Hey! I am so glad you stopped by to check out my recent bakes. My name is Kelsey. I have dedicated 2021 to baking from my favorite baking publication – Bake from Scratch. Each quarter is dedicated to one main category of baking: cakes, breads, pies/pastries, cookies/miscellaneous. I am so excited to learn how to master (or try to master) each of these. Follow me along on my journey!
I had never made a champagne cake before this one – to be completely honest… I had never even heard of a champagne cake before! When I saw this recipe in the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book I knew I HAD to try it. I asked my aunt what types of cake my cousin, Emma, would like for her birthday that was coming up and guess what the number one cake was… a champagne cake!! I laughed out loud because I went from not knowing these types of cakes existed to wanting to bake this exact cake to having the perfect occasion for it!
So I immediately started planning to bake this strawberry champagne cake for my cousin. I am not a huge champagne fan so the first thing I did was go to my local Liquor Barn and buy several small bottles of champagne to try. I know that wine and liquor tends to taste differently in cakes but what could it hurt, you know? I decided on a Natale Verga Prosecco, which was very delicious and I now have on my radar for NYE if need be.
This cake ended up being my absolute favorite cake in my 2021 quarter of baking cakes. I know why champagne cakes are a big deal now, they are delicious!! Emma loves all things fruit so I knew she would like the fresh strawberry frosting, it was so fluffy and did not have an overwhelming champagne taste, which was great. I liked that the cake was not heavy like the Hummingbird cake (which I also loved) or the Pound cake. When a cake feels light it means you can eat more of it, right? I think so! Though there seemed to be a lot of steps in to create this cake, it did not feel strenuous. Once I was finished I felt so proud at the quality and excited at how easy it seemed!
For the cake:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup champagne or sparkling wine, room temperature
- 5 large egg whites, room temp.
For the frosting:
- 1½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped
- 2½ cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup champagne or sparkling wine
- ½ cup fresh strawberries
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and spray pans again.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Beat in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with champagne – begin and end with flour mixture.
- Beat until just combined then transfer to a large bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form.
- If there are any remnants of grease or fat (butter), the egg whites will not form peaks. It is VERY important to wash and dry the bowl well before beating the egg whites.
- Gently fold egg whites into batter, one-third at a time.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
- If you want to be very precise, use a food scale to weigh the two round cake pans after the batter is added to see if you need to even them out (just get a spoon and transfer a little over until they are fairly even).
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 22-28 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove and let cool completely on wire rack.
For the frosting:
- In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse strawberries and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream.
- I do not own a food processor, so what I used instead was a handheld immersion blender.
- Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 2¼ cups of heavy whipping cream, strawberry purée, powdered sugar and champagne at high speed until stiff peaks form, do not over-beat.
- Using a serrated knife, cut each cake later in half horizontally.
- Pro tip: buy a cheap cake leveler.
- Spread frosting between layers, on top, and sides of cake.
- Garnish with the extra half cup of fresh strawberries.
- Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
The gallery below shows step-by-step photos of my baking process.
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