(cake and frosting recipes adapted from The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake)
Makes about 10 mini wedding cakes
Note: You'll make the cake batter the first day and refrigerate it overnight, and then you'll add the strawberries and rosé to it the next day. You'll also make the frosting the second day, so plan accordingly.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 ounces (a little more than 1/2 cup) strawberries
1/2 cup Chandon Rosé (or other good-quality sparkling rosé)
24 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 24 pieces and softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
Reserved rosé from cake recipe plus enough to make 1/2 cup
Paper doilies, optional
Icing pens, optional
Dragées or pearls, optional
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition, and scraping down bowl as needed.
Combine vanilla, seeds from vanilla bean (split bean and scrape out seeds with a paring knife), and milk in liquid measuring cup.
Add one third of flour mixture to butter mixture and mix on low speed. Then gradually add one third of milk mixture, beating until incorporated. Repeat with another third of flour mixture followed by another third of milk mixture. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and remaining milk mixture. Scrape down bowl as needed.
Transfer cake batter to airtight container and refrigerate overnight. (In a pinch, you can skip this step but I like letting the batter rest.)
When ready to bake cakes, hull and dice strawberries. Measure out rosé in large measuring cup. Add strawberries to measuring cup and let soak for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray wedding cake pan with baking spray.
Drain strawberries, reserving rosé, and stir strawberries into cupcake batter.
Fill cake cavities with 1/2 cup batter each.
Using small offset spatula, spread some batter up the sides of the cavities.
Bake cakes for 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Wiggle each cake with your hand to loosen it from the sides of the pan and then invert pan to release cakes onto wire rack. Let cool completely. Once pan is cool, spray with baking spray and repeat with remaining batter.
While cakes cool, make the frosting.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat 16 tablespoons butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until incorporated. (I like to start my mixer on low so the sugar doesn't go flying everywhere and then turn it up once the butter has worked through a little.)
Add vanilla, milk, salt, and rosé and beat on high speed until well incorporated. The mixture may look curdled.
Switch to whisk attachment and with mixer running at medium-high speed, add remaining 8 tablespoons butter a couple pieces at a time. Continue mixing until frosting is light and fluffy.
(You will have extra frosting. I suggest making some chocolate cupcakes the next day or you could make another batch of mini wedding cakes.)
Once cakes are cool, carefully cut a small cone out of each cake bottom using a paring knife.
Slice the top off each cone so you're left with a flat circle of cake. (Tops of cones make great snacks.)
Fill each cake with frosting and place flat cake circles back on cake bottoms to hold in frosting.
Place each cake on a paper doily and decorate with icing pens and dragées or pearls, if desired.
For an extra special touch, wrap cakes with plastic wrapping paper or place in treat bags and tie with ribbon. Cakes are best the day they're made.