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New Year's Eve Champagne Cake

Soft champagne cake layers scented with orange zest with creamy champagne buttercream and New Year's Eve theme fondant decorations.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Baking, Buttercream, Cake Decorating, Cake Recipe, Champagne
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling/Decorating Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 1 3(6-inch) layers or 2(8-inch) layers
Author Katie

Ingredients

Champagne Cake

  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large whole eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups cake flour (or 2 ¾ cup ap flour & ¼ cup cornstarch)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Champagne
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium orange, zested

Champagne Buttercream

  • 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Champagne

Fondant Decorations

  • White Fondant
  • Black Fondant
  • Yellow Fondant
  • 2 teaspoons Gold Highlighter Luster Dust
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Clear alcohol like Vodka or Lemon extract

Instructions

Fondant Decorations

  1. 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.

  2. Carefully write the numbers of the clock on the fondant with an edible black pen.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

Champagne Cake

  1. 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.

  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk and stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on medium-high for 5 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.

  5. Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

  6. Pour in the champagne and vanilla extract. Add orange zest.

  7. Mix on medium for another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

Champagne Buttercream

  1. In the stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Turn the mixer to low and add the salt and vanilla.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

Assemble

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Add the clock and gears to the sides of the cake. Then insert the gold stars into the top of the cake.

Recipe Notes

  • Read through all the ingredients and instructions so you can get a better idea of how much time and what you need to make this cake.
  • A single batch of this cake recipe makes three, 6-inch round cake layers or two 8-inch round cake layers. Double the cake recipe to make enough cake batter for three 8-inch cake layers.
  • In this cake recipe, you need 1 cup Champagne; you substitute it with buttermilk. 
  • To make cake flour at home, mix 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch. Sift or whisk together to get rid of any lumps. 
  • Be careful not to overmix this cake batter, or else the cake will come out dense. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • You can bake the cake layers ahead of time. Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze up to one month. 
  • You can make the buttercream a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. Then take them out to come back to room temperature. Make sure the buttercream is at room temperature before re-whipping.
  • If you want to get ahead, you can make the fondant decorations up to one week in advance and store onto a parchment-lined baking tray until ready to use. 
  • If fondant gets too sticky, then use cornstarch or if it's cracking, then use vegetable shortening to smooth out fondant. 
  • Serve at room temperature and use a hot knife to get clean cake slices!