I love layer cakes. Sorta.
I love the way they look when they’re all prettily decorated. And I love the slices sitting on a plate just waiting to be devoured.
And I really enjoy the process of baking them – and ohemgee you guys, cake batter? I mean, is there really anything better? (Maybe cookie dough. Okay, probably cookie dough. Or I guess it’s really a tie.)
But decorating a cake? Ugh, I get bored halfway through and generally regret my over-ambitious designs. And have you ever tried to level a cake? It’s impossible. Drives me mad.
And can I be totally honest? I am extremely picky about my cake flavors. Like, crazy picky. Don’t even THINK of putting store bought in front of me. I don’t care how “awesome” your bakery is, I have yet to try a store-bought cake that I’ve actually enjoyed. Dried out cake, gummy, or even worse, gritty, frosting. Ugh, nothankyousir.
So when I decided I wanted to make a cake for my blogoversary, I had to think about it really hard. I mean, I wanted to eat this cake, too. And I wanted it to be towering. And I wanted it to have more sprinkles than God. Also, it had to be kinda fancy. In a three-year-old fancy kind of way, but better. Does that make sense?
Well, it does in this cake. I made a towering three-layer cake, filled with sprinkles inside and out. Oh, and champagne. This bad boy has over a cup of champagne mixed in. No other flavoring. So it has a sort of delicate sweet taste that you can’t quite put your finger on, except for when you’re licking the bowl, and eating the scraps. Then your fingers are all over it.
I made a classic vanilla buttercream to go with it, since I didn’t want anything to overpower the cake itself. I think it worked out perfectly. And because I’m not a huge fan of frosting, I kept the layers between the cake relatively thin. Doesn’t look quite as stunning when it’s cut, but it does prevent you from getting diabetes immediately after consuming a towering piece. You’re welcome, I think.
- 9 egg whites
- 7½ oz butter, softened (approximately 2 sticks and a little bit)
- 2¼ cups sugar
- 4¼ cups flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1¼ cups champagne
- sprinkles (I easily used ½ - ¾ cups)
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup meringue powder (affiliate link!)
- 2 stick butter, softened
- 3-5 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with shortening and dust with flour.
- In a large bowl separate your egg whites while still cold, and let come to room temperature. (Save your yolks and make a custard or ice cream).
- In another large bowl whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream your butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy again.
- Working in three additions, add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with the champagne, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated between each addition. Set aside.
- Whip your egg whites just until stiff peaks form, do not over beat.
- Add ⅓ of your egg whites and fold in by hand with a large rubber spatula. This helps lighten the batter. Add the remaining whites and carefully fold in. Do not over mix.
- Once all the whites have been folded in, add your sprinkles in two batches (depending on how many you're using) and carefully fold in until evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter evenly among the three pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Bake until the tops are golden and springy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes on racks. Then gently run a knife around the edge, invert onto the rack and tap the bottom gently to release. Invert the cake again and let cool completely before assembling.
- Fully dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, using a whisk attachment in your stand mixer beat the meringue powder and sugar syrup until stiff peaks form, about 5-8 minutes.
- Once beaten, switch to the paddle attachment and slowly beat in 3 cups of the powdered sugar.
- With the mixer running on medium-low, add the butter in chunks until the mixture is smooth and shiny - it may curdle and chunk up a bit at this stage BUT DON'T PANIC, I promise it will all come together.
- Add your vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- At this point, you may need to add more powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until the desire consistency is reached.
- Level your cake layers with a large bread knife. Eat scraps immediately.
- Place the bottom layer on your serving platter and spread ⅓ - ½ cup of frosting evenly over the surface just to the edge. Repeat with remaining layers.
- Spread a thin coat of frosting over entire cake and let chill for 15 minutes. This is your crumb coat.
- Once chilled spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake.
- Press sprinkles to the sides of the cake over a large rimmed baking sheet to catch the excess.