ACD+ Jessica Phan’s Pink Champagne Buttercream

Modern brides everywhere are shunning traditional wedding cake flavors such as vanilla and chocolate in favor of decadent, exciting, and unexpected flavor profiles. Jessica Phan of PhantasticJess shares her glamorous recipe for Pink Champagne cake. Jessica explains, “This is probably the best buttercream recipe that I’ve ever created.  My pink champagne buttercream is based on the Italian Meringue buttercream method and allows for the pink champagne to be the star of the show.  Most champagne buttercreams call for a few tablespoons of champagne added into a basic American buttercream recipe.  The difference with my recipe is that I feel like my recipe tastes more like champagne due to the 1/2 cup of champagne that is used in this recipe.”



In a small saucepan, bring 350 grams of sugar and your champagne to a boil, over medium/medium-high heat.

While your sugar mixture is heating, place the egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer. Stir the egg whites for 1 minute.

Once it gets foamy, add approximately 25 grams of sugar to the egg whites. Whip on speed 5 for approximately 2 minutes.

Then pour in the remaining 25 grams of sugar. I try to time this so that the sugar mixture reaches 240*F as fast as I can whip this to soft peaks. If you find that you are whipping this to soft peaks faster than the syrup mixture can heat up. Stop the mixer and wait for it to get closer to the 200*F mark.

When the sugar mixture reaches 230*F, whip the egg whites at speed 6 until soft peaks form, do not overbeat.

You can tell when soft peaks are reached in the bowl because there will be streaks in the bowl but they won’t look glossy. If you take a dip of the whisk into the meringue mixture and pull it upside down, it will start to droop.

Once the syrup mixture reaches 240*F, remove it from the heat and immediately stream the syrup into your egg whites (as it is running on speed 4). Once all of the syrup mixture is added to your egg whites, beat the entire thing on speed 6+ (as high as it can get without splashing everywhere).

Continue to whip the meringue for approximately 5-7 minutes. The mixture should come to room temperature and the bowl should not feel hot against your hands. If it is too hot, keep whipping the mixture and check the temperature of the bowl every 2 minutes.

Once the bowl has reached room temperature, add your softened sticks of butter. It will curdle at first. Keep beating the mixture until it comes together.

The minute it comes together, stop the mixer. Exchange the whisk attachment for a paddle attachment.

Add your salt and vanilla + lemon extract and mix this on stir speed. I stir for a few minutes, just to let the air bubbles out of the buttercream.

After it is fully mixed, it will be ready for immediate use. Usually, I’m able to fill and frost a 10″ cake, add some buttercream roses on top, and have enough leftover for a few cupcakes. Whatever isn’t used can be refrigerated.

It is recommended that once you are finished decorating your cake with this type of buttercream, that you completely chill it. Before serving, take it out of the refrigerator and let the cake come to room temperature (around 4 hours).

This buttercream is not a crusting buttercream. If you have never worked with a meringue based buttercream before, this will only harden in the refrigerator (due to the high butter content) and will not form a crust like American buttercream.


About Jessica

Jessica Phan is a self-taught cake artist, teacher, and cake recipe mastermind. She learned her skills in her home kitchen, baking and cooking alongside her mother. Though her first cake making experience was a complete disaster, it sparked a joy so fierce that she longed for more; and she knew that baking was her true calling.

After college, Jessica baked her way through a plethora of recipes which she continues to document on her popular blog, She hopes her baking adventures will provide some insight into the life of a baker and inspire other budding bakers to give scratch recipes a go and bake along with her.



For a full picture tutorial of the recipe, head on over to Jessica’s blog:


Pink Champagne Buttercream

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