Champagne Frosting

Homemade champagne frosting is a delightfully spiked and sparkly addition to any dessert. Reduce champagne on the stovetop for intensified flavor.

Champagne frosting in glass bowl with spatula

Look up the term “fancy” in the dictionary. I bet you’ll find a photo of this champagne frosting. 🙂 This party-perfect buttercream brings a level of luxury to any dessert it touches. It’s creamy and silky soft with a light champagne flavor. Champagne buttercream is perfect for any and all celebrations including:

  • birthdays
  • engagements
  • bridal showers
  • weddings
  • anniversaries
  • new year’s eve
  • job promotions

Or just a casual night in! Champagne is acceptable any day, right?

hand holding a spatula with champagne frosting

overhead image of vanilla wedding cupcakes topped with champagne frosting and gold sprinkles

How to Make Champagne Frosting

This is a very simple and straightforward American style buttercream. The frosting begins with a vanilla buttercream base: butter + confectioners’ sugar. To that, we’ll add champagne and vanilla extract. But we need to reduce down the champagne on the stove before adding it. Why? Reducing the champagne packs an intense amount of flavor into a smaller amount of champagne. We can’t overload our frosting with liquid because that would thin it out. Rather, we will add a small amount of *extreme* champagne flavor. I learned this trick from Wicked Good Kitchen. 🙂

Do you see this next photo? Left = champagne. Right = reduced and highly concentrated champagne. Look at the color difference! The champagne reduction has a lot more flavor and won’t ruin the texture of the buttercream.

2 images of champagne in glass measuring cup and champagne reduction in white bowl

My #1 Tip

Make sure the reduced champagne is cool or room temperature– NOT hot. If the champagne reduction is hot, it will melt the butter in your frosting, which creates the worst frosting experience your bowl (and eyes) will ever see. Curdled buttercream? Yep.

What Type of Champagne Do I Use in Frosting?

Use any kind of champagne or sparkling wine in this frosting. If you like how it tastes out of the bottle, you’ll like how it tastes in this champagne buttercream frosting. I’ve tried the recipe with dozens of different sparkling wines, including prosecco, and each has been fantastic.

close up image of champagne frosting

What Tastes Best with Champagne Frosting?

In addition to mimosa cupcakes and wedding cupcakes, it adds a little something extra to:

vanilla wedding cupcake with champagne frosting and gold sprinkles

How to Create Intense Champagne Flavor

Reduce champagne on the stovetop before adding to the frosting. Reducing the champagne packs an intense amount of flavor into a smaller amount of liquid. Excess liquid would ruin the frosting.

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Champagne frosting in glass bowl with spatula

Champagne Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 3-4 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade champagne frosting is a delightfully spiked and sparkly addition to any dessert such as vanilla cupcakes or white cake. Reduce champagne on the stovetop for intensified flavor.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) champagne or sparkling wine (use your favorite)
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480ml) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the champagne to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer until reduced down to 1/4 cup, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. You want it room temperature or cold.
  2. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low at first then increasing to high speed. Once incorporated, add the next cup. Once creamy and combined, beat in 3 Tablespoons of the reduced champagne and the vanilla extract. Taste. Add the remaining reduced champagne if needed, then a pinch of salt if you’d like.
  3. Frosting can be made 2 days in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze frosting for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then beat on medium speed with 1-2 Tablespoons of milk to smooth it out before using.
  2. After you reduce the champagne, make sure it cools to room temperature. Why? Because it will melt the butter in your frosting! Whenever I make champagne frosting, I reduce down the champagne once the cake or cupcakes come out of the oven. That way the champagne can cool down as the cake cools down.
  3. This recipe is enough to frost 14-15 cupcakes, 32-36 mini cupcakes, or one 2 layer cake.

Keywords: frosting, champagne, buttercream

35 Comments

  1. care to share your favorite champagne/wine for this recipe?

    1. Hi Anna! My rule is– if you enjoy drinking it, you’ll enjoy it in this buttercream. I love Veuve Clicquot Brut, though that is a little pricey. Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut is another great choice.

  2. Hi, as American icing tends to be wayyy to sweet for me, any chance there’s a Swiss buttercream version? Hehe

    Thank you for sharing all the knowledges and yummy recipes with us!

    1. Hi Joyce! I’m sure this reduced champagne trick could work with Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Let me know if you try it.

