Recipe courtesy of Jaleesa Mason

Rosé Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (plus cooling)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 rosé cupcakes
When Jaleesa Mason started competing in Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship, she’d recently had her second child and was on maternity leave from Mo & Jay Pastry, her shop in Little Falls, NJ. “I worried about what was going on back home,” she says. “And I had to learn to shake off the competition pressure.” But with encouragement from judge Kardea Brown, Jaleesa clinched the $25,000 grand prize for a wedding cake that had “embroidered” icing flowers and tiers with three different flavors: blueberry, cookies-and-cream and sparkling rosé. “I thought, ‘It’s a wedding, you’ve gotta have champagne!’ ” she says. The judges agreed. As Nancy Fuller said, “That sparkling wine was sublime.” We recreated the flavor in cupcake form so you can taste for yourself!


For the Cupcakes:

For the Swiss Meringue:


  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper or foil liners.
  2. Pour the rosé into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half to about 3/4 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container and refrigerate until cooled.
  3. Beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until evenly combined. Add the butter and beat until evenly distributed; the mixture will resemble a drier version of wet sand. Add the egg whites, vegetable oil and vanilla paste, then mix until no lumps remain. Mix in the rosé in 3 additions, then beat the batter on medium speed, 3 to 4 more minutes.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
  5. Make the Swiss meringue: Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar, then set over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved or a thermometer registers 165˚ F, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until the mixture has completely cooled, then beat in the butter, 1 stick at a time. Mix in the vanilla paste and salt, then mix in the strawberry puree. Scrape down the bowl and mix again to combine.
  7. Pipe or spread the Swiss meringue on the cooled cupcakes.