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!
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
- 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
- Prepare the Champagne Reduction: In a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring champagne to a boil. Boil until reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease three 8-inch round or heart-shaped cake pans with shortening or oil. Line bottoms with parchment or wax paper cut to fit the size of pans. Grease paper linings and dust lined pans with flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
- Prepare the Champagne Velvet Layer Cake: Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix self-rising flour and sugar (or flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) on low speed (stir) until well combined and aerated, about 1 minute. Add butter, shortening and oil and mix on slow speed until thoroughly combined. Mixture will be very thick.
- In a 2-cup glass liquid measuring cup, whisk together champagne reduction, buttermilk, egg whites and extracts using a fork until well blended. Slowly add half of the liquid mixture to the batter and mix on low speed. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add remaining liquid mixture and beat just until smooth and thoroughly combined, again scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary, about 1 minute.
- Using rubber spatula, scrape and pour batter into prepared pans dividing evenly (a little over 2 cups of batter per cake pan). Smooth tops evenly with rubber spatula and then rap each pan on counter surface 2 to 3 times to expel any air bubbles. This step will create a nice level cake.
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. (I have found that 28 minutes is perfect.) Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run thin metal spatula around edges of each cake to loosen, then invert onto wire rack and peel away parchment or wax paper. Turn right side up onto wire racks (using an additional rack to flip) and cool completely or wrap while still warm to retain moisture. Wrap each cake layer tightly in plastic food wrap and keep at room temperature until ready to fill and frost.
- To Assemble, Frost and Fill the Cake: Use a scant ¾ cup frosting between each layer. After frosting each the bottom and middle layer, pipe a simple ¼-inch border of buttercream around the perimeter of the cake to act as a dam to prevent the filling from going over the edge of the cake layer. Following this, lightly spoon about 4 tablespoons of the Strawberry-Raspberry Filling on top of the buttercream in the center. Using a small angled metal spatula, carefully spread the filling outward to the dam border of buttercream. Carefully place the next cake layer on top and press down gently. Proceed to frost the cake as desired with remaining buttercream.
- To Make a Rose Cake with “Rose Swirls”
- Use a scant ¾ cup frosting between each layer and then proceed to frost the cake with a “crumb coat” or thin coat, but not too thin. The cake should have good coverage and you should not see the cake peeking through the frosting.
- Next, assemble your pastry bag with coupler and tip. (I like to use my Ateco No. 846 tip because it makes gorgeous swirled roses. However, you can also use an open tip like the Wilton 1M.) Fill pastry bag and twist closed. Make sure your hands are not too warm or your buttercream will get too soft. You are now ready to pipe roses!
- To pipe roses, start at the bottom and work around the cake to complete a full circle of roses. To pipe each rose, start in the center of where you want your rose to be. Then pipe in a circular fashion counter-clockwise going around the center point once or twice depending on the size of roses you desire. The roses don’t need to be perfect! This is what is so great about piping swirled roses as they look lovely shabby and chic. It is best to end in the same place each time and I like to end at the top right side of each rose.
- Once you complete the first row around the cake, continue with the next row and then the top. To fill in any gaps, I like to pipe small stars or flourishes that contour the rose swirls. Rose Cakes are the best. So simple, but so stunning!
- To Bake Cupcakes
- See specific baking directions and tips in the Notes section at the bottom below recipe.
- In general, most cake batters may also be baked in standard paper bake cups in standard 12-cup muffin pans for cupcakes. Usually, a one-layer cake recipe will yield 12 to 15 cupcakes and a two-layer cake recipe will yield 24 to 30 cupcakes. Fill cups at least 2/3 full and bake at 350ºF. until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 15 to 20 minutes. (An exception to this is Wicked Good Kitchen’s Carrot Cake recipe, which requires a gentle oven at 325ºF. So, be sure to bake cupcakes at the same temperature as the cake recipe requires.) Rotate pan halfway through baking time for even baking and check for doneness 5 minutes before recommended baking time in recipe. 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.
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
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