Champagne Strawberry & Almond Layer Cake

By Katie Wahlman
champagne strawberry and almond layer cake

2017, you’ve been a peach. While not always easy, it’s been a year filled with both highs and lows, joy and sadness, challenges and life lessons. Whether your leaving 2017 on a personal high, thankful for the last twelve months of living life to the fullest, or anxious to cross the finish line, looking forward to 2018 for a fresh start, there’s one thing we should all make sure to do in the coming days: CELEBRATE! The wins, the losses, all of life’s twists and turns — ‘tis the season to toast them all.


The all-wise and impossibly fabulous Julia Child once said, “A party without cake is just a meeting,” and this cake was born to party. Developed with a New Year’s Eve party in mind (hence the bubbly), it’s an extra special, extra indulgent cake, fit for an evening of sparkle-clad celebrating.

It’s made up of three layers of champagne-spiked cake, layered with almond-scented whipped mascarpone and strawberry compote, and then smeared with a healthy layer of strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.

The champagne cake is insanely moist thanks to the addition of two cups of bubbly and just lightly sweet so that it acts as a lovely palette for our decadent fillings. To make the cake, you don’t have to use the good stuff, but make sure you choose a champagne you’d drink by the glass because the flavors do concentrate when baked.

The strawberry compote adds a bright freshness to the cake (not to mention it’s a classic champagne pairing) and when added to the buttercream results in a deliciously smooth, strawberry-packed frosting with flavor reminiscent of a strawberry milkshake, that I guarantee party-goers won’t be able to stop raving about. But perhaps my favorite element? The almond mascarpone filling. It’s insanely decadent — a once-a-year kind of treat — that elevates this cake to a truly spectacular dessert for ringing in the new year.

Happy New Year to all! I hope your celebrations are filled with fat slices of cake, overflowing glasses of bubbly, and that 2018 brings you only the best. Cheers!

Check out more delicious recipes from The Sweeter Side here!

Champagne Strawberry & Almond Layer Cake

Serves 1

Champagne Strawberry & Almond Layer Cake

By Camille Styles

60 minutes


25 minutes



For the champagne cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 cups champagne or sparkling white wine

For the strawberry compote: 

  • 1 16 oz. bag frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

For the almond mascarpone filling:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream: 

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), at room temperature and cut into 2 tablespoon pieces
  • 1/4 cup strawberry compote (recipe above)

For decorating: 


  1. To prepare the champagne cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and line 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the egg whites one at a time until well blended.
  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the champagne in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.
  5. Divide the batter between the cake pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. If not assembling immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
  6. To prepare the strawberry compote: Combine all ingredients in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and cook until strawberries begin to break down and the mixture thickens to the texture of a loose jam. Cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  7. To prepare the almond mascarpone filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese and mascarpone until well combined.
  8. Add the cold cream and start the mixer on low to combine then increase the speed and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
  9. Add the confectioners sugar and almond extract and beat until smooth.
  10. To prepare the Swiss meringue buttercream: Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.
  11. Heat, whisking frequently, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  12. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, 8-10 minutes. The bowl should no longer feel hot.
  13. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Note: If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again.
  14. Add the strawberry compote and beat until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  15. To assemble: Place one layer of cake on your serving dish. Top with a layer of mascarpone filling and then a layer of strawberry compote. Top with another layer of cake and repeat. Once the top layer of the cake has been added, place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set up.
  16. Once chilled, frost the outside of the cake with a very thin layer of buttercream. This is known as the crumb coat and will keep any crumbs from sneaking into the final layer of frosting. Place in the refrigerator again to firm up for another 15 minutes.
  17. Once your crumb coat is firm, finish frosting the cake with thick layer of strawberry buttercream.
  18. Top with fresh strawberries, meringue stars, marzipan cutouts and edible glitter before serving (optional).

Comments (13)

  1. Rachel S. says:

    Your copy says salmon mascarpone filling. ??

  2. Carrie Pacini | For The Feast says:

    This is beautiful and the cake sounds perfect for a New Year’s Eve Celebration!

  3. Eileen says:

    The cake looks lovely I would love to bake. Instead of champagne there anything I can substitute with?

  4. Dominique says:

    I’ve made this 3 times in the last month. It’s been amazing! Thank you for sharing!!

  5. Angie says:

    Beautiful cake !!!! One question…does this cake need to be refrigerated ???

  6. Angie Reneau says:

    I made this cake yesterday for my prayer meeting group…and what a wonderful flavored cake it was !!! Everyone went nuts over it !!! Definitely a keeper !!!! ??

  7. Katherine says:

    I just made this cake because I started watching the great British bake off and I was inspired to bake. It was the first cake I’ve ever baked and I wanted a bit of a challenge. It turned out so amazing! I made a complimentary cocktail with it since it called for champagne: add some Prosecco and strawberry sherbet into the champagne flute with some fresh strawberries! Such a good experience. Thank you for such a detailed recepie. A new baker could easily follow.

  8. Lydia says:

    How far ahead can you make the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream?

  9. Melissa Schmitt says:

    I’ve made this cake twice now and the first time it was very good, but the second time it was just ok. The first time I made this I used a normal brut champagne and the second time I used ASTI. The Asti tasted like banana bread, so I would stick with the brut.

    This cake is very, very dense!! It is not a light and airy cake, for those that are wanting that. The cake, frosting and filling are not sweet at all, so the first time I made it I used a normal buttercream and that really balanced everything out. I tried it with the Swiss meringue the second time and it wasn’t as good.

    Overall, a great cake. The next time I’m going to try to make the cake lighter vs dense.

  10. Megan says:

    Would this work just as well using it as cupcakes instead?

    1. Casey Nolan says:

      I made cupcakes with mine since I only had two cake rounds! I hollowed out the center, filled them with the almond filling and strawberry jam, frosted, and then topped with a sliced strawberry. They were delicious!

      1. Camille Styles says:

        Yum!! That sounds incredible Casey — and so beautiful!

  11. Casey Nolan says:

    This is a really delicious cake! The cake itself is soft and moist, and the flavors of the filling and buttercream go well together. I would make sure to whip your butter properly for a light cake; I did it for a full 7 minutes on medium speed. The only substitution I made was to use homemade canned strawberry jam instead of the preserves in the recipe. One mistake I made was using cold champagne, which hardened the butter and curdled my mixture slightly. However, despite that, the cake turned out well! My guests were really impressed.

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