This Pink Champagne Cake is the perfect way to celebrate any occasion or holiday! A champagne infused cake with a classic vanilla buttercream.
I wanted to do something special for New Year’s Eve this year, since I often let it pass by without mention.
We’re not big on New Year’s Eve parties, and often spend the evening enjoying a cozy night at home, though we do have our own traditions.
“Dinner” on NYE is a generous spread of various appetizers and goodies that we end up grazing on throughout the night.
There is always champagne or some sparking wine around, and we end up tuning in to some kind of NYE broadcast around midnight. Almost always, it’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve because it’s in Times Square and, to me, that is the epitome of NYE celebrations.
It’s not the same without Dick Clark though. 🙁
It’s always a quiet and enjoyable evening at the Liv for Cake household, and this Pink Champagne Cake is the perfect way to celebrate.
I’d like to tell you that this Pink Champagne Cake went off without a hitch, but I think you know me better than that by now.
This cake, or rather the photo shoot for this cake, was a huge pain in the butt.
Since the cake was pretty and pale, I thought it would look best with a light/white backdrop, which essentially made it impossible to get a good shot (at least with my camera and expertise).
Know what else is not fun?
Trying to light 3 sparklers simultaneously so that they ignite at exactly the same time, placing them quickly onto the cake, and grabbing your camera so you can take some pics.
I could have really used an extra set of hands (or two) or a remote for my camera. Ugh.
Let’s not even talk about how many sparklers I went through (18). That’s one entire package (though it actually felt like more at the time). I bought two packs just in case, and I would have used more, but by the 18th sparkler I was SO over it.
Naturally, of the 40 sparkler pics I took, I ended up using #4 which was the first one after a couple test shots.
Oh, and the sparkler photo session was briefly interrupted here and there so I could fan the smoke away from the smoke alarm. LOL. You can’t make this stuff up.
Sparkler issues aside, I think this Pink Champagne Cake turned out pretty well and it’s the perfect cake for any celebration!
Other noteworthy tidbits from this shoot:
- I watered down the pink champagne because it was too dark pink in contrast with the cake.
- I removed the champagne glasses from the sparkler photo session for fear that they would ignite (lol).
Knowing my luck, they would have.
The cake sparkles I pressed into the sides and top of the cake, while pretty and sparkly and perfect, do not have the best texture.
You’d think they would dissolve almost instantly as soon as you eat them… but they don’t.
You have to chew them and then eventually just give up and swallow. I’m still glad I used them though, and totally would again for the pretty effect that they gave the cake.
Pink Champagne Cake
This Pink Champagne Cake tastes just like (surprise, surprise) champagne!
So if you don’t like the taste of champagne or sparkling wine, you might not like the flavor of this cake. Though my cake taste testers said it didn’t taste overly champagne-y and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
I went with a pretty pink color for the cake layers, as I wanted something different. You could do a gold (use 2 whole eggs rather than 3 whites, and non-pink champagne) or some other color instead and it would be just as pretty.
Whatever you decide, this cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for your celebrations.
Tips for this Pink Champagne Cake:
- Recipe revised Aug 4, 2019 ~ I increased volume to yield thicker layers. The recipe makes enough for three 6″ pans or two 8″ pans. Layers should be close to 2″ tall.
- The recipe as-is will also work in two 8″ pans. For three 8″ pans, 1.5x the recipe.
- To make cupcakes, all you need to do is reduce the baking time — start checking at 15mins or so.
- If you don’t like the taste of wine/champagne, you may not like the flavor of this cake (shocker, I know).
- Do not overmix the cake batter once the flour is added as it will result in a fragile and crumbly cake. To prevent this you can add some color gel when you’re mixing the butter & sugar instead.
- Cake sparkles give a perfectly pretty effect, but I would recommend sanding sugar instead for a more palatable texture.
- If you would like to have a gold-toned cake for NYE, use 3 whole large eggs rather than 5 large egg whites, and regular champagne instead of pink. I wouldn’t recommend tinting the batter, but you can try brushing gold luster dust onto the chilled/set frosting or using gold leaf to add accents!
- Learn how to keep your cakes moist by using Simple Syrup.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting and for how to make your buttercream white.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, see my Flat Top Cakes post.
