Friday, September 6, 2013

Raspberry-Champagne Layer Cake with Victorian Cake Pulls


Sometimes the gravity of how fast time passes hits me all at once. It knocks me flat. I find myself lying on the floor eye-to-eye with Churro-the-pug. "Did you have a good summer?" I ask. "Did you stop to smell the roses?" He probably did (he spends a good deal of time outside sniffing things), but I fell a little short of the task. Now summer is almost over and I'm not quite ready for it to end. That's why we're packing our things (pups included) and heading to the ocean tomorrow. We're grabbing on to the very last bit of summer with both hands!

Although I'm itching to get started on fall baking, I've decided to hold off until my return home. For now, I'm sticking to what feels right, and that's champagne cake layers filled with tangy raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream. I found some gorgeous raspberry colored roses at the market and that sealed the deal. This cake was meant to be, I tell ya!


Since this cake is celebratory in flavor, I decided to go ahead and use the Victorian cake pulls I've been saving for a bridal-themed post. Have you heard of cake pulls? They're little sterling silver charms attached to lengths of ribbon. The charms are placed under the cake (by the baker) with only the ribbon visible, then the cake is frosted and decorated. Party guests (usually a group of bridesmaids) each choose a ribbon to pull before the cake is cut. The assorted charms have different meanings, so that brings a bit of fortune telling-novelty to the party.


I've never used cake pulls before, so I'd hoped to find some instruction on how to apply them to the cake. Information on this is extremely limited (online, at least), so I had to make up my own method. I taped a piece of baker's acetate to the center of a cake stand and placed the charms underneath the clear plastic. I dotted the underside of a cake layer with icing and pressed it down onto the acetate and cake stand. To frost the cake neatly (and not get frosting all over the ribbon) I put strips of wax paper just under the cake layer and over the ribbon. I filled and frosted the cake as usual. After a good chill in the refrigerator the wax paper strips pulled away neatly.

If you can't find baker's acetate you could use a small corrugated cake board from the craft store, just be sure to anchor it to the cake stand. You don't want the cake sliding around on its base when the charms are pulled. 


If you're looking to try the cake pulls for yourself, you can find them online at Sterling Trends. They are sold in sets and the shop has a nice selection of individual charms, too.

This cake is my champagne toast to summer's end, and you can be sure that I'm packing a few of slices for the road. If you'd like to see what I'm up to at the ocean you can follow me here on Instagram!

Raspberry and Champagne Layer Cake
Yield: One 9-inch double layer cake or one 7-inch triple layer cake
Source: adapted from Booze Cakes and SprinkleBakes
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes, total 3 hours

The filling in this cake gets its tangy raspberry flavor from seedless raspberry jam and Framboise liqueur. The champagne cake layers have a dense, moist crumb that's loaded with fruity flavor.

Champagne cake layers
3 cups/443g all purpose flour
3 tsp./13g baking powder
1/2 tsp/ 14g salt
1 cup/226g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups/ 214g granulated sugar
6 egg whites
2 cups/15.4 oz champagne or sparkling white wine

Frosting/filling
6 egg whites
1 cup/118g sugar
Pinch of salt
1  pound/4 US sticks unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
2 teaspoons/8g vanilla extract
1/4 cup/76g red seedless raspberry jam, room temperature
2 tablespoons/ 70g Framboise (raspberry) liqueur, room temperature
Wilton gel food color "Rose"
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (or three 7-inch as I did); set aside. 
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the unsalted butter and sugar. Add egg whites one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  3. Beat in flour mixture and champagne alternately in three additions, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down bowl edges with a rubber spatula and mix again briefly. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
  4. For the frosting, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  6. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase to medium-high until stiff peaks are formed.
  7. Continue beating at medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and has cooled (the mixing bowl should feel cool to the touch).
  8. Turn the mixer off and switch from the whisk attachment to the paddle. Turn the mixer on medium-low and add the butter, a few cubes at a time, beating until well incorporated before the next addition. The egg whites will deflate and thin with the first few additions – don’t let this discourage you – keep going.  It may also look curdled, but don’t fret. Beat on high speed when all the butter has been added. The mixture will thicken and become smooth after several minutes of beating. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  9. Transfer the frosting to a bowl, and return 1 1/2 cups of frosting to the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat in the raspberry jam. Gradually beat in the raspberry liqueur a little at a time. Beat in a little rose food color until a consistent color is achieved  Fill cooled cakes with the raspberry Swiss buttercream and coat cake in a thin crumb coat of the vanilla frosting. Chill until set. Apply a final thick layer of vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream using a large off-set spatula. Store cake in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
  10. Fresh organic roses may be added to the top of the cake for decoration just before serving.


