Let Her Eat Cake – Vanilla Bean Cake With Pink Champagne Buttercream

Our daughter is turning 21 this weekend!  I don’t know how that could be because I swear it was only yesterday she was born.

Jessica Kelley

I wanted to make her a special cake for such a significant birthday so decided on an ombre rose cake.  From the minute I saw it, I knew it was the perfect cake for her.  She has always been all about pink and ruffles and frilly things.  I also thought it would be fun to use champagne frosting for such a special occasion.

This cake was so much fun to make and actually not that difficult.  It was a bit of a labor of love due to time, but that is perfect, because we love her a lot!  And it was a lot easier than the other kind of labor that brought her into this world! 🙂 I used my Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe (a couple of box mixes would work fine too) and frosted the whole thing with a crumb coat of Champagne Buttercream going a little heavier with the frosting between the layers.

Just make sure you pick out a champagne that you like the taste of and is on the sweeter side.   Due to boiling the champagne to concentrate the flavors, the frosting ends up tasting like the undertones of the champagne.  I used a pink champagne that had undertones of berry flavor, so when added to the frosting, it gave a bit of a tart/sweet berry flavor to it.  This frosting worked out great because it made enough to cover the whole cake, and in between the layers, and was so fluffy and spreadable.  I can’t wait to try it again sometime, and experiment with other champagnes.


The roses are made out of Perfect Crusting Buttercream.  I normally hate to use a recipe that calls for shortening, but I was worried that in the Arizona heat, the roses would just melt right off of the cake and slide down the sides.

It tastes more like the kind of frosting you would get on a store-bought cake.  The roses are not real roses, but just basically piping a swirl counterclockwise.  You start at the center point, and swirl around that point counterclockwise a couple of times ending at the top.  You really don’t even have to be that neat about it, as the next rose will cover the ending point of the rose beneath it.

Then start your next rose about 3/4 of an inch from the edge of the last rose.   I Am Baker, the one who first made this type of cake, has a great tutorial on her site that really helped me.

You can see I didn’t quite leave enough room for some of the roses on the last row.  But once you get everything done, it really doesn’t matter.  You don’t notice each individual rose as much.  It is the overall effect you are going for.  Or at least that is what I told myself!

I think you  could use this recipe for so many special occasions.  All you have to do is swap out the colors depending on the event. You could even use the Champagne Buttercream to frost cupcakes.  I hope Jessica likes her cake.  I wanted her to know how special she is to us, and commemorate her becoming an adult.  Being that she is our youngest, it really seems strange that she could already be 21.  Especially when every time I look at her, this is what I see, and I always will.

1999 03 19 jessica w flower (2)autocorrectcropped

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Vanilla Bean Cake With Champagne Buttercream

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 6 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate due to time
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  • 2 batches of Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe (click on link) or 2 boxed cake mixes split evenly into 3 (8-inch) cake pans
  • 1 recipe Champagne Buttercream (see below)
  • 1 recipe Perfect Crusting Vanilla Buttercream (see below)

For the  Pink Champagne Buttercream:

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 6 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 c sweet pink champagne (I used Korbel Sweet Rose – use one you like the taste of)
  • 3 tsp. clear vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tsp. heavy whipping cream (I used 3)
  • red food coloring (optional)
  1. Place 1 c of pink champagne in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Simmer until reduced to about 1/4 of a cup.  Transfer to a small bowl or cup and allow to cool completely.  Reducing the champagne down will enhance the flavors.
  2. Beat butter and shortening in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla and food coloring if desired and beat to incorporate.
  4. With mixer on low, slowly add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until well-blended after each addition, frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
  5. Add cream, salt, and reduced champagne.
  6. Once incorporated, whip frosting for at least 3-5 minutes on medium-high to  high until light and fluffy.
  7. If frosting is too thick to spread, gradually beat in additional cream or champagne (reduced or not) until you reach the desired consistency.

Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, slightly adapted from Tidymom

For the Perfect Crusting Buttercream:

  • 1 (2 lb.) bag powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 c shortening (Crisco recommended)
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract (use clear if want white frosting)
  • 1/2 c to 3/4 c whole milk
  • pink food coloring (I used Wilton Pink)
  1. Cream shortening and vanilla in mixer for 2-4 minutes.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  If you find your mixer struggling, slowly add in milk.  Use more milk for a creamy consistency, use less milk for a stiff consistency.

To Assemble Cake:

  1. Level 2 of the 3 cake layers so they are flat with a serrated, long sharp knife.
  2. Place first layer on plate.  Frost with Champagne Buttercream using a thin coat on the sides, and about a 1/4 inch layer of frosting in between layers and a 1/2 inch layer on top.
  3. Place about 1/4 of the amount of Crusting Buttercream in a bowl, and tint with Wilton Pink Food Coloring.  Place in a piping bag with a medium size star tip (844).  Pipe roses around the first row closest to the plate by starting in the center of the rose, and swirling first left, then counterclockwise twice.  Make sure the size of your roses is the size of each layer.
  4. After finishing the first layer of roses, place another 1/4 cup of Crusting Buttercream in a bowl, and add a slightly lesser amount of food coloring than in the first bowl.  Place in clean piping bag with a medium star tip (844), and pipe roses above each rose in the first row.
  5. After finishing the second layer of roses, place the rest of the white frosting in a clean piping bag with a medium star tip, and pipe roses above the roses in the second row.
  6. Fill in the top of the cake with more white roses.
  7. Let sit in the freezer about an hour, then wrap the cake with plastic wrap.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.  Be sure to allow enough time for the cake to defrost in the freezer or soften if in the refrigerator before serving.
  8. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally from I Am Baker







Categories: Cake Recipes, Cupcake Recipes, Mother's Day Recipes, Party Recipes, Recipes, Wedding Reception Recipes

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Pingback: Let Her Eat Cake – Vanilla Bean Cake With Pink Champagne Buttercream | vickidelbrouck

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