pink champagne cake
Time for YUM

pink champagne cake

Happy Birthday to 2019! I hope everybody had a wonderful New Year's Eve. Ours was pretty chill. Erlend and I are not really the type to go out on New Year's Eve; instead, we sat at home and drank these French 75ish cocktails I made for Crate and Barrel, ate Molly's classic tater tot hotdish with this pink champagne cake for dessert, and watched several depressing episodes of Black Mirror. How do I live this rock and roll lifestyle, I know, I know.

Now let's talk about this cake — I initially had this massive plan to turn all of my New Year's resolutions intentions into #drakeoncake style champagne sheet cakes, but for some reason, I couldn't get any of them to look good. It turns out that Joy has a special skill that I do not have, OH WELL. After about Cake Number 3 (there were 4 total, sigh), I threw down the towel and decided to make a layer cake, the kind that you guys loved so much last year. This layer cake is made with a white cake from one of my favorite cookbooks of last year, Rose's Baking Basics, and a classic cream cheese frosting adapted from my upcoming cookbook, both with a twist: they're spiked with a heavy dose of pink and champagne extract (ACTUALLY, I believe I used sparkling wine extract, because I guess LorAnn Oils knows that you can only call it champagne if it comes from the French region Champagne 😂).

To be honest, I'm not sure how much like champagne the extract actually tasted like; I thought it tasted like concord grape, whereas Erlend thought it tasted like strawberry ice cream. His coworkers who ate the rest of the cake definitely tasted the champagne though, so there's that. If you're looking for a more legit champagne flavor, I suggest taking 2 1/2 cups of champagne (pink or regular) and boiling it down until you have a 1/4 cup to use in both the cake and frosting — although I did this for the resolution sheet cakes, I didn't write this process as part of the layer cake's recipe because making your own champagne extract takes a decent chunk of time and I was trying to make everybody's life easier by using extract instead. Because that's actually one of my resolutions intentions goals for 2019: to make recipes that you guys will actually make. Happy New Year, y'all!

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Some baker's notes:
  • Champagne extract is available online via Amazon; I used the LorAnn Oils variety (which I mentioned in the post is "sparkling wine" flavored as opposed to actual champagne) because I have several of their other extracts and know it's good quality, but it looks like you can get "real" champagne extract too for steeper prices. 
  • For this cake recipe, it's REALLY important that all the ingredients are at room temperature before beating them together — if either the butter, milk, or eggs are on the colder side (or worse, straight from the fridge), the batter has a tendency to curdle and separate once the last of the eggs and milk are added in. To make extra sure that everything was at the right temperature, I stuck the butter, milk, and eggs in the microwave and blitzed each ingredient on low for around 10 seconds or so.

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