ cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
¼ cup vegetable oil
Scant ¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup fresh champagne
Finely grated zest of one large orange
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. Sift together first three ingredients; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat egg, egg whites, zest, oil, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until pale and well blended (about 2 minutes). Turn mixer to low and add the flour mixture gradually until fully incorporated. Finally, add the champagne and mix until the batter is just even in consistency. Pour into lined pan, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake for about 12 minutes, until batter has just stopped bubbling, a toothpick tests clean, and tops of cupcakes are firm and bounce back to the touch. Let cool completely before frosting.
3 egg whites
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon clear corn syrup
1/3 cup champagne/strained orange juice, mixed
Candied mimosa flowers
With an electric mixer (preferably free-standing), beat egg whites on medium-high until frothy and opaque. Add 1 tablespoon sugar; keep beating until soft peaks form. Separately, fill a 1/3 cup measure with about half champagne, half strained orange juice (freely adjust this ratio according to which flavor you prefer). Pour juice mixture into a saucepan and whisk in 3/4 cup sugar and corn syrup. Using candy thermometer, bring to a boil until temperature reaches a solid 230 F. Remove from heat immediately, and with egg white mixture beating, slowly pour the syrup into the whites. Keep beating on high until bowl is no longer warm but is room temperature to the touch; this should take about 8-10 minutes. Before frosting gets too dry, pipe or pile it onto cooled cupcakes and top each one with a candied mimosa flower. These cupcakes taste best at room temperature, but keep them chilled if not eating within 8 hours or so.
Mini mimosa cupcakes are tender, citrusy, soft, and mild. Full of tiny air bubbles, hints of champagne, and bits of orange zest, they impart both the flavor and the feeling of drinking a mimosa. And the little flowers of the same name – whether growing outdoors or readily candied for eating – point to the brightness of a fresh new year and the sweetness that we all hope will come with it.
*These cupcakes are also delicious at standard size instead of mini. Just fill the lined cups 2/3 full and increase the baking time by 5 minute increments, watching closely for doneness. Recipe should yield about 15 standard size cupcakes.
Moriah VanVleet is the voice behind Butter Sugar Flowers where this post first appeared.