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Champagne Cake with Champagne and Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream

Champagne Cake with Champagne Italian Meringue Buttercream


  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18 slices

Description

This delicate, moist Champagne Cake is packed with flavor, filled with strawberries, & iced with Champagne Italian Meringue Buttercream.


Ingredients

  • 4 whole eggs, separated, PLUS 4 additional egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour (To make cake flour, replace 2 tbsp of flour with cornstarch per cup. So, for this recipe, add all the flour to a bowl, remove 6 tbsp and then add 6 tbsp of cornstarch. Whisk well to combine.)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup champagne, at room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

*OPTIONAL: 1 additional cup champagne, for brushing over the tops of the baked cake layers. See note at the end of the recipe instructions.

FOR THE STRAWBERRY AND CHAMPAGNE ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:

  • 1 or 1 1/2 batches Italian Meringue Buttercream (if you don’t add the pink buttercream swirls on the top of the cake, 1 recipe will suffice)
  • 1 cup champagne
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed, pureed in a blender to measure about 1/3 cup

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour three or four 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper that is also slathered with a bit of butter or shortening.
  2. Separate the 4 whole eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, along with the 4 additional egg whites. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when you lift the whisk from the beaten egg whites. Scrape the egg whites into another bowl. Rinse and dry the standing mixer bowl.
  3. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl a time or two.
  4. Add two of the egg yolks and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining two egg yolks, beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds, and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a bowl and mix with a wire whisk just to combine.
  6. In a large measuring cup, stir together the champagne, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  7. Beating on low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the liquid, in 4 additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat on low to medium speed, just long enough to incorporate each new addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter just until incorporated.
  9. Pour the batter into your prepared pans. If baking 3 layers, bake for 30-40 min. If baking four layers, bake for 25-30 minutes. The cakes will be golden brown, be pulling away from the sides of the pan, and will not jiggle in the center when you shake the pan slightly. To check for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of one of the layers. Remove the toothpick and look for signs of raw batter. If only cake crumbs stick to the toothpick, the cake is done. You can also scoop a tiny amount of cake from the center of one of the layers to check for doneness. (You’ll be covering the cake with frosting anyway.)
  10. Let the cakes cool on wire racks for 5 minutes in the pan, then gently turn them out of the pans onto the wire racks to cool completely. If you don’t plan on frosting the layers immediately, wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. The layers can be stored at room temperature for 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months.

NOTE: For a stronger champagne flavor, pour 1 cup champagne into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the champagne is reduced to 1/3 cup. Brush the tops of the cooled cake layers with the champagne reduction.

FOR THE STRAWBERRY AND CHAMPAGNE ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:

  1. Pour 1 cup champagne into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the champagne is reduced to ½ cup. Allow to cool completely and then slowly beat into a prepared batch of Italian Meringue Buttercream.
  2. Remove about 2/3 of the buttercream from the mixing bowl. Add the pureed strawberries to the remaining buttercream and beat until completely incorporated.