Four Berry Champagne Summer Cake

berryCake

Recipe by Candice Hinsinger
Photography by Melissa Becker 

After a long Chicago winter and chilly northern spring, I couldn’t wait to start introducing more citrus and fruit flavors into my sweets here at the bakery. This cake is perfection at the height of berry season. When you can have four berries rather than one, why not? The addition of
champagne in both the cake and buttercream gives this beauty a lovely effervescence and lightness that you wouldn’t normally expect from cake.

As delicious as it is gorgeous, this cake will certainly impress, but it is also easy to assemble! As always when baking, make sure to bring your ingredients to room temperature (ideally, overnight) before baking. This step helps every element blend together beautifully.

Champagne Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 1/2 cups champagne (don’t use the good stuff, whatever is reasonably priced and on hand is just
fine)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Champagne Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup champagne

Berry Garnish

1 1/2 pints (3 cups) each of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries (some sliced)

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3-8″x3″-round cake pans with a flavorless oil such as canola or vegetable oil. If on hand, line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar for at least 2-3 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add eggs—one at a time—making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.
With a fork, fluff the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Separately combine milk, champagne, and vanilla into a measuring cup and give a light whisk.
On low speed, add half of the flour mixture until almost incorporated. Add the liquid mixture and blend until smooth. Add the remaining flour mixture and blend on medium speed until fully and smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans as evenly as possible.
Stagger the pans in your oven so that each pan has air flow around it. Bake for 25 minutes, rotate,and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cakes are fully set and a small knife inserted comes out clean. emove the cakes and let cool in the pans on a rack until absolutely cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting. Combine all ingredients in the stand mixer bowl, starting with 1/3 cup of the champagne. Start the mixer on the lowest setting and gradually increase as the ingredients start to combine. Add more champagne if needed. Mix until combined and light in texture.

Assemble the cake

Remove the cakes from the pans.
Using a large serrated knife, trim your cakes so that they are as flat as possible.
Set one of the cakes on your tray or platter of choice.
Fill a piping bag, if handy, with the buttercream. If not using a piping bag, use a clean spatula.
Pipe or spread a 1/2″-layer of buttercream on the first cake layer. Smooth.
Top with an assortment of berries to create a flat layer.
Repeat with the second and third cakes, frosting, and berries.
Create a beautifully tall pile of berries on the top of the cake.
Using a sifter, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.
Let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

 

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