Strawberry Champagne Layer Cake

Made with layers of soft, moist champagne cake and a combination of fresh strawberry buttercream and silky champagne frosting, this delectable cake will turn heads at any celebration. Whether it’s a graduation, a 21st birthday or a holiday weekend, it’s a great time to indulge in this Strawberry Champagne Layer Cake!

A champagne layer cake on a cardboard cake round with one large slice removed

This Fruity Champagne Cake is an Unforgettable Treat

Strawberries and champagne are totally made for each other. This elegant dessert combines them in the yummiest way possible – with layers of fluffy cake and creamy frosting! Once it’s finished off with sprinkles and a final rim of buttercream, it will almost be too beautiful to eat.

But once you take your first bite, you won’t be able to stop until your plate is clean! The strawberry buttercream gets its pretty pink color from fresh berries, and you can taste the perfect amount of champagne in both the cake and the champagne frosting. The two different frosting flavors stem from the same recipe, keeping this cake as easy as possible. You’ll want to whip it up for every special occasion!

Can Champagne Cake Get You Drunk?

Since the champagne is cooked down over the stove to intensify its flavor, there’s no actual alcohol in this cake. The heat from the oven would evaporate it anyway. The same cooked-down champagne is used for the buttercream, so no worries about the alcohol!

A close-up shot of a piece of strawberry champagne cake on a plate with a fork

What You’ll Need

Let’s go over the ingredients that go into the cake layers and both of the frostings. A lot of them overlap, so you really don’t need much!

For the Champagne Cake

  • Champagne: Use your favorite brand.
  • Unsalted Butter: Brought to room temperature.
  • Sugar
  • Sour Cream: For a super moist cake.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Egg Whites: To give the cake structure. These should also be brought to room temperature.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Not self-rising flour.
  • Baking Powder: Not baking soda.
  • Salt: For flavor.
  • Milk: I use 2% milk.

For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • Chopped Strawberries: These will be pureed in a food processor and strained to remove the pulp and seeds.
  • Salted Butter: At room temperature.
  • Shortening: Can be replaced with the same amount of additional butter, if preferred.
  • Powdered Sugar: For volume and consistency.

For the Champagne Buttercream Frosting

  • Salted Butter: Room temperature.
  • Shortening: Can be replaced with the same amount of additional butter, if preferred.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Champagne: This buttercream uses the leftover champagne that was cooked down for the cake batter.
A slice of strawberry champagne cake on a plate with two glasses of champagne behind it

How to Make Strawberry Champagne Layer Cake

Although this cake looks like it was made by a professional baker, anybody can make it happen. Just follow the detailed instructions below!

Make the Cake Layers

  1. Cook Down Champagne: Add all of the champagne to a medium-sized saucepan and cook it over medium heat until you’ve got 1 cup remaining. Don’t let it boil. To measure how much champagne remains, pour it into a glass measuring cup. Pour it back into the pan if it needs longer to cook down.
  2. Chill: When you have just 1 cup of champagne remaining, refrigerate it until it’s cool.
  3. Prep for Baking: Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Cream Butter & Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Don’t skimp on the creaming time.
  5. Add Sour Cream & Vanilla: Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  6. Add Egg Whites: Add the egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  7. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  8. Combine Milk & Champagne: Combine the milk and 3/4 cup of the cooked and cooled champagne in a small bowl.
  9. Alternate Adding Dry Ingredients & Champagne Mixture: Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined, then add the champagne mixture and mix until well combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  10. Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for about 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few loose crumbs.
  11. Let Cool: Remove the cake layers from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer them to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Strawberry Frosting

  1. Puree & Strain Berries: Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
  2. Beat Butter & Shortening: Beat the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  3. Start Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  4. Add Puree: Add 3-4 tablespoons of the strawberry puree and mix until the frosting is smooth.
  5. Finish Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  6. Adjust Consistency: Add additional strawberry puree as needed to get the right consistency. Set aside.

Make the Champagne Frosting

  1. Beat Butter & Shortening: Beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
  2. Start Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add Champagne: Add 3 tablespoons of the cooked-down champagne and mix until smooth.
  4. Finish Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  5. Add Remaining Champagne: Add the remaining cooked-down champagne only as needed to get the right consistency. If you run out of champagne and the frosting is still too thick, add a touch of water or milk. You want this frosting to be a little bit sticky so that the sprinkles will easily adhere to it once it’s on the cake.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Remove Cake Domes: Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cake layers so that they’re flat. Place the first layer on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
  2. Frost First Layer: Set aside about 1/2 cup of strawberry frosting, then spread about half of the remaining strawberry frosting evenly on top of the base cake layer.
  3. Continue Layering: Add the second layer of cake and spread on another cup of strawberry frosting. Then add the final layer of cake.
  4. Frost Exterior: Use an offset spatula to frost the outside of the cake with the champagne buttercream.
  5. Add Sprinkles: Press the sprinkles into the sides of the cake immediately. I use a combination of this white and gold mix and these pink sugar pearls.
  6. Pipe on Remaining Strawberry Frosting: Use the strawberry frosting that was set aside to pipe shells around the edge of the cake. I use Ateco tip 844, but Wilton 1M or 2D would work as well. Sprinkle the top of the cake with some additional sprinkles if you’d like.
A strawberry champagne layer cake on a white cake stand beside a pink kitchen towel

Tips for Success

Give my tips and tricks a read before you recreate this stunning cake. You’re going to nail it!

