Pink Champagne Cake for my 21st Birthday

I knew for my 21st birthday I had to make something with alcohol in it, so I turned to Booze Cakes, a recipe book by Castella and Stone full of cakes containing alcohol.  I decided to go with their recipe for a Pink Champagne Cake, because it was very girly, and I love champagne and though champagne was appropriate for a celebration such as this big birthday!  Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out as I expected.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • a few drops red food coloring
  • 2 cups champagne

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a few drops red food coloring




  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (I don’t have round pans so I used a square one).
  3. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Add vanilla and egg whites (one at a time) to butter and sugar.
  6. Mix in food coloring to reach the color you desire.
  7. Beat in flour mixture and Champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour to prevent curdling.
  8. Pour batter into pans and bake 35 minutes.
  9. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat butter 1 minute.  Gradually add the confectioners sugar, champagne, milk, vanilla, and food coloring; beat until smooth and creamy.


I followed all of these instructions EXACTLY, but the frosting was a horrific mess.  It was the runniest frosting I have ever seen, thinner even than a glaze.  I tried every trick I knew for thickening frosting, but it was hopeless.  I was so disappointed and frustrated that I gave in and went to the store and bought frosting (which I then made pink with food coloring).

My frustration may have caused me to go overboard decorating, but what girl doesn’t want her birthday cake to sparkle (from pink sugar crystals), be covered in flowers (wilton sugar flowers), and have strawberry slices on it?

The cake ended up being good, though I hate the artificial taste of store-bought frosting.  I will never use this icing recipe again, and I will never recommend it to anyone.  This is the first recipe I have made from Booze Cakes, and I hope that they don’t all turn out to be as disappointing.


5 thoughts on “Pink Champagne Cake for my 21st Birthday

  1. Pingback: A Belated Birthday Thank You | kitchenpsychology

  2. Next time make the frosting by creaming butter with half the sugar. Add 1/4 cup champagne, and then the rest of the sugar. Then add more champagne SLOWLY while beating on high speed until you get a fluffy consistency. This business of throwing everything into a machine results in more failures than successes, when it is so simple just to keep adding stuff to the butter base while the mixer is running.

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