Why have a glass of rosé Champagne when you can have a whole cake? That’s the question food blogger Anne Byrne poses in her new cookbook, American Cakes ($18; amazon.com). This recipe—a riff on the classic ’60s dessert and adapted from one of The Los Angeles Times‘ most popular clips—calls for a cup of bubbly that tastes both rich and sweet, and pairs perfectly with layers of buttercream frosting, too. Get creative and decorate it with white chocolate shavings, sliced strawberries, or edible rose petals for a standout presentation. And don’t forget to wash each bite down with a glass of pink Champagne for double the flavor. Read on for the full breakdown.
Pink Champagne Cake
For the cake
Butter and flour for prepping the pans
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup pink Champagne, at room temperature (Byrne suggests Moet & Chandon: $57; wine.com)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Tiny amount of pink food coloring (Byrne uses Wilton: $6; amazon.com)
For the pink Champagne buttercream frosting
1 3/4 cups (3 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 to 5 tbsp pink champagne
1 tsp vanilla extract
Tiny amount of pink food coloring
White chocolate shavings, sliced strawberries, coconut, or edible rose petals for garnish
1. For the cake, place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8″ layer pans. Shake out the excess flour, and set the pans aside.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl, and sift to combine well. Set aside.
3. Place the egg whites, champagne, vanilla, and oil in a large mixing bowl, and whisk by hand until well blended. Set aside.
4. Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture and the egg white mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the pink coloring. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and place the pans in the oven.
5. Bake until the cakes just pull back from the sides of the pans, 23 to 27 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven, and place them on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of each pan, give each cake a gentle shake, then invert it once and then again onto the rack to cool completely, right side up, 30 minutes.
6. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 minute. Add 6 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and the champagne and vanilla. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, adding what you need to make the frosting thick but spreadable. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high, add the pink coloring, and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 30 seconds.
Pro tip: Use a toothpick to dab into the paste and use only a small amount to create a pale pink cake.
7. To assemble the cake, place 1 layer on a cake plate. Spread about 3⁄4 cup of the frosting to the edges. Place a second layer on top and repeat. Place the third layer on top, and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish as desired, depending on the occasion. Slice and serve.