  3. If I used clear vanilla extract, would this frosting be pretty white? The pictures look a bit off- white because the reduced champagne is, of course, not clear. I’m interested in coloring the frosting a hot pink and I wouldn’t want the color to turn out all goofy. The recipe looks delicious though! Even if I don’t use it for my current cake, I will definitely be using it in the future 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Hi Colleen! A clear vanilla extract will definitely help keep this frosting a lighter color. You could definitely still tint it– the beige color (from the champagne) won’t ruin it at all.

  4. Any suggestions on a cookies I could frost with this??

  5. Hi Sally! Have you ever tried adding ground freeze-dried strawberries to this frosting recipe? I want to use it for some strawberries & champagne cupcakes, and I want to amp up the strawberry flavor by using the powder in the frosting. But I’m a bit afraid of what it will do to the color since it seems like this has a pretty pronounced beige tone, and I’m worried the whole thing won’t end up looking pretty.

    1. I make regular buttercream with freeze dried strawberries all the time! I haven’t added it to this particular frosting yet but you definitely can. It should still turn out to be a pretty pink color.

  6. Would Sparkling Cider do the same trick for people who aren’t alcohol drinkers?

    1. Absolutely. Or try this regular vanilla buttercream.

  7. I made a sample batch before making this recipe on a cake for friends. I found that the flavor was slightly sour. I tasted a bit of my reduction and that was sour as well. Do you think that is because I used a dry champagne? I’m thinking it might be better if I used a sweeter option but wanted your opinion as well. Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kelsey, Did you taste the champagne before you reduced it? In general if you like how it tastes out of the bottle, you’ll like how it tastes in this champagne buttercream frosting. Definitely try a sweeter option if you like that better. We’ve tried the recipe with dozens of different sparkling wines!

  8. Sally! Could I purée real strawberries and fold them into the champagne frosting? I’m going for a ‘strawberries and champagne’ flavor for New Year’s Eve! Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kara, You could but the pureed strawberries will make the frosting pretty thin and the flavor won’t be as strong, even if you reduce it on the stove first. We suggest using freeze dried strawberries like we do in this Strawberry Buttercream for the best texture and flavor.

  9. Love all your recipes! I’m planning on making the mimosa cupcakes today for New Year’s Day. If I added orange zest to the frosting would that work to give it a yummy orange flavor without messing with the consistency?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan, Yes! You can definitely add some zest to the frosting for extra orange flavor. Enjoy!

  10. I made this to fill Macrons. The flavor is very subtle, and make sure you reduce as directed. I believe a sweeter sparkling rather than dry would taste better, and don’t forget the touch of salt, it very much improves the flavor. Use with delecate flavored cake/cupcakes or Macrons so it’s not overpowered. Will use again!

  11. Can I use this recipe but with cream cheese? Will that affect the flavor of the champagne?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brooke! We haven’t tried adding this champagne reduction to cream cheese frosting, but can’t see why it wouldn’t work. Let us know if you try it!

  12. Hi can i use this frosting with a wedding favored cupcakes

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sheila! This champagne frosting would be great for a wedding!

      1. So I could pair this with the wedding cake flavored cupcakes?

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Absolutely, we love these wedding cupcakes with champagne frosting!

  13. Would this be a good pairing with French Vanilla cake and fresh raspberries?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely. That sounds delicious, Kevin!

  14. What about champagne flavor or extracts?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kevin! You’re welcome to add champagne flavor or extract to taste if would like.

  15. I love the flavor of this but I followed the refrigeration instructions for overnight storage. When I brought it out, it had lumps in it. I added the couple tablespoons of milk and mixed and still couldn’t get rid of the lumps. Ended up adding too much milk to try to fix it, and then it was too runny to use. Any ideas on where I went wrong? I like making this frosting the day before since it takes a little while to make (letting the ingredients get to room temp, then the Champagne cool, etc.). Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kristin! Was your confectioners’ sugar particularly lumpy? For next time, you can try sifting it before to help smooth it out a bit. You can also try just mixing it by hand before adding the milk to see if that helps smooth it out before adding additional liquid. Hopefully this helps for next time!

      1. Thanks so much, Lexi! I’ll try that!

  16. Champagne lover says:

    Hi sally! Wonderful recipe!

    can I make this two weeks in advance? If so, what is the best way to store?

    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely! See freezing instructions in the recipe notes. Enjoy!

  17. Is the frosting like Central markets Champaign frosting??

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