Soft champagne cake layers scented with orange zest with creamy champagne buttercream and New Year's Eve theme fondant decorations.
On a silicone mat, knead and roll out white fondant to ¼ inch thick and cut a 3 ½ inch circle. Then knead and roll out black fondant to ⅛ inch thick. Place the white fondant circle on top attached with water and cut the black fondant to create a ¼ inch border around the white fondant. Set aside to dry on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Carefully write the numbers of the clock on the fondant with an edible black pen.
Knead and roll out a thin rope of black fondant and create the hour and minute hand for the clock's face. Then roll it more long thin ropes for the details of the clock like the chain.
Roll the black fondant into a ⅛ inch thick and cut 20 circles of various sizes. Use a smaller circle cutter or piping tips to cut out the centers to create rings.
Then use small piping tips to cut semi-circles out of the rings' sides to create the gear shapes. And use little piping tips to make holes in the circles to complete the clock gears. Set aside a baking tray.
On a clean silicone mat, knead and roll out yellow fondant to ⅛ inch thick. Cut out stars of various sizes and insert wires into the stars. Set on the parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon gold luster dust and 1-2 drops of clear alcohol like vodka or lemon extract and mix until you have a paint-like consistency.
With a small paintbrush, paint the gold on the black border and chain of the clock. Pain half the black gears gold and paint all the stars gold. Set aside to dry for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk and stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on medium-high for 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.
Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until fully incorporated.
Pour in the champagne and vanilla extract. Add orange zest.
Mix on medium for another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly distribute the cake batter among the three cake pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
Remove cakes from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks to cool completely. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and place them into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In the stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer to low and add the salt and vanilla.
Next, gradually add powdered sugar, followed by the champagne. Mix on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Before using, turn the mixer on low and mix for 2 minutes to push out any air bubbles or use a rubber spatula to push out the air bubbles. (You may need to repeat this step when frosting the outside of the cake).
Remove the cake layers from the freezer and unwrap the cake layers. Next, use a serrated knife to cut off the cakes' dome to make the layers flat and even.
Add a small amount of buttercream onto the center of the cake board. Layer one cake layer, cut side up onto the cake board. Pipe ⅔ cup of buttercream and use an offset spatula to smooth the buttercream layer.
Place another cake layer cut side down over the top. Repeat the process for another layer — Crumb coat with white buttercream and freeze for 30 minutes.
Add a thicker layer of buttercream to the cold cake. Use an offset spatula and cake scraper to make the sides and the top as smooth as possible.
Add the clock and gears to the sides of the cake. Then insert the gold stars into the top of the cake.