{Celebrations and a Giveaway!} Champagne Cake

You may have noticed a few changes over the last week. One being a new name: “I Want to Bake”. Another being a new look. Welcome to the new home of my blog! I’ll still be sharing with you delicious recipes and baked goods, as well as some travel as restaurant tips. To celebrate this new start I opened a bottle of bubbly…

Champagne Cake | I Want to Bake

And baked it into a cake! This recipe comes from the beautiful book: Vintage Cakes by Julia Richardson. The book is filled with beautiful pictures and some old school cakes ranging from hasty cakes and every day cakes to layer cakes and party cakes. To celebrate this new start, I’m giving away a copy of this book to one of you beautiful people. My readers, who are the reason I can keep doing what I love. Use the widget below to enter, wherever in the world you are!

Champagne Cake | I Want to Bake

Now for the cake. My official taste-tester (aka my other half) dubbed this the best cake I’ve ever made. And I think I agree! Beautiful layers of moist cake, with custard filling and a fresh cream frosting. Not only is the champagne baked into the cake, but it’s added to the filling and frosting as well, lending a beautiful flavour to all three. You don’t need to splash out on super expensive real champagne; I went for a R40 (about $4) bottle of sparkling wine and was very happy with the taste. The perfect cake for any special occasion: birthdays, bridal shower or blog launches!

Champagne Cake | I Want to Bake

I added raspberries to the top of the cake, but you could also add them to the filling or purée them and add then to the frosting. Any tart berry would pair beautifully with this cake. Another option would be some dark chocolate for a bit of extra indulgence!

Champagne Cake | I Want to Bake


Champagne Cake

Yield: One 4 layer 20cm cake


  • 320g Sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 347g Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 1 cup Dry sparkling white wine
  • Custard Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups Half-and-half (or 1/4 cup Cream and 1 1/4 cups Full cream milk)
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 100g cup Sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup Dry sparkling white wine
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 28g Unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp Vanilla essence
  • Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups cream, cold
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • Assembly (optional)
  • 1 punnet of fresh raspberries
  • Dark chocolate shavings


    For the Cake
  • Butter two 20cm cake tins and line the bottom with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 175C.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Briefly whisk by hand to ensure it is well mixed.
  • Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium speed in a large bowl for about a minute.
  • Switch your mixer to low speed and slowly add in the canola oil.
  • Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sparkling wine. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Only mix until just combined to make sure you don't over-mix the batter. The batter will be very liquid.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans (about 655g batter per tin).
  • Bake on the center rack of the oven for 34-38 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the cake; it will be ready when the tops are domed, lightly browned and bounce back when lightly pressed.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for half an hour. Remove the cakes from the tin and cool to room temperature right side up on a cooling rack.
  • For the Custard Filling
  • Heat the half-and-half (or milk-cream mixture) in a saucepan until hot, but not boiling.
  • While the milk mixture is heating up, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a heat-proof bowl. The mixture will be thick, but keep whisking until it is pale yellow in colour.
  • Add in the sparkling wine, followed by the cornstarch
  • Slowly whisk about a third of the heated milk-mixture into the yolk mixture. Add this back to the saucepan.
  • Gently cook over a medium-low heat, whisking continually until the mixture has bubbled for about a minute. You will need to stop whisking periodically to check if the mixture is bubbling.
  • Strain the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and whisk in the vanilla and butter until the butter has melted.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Place the bowl in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • For the Frosting and Assembly
  • Before you do anything, put a bowl and your beaters in the freezer so they're nice and chilly when it comes to whipping the cream.
  • Cut each layer of cake in half to create four layers of cake.
  • Place one bottom half on a cake stand (or whatever surface you choose) cut side up. Spread a heaping half cup of custard over this, leaving a 0.5cm gap uncovered around the edge of the cake.
  • Place the second bottom half on top of this, cut side up, and repeat with the custard.
  • Add a third layer, cut side up and repeat. You will be left with about half a cup of custard.
  • Add the final layer cut side DOWN. Check for any custard that has oozed out the sides and spread it on the outside of the cake.
  • Put the cake in the fridge for about half an hour or until it is stable.
  • Remove the bowl and beaters from the freezer and add the cream.
  • Whip the cream on a medium-low speed until the beaters begin to leave tracks in the cream.
  • Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium-high. Continue to beat the cream until medium-firm peaks form. Fold in the remaining custard.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake and put the cake in the fridge for about half an hour to set.
  • The cake will last about three days in the fridge in an airtight container.


If you have limited time, make the custard first and allow it to chill while the cakes bake.


Please note: This giveaway is sponsored by I Want to Bake.

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