We don’t need a reason to celebrate with food! Pop open a bottle of bubbly for this fun edible play on words. From our Pantry to Your: Champagne Park District Cake:
This light, tasty cake is a toast to our wonderful Park District! The alcohol cooks off, so this can be enjoyed by anyone as a cake, or the recipe can also yield 24 cupcakes. Make it your own by making a champagne buttercream to go along with it or use your favorite flavor of icing! Cheers to baking!
- 1 ½ cups champagne
- 2 ⅔ cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- Optional: food coloring
Champagne Buttercream Icing
- 1-2 tablespoons leftover champagne reduction
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Optional: food coloring
- Two 8 inch cake pans
- mixing bowls
- electric mixer or whisk and some elbow grease
- Preheat the oven to 325℉. Spray the cake pans with cooking spray (or you can use shortening or butter and sprinkle with flour).
- Carefully open the bottle of champagne and measure out 1 ½ cups. Place in a saucepan and simmer for about 6-8 minutes to let it reduce until there is only about ¾ cup of liquid left. This is where the alcohol cooks off and becomes a champagne-flavored syrup.
- **Be sure to let this concentrated liquid cool down to room temperature before you add it to the batter. If the syrup is too hot when you add it to your batter, you risk cooking the eggs!
- Reserve 1-2 tablespoons if you plan to make the champagne buttercream.
- In a medium bowl, measure and whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and vanilla together until smooth and creamy.
- Add sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs. Continue mixing until combined.
- Set the mixer to medium speed and gradually alternate between adding flour mixture and concentrated champagne. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix.
- Fill cake pans about ¾ full and bake for about 30-35 minutes.
- . The cakes are ready if you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before icing it.
- . To ensure a steady cake foundation, trim the tops of the cake using a bread knife to flatten the layers. This will make it easy to stack them.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons of the champagne reduction until smooth. Add milk and powdered sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.
- **To make the buttercream extra smooth, you can sift the powdered sugar. This will reduce lumps that can be hard to stir out.
- I also used blue food coloring to add a *pop* of color!
- You can use the buttercream to ice the whole cake, but I just used it between cake layers. I used a different icing for the outside of the cake.
White Chocolate Trees
- Melt white chocolate chips and coconut oil.
- You can do this in the microwave in 30 second intervals (be sure to stir in between), or you can melt it via a double boiler on the stovetop. To do that, fill a small pot about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot and melt the chocolate/coconut oil. Stir as it melts. This is the method I use!
- Add a few drops of green food coloring to the melted chocolate.
- On a baking sheet covered with wax paper, spread out dollops of the chocolate and shape into trees using a spoon. They don’t have to be perfect, chocolate is finicky!
- While the chocolate is still wet, add a pretzel rod for a salty tree trunk.
- Allow the trees to set. You can put them in the freezer or refrigerator to speed up this process.
- Spread the champagne buttercream–or any icing of your choice–between the cake layers.
- Ice the outside of the cake using a frosting spatula or flat knife to make it smooth.
- I used cherry icing that I dyed purple, because why not?
- Top with chocolate trees. The pretzels will help make sure they stick in the cake.
Cake & Buttercream Nutrition Info
Calories: 274 kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 50 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 276IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe modified from freshcoasteats.com