You know what I like about this cake? It has booze in it. Champagne to be exact. I mean, who doesn’t like a little nippy with their dessert every now and again? I have never really cooked or baked with alcohol before, unless you count adding wine to pot roast, which I don’t. So, why start now? Well, I came across a challenge over at Frugal Foodie Mama that she along with This Gal Cooks created called Spiked! Basically, every couple of months, they choose a new alcoholic beverage that you are challenged to cook with and you get a chance to win an awesome prize. I like prizes, so I had to step out of my comfort zone and accept the challenge. Make sure you give Carrie and Julie a visit and check out all the amazing entries for yourself.
If you have not already figured it out, the challenge booze is champagne. Pretty fitting considering next month is February. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and my anniversary. The hubs and I will be married 11 years next month. If you include our courtship, which I do, we have been together a total of 18 years now. I think this occasion deserves a special treat. Like Champagne and Strawberry Wacky Cake special.
Wacky cake is by far, my favorite cake recipe. It is moist, spongy and sweet and it makes me smile every time I eat it. It is also a breeze to throw together and when you make it using the traditional method, leaves only one pan to clean. You know how much I hate doing dishes. Oh yeah, it’s also vegan. Since you pass on the dairy, this recipe is also super economical. Wacky cake, it is said to be the result of rationing during World War II. Instead of butter, eggs and milk, you use vinegar, baking soda and oil. There is also cocoa in this recipe but I almost never add it. I have tried it with and without the cocoa and while they are both delicious, I prefer the vanilla. The best way to eat this is warm from the oven with zero icing. I am not a fan of icing. I find it either too sweet or greasy and it interferes with the taste of the cake. I do however, love to top my desserts with fruit and Cool Whip and knew this would be the perfect way to finish off my cake.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Make 3 wells and add the vinegar to one well, the oil to another well and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla to the last well. Pour in 1 cup of the champagne and gently mix it until it is combined and has not large lumps. Pour the batter into a prepared 7×11-inch pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the strawberries. Add half the strawberries to a blender and blend until you get a smooth puree. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of champagne to the pureed berries and stir it up. The other half of the strawberries get chopped up. I chopped them into a small dice but you can make them whatever size you want.
After the cake has cooled completely, remove it from the pan and onto your serving dish. I used some parchment paper to keep my serving dish nice and pretty. Because I care. Poke holes in your cake with a skewer or a chopstick. Pour the strawberry puree over the cake, coaxing it into all the holes. Top with the chopped strawberries. I would have liked more strawberries on top but Mace and I ate about half of them and they were good.
All you have to do now is mix in a little splash of vanilla to your Cool Whip and frost your cake. I just drop big dollops on top and spread it over the top and down the sides. If you are planning on keeping this cake vegan then you will need to skip the Cool Whip. Never fear, check out this recipe for Coconut Whipped Cream I found at Oh She Glows. It’s delicious, really. I would have gladly topped my cake with this if I had a can of coconut milk but sadly, I was fresh out, next time.
Of course, I had to dip some strawberries in sugar to add to the top of the cake. Mace and I ate a few of those, too.
I would say the cake turned out pretty good for my first alcohol infused baked delight. When you bite into the cake it is creamy and sweet. When you start to taste the champagne, it mixes with the sweet and slightly tart strawberries and all the flavors blend together perfectly. It was quite enjoyable.
I did need a little guidance and got a little help from this recipe for Champagne Celebration Cake with Peach Bellini Buttercream from Maple Spice. Yum.
Champagne and Strawberry Wacky Cake
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup champagne or sparkling wine
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1-8 ounce container of Cool Whip
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 7 x 11-inch baking dish and set aside.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture and add the vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, each in their own well.
Pour in 1 cup of champagne or sparkling wine and gently stir until the mixture is well combined and there are not large lumps.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
To Prepare the Strawberries:
Wash and dry the berries. Add half of the strawberries to a blender and puree until smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of champagne and set aside. Chop the remaining berries and set aside for use after the cake cools. Save a few of the berries for garnish, if desired.
After the cake has completely cooled, remove it from the pan and place it on your serving dish. Poke several holes in the cake using a skewer or a chopstick. Pour the strawberry puree slowly over the cake, coaxing the puree into the holes. Spread the chopped strawberries over the top of the cake. Carefully frost the cake with the Cool Whip and garnish with a few berries dipped in sugar.