Just one more thing. I found the cake stand at Home Goods

50 comments:

Jasmin said...

Heather you inspire me over and over again. Thank you for this awsome recipe and the breath taking pictures. You are so talented!
Jasmin

Megan said...

I'd never heard of cake pulls! Such a cool idea.

Belinda Lo said...

This concept is so beautiful. I love how you took an old concept and made it so modern. Make the last of those berries! I can not wait for your fall baking series!

Angie Barrett said...

I wish I could just pay you to make all of my cakes. Breath-taking is what this cake is! Also, I've never heard of Victorian cake pulls! But I love the idea of them!

Larissa said...

Your cakes are absolutely stunning! This one sounds delicious!

Tiffany Ducummon said...

This cake is just so pretty! I got to pull a charm out of a wedding cake when I was much younger. I absolutely loved the concept! How neat that they're actually Victorian!

Anonymous said...

I SO need a reason to make this cake! It is so pretty and sounds completely yummy!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

So perfect and beautiful! This refined looking cake must taste divine.

Cheers,

Rosa

Lura said...

This is a wonderful idea for the Bridesmaid's brunch! Please tell us where you found the beautiful charms and could you please let us know the meaning of all the charms you used. I LOVE this idea and want to use it. Thank you for sharing.

Sue said...

STUNNING photos of a gorgeous cake! I have never heard of Victorian cake pulls, but they sure add a fun dimension to the cake:) Farewell, summer!

Beth @ bethcakes said...

What an incredibly gorgeous cake! I have never heard of cake pulls before, but they're so cute! Love the color of the roses with the light blue of the cake stand. Gorgeous!

Brand1887 said...

Just look at how smooth that cake looks.
Ah, fantastic. I've never heard of cake pulls before.
Very interesting concept, and looks wonderful with this.

Karen said...

You are so creative. I always can't wait to see what's next. Have fun at the ocean!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

So stunning! Your cakes are the best. Plain and simple.

Emine Hassan said...

I made a tres leches cake just last month that looked very very similar to this! Looking at yours now though, using a deep block colour for the roses and using a contrasting filling would have gone down waaay better. Here is my version: http://www.mbakes.com/2013/08/tres-leches-three-milk-cake.html

How did you manage to keep the filling from spreading out into the frosting? Your cakes are always so darn tidy.

I also made a deep filled peach pie a few days ago, without your pastry instructions for the berry deep filled pie I honestly don't think I could have pulled that one off, thank you!!

Em

Mel said...

I am out of words to describe .... it is so beautiful with just simple decor with real roses. Just lovely....

Tieghan said...

I just am in awe of you!! Seriously, ever post you put out is STUNNINg!

Colette Joseph said...

Very pretty. Didn't know about the cake pulls. Love the fresh roses.

Anonymous said...

The cake is absolutely beautiful!

Debra Van Dyke said...

What a beautiful cake and post.
It really is the best I've seen in a long time. Makes me think I could do this!
Nice Job!!!

Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate said...

Wow, wow, wow. I am always amazed when I come check out the cakes that you create. Stunning!

Lety Grro said...

Hola, no me perderĂ© esta tarta, esta genial muy exquisita, gracias por compartirla. Oye por cierto donde consigues el cake stand no lo veo por ningĂșn lado ni en la pagina que mencionaste.
Saludos como siempre.

crumbsoflove said...

So pretty!

Brooke-Marie said...

