The Best Classic Pink Champagne Cake You'll Ever Eat

If you need a cake for a special occasion, look no further: Nothing says special occasion like champagne, and the French sparkling wine is a key ingredient in this classic pink champagne cake that's perfect for a baby shower, bridal shower, or special birthday for someone you love.

"The champagne flavor in the cake itself is pretty light, but it gives it a nice flavor," says recipe developer Jessica Morone of Jess Loves Cooking. "It's definitely stronger in the frosting but still not overwhelming."

For those who want to make this pretty pink cake but balk at the price tag of a bottle of champagne, never fear. "You absolutely don't need to use an expensive champagne in this cake," says Morone. "In fact, that would just be a waste." She recommends any sparkling rosé in place of a fancier bottle of bubbles, noting that the original recipe from the '60s even suggested strawberry soda as a non-alcoholic alternative. "I got the bottle I used for this recipe from Costco for about $15," she adds.

Gather the ingredients for the batter for this classic pink champagne cake

To make this classic pink champagne cake, you'll begin with the cake layers, which start off as a fairly standard cake batter: a combo of flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and sugar. The cake relies on egg whites rather than whole eggs, which will give it a light, fluffy texture. You'll also need a few drops of red food coloring, plus a cup of champagne (or whichever pink sparkling wine you're using!)

Make the cake layers for your classic pink champagne cake

To make the cakes for the classic pink champagne cake, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Set aside and turn your attention to the butter and sugar. Simply cream them together until fluffy, then beat in the egg whites until foamy.

Next, it's time to incorporate the flour mixture and champagne into the batter. Add about a quarter of each at a time, alternating back and forth and beating until smooth. Finish things off with a drop or two of the red food coloring until the batter is a pretty, rosy hue.

Divide the batter among three greased eight-inch cake pans (or two nine-inch pans) and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Cool ten minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Gather the ingredients for the Bavarian-style cream for this classic pink Champagne cake

While the classic pink champagne cakes cool, it's time to turn your attention to the filling. Morone opts for a Bavarian-style cream, which is simpler than the Bavarian cream traditionally called for.

"Usually, for Bavarian cream, you need to use gelatin to thicken it, and you have to refrigerate the filling for hours before you can use it," she says. "I used vanilla pudding mix because you get a nice, thick consistency right away, and it's a much faster process for a filling that is very similar to the original."

In addition to the vanilla pudding mix, you'll need heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and a touch of milk to loosen.

Make the Bavarian-style cream for this classic pink champagne cake

To make the Bavarian-style cream for this classic pink champagne cake, simply combine the pudding mix and cold whipping cream in a bowl, and beat until the mixture becomes stiff. (An electric beater or stand mixer will make this far easier on your biceps!)

Once the Bavarian-style cream is nice and thick, add the vanilla, followed by the milk (a tablespoon at a time) until you reach the desired spreadable consistency. Chill until ready to use. (The cream — not you. You've got a bit more work to do.)

Gather the ingredients for the champagne buttercream frosting for the classic pink champagne cake

To coat the outside of the classic pink champagne cake, you'll be making a champagne buttercream, which will boast the strongest champagne flavor of any part of this cake, seeing as the champagne is not cooked or heated to make it. (This also means that there's a little bit of alcohol in the finished cake, but since most champagne is only about 11 or 12 percent alcohol and you're only using a quarter cup in the entire batch of frosting, it's nothing to worry about.)

In addition to the champagne, the buttercream also calls for salted butter and powdered sugar.

Make the champagne buttercream frosting for this classic pink champagne cake

The champagne buttercream starts out like any buttercream frosting: Beat the butter on high speed in a stand mixer or with an electric beater until soft and creamy. Turn the speed down to low (especially if you don't want to take sugar to the face!), then add the powdered sugar (a.k.a. confectioner's sugar) 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Finish things off by adding the champagne and beating until nice and creamy.

Assemble your classic pink champagne cake

The filling and frosting are made, and the cake layers are cooled. It's time to assemble your classic pink champagne cake! Start by transferring the frosting to a piping bag. Next, place a layer of cake on a serving plate. Carefully pipe a ring around the outer rim of the cake to form a sort of "dam" into which you'll spread the Bavarian-stye cream.

"The frosting dam is helpful because the frosting is more sturdy than the filling," explains Morone, "so it prevents the filling from squishing out when you are putting the layers together."

Fill the dam with the cream, spreading it out evenly. Top with the next layer, and repeat the same operation, finishing with the final cake layer.

Crumb coat your classic pink Champagne cake

When the classic pink champagne cake is assembled, spread a light layer of frosting all over the outside, creating what's known in baker-speak as a "crumb coat."

"Crumb coating is just a light layer of frosting that seals in all the crumbs," explains Morone, who notes that "it doesn't have to look good" because it's going to end up being covered in a final layer of frosting before you slice and serve the cake.

With the crumb coat in place, chill the cake for at least 30 minutes.

Decorate your classic pink champagne cake

When the crumb coat has hardened, add a final layer of frosting to the cake, smoothing the top and sides. Now it's time to decorate! Morone opts to top the cake with swirls of frosting tinted pink with a touch more food coloring. She then adds pink celebration pearls, which you can find at craft stores or big supermarkets. A glass of champagne is the perfect pairing for this sweet, delicate cake!

The Best Classic Pink Champagne Cake You'll Ever Eat
5 from 46 ratings
If you need a cake for a special occasion, look no further: French sparkling wine is a key ingredient in this classic pink champagne cake.
Prep Time
1
hour
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
12
servings
pink champagne cake
Total time: 1.42 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups pink champagne or sparkling rosé, divided
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter with sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites and beat until foamy. Add the flour mixture and 1 cup champagne into the batter alternately, about ¼ of each at a time, and mix until smooth. Add 1 to 2 drops of red food coloring and mix until desired color is reached.
  4. Pour the batter into three greased 8-inch cake pans or two 9-inch pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until cakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only cake crumbs. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool. Cool completely before assembling.
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the Bavarian-style cream by adding cold whipping cream and pudding mix to a mixing bowl. Beat until the mixture becomes stiff. Slowly add in the vanilla extract, followed by the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Refrigerate filling until ready to use.
  6. For the champagne buttercream frosting, begin by beating the butter on high speed until is creamy. Add the confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time, and beat on low until combined. Add ¼ cup champagne to the frosting, and continue to beat until frosting is creamy.
  7. To assemble the cake, place a layer of cake on a plate. Pipe a ring of frosting just on the inside of the cake layer to create a dam that prevents the filling from coming out. Add Bavarian-style cream to the center of the layer, and spread evenly. Place the next layer on top, and repeat. When you get to the top layer, spread a light layer of frosting on the top and sides of the cake to create a crumb coat. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Once the frosting is set, add a second layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth the top and sides of cake. Decorate as desired, and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 781
Total Fat 40.8 g
Saturated Fat 25.5 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 122.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 96.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 73.3 g
Sodium 504.4 mg
Protein 5.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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