Champagne Cake with Strawberry Champagne Buttercream & Coconut Cream Filling
The perfect celebration cake…
I’ve made this cake, or a version of it, three times now and I will say this – do not use cheap champagne!
You don’t necessarily have to use champagne – prosecco, cava, or another sparkling wine will all do fine, but just be sure it is one that you like as I assure you, you can taste it in the cake.
Champagne and strawberries… Hardly an inventive combination, but honestly, it’s the only one worth the effort this time of year. British strawberries in the Spring are… well, better than Australian strawberries… which, for me, is saying something.
I made this cake for a friend’s birthday, and decided on a small cake (for three of us!) and cupcakes so that she’d have something to take home. If you wanted to make cupcakes only, the recipe below would produce around 16.
Yield: One four layer 4″ cake, and 10 cupcakes
125g butter (room temperature)
275g (+20g) caster sugar
12g baking powder
3g baking soda
1 egg (separated)
2 egg whites
30ml double cream
Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4, and prepare your cake tins.
Place butter and 275g of sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir to combine.
Whisk together the egg yolk, cream and milk, then beat the mixture into the creamed butter and sugar.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture one third at a time, alternating with the champagne, and starting and finishing with the dry mixture.
In a clean dry mixing bowl beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, adding in the remaining 20g of sugar, then fold into the cake batter.
Fill your cupcake cases two thirds of the way up, and divide the ramaining batter between two 4″ cake tins (or bake one at a time if you do not have two 4″ tins).
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until cake skewer comes out clean.
Coconut Cream Filling
200ml double cream
35g icing sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
20g dessicated coconut
Beat the cream until it starts to thicken, then add in the icing sugar and coconut extract. Continue to bet until light and fluffy.
Fold in the dessicated coconut.
Strawberry & Champagne Cooked Flour Buttercream
40g plain flour
240ml whole milk
235g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter
100g strawberries (hulled)
Whisk together the milk and flour until there are no lumps remaining, then heat gently in a saucepan, stirring as it thickens.
Once the mixture has thickened continue to stir it over the heat for a minute or so, then turn off the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Place the strawberries into a food processor and pulse until your left with a fine purée. Transfer the strawberry purée to a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add in 40ml of champagne and continue to simmer until reduced. Set aside and refrigerate until cool.
Beat butter until smooth, then add in the caster sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Add in the cooled cooked flour mixture and beat until sugar has dissolved.
Take about 2/5 of your buttercream and add in the remaining 40ml of champagne, beating in a little at a time to achieve desired taste and texture.
Add the cooled strawberry purée to the remaining buttercream, again, beating in a little at a time to desired taste and texture.
Assembling Your 4″ Cake
Slice the two 4″ cakes in half so that you are left with four cake layers.
Place one cake layer onto your cake stand and smooth a layer of the coconut cream filling over the top. Place the next cake layer on top of the cream filling, and repeat until you reach the top layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Take a small amount of your strawberry buttercream to crumb coat your cake, smoothing it sparingly over the cake to create an even layer all over. Refrigerate again for 20 minutes.
For this cake I did a sort of ‘second crumb coat’, which isn’t entirely necessary. I knew I would be piping a lot of buttercream onto the cake when decorating, but I didn’t want any cake visible if there were gaps in my piping, so I smoothed another very light layer of buttercream over the crumb coat before decorating.
To decorate, I fitted a piping bag with a large open star tip, and filled with the champage buttercream for the top. I then fitted a separate piping bag with a petal tip, and filled with the strawberry buttercream for the ruffles, starting at the top and working my way down. The ruffles stopped about an inch from the base, and I filled the gaps with the champagne buttercream using the large open star tip again.
Assembling The Cupcakes
Cut out a small section in the centre of your cupcakes, reserving the removed piece to use as a lid. Fill the cupcake with buttercream, then place the lid on top.
Pipe the buttercream onto your cakes using the open star tip for the champagne buttercream, and petal tip for the strawberry, or as desired.