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Champagne Cake – champagne inspired cake with tender, “champagne” cake layers, a raspberry peach puree filling and a champagne buttercream.
Hello, friends! I hope you’re having the most magical holiday. We’re currently driving home from our week-long vacation in Southern California and I’m finally getting to post my new cake! Yay!
Fun fact: in 14 years of marriage, Ryan and I have never spent a Christmas in our own home. Ryan grew up going to his grandparents’ home every Christmas, and we’ve been following a similar tradition, driving home to our parents’ every Christmas break.
Each year we rotate between Ryan’s parents and my parents. This year was my year, which meant we spent the first 4 days with my mom and then another 4 days with my dad. They’ve been divorced since I was 20, so it’s always a bit of a juggling act around the holidays. Luckily, all of our parents live in the LA area. It gets a little chaotic sometimes, but I feel lucky that we get to see everyone when we visit.
We always have a fun-filled week with family in LA, but I always look forward to heading home for New Year’s Eve. After Christmas week, I feel like the week of New Year’s is my week to catch up, plan for the new year and relax a little in my own space.
We will likely ski and get together with friends for New Year’s Eve, and that’s probably it. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up till midnight on New Year’s Eve. Can you? It’s way past my bedtime 🙂
So while we may not be celebrating all night long, we do like to celebrate in the early evening and cake is always involved!
For my New Year’s cake this year, I decided to create a champagne-inspired cake. I say “inspired” because I don’t actually use champagne in this cake. You totally can, but I decided to use Martinelli’s instead. I know alcohol bakes out when you’re cooking with it, and I’m not opposed to baking with alcohol, but I wanted to make sure anyone and everyone feel like they can make this cake no matter their feelings about cooking/baking with alcohol.
With that said, there’s a lot of wiggle room with this cake. You can use a champagne of your choice or any flavor of Martinelli. No matter what you use, the “champagne” flavor isn’t super strong. We’ll be making a reduction out of your drink of choice to reduce the water content and strengthen the flavor a tad, but even then, you’ll notice it’s a subtle flavor.
The reduction will go in the cake batter and the buttercream. We’re taking about three cups of Martinelli’s or champagne and reducing it to one and a half cups – one cup for the cake and one cup for the buttercream.
For the cake layers, I ended up creating a brand new cake. Sometimes I use an old recipe as a base for a new recipe, but this one is all new – and it’s seriously incredible!
To keep it very light in color, I used all egg whites. The problem with using all egg whites is that egg whites alone will dry out your cake. So, to combat that issue, we need to add some fat. I decided to use one full cup of sour cream to make sure this cake has plenty of moisture – and it sure does! These layers are so tender and moist. I’m seriously so in love with them!
Raspberry and Peach Puree
The filling for this cake is super simple. I used a apple and peach flavored Martinelli’s, so I decided to pair it with a raspberry and peach puree to compliment those flavors. The puree is really easy to make and something you can make ahead of time. In fact, I recommend you make it at least a day before you assemble the cake so it has time to sit and thicken. Make sure to store it covered in the fridge.
For the buttercream, I used my go-to vanilla buttercream and added the Martinelli’s reduction. It’s an easy recipe to follow and one that is always a hit.
Tip: follow the instructions in THIS blog post to ensure your buttercream comes out perfectly smooth.
Champagne Inspired Cake Alternatives
Like I said earlier, have fun with this cake! There’s a lot you can do to change up the flavors a little.
- I used THIS Martinelli’s flavor because it was easy to find.
- You can also use the Martinelli’s BLUSH flavor. A lot of people recommend this one.
- Or, if you know your champagne, use champagne! You’ll follow all the same steps.
- For the puree, you can really use any fruit. I recommend flavors like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, peach or even pomegranate.
Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Tender and moist champagne cake layers with a raspberry and peach puree and champagne buttercream.
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (350g ) granulated sugar
- 6 large egg whites room temperature
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 1 Tbsp. ( 14 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp. (5.6 g) salt
- 3 cups Martinelli's apple peach flavored sparkling cider I suggest using Martinell's apple peach or pink blush flavors. You can also use real champagne.
- 1 tsp. (4.2 g) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 g) sour cream room temperature
Raspberry Peach Puree
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. ( 8 g) corn starch sifted
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 3 tbsp. (43 3 g) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Martinelli's reduction leftover from the cake
- pinch of salt
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium sized sauce pan, simmer the 3 cups of Martinelli's or champagne over medium heat. You'll reduce the drink to 1 1/2 cups total. 1 cup is for the cake and 1/2 cup is for the buttercream. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar for two minutes on medium-high speed.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg whites on medium speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between addition.
- Add the sour cream and beat until incorporated, about one minute.
- With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 cup of the Martinelli's reduction. Repeat the additions, 1/3 cup flour mixture, 1/2 cup Martinelli's and the final 1/3 cup flour mixture. Add vanilla. Only mix until the flour mixture is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for another 20 to 30 seconds on low.
- Pour about 18 ounces of cake batter into each of the three cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes - until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let cool in the pans for about 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. (Tip: spray your wire cooling racks with nonstick spray).
FOR THE FILLING
- In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the raspberries, peaches, and sugar and simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the fruit is tender and the juices have started to release, puree the mixture in a blender or food processor.
- Strain the fruit puree and pour the strained fruit puree back into the sauce pan. Add the corn starch and simmer for about 5 more minutes. The mixture should get thicker.
- Cool the puree completely and refrigerate to set a little more. The texture should ultimately be like a jelly. Best to make a day or more before you assemble the cake.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the heavy cream, Martinelli's reduction and pinch of salt. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 3-5 minutes.
- Before applying your final coat of frosting, be sure to mix the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon or large spatula to push out the air pockets.
- Spread a small dollop of frosting on a cake board or cake plate. Place the first cake layer, top side up, in the center of the cake board.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the frosting over the cake layer and then pipe a rim of frosting around the edge of the cake. This will act as a barrier to the filling.
- Spread half of the fruit filling over the cake.
- Repeat these steps for the next cake layer and then add the final cake layer, top side down, on the very top.
- Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake. This is the crumb coat. You'll want to then freeze the crumb coat for about 10 minutes to set this layer of frosting. Once the crumb coat is set, you can use the remaining frosting to cover the cake.