When a good friend invites you to a celebration of their birthday, your answer is yes, of course, with a ton of extra exclamation points. This week, Alexandra Hedin, my good friend, celebrated her birthday with all the splendor and sparkle a weeknight party girl can muster. With party inclusions like a play list, an appetizer, a party cocktail and place cards from other friends like Jen from Classic Play, Melissa from Lulu the Baker, and MJ of Pars Caeli, the party couldn’t have been anything less than fabulous. I volunteered to make the cake and with Ali in mind and her love of and expertise in cocktails, I knew a champagne cake was the way to go. Let’s get this weekend off to a sweet start!
Champagne cake is a type of cake I knew nothing about, either making or eating. My only experience with the sparkling wine, beyond the Tart Cherry Champagne Jam I just made, was once having a bit too much at wedding and giggling the night away. The recipe I chose comes straight from Sprinkle Bakes. The cake is dense, almost pound cake like and it’s sweet and tastes of the champagne in the batter, perfect for my party girl. I wrapped the cake in my favorite spread, I just can’t quit it, Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla frosting. After making it for a number of years, I researched and tweaked the recipe because while the flavor is sublime, thanks to the extra vanilla extract (and butter and sugar), the consistency was too heavy. Cutting back on the milk and reordering the ingredients fixed it.
After taking a summer class at College for Kids with my sister a trillion years ago, cake decorating has always been a happiness-inducing activity; I just love it. Amanda of I Am Baker is my cake baking and decorating idol and I went through her site until I found the perfect decorating technique – the frilly cake tutorial. The cake looks sophisticated and classy and the technique applies just the right amount of frosting thickness (thick!). For this party cake, I applied edible gold leaf to the top of the second tier for a hint of extra glam. As my first attempt at a two-tiered cake, I’m proud to say it turned out pretty good.
Now, let’s party and someone start eating cake!
To my friend: I’m so glad I know you and I’m thankful for your straight-shooting, sarcasm-laced conversations and razor-sharp wit. Miss you terribly. Move closer. Happy birthday!
See the rest of the party!! Party playlist by Jen from Classic Play, party appetizer by Melissa from Lulu the Baker, party cocktail by Ali from Alexandra Hedin and party place cards by MJ of Pars Caeli.