Pink Champagne Cake
Pink Champagne Cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsps baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pink champagne or sparkling wine, room temperature
- Fuschia color gel
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature, cubed
- 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
- Fuschia color gel
- 2 jars of cake sparkles or 1 jar sanding sugar
- Wilton tip 1M
- Wilton tip 12
Pink Champagne Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6" cake rounds, line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins).
- Reduce speed and add egg whites one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and champagne, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of champagne). Fully incorporating after each addition.
- Add a small amount of Fuschia color gel using a toothpick. Mix to incorporate but try not to overmix.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for approx. 35 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.*
- Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and continue to whip until smooth.**
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with approximately 2/3 cup of frosting and spread evenly. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. Chill for 20mins.
- Frost and smooth the sides. Chill for 20mins.
- Using a toothpick, add a small amount of Fuschia color gel to the remaining frosting. Stir with a spatula to incorporate, or place back on the stand mixer to mix in the color.
- Gently press cake sparkles or sanding sugar into the sides and top of the cake.***
- Decorate with pink rosettes on top and beads along the bottom if desired.
** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.
*** It’s easiest to do this if the cake is on a cake board and you can place it on an upside-down glass or bowl so the edges hang over. Adapted from My Cake School. ~Recipe revised Aug 4, 2019 – I increased volume to yield thicker layers. The recipe makes enough for three 6″ pans or two 8″ pans. Layers should be close to 2″ tall.~
Originally published on Dec 17, 2016
Hey! This looks so delicious- was wondering how many cupcakes the recipe would make? Can’t wait to try it! x
Hi Mia! It should make 18-24 depending on size.
I just made your Pink Champagne Cake. It turned out beautifully, including using sparklers!! That was fun!! Two photos below if you can open them.
I struggle to bake a light, moist cake and this one was! I feel it may have been the egg whites and champagne. I have two questions:
1) Are there any other fizzy drinks you would recommend for another flavor for this cake?
2) I saw the comments about adding orange juice to the champagne for a Mimosa flavor. I like this idea to sweeten the champagne flavor a bit, but what do you think the best proportion would be so as not to lose the fizz effect, if you think that contributes to the lightness?
Love your work!!
Hi Sue! Your cake is beautiful! I’m so happy you loved it 😀 You can use any liquid you like as long as you use 1 cup of it. I’ve use sangria before and even cream soda. I didn’t consider that the fizz could lead to the lightness… I’m not sure if this is the case. I would do 1/2 cup OJ and 1/2 cup champagne and see how you like it 🙂
Hi, if I iced the cake with sugarpaste how long would you say this would last?
Hi MrsC! It should last as long as any other cake I would think! Refrigerated for 2-3 days.
I’d love to make this for a birthday but need it gluten free and dairy free. What are your recommendations? Thanks!
Hi Patricia! I would use a proper GF flour blend in place of the flour and earth balance for butter for the cake. This type of buttercream won’t work well without actual butter though, so you could try an American buttercream with earth balance instead.
hi do you think this recipe will work with pink moscata wine?
Hi Hailey! Yes, I think that would work great.
Teresa Vendetti says
Made this cake and it had good flavor but mine turned out like a pound cake, very heavy.Is that the way it was suppose to be?
Hi Teresa! No, it should not be so dense. That can happen though if the batter is overmixed once the flour has been added.
This cake was beautiful. Tasted just like “champagne cake”. The pink colour also made it fun.
Not too dense of a cake, just fluffy enough to eat. I filled the cake with Bavarian cream and topped with home made raspberry jam which paired so well with the champagne taste. This was for my baby shower. Thanks liv!
Hi Shenae! Thanks for the awesome feedback. I love your cream and jam pairing! And congratulations 🙂
What are the specifications for making this in a single loaf pan?
Hi Spiderheart! Converting pan sizes is always tricky. Here’s a site I use as a guideline: http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html
Baked this for my cousins bridal shower and all the girls loved it. Sadly, my frosting did not work out so I made a quick batch of regular buttercream and it still tasted good (probably not as good 🙁 ). I used icing gel-based colors to color the cake and frosting, and it worked out just as good. The cake definitely tastes like champagne, and as a non-drinker of champagne, I could only have one or two bites of the cake. However I got so many other compliments. I would definitely recommend this recipe because its so different than any other cakes and it is so easy to make.
