Moist, tender white cake reminiscent of its buttermilk cake cousin, Red Velvet Cake, our Champagne Velvet Layer Cake is flavored with a champagne reduction and hints of pure almond and vanilla extracts. It is iced with a billowy and ethereal buttercream frosting, Pink Champagne Buttercream, and accented with a Strawberry-Raspberry Filling that pairs so well with champagne. It’s the perfect celebration layer cake!
Today, I am excited to share yet another velvet layer cake, Champagne Velvet Layer Cake, based on our recipe for White Velvet Layer Cake for Valentine’s Day.
For special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, New Year’s Eve or Saint Valentine’s Day, a spectacular celebration cake makes the day just a bit more special and memorable. Although this lovely cake looks impressive, it is incredibly easy to prepare and decorate. And, the flavor is truly divine. Family, loved ones, friends and guests will surely be enchanted by it.
About the Cake
Traditionally, Champagne Cake is a white cake layered with rum, Bavarian or whipped cream as a filling, and iced with pink buttercream frosting—without even a drop of champagne! Imagine that. Nowadays, bakers like adding a splash of bubbly into their cake batters as well as their buttercreams.
For my rendition of champagne cake, Champagne Velvet Layer Cake, I combined buttermilk from traditional Red Velvet Cake for a tender crumb and champagne, actually Santa Margherita Prosecco, from modern champagne cake recipes. However, instead of using the champagne straight, I went for concentrated flavor versus bubbly in a champagne reduction. This decision really paid off for a more intense flavor profile.
In addition, White Lily® Self-Rising Flour was used as it has impeccably even leavening distribution—because this flour creates velvety smooth cakes without those dreaded holes (due to uneven leavening distribution). Also, White Lily® Self-Rising Flour is made from Southern soft red winter wheat whereas cake flour is made from Northern hard red winter wheat. There are also gluten and protein as well as milling differences, but I am going to leave this food science bit for an upcoming post on flours.
The proper ratio of fats works to create a moist, tender, velvety crumb with no big holes—the ideal velvet layer cake. As many skilled bakers know, whenever you use a little oil in cake batter along with either butter or shortening, it really helps the moisture factor because the oil is liquid at room temperature whereas butter and shortening are not. I definitely wanted to use butter for flavor, a good shortening for keeping the cake white in color and the oil (almond oil) for moisture.
Finally, the mixing technique of the Two-Stage Method is used. This method proved to be aces. Although the cake layers have a tight crumb, they are amazingly moist as well as tender, airy and light.
About the Buttercream
For those who have never tasted Champagne Buttercream, and as I mentioned in my post for Pink Champagne Buttercream, the taste is similar to cherry or grape flavored buttercream with the distinct and pleasing tang that could only come from champagne or sparkling wine.
In this particular recipe, I used Santa Margherita Prosecco (we always have some on hand) and it did not disappoint. The flavor is sublime. I know that I have said this before, but I could not stop eating this buttercream right from the spoon!
Not only does this buttercream whip together in record time, it is an impressive one. It does not have a gritty texture like so many other American Style Buttercreams. This is due to creating a sugar slurry with boiling champagne to dissolve the sugar and an emulsion with the addition of the fats. Furthermore, is not cloyingly sweet since only half the amount of sugar is used when compared with standard American Buttercream recipes. It has a fabulous flavor profile and is silky smooth with a pleasing mouth feel that comes as close to European buttercreams as an American Buttercream can.
To tint buttercreams, I prefer using all-natural, organic and kosher food coloring pastes by ChefMaster®. I purchase mine from The Baker’s Kitchen as they are a great resource with no minimum orders on these food coloring pastes. (Other stores require you to purchase a box of 12 units…in each color.)
About the Filling
Luscious, velvety smooth, bursting with fresh summer berry flavor, our jewel-like ruby-red homemade Best Ever Strawberry-Raspberry Sauce is simply stunning. Best explained, this sumptuous dessert sauce falls between a fresh but lightly cooked berry coulis and homemade jam. However, it is thick enough to use between cake layers.
Using fresh raspberries and strawberries in a 1:1 ratio, only natural sugar and a touch of fresh lemon juice to enhance the flavor, this sauce tastes much better than anything store bought. Plus, our recipe provides plenty of tips making it easy to prepare. Amazingly, after prepping the berries, it is ready in just 15 minutes!
There is no doubt that our Pink Champagne Velvet Layer Cake is both extraordinary and romantic. It is perfect for any special occasion—especially Valentine’s Day.
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!