  • Don’t Let the Champagne Boil: When you’re cooking down the champagne, you shouldn’t let it come to a boil. Simply heat it enough so that steam is visibly rising.
  • Fully Creamed Butter & Sugar is Key: Continue creaming your butter and sugar until the mixture lightens in color. You should see the texture thicken and fluff up as well.
  • Frost the Cake Smoothly: I have a whole post that details How to Frost a Smooth Cake. Check it out if you want some extra advice!
  • Add the Sprinkles Immediately: The champagne frosting is a crusting buttercream, so be sure to press the sprinkles into it right after you cover the cake. If it sits for too long, they’ll have trouble sticking to it.
A slice of strawberry champagne layer cake on a plate with the remaining cake visible in the background

Storage Instructions

This cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It will last for up to 24 hours, after which you can transfer it to the fridge for 2 more days if needed. I like to keep mine in a cake carrier to avoid squishing the frosting.

Does This Cake Freeze Well?

You can freeze the cake layers prior to layering the cake or freeze slices of the completed cake. Either way, wrap in clear wrap, then in foil and store in a plastic bag or air tight container prior to freezing. Thaw out your cake in the fridge before enjoying it. Frozen cake lasts for up to 3 months.

Print
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A champagne layer cake on a cardboard cake round with one large slice removed
Recipe

Strawberry Champagne Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 14
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Made with layers of soft, moist champagne cake and a combination of fresh strawberry buttercream and silky champagne frosting, this delectable cake will turn heads at any celebration. Whether it’s a graduation, a 21st birthday or a holiday weekend, it’s a great time to indulge in this Strawberry Champagne Layer Cake!


Ingredients

For the Champagne Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups (540ml) champagne, divided
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (362g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (58g) sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk

For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 2/3 cup (93g) chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening
  • 4 1/2 cups (518g) powdered sugar

For the Champagne Buttercream Frosting


Instructions

Make the Cake Layers

  1. Add all of the champagne to a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat until you’ve got 1 cup remaining. Don’t boil. To measure how much champagne remains, pour into a glass measuring cup. Add it back to the pan if it needs longer to cook down. When done, refrigerate until cool.
  2. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  4. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  5. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and 3/4 cup of the cooked and cooled champagne to a small measuring cup.
  7. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the champagne mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Strawberry Frosting

  1. Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
  2. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
  3. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  4. Add 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry puree and mix until smooth.
  5. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional strawberry puree, as needed to get the right consistency. Set aside.

Make the Champagne Frosting

  1. Beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
  2. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of champagne and mix until smooth.
  4. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  5. Add remaining cooked-down champagne (from the cake), as needed. If you run out of champagne and the frosting is still too thick, add a touch of water or milk. You want the frosting to be a little bit sticky, so that the sprinkles stick easily later.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
  2. Set aside about 1/2 cup of strawberry frosting, then spread about half of the remaining strawberry frosting evenly on top of the cake layer.
  3. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of strawberry frosting.
  4. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the cake with the champagne frosting. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
  5. Press the sprinkles into the sides of the cake. Do this immediately, before the frosting crusts and the sprinkles will no longer stick.
  6. Use the strawberry frosting that was set aside before to pipe shells around the edge of the cake. I used Ateco tip 844, but Wilton 1M or 2D would work as well.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the cake with some additional sprinkles, if desired.

Notes

  • Makes 12-14 slices.
  • To Store: Keep cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Can be transferred to fridge for 2 more days if needed.
  • To Freeze: Flash-freeze cake on a baking sheet until frosting is frozen solid. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, transfer it to a freezer-safe container store. Unwrap and thaw before enjoying. Frozen cake lasts for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 930
  • Sugar: 99.6 g
  • Sodium: 252 mg
  • Fat: 46.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 120.7 g
  • Protein: 5.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 73.1 mg

Keywords: pink champagne cake, homemade strawberry cake, 21st birthday cake

More Celebration-Worthy Dessert Ideas

Need another treat as tasty and good-looking as this one? I’ve got plenty!

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Recipe rating

97 Comments
  1. Laav

    Hi Lindsay. I’m going to try this cake recipe for a friendly family bake-off this week. Is it okay if the confectioners sugar has cornstarch in it?

  2. Gissa

    Hi! I made this for our 5th wedding anniversary & it’s absolutely delicious! My cake layers did come put moist but did crumble & break apart. Luckily I was able to salvage it & it was beautiful, but I’m wondering what I did wrong?

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12