citrus champagne layer cake

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Citrus champagne layer cake makes a stunning dessert for citrus season! Layered with vibrant citrus curd and champagne buttercream frosting, this cake is bright, buttery, and incredibly delicious.

Citrus Champagne Layer Cake | Tutti Dolci

How to Make Citrus Champagne Layer Cake

Champagne Reduction – To make the champagne reduction, bring champagne (or prosecco) to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until champagne is reduced to 1 cup. Pour into a glass measuring cup and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, the champagne reduction is used in both the cake and the frosting.

Citrus Curd – Homemade citrus curd is perfectly smooth and creamy! The sunny yellow curd makes a delicious filling between the cake layers. To make the curd, combine citrus zest and juice, sugar, and eggs in a heavy saucepan (I used a blend of Meyer lemons and tangerines). Cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. Add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until melted.

Continue until curd is smooth and thickened, and coats the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes total). Strain curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic directly on the surface, and chill until cold.

Cake – Flavored with citrus zest, vanilla, and champagne reduction, the 8-inch cake layers bake up soft and fluffy. For even cake layers, place your cake pans on a scale and weigh each pan as you add the batter.

Citrus Champagne Layer Cake

Champagne Buttercream Frosting – To make the frosting, beat butter and salt together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated. Mix in 3 tablespoons champagne reduction and vanilla extract until incorporated. Add remaining powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down the bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat frosting for 1 minute, until light and airy.

Assemble Cake – Place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand. Use an offset spatula to swirl champagne frosting over cake layer, and pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the layer. Fill the center with citrus curd. Add second cake layer and repeat with frosting and citrus curd. Add top cake layer and chill for 20 minutes.

Use an offset spatula to apply a layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting.

Citrus Champagne Layer Cake

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Citrus Champagne Layer Cake | Tutti Dolci

Citrus Champagne Layer Cake

  • Author: Laura | Tutti Dolci
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch cake, serves 12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Citrus champagne layer cake makes a stunning dessert for citrus season! Layered with vibrant citrus curd and champagne buttercream frosting, this cake is bright, buttery, and incredibly delicious.


Ingredients

Champagne Reduction

  • 1 1/2 cups champagne or prosecco

Citrus Curd

  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh citrus zest
  • 6 Tbsp fresh citrus juice
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh citrus zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup champagne reduction (from above)

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp champagne reduction (from above)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. For the champagne reduction, bring champagne to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until champagne is reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Pour into a glass measuring cup and let cool to room temperature.
  2. For the curd, whisk together citrus zest and juice, sugar, and eggs in a heavy saucepan. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. Add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until melted, before adding more butter. Continue until curd is smooth and thickened, and coats the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes total). Strain curd through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic directly on the surface, and chill until cold – at least one hour.
  3. For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F and butter and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in citrus zest and vanilla until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk and champagne reduction (begin and end with flour mixture).
  5. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until the cakes are golden, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
  7. For the frosting, beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated. Mix in champagne reduction and vanilla until incorporated. With mixer on low speed, add remaining powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down the bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat frosting for 1 minute, until light and airy.
  8. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a rotating cake stand. Use an offset spatula to swirl frosting over the cake layer. Transfer 1 cup of frosting to a large piping bag and pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake layer. Use a spoon to spread about 3 tablespoons of citrus curd in the center of the cake layer. Add second cake layer and repeat with frosting and citrus curd. Add top cake layer and chill for 20 minutes.
  9. Use offset spatula to apply a layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting.


Notes

The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products I use and love!

Make ahead: Champagne reduction and citrus curd can be made one day in advance and refrigerated overnight.

Citrus: We used a blend of Meyer lemons and tangerines.

Keywords: Citrus, Champagne, Cake, Layer Cake

More layer cake recipes to try:

Nutella Swirl Layer Cake
Classic Carrot Cake
Meyer Lemon Crunch Cake

15 comments
  1. This looks and sounds amazing! I’m going to make it this weekend, but am wondering if you used edible flowers on top or what you used? Oh my poor… quarantine 15!

  2. Hi! I want to make this over the weekend for my friend’s birthday. I only have 9 inch cake pans and don’t want to buy new ones. What adjustments do I need to make?

    1. Hi Megan! Yes, you can use 9-inch cake pans instead. The cake layers will be slightly thinner (and wider), so the baking time will be approximately 22 to 25 minutes. I would check for doneness starting at 22 minutes. Hope that helps!

  3. wow, have never made a champagne or prosecco citrus reduction before, and in a cake how very sophisticated and fun! thank you and I choose prosecco

  4. What is the drip layer on the top of the cake in the picture? I don’t see any instructions for it in the recipe. Thanks!

    1. Hi Susan! I added a white chocolate ganache drip, mainly for food styling purposes. I didn’t write down exact proportions for that, so just try a Google search if you want to do something similar.

  5. I’m waiting to turn this into a confetti cake by putting sprinkles inside for my boyfriend’s birthday this weekend. That wouldn’t do anything weird would it?

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