Berry Sangria Cake

A while back...

I made a Sangria-inspired cake. I was super-proud of it at the time, but  I used cake mixes for the cake layers, tried to use a mirror glaze for the drip (fortunately it was a bit too cold to run like mirror glaze is supposed to; that’s the only reason it worked as a drip! :/ ) and felt like the whole thing could use a do-over. 

My video-editing abilities have also come a ways since then…soo another run was in order! Recipe for this Berry Sangria Cake is below!

If you're feeling adventurous and want to tackle a two-tiered version of the same cake, you can find that recipe here

(Disclosure: As a way to keep my kitchen stocked with butter, sugar, and flour I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn a commission by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
My posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 

Sangria Cake Layers:

Note - this is a slightly-simplified layer cake recipe from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!! 

3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cup  granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon  salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
1 c egg whites (about 7 eggs, or use egg whites from a carton to avoid wasting the yolks)
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature (or buttermilk powder with water is an option if you can’t find liquid buttermilk at your grocery store!)
1/2  cup wine of your choice (I used a Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon, or I’ve used a Garnacha in a similar cake before)
1/3 c Triple Sec
1-2 small drops red and blue gel food coloring, if desired for deeper purple color

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or three 8-inch cake pans with parchment rounds, and /or grease with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.  
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly. 
Pour in egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk, wine, triple sec, and food coloring in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part – I ended up with about 690g in my pans). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height. 
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7-inch cake pans (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans – it helps to run an offset spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan first. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart. The lag time while your cakes are chilling is a great time to make your frosting!

Additional Supplies/Equipment:
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- 3-4 small limes
- 3-4 small lemons
- 1 small package fresh blackberries
- 1 small package fresh raspberries
- 1 orange
- lemon/lime zester/channel knife tool
- squeeze bottle or basting brush
- additional ½ c each wine and triple sec
- small knife and cutting board
- small piping bag & tip (for frosting)
- additional small piping bag or squeeze bottle (for decorating with white chocolate ganache)
- Wine glass – (this set is fairly inexpensive, or feel free to use a plastic wine glass if you’d rather!) 
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use
- I also used a Wilton icing comb on the sides of this cake – optional, but I really liked the decorative effect that it added!

Sangria Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar 
1-2 T wine
1-2 T triple sec
1-2 small drops red and blue gel food coloring, if desired – I actually just left the frosting the shade of purple the wine gave it, but if you’re using a lighter wine than I did you may want a deeper color. Up to you!

Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with the wine and triple sec until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add food color if desired, and beat until well combined.

Assembly: 
Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle.

Cake drizzle: (Optional but recommended!)
½ c wine
½ c Triple Sec
1 juiced lemon
1 juiced lime 
I wanted a bit more of a sangria kick to the cake layers, so I used a squeeze bottle to infuse each one with a few tablespoons of the cake drizzle above.
Spread the layer with frosting, press some of your berries into the frosting, and pipe some frosting around the berries to make sure your next cake layer sticks on top. Add your next cake layer on top, and repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.

Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer 😉 
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Place the icing comb on the cake circle against your cake and run the comb around the cake to texture the frosting. Place into the freezer for about 20 minutes to set the frosting and get the cake cold enough to set the white chocolate ganache decoration.

(This is a great time to make your ganache for the drip!)

White chocolate ganache: I used a purple-colored white chocolate ganache for this cake – I found my favorite white chocolate ganache recipe so far on ChelSweets.com.
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (175 grams)
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1-2  drops red and blue gel food coloring,

Place heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between. Add gel food color and stir until smooth.

When your ganache has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid – transfer it to your piping bag or squeeze bottle. Slowly drizzle ganache into your wine glass, and then invert the wine glass onto the cake at whatever angle you like best.  Pour or pipe on a few more tablespoons, to create a drizzle away from the glass down the side of the cake.

Pipe on a bit of frosting, and add your fruit! I used a couple of orange zest spirals, as well as several sliced/spiraled lemon and limes, and whole and halved blackberries and raspberries around the top and bottom of the cake!

Step back and admire your amaaazing cake! Enjoy!

Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!  

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