I had my 40th birthday and I wanted to make it extra special. I love to bake and so I for sure needed to have a show stopper cake, one that I would not forget! Many different kinds of cake combinations went through my mind and then I knew I had thunk up the perfect cake: dark chocolate & pink champagne cake with chocolate ganache filling dotted with maraschino cherries, and topped off with a cherry buttercream frosting.
Yes, I know, it sounds a smidge over the top. It also sounds a bit complex and a lot of work but it really isn’t. This is a doable cake for anyone.
This is also not a surprisingly over sweet cake. I lowered the amount of sugar in the chocolate cake and the overall sweetness turned out just right!
The chocolate layers are made completely from scratch, while the pink champagne layer is semi homemade. I have not yet found a white cake recipe or created one that I have fallen in love with (I will though, I am on a mission to make a great white cake, stay tuned) so I used a box cake mix and doctored it up. The other problem I encounter is that most of the white cakes have butter in them, which I do prefer, but my chocolate cake recipe has oil in it. I wanted the two cakes to have the same texture which is why I made them both with oil. If you don’t one of your cake flavors will be denser than the other.
In creating the pink champagne cake I looked at a lot of recipes and read reviews before I settled on the amount of champagne I would use. I was conflicted because I like champagne, but not everyone does. So what does one do that is a people pleaser? I used an amount in the middle of what I read. I used 3/4 cup. The champagne flavor is slightly there but not much. If you didn’t know I put it in then more than likely you wouldn’t have known there was anything different about it. Next time I will up it to one cup.
In thinking up this cake I thought about the flavor combination. Chocolate and champagne go very well together and maraschino cherries, well, I think they go good with anything. I thought about doing strawberries but it seemed like champagne and strawberries and chocolate and strawberries are everywhere and I wanted to be slightly different.
Depending on the type of champagne you use, you will probably get a different flavor. I’m not into the dry champagnes so I went with one that was slightly sweeter, and not so dry, a Moscato Champagne. The sweetness from the champagne did not make the cake turn out any sweeter.
I was so excited that the cake turned out the way it did. I even impressed myself with the decorating of it. First, I did a skim coat of frosting over the whole cake and then I used my easy accent cake decorator to make the swirls. I also had to bling it up with my 40 sign. Click here to see how to make your own diy cake topper. Like I said, I wanted it to be special and extra pretty and I couldn’t find anything in the store. Anyway, this was way cheaper and totally easy to make.
Wow your guests with this cake at your next special event, I’m sure they will love it.
Dark Chocolate and Pink Champagne Cake with Ganache filling and Maraschino Cherry Frosting
- Dark Chocolate Cake:
- 1 3/4 c all purpose flour
- 1 2/3 c sugar
- 2/3 c unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c oil (canola or vegetable)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c milk (whole or 2%)
- 1 c boiling water
Preheat oven to 300° F. . Prepare two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom
In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Set aside.
Add eggs, milk and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add vanilla to boiling water. With mixer on slow speed, slowly pour this into the mixture. Batter will be thin.
Divide batter evenly between cakes pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Pink Champagne Cake
- 1 box white cake mix
- 3 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 3/4 c champagne
- 1/2 c milk (whole or 2%)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c oil (canola or vegetable)
- rose food coloring
Preheat oven to 300° F. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom.
Mix all ingredients together. Add the amount of food coloring to make the color you want and mix for 2 minutes on medium high speed.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 before removing from pans. Let cakes cool on completely on wire rack.
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
In a microwave safe bowl heat cream for 2-3 minutes. It needs to be hot but not boiling.
Remove from microwave and add chocolate chips. Still until chocolate has melted and it is all mixed together. If chocolate is not melting then place back in microwave for 30 seconds at a time. It will take a few minutes of stirring to combine the cream and chocolate.
Place ganache in the refrigerator to stiffen up to a spreadable consistency, about 2 hours.
Maraschino Cherry Buttercream Frosting
- 2 c butter
- 9 c powdered sugar
- 7 Tbsp juice from maraschino cherries
- 2 tsp almond extract
In a mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high until smooth and whipped. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Slowly add in cherry juice and almond extract. Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar. If needed, add in more cherry juice until you reach a spreadable consistency.
On a cake platter place one layer of cake and spread with ganache and top with maraschino cherries that have been sliced. I sliced mine in 4ths. Continue the same assembly with the next two layers. Place the last layer on top and top with the frosting. Decorate.
I put my cake in the refrigerator because I made it a day ahead and I didn’t want my frosting to melt. I also love cold cake.
If you make this cake or a version of it let me know how it went.