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.



Happy Easter!

This post doesn’t contain any recipes, but it does contain pictures of the eggs my boyfriend and I dyed!

My boyfriend, Matt, drew a picture of a “demon” on one, but it just turned out to be a portrait of our cat, Sid.

Pistachio Cake

I got this recipe from my mom, it’s one she has made my whole life.  Our good family friends were coming to visit and they have always loved it, so I made one for them!  This is a great cake for people who don’t like icing, or for brunch/tea parties, or just whenever!


  • 1 box butter cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package pistachio pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Butter and flour bunt pan.
  2. In an electric mixer, mix cake mix, eggs, sour cream, pistachio pudding, and vegetable oil mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.
  4. Pour half of batter into pan, top with 1/2 sugar mix.
  5. Pour rest of batter and top with sugar mix.
  6. Put in a cold oven, set at 350, and cook 1 hour.
  7. Share with friends!




Trader Joes Banana Bread Mix

My mom makes a great banana bread from scratch.  I have not yet been ambitious enough to try it, but lucky for me, Trader Joes makes a mix that tastes almost as good as my mom’s recipe!  I made it this time because it is easy, and also to try out my new pyrex loaf pan! The results: Pyrex rocks and is way better than my old metal pan, and a moist and yummy bread to eat.

The mix only requires the addition of water, vegetable oil, and two eggs.  Mix them all together and bake for 45 minutes to an hour and boom there you have it- banana bread.  If you so desire, you can add nuts, chocolate chips, actual banana slices, or all three to the mix to make a heartier bread.  Any way you do it, it’s sure to be good.  I would recommend this mix to people who like banana bread and prefer using mixes to baking from scratch.  As I have said before, I typically don’t like using mixes, but this is a good one.  Mixes tend not to taste like the real thing, but TJ’s has done a great job with this one!  I even added a new category for it 😉