Hooray for funfetti! Do you remember Funfetti cake mix? Was it your favourite cake as a child? As a grown-up? Vanilla cake filled with little bits of rainbow sprinkle goodness is one of those treats that never gets boring–even the word, “funfetti,” is a party waiting to happen. As a blogger, I’m also a bit late to this party, as it seems there were so many fabulous variations of this cake (and so many other types of desserts) floating around the web last year, but since I am a huge fan of this cake, I couldn’t resist sharing it with you today. I made it again over the weekend as a welcome home surprise for my two little cakelets, Reese & Neve. They were away visiting Grant’s mom, “Nanny,'” for a few days, and I knew that they would do backflips to come home to funfetti cake (and to mommy & daddy, of course!).
So, as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as “funfetti layer cake” sounds, looks and tastes, it couldn’t be any simpler to make. Okay, ready? You take your favourite vanilla cake and you add rainbow jimmies (you can also use the confetti quins) into the batter . . . oh, and then you bake it up. See, even if I tried to make it sound complicated, I couldn’t–it’s likely the most rewarding baked good you will ever make, considering it’s the most fun (ever!) and is so easy. Now, that being said, because we’re doing a scratch version of a famed cake-mix cake, I think it tastes the best to start with the whitest, fluffiest scratch cake possible, one that almost mimics a boxed cake.
So what I used this time was a modified version of the Fluffy Vanilla Cake that I posted awhile back. I have done this before using it as it was, which was also great, but this time I made just a few small changes: a bit more cake flour, a bit less sugar and a touch of almond extract (trust me, it doesn’t come out tasting almond-y, but just pure white cake yumminess), were some of the changes I made. For the frosting, I like to pair this cake with a sweeter frosting (likely due to childhood birthday cake memories), so I use my favourite variation, which is whipped and tastes like vanilla ice cream (for some inexplicable reason). Overall, it’s funfetti-tastic.
Since this cake was for my little girls only (not a big crowd), I didn’t want to do anything too crazy, tall or complicated, but the possibilities are endless, really. 4-layer? 6-layer? Domed? I bet you can’t go wrong. As for the decorating sprinkles, you can go crazy sprinkle happy with any variation you love. I personally love confetti quins, so I used those for the top (and a sprinkling on top of the center filling frosting layer!), well, that and I used up all of my rainbow jimmies in the batter. I may or may not have made an earlier double batch of this batter over the weekend, in which I forgot to add the, um, sugar! So, my stash of rainbow jimmies was drastically depleted before I made this batch. Boo! But honestly, you can add any or every sprinkle you own as the final decoration for your cake, and I bet it would look amazing–sprinkles never disappoint.
And, trust me, the funfetti doesn’t stop here. Check out these previous sprinkle treats from some of my baking friends around the web:
Naomi’s Funfetti Cheesecake Pops
Amanda’s Mini Funfetti Cupcakes
Heather’s Sprinkle Cake
Jessica’s Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
Caroline’s Chocolate Covered Funfetti Cake Balls
Katrina’s Cake Batter Ice Cream Bread
Shelly’s Double Glazed Funfetti Donuts
- 1 cup 240 ml whole milk, at room temperature
- 4 large egg whites 120 g, at room temperature
- 1 whole egg at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons 10 ml pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon 1.25 ml almond extract
- 2-3/4 cups 315 g cake flour, sifted
- 1-1/2 cups 300 g sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon 19.5 g baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon 5 g salt
- 12 tablespoons 170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup Rainbow Jimmies or a few generous handfuls
- 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons 375 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 3.5 cups 400 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons 45 ml milk
- 1 tablespoon 15 ml pure vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- rainbow jimmies quins or other any other sprinkles for decorating
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease, line with parchment, butter and flour two round 8-inch pans.
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium for 20 seconds after each addition. Gently stir in the rainbow jimmies, until just combined.
Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh the batter in the pans to ensure 2 even layers.
Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals.
Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).
Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake plate or 8-inch round thin cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top.
Place 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer, and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife. Sprinkle a handful of sprinkles (jimmies, quins--anything!) on top of the frosting (optional).
Gently place 2nd cake layer face-down on top. Place a generous scoop of frosting on top, spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife and working your way down the sides until you have a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and cover cake with a final layer of frosting. Sprinkle until your heart's content!
Wrap baked cake layers tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.
[cake layers adapted from Classic White Cake recipe on Baking Bites and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s White Velvet Cake]
- If you do not have access to cake flour, you can quickly and easily make your own to substitute. Learn how in this previous post, Bring Me Flours.
- This unconventional method of blending the butter with the sugar and dry ingredients first is called the “reverse creaming method,” and was pioneered by cake guru, Rose Levy Beranbaum.
- As with any vanilla cake, you can use 100% liquid egg whites in the cake layers (simply weigh them on your kitchen scale), which saves wasting the yolks.
- For the funfetti sprinkles inside the cake, you can experiment, but I recommend the Rainbow Jimmies or the Confetti Quins that you see on top of my cake.
- For a 4-layer Funfetti Cake, you could simply slice each of your two cake layers in 2, or for a 3-layer cake, simply divide the batter among 3 round 8″ cake pans (the layers will be shorter, but you will have 3!).
- The cake base for this Funfetti version is a slightly adapted version of the Fluffy Vanilla Cake, so for the ultimate vanilla cake, you can simply omit the sprinkles in the cake layers.
- This batter makes fabulous cupcakes.
- The frosting tastes like vanilla ice cream–you’ll see!
- You may enjoy reading my previous post, 50 Tips for Baking Better Cakes.
Good luck & enjoy!