What is a Pink Champagne Cake?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
A bottle of champagne, which can be used to make pink champagne cake.
A bottle of champagne, which can be used to make pink champagne cake.

A pink champagne cake is a light, fluffy cake with a misnomer for a name. Despite the long-lived popularity of the dessert, only a few recipes call for pink or rose champagne to be included in the batter. Instead, the name most likely comes from the tradition of frosting the cake a cheery pink, and its frequent association with being served at holiday parties. Some recipes also contain a small amount of sparkling wine, though traditional champagne isn’t a necessary addition.

Pink champagne cakes are often topped with chocolate shavings.
Pink champagne cakes are often topped with chocolate shavings.

Pink champagne cake recipes vary, but most consist of a white layer cake filled with cream. The filling most often is rum-flavored or traditional Bavarian cream, giving the cake a dense, rich flavor. The predominant flavors in the cake are rum and vanilla, though some recipes call for chocolate shavings to be added to the top as decoration.

The frosting on a pink champagne cake is typically a simple buttercream, dyed pink with a few drops of red food coloring. Many bakeries choose to cover the frosted cake in pink or chocolate curls, made from hardened or thickened frosting, dyed chocolate, or coconut.

Pink champagne cakes are usually light and fluffy.
Pink champagne cakes are usually light and fluffy.

Pink champagne cakes have become popular at specific types of celebrations. As the cake is considered particularly feminine, it is frequently found at wedding and baby showers and bachelorette parties. The sweet pink color of the frosting also makes the cake popular as a Valentine's Day dessert, while its association with champagne makes it appropriate for New Year's festivities.

Pink champagne cakes may be served as baby showers or bachelorette parties.
Pink champagne cakes may be served as baby showers or bachelorette parties.

A pink champagne cake is not the easiest recipe for the novice baker. The complexity of the wine-filled batter, Bavarian cream and frosting can easily overwhelm a relatively new pastry chef. Possibly because of this, pink champagne cakes are often a specialty of professional cake and pastry shops. While experimenting with this difficult recipe is certainly worthwhile, to ensure a perfectly decorated and flavored cake for an upcoming celebration, many consider it wise to let a professional do the dirty work, so you can sit back and enjoy this delicious cake without destroying your kitchen.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

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Discussion Comments

GlassAxe

@Glasshouse -- A champagne cake is simply a chiffon cake where the liquid is substituted with a sweet dry champagne. The tricky part of making this cake is judging how stiff to make the peaks in the meringue. I have made plenty of chiffon and champagne cakes, and all you need to do is beat the egg whites until the peaks are stiff and do not fold over. If the peaks are not stiff enough, the cake will be too dense.

As for the use of champagne in a chocolate cake, it can be done, but I do not know how much of the champagne flavor would be masked by the cocoa. Who knows though, it may be amazing. I will try it the next time I make cake batter and let you know.

If you want a simple recipe for a champagne cake, use a white chiffon recipe and use champagne for the liquid. Here's what you will need. 2.75 C cake flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 0.66 C softened butter, 1.5 C castor sugar, 0.75C champagne, 6 large egg whites, spring form pans, and an oven. Good luck and have fun.

Glasshouse

Is a champagne cake anything like a sponge or chiffon cake? I have never had pink champagne cake, and I am wondering what the cake's consistency is like. Can you make pink champagne cake in chocolate, or is it strictly a white cake?

lokithebeak

It doesn't have to be hard, just substitute a white cake mix batter and replace the liquid called for on box with champagne. It might not be "real" Pink Champagne cake but it's certainly a perfectly acceptable home version for us novice bakers!

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    • A bottle of champagne, which can be used to make pink champagne cake.
      A bottle of champagne, which can be used to make pink champagne cake.
    • Pink champagne cakes are often topped with chocolate shavings.
      Pink champagne cakes are often topped with chocolate shavings.
    • Pink champagne cakes are usually light and fluffy.
      Pink champagne cakes are usually light and fluffy.
    • Pink champagne cakes may be served as baby showers or bachelorette parties.
      Pink champagne cakes may be served as baby showers or bachelorette parties.
    • Pink champagne cake is often a speciality of professional pastry chefs, as it may be too difficult for a novice to prepare.
      Pink champagne cake is often a speciality of professional pastry chefs, as it may be too difficult for a novice to prepare.
    • Pink champagne is often served around the holidays.
      Pink champagne is often served around the holidays.