Every spring, my love affair with the cotton candy-esque blooms on the cherry tree in my backyard inspires me to bake something pink. Usually these magnificent flowers peak around Easter, so my need to bake comes in handy for the Easter dinner table.
This year with my newfound affinity for wine, I was intrigued by the Pink Champagne Cake I’ve been seeing all over the internet, so I decided to try it. There were several versions available including this one adapted from AllRecipes, but I made a few tweaks to mine. I also made homemade pink food coloring from beets instead of using store bought chemicals. Don’t worry; your cake won’t taste like beets!
Pink Champagne Cake
- 2 ¾ c flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup (150g) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup pink champagne
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pink food coloring (Natural version: I took 3 beets, peeled them, put them in a foil tent in the oven and baked for 20 minutes. When done, there will be a nice couple of teaspoons of the rich red color. Drop it straight in to the recipe where it calls for it. )
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2/3 c pink champagne
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour 2 9” round cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy (at least 5 minutes).
- Alternating between flour mixture and champagne, combine and blend into the creamed butter mixture until just mixed. Half way through the addition of the flour and champagne, add in a few drops of the pink food coloring (or natural beet juice) before continuing to mix in the flour and champagne.
- In a large clean bowl (ensure there is no grease whatsoever), beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold 1/3 of the whites into batter, followed by another 1/3 of the whites, and then the remaining whites. Divide evenly into your prepared pans.
- Bake at 350ºF for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in pans before assembling and decorating.
For the frosting:
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar, and mix thoroughly before adding the next bit.
- When the frosting mixture starts to get too thick to mix smoothly, start adding in the champagne very gradually 1/3 at a time, before mixing in more powdered sugar.
- Continue to beat in sugar and champagne until all of the sugar is incorporated. If the frosting isn’t soft and fluffy enough continue adding in more champagne until you reach a desired consistency. The frosting should be soft, light and fluffy without being soupy or runny.
- Place one of the cooled cake layers on a cake board or cake plate. Cover the top of the cake layer with an even layer of the frosting.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the buttercream layer, and then cover the top of the second cake layer with an even layer of the champagne buttercream.
- Decorate the cake with fresh raspberries, cut strawberries, flowers or however you’d like.