- For the Champagne Reduction
- 2 cups (480 ml) champagne, pink champagne or sparkling wine, I used Santa Margherita Prosecco
- For the Champagne Velvet Layer Cake
- 2½ cups (280 grams) sifted White Lily® Self-Rising Flour
- 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (48 grams) organic palm shortening, such as Spectrum® brand
- ¼ cup (56 grams) organic almond oil, or favorite vegetable oil
- ½ cup (120 ml) champagne reduction
- ½ cup (120 ml) organic buttermilk, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 grams) egg whites (about 6), at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure almond extract
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- Extra flour and shortening to prepare cake pans
- For the Pink Champagne Buttercream
- 1 to 1½ recipes Pink Champagne Buttercream, recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™
- For the Strawberry-Raspberry Filling
- 1 recipe Best Ever Strawberry-Raspberry Sauce, recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™
- For the Cake Adornments
- Fresh red raspberries and/or strawberries, optional
- Fresh mint sprigs, optional
- Special Equipment
- Three 8-inch by 1½- to 2-inch round or heart-shaped cake pans
- Four wire cooling racks, with the fourth being used to flip cake layers right side up
- One 8-inch cardboard cake round, helpful but not necessary
- Cake Turntable, such as Ateco®, helpful but not necessary
- Metal Angled or Offset Icing Spatula, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Metal Icing Spatula, such as Ateco® or Wilton®, helpful but not necessary
- Wax paper, for lining cake plate for icing, helpful but not necessary
- Piping bag, coupler and/or decorating tips, necessary for piping
Tips:Please note that prep and cook times are for the preparation and baking of the cake. They do not include the time needed to prepare the buttercream (or the component recipe for the filling) or the time for frosting, filling and piping decorations. In general, prepare as many component recipes in advance for a stress-free day in the kitchen the day you assemble and frost the cake. Read through each of the tips below to determine how to store each component recipe until ready to assemble and frost the cake. I like to prepare each component in advance, with the exception of the buttercream, and then prepare the buttercream the day I assemble and frost the cake. By preparing component recipes in advance, it will assure you have enough time to chill the cake before slicing and serving. To Make Non-Alcoholic Pink Champagne Velvet Layer Cake: Simply substitute Sparkling White Grape Juice, such as by St. Julian Winery, for the champagne or sparkling wine and continue with recipe as directed. (Many wineries offer sparkling grape juice, so check with wineries in your area.) Alternatively, substitute Sparkling Apple Cider, such as by Martinelli's. I highly recommend Martinelli's because their juice is 100% pure juice from fresh apples (not from concentrate) and is certified organic. Use their store locator tool on their site to find a store near you. Also, check with your local Whole Foods Market and specialty markets in your area for Martinelli's sparkling juices. How to Measure Flour for this Recipe: When measuring flour by volume with measuring cups, sift the flour first onto a sheet of wax paper then spoon flour lightly into cup before leveling off with a thin metal icing spatula or straight edge of a knife. This way, you should obtain approximately 112 grams of flour per cup (the same weight as cake flour) for a total of 280 grams for 2½ cups. Substitution: White Lily® Bleached All-Purpose Flour may be substituted for White Lily® Self-Rising Flour in the same amount (2½ cups or 280 grams) in this recipe, but you will need to add and sift well into the flour 2 teaspoons (9.6 grams) baking powder, 1 teaspoon (4.8 grams) kosher salt (or ¾ teaspoon regular table salt) and ¾ teaspoon (3.6 grams) baking soda. How to Bring Eggs to Room Temperature: Should you forget to bring your eggs to room temperature by setting them out for an hour before starting recipe, do not worry. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, fill a medium bowl with warm tap water—not hot, but warm so the eggs do not cook. Carefully place the eggs into the bowl of water so they are fully submerged. Allow eggs to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove eggs from water and towel dry. Eggs should now be at room temperature and ready to use in recipe. How To Properly Rap Cake Pans: Hold each pan a few inches above the counter (2 to 3 inches will do) then carefully drop pans flatly onto countertop 2 to 3 times. This step will expel any air bubbles and will ensure nice level baked cake layers. To Make a Rose Cake: You will need 1½ recipes of Pink Champagne Buttercream, about 6½ cups. This will make just enough to frost, fill, and pipe roses as shown for a 3-layer, 8-inch round cake. Cake may be made 1 day in advance. Keep wrapped in plastic food wrap at room temperature overnight. After assembling and frosting the layered cake it is best to chill it until the buttercream is firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Chilling, before slicing the cake, will yield neater cake slices for a better plated presentation. Store any leftover cake covered in the refrigerator. To Prepare Cupcakes: Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350º F. Line standard 12-cup muffin pan with standard paper bake cups. Divide batter evenly among 24 muffin cups (baked in two batches), filling each cup 2/3 to 3/4 full. Filling batter two-thirds full will yield more cupcakes with the cupcake batter baked just to the top of each paper bake cup. Filling batter three-quarters full will yield fewer cupcakes with the cupcake batter baked just slightly over the top of each paper bake cup. Bake cupcakes in preheated oven until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 16 to 18 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking time for even baking. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer baked cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting. Yield: Makes 24 to 30 cupcakes. Note: These cupcakes will puff up considerably during baking but then settle down into a level top at the end of baking versus a domed top. Leftover cupcakes can be frozen and stored up to 3 months if wrapped tightly in plastic food wrap and stored in heavy-duty freezer bags. As always, label and date the bag. Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.