That is lovely!! In New Orleans, it is traditional for us to use cake pulls at weddings. I still have my shamrock charm from my wedding cake. ^.^

Nik Sharma said...

That is a gorgeous and stunning cake! You are very talented.

Jen @ Blue Kitchen Bakes said...

I've never heard of cake pulls before but they look like a good way to add a bit of fun to a beautiful cake :)

Tamara said...

so cute idea!

Tracy | Pale Yellow said...

Such a beautiful cake! The cake pulls are so sweet and clever. Champagne cakes are always so moist and flavorful, I can't wait to make this!

beetree said...

Your cake is gorgeous, as always! Thanks so much for the recipe- it was just in time for our 17th anniversary! I used almond sparkling wine for the cake, and fresh raspberries for the top. It was sooo good, and came out very pretty. Thanks Heather!

simplysophiebea said...

Hi Heather, I’m Sophie Trachtenberg. I’m fourteen years-old and live in Oklahoma City. Your blog is beautiful! I love your pictures. They're so prettyl! I am new to the blogging world and am experimenting with my own food blog. I’d love for you to check it out at simplysophiebea.com. You can email me at sophtrach@gmail.com! Your cakes look fabulous!
Sophie Trachtenberg

Claudia Zeta said...

So natural and so beautiful!PERFECT!!!
Tan natural,tan maravilloso!PERFECTO!!!

Lynna said...

This cake is gorgeous! I love the cake pulls idea. You should definitely get into the wedding cake business!

Sylvie said...

Wow. I could only dream of being as talented as you! Beautiful work!

Pane e Pomodoro said...

beautiful cake!very elegant!
sara

peanutbutterandonion said...

This is so lovely , you think up the best stuff

Heather @ Snookies Cakes said...

Lovely! With the cakes stand and charms, this cake is pure perfection!

kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS said...

What a fabulous idea!!

Mony said...

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I am from Europe and I'm curious, why you don't use whole eggs for the cake layers. I bake a lot, but I've never heard about cake dough without egg-yolks.
BTW, the cake is beautiful!
Thanx,
Mia

Anonymous said...

Do you add the champagne after the egg whites? Unless I'm blind, you don't mention it at all in step two and then in step three you refer to a champagne mixture. Please clarify!

Heather Baird said...

That should just say champagne and not champagne "mixture".

Heather Baird said...

@Mia from Europe - the cake is supposed to be very light in color. Here in the US we make "white" cakes using only egg whites in the batter.

sockervisp said...

Wow! Simple and stunning!!

Anonymous said...

@Heather Baird - thank you!! We really don't have such cakes here. Good to know! :)

Fathima said...

Hi. Do you cut the cake before frosting it? I can't figure out how it comes out so neatly after being pulled.

Roxy Brandt said...

Hi ---

Beautiful cake! Can you tell me about the cake stand?

Thx!
Roxy

marleenvt said...

Sigh... I just typed this big comment and now it's....hate when that happens.
Question was I am now making this cake (with some adjustments) and I don't want to use raw egg whites. I have bought some meringue powder. Can I use that in the icing recipe?

The adjustments I made were basically the size of the cake (a 2 layer 26cm and a 3 layer 20cm one) and the filling (raspberry mousse, same thing because of the eggwhites. It's going to be a weddingcake and grandma en grandpa will be there).

Thanks!!

Heather Baird said...

Hi marleenvt! Ah, I am late with my reply - apologies. Yes! You can use meringue powder mixed to the equivalent to 6 egg whites.

Thank you for asking!

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,
I love all your creations. They are always so beautifully presented and taste good too!
I used this recipe for a wedding anniversary and it was delicious. I was thinking of making it for a wedding shower using orange liqueur (Grand Marnier) instead of raspberry liqueur. Do you think that would be okay? (It's nothing against raspberry, but the wedding shower color scheme is orange/yellow and I'm just thinking that an orange flavor and color would better match. It's no a huge deal, just a thought.)

Heather Baird said...

I think an orange/Grand Marnier version of this cake would be wonderful! I see no reason why you shouldn't change it. I just wish I could be there to taste test. :)

xo-h

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