Thanks so much for the awesome feedback Samantha! I am also not a huge drinker of champagne, so I understand. The flavour is strong and can be overwhelming. I’m so glad everyone liked it 🙂
I made this cake and it is absolutely delicious! I forgot to brush the simple syrup on the cake layers will try that next time.The frosting was outstanding! I made your recipe and another pink champagne cake and had a taste testing with friends and they all voted for your cake. I am making this cake again to take to a dinner group I am in. I do have a question, the recipe for the vanilla buttercream uses 5 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of butter. I used your Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Is this basically the same recipe? If I use the recipe listed with the cake will there be enough frosting to pipe the decorations as you have shown?
Hi Elaine! I am so happy to hear that you and your friends loved it. It’s basically the same recipe, just that this one makes a smaller amount of frosting. Both yield equally delicious results though 🙂 The amount I used in this recipe is enough for what you see in the photos. Either works though!
visually stunning, and deliciously balanced. light yet dense.
i made two recipes for a two layer 9″ cake. used the foil wrap trick to keep the layers flat. it totally worked and resulted in the perfect (for me) ratio of cake to icing. plenty for a crowd.
a new fav and perfect for any sparkly occasion. so in love. ♡
Thanks so much Stacey! I’m so happy you loved it. Thanks for your tips!
Will this recipe release from a basic bundt and mini bundt pans? I would like to do it for a friend’s baby shower on Valentine’s day. I am planning on doing red velvet and vanilla bundts this would look beautiful next to those colors, but it might be to light to release?
Hi Kay! It should work fine provided the pans are prepped properly.
Have you baked this recipe as a whole cake with heating spike (not baking individual layers) or is it too dense?
Hi Nic! I haven’t myself — how large a cake were you thinking of making?
I finally got around to making this cake and I loved it! The only question I have is about the frosting. Is it possible to whip the frosting too much? I got to the part where the frosting looked curdled but I kept whipping and it smoothed out. But at some point it got peaky almost like a meringue. Do you think I over whipped? Thanks in advance!
Hi Karla! Hmm, is it possible the frosting got a bit too soft/warm? It shouldn’t get as sticky as a meringue. Here’s a post with photos of what the buttercream should look like 🙂 https://livforcake.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/
This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I am kind of new to cake making, if I were to half the recipe would I round up or down on the eggs? Thanks!
Hi Julie! It would be ideal to no round and use 2.5 egg whites. If you have a scale, half an egg white should be about 20g, otherwise, just eyeball it. Really though, rounding up or down wouldn’t have a disastrous effect on the recipe either. I would round up.
Raleigh Rower says
I made this recipe as cupcakes for a New Year’s Eve party and they were a smash hit. I made the recipe for 16 servings and made 28 standard cupcakes. I mixed a little orange juice with sparkling wine (1 part orange juice:3 parts sparkling wine) for the batter and skipped the food coloring. The cake was delicious. The frosting was perfect and I just dusted with white sparkling sugar for a simple but festive display.
Hi Raleigh! Yay! I’m so happy to hear that 🙂 Thanks for the tip re: the OJ (love that).
This cake was amazing! I made it for New Years Eve and let it cool in the fridge overnight the night before. Turned out beautiful and the buttercream was to die for! Definitely going to make this a go to recipe! Cakes came out about an inch and a quarter, flat and moist, making them perfect for stacking. I was worried that I curdled the buttercream but I read your note and kept mixing and it did get smooth. This is perfect, thank you for an amazing recipe!
Hi Brooke! So happy to hear you loved this one and yay for saving the buttercream 🙂
Luna summers says
Will the recipe still work if I replace the Champagne with Apple cider?
Hi Luna! It should, but what are you trying to achieve? There may be a better recipe to use for that.
Hi could I cover this cake in sugar paste
Hi Shelly! Yes, that should work fine.
Hi Liv, gorgeous cake. May I ask where you got the sparklers for your cake . What brand are they?
Hi Carmen! I got them at the Dollar store here. I have no idea what brand they were but it was the only place I could find them.
Thank you so much for a unique pink champagne cake by this post. I am very grateful to you.
Hi Winni! So happy you liked it 🙂