When making champagne cake, sweeter champagnes are usually the best choice over drier types. Champagne cakes should be white so that the subtle flavor of the drink in the dessert won't be overpowered. To increase the cake's flavor, champagne should not only be used in the batter, but also the frosting. Especially since a champagne cake is typically made for a special occasion such as a wedding or anniversary, for an elegant presentation, layer cakes tend to work best.
Whether the cake is made from scratch or a mix, the champagne should replace the water or milk. It should also replace the milk used in a butter cream frosting. Vanilla or almond extract should be the only flavoring used in the batter and frosting so that the champagne in the cake will able to be tasted. Layers of the same size may be used in a champagne cake, or tiers in different sizes in either circles or rectangles can be centered and stacked.
Pink and white are the most suitable colors to use in champagne cakes. The cake may be all one color in both the batter and frosting, or alternate colors may be used. Typically, a few drops of red food coloring are used to tint white cake batter or frosting a pale pink color. Since champagne can be a subtle pink, pinks used for cake icing or batter should be pale rather than bright.
An excellent tip when making a cake using champagne is to fold stiff egg whites into the batter. This can create a delicate texture that suits the champagne cake's elegance. A great thing about making a cake with champagne is that it can be made the day before if it's stored in the refrigerator. The extra day allows the flavor of the champagne in the cake to increase. To avoid too dry of a taste, a sweeter variety of champagne should be used.
Some bakers like to use a sweet champagne with subtle berry notes, then decorate the cake with fresh berries just before serving. Whipped cream, either left white or tinted pale pink with food coloring, may be used to fill and frost the cake instead of butter cream icing. Another variation on champagne cake is to create cupcakes. A tall, large, cone-shaped cupcake holder full of white and/or pink frosted champagne cupcakes can add fun and whimsy to a party.