Birthdays are special, it's that simple. Today in our house we are celebrating the very special day of our little girl. Well, maybe not so little any more as 14 seems quite grown up to me. It seems I was only just 14 a few minutes ago. Oh wait, that was just about 30 years ago. Well, it doesn't feel like it was that long ago to me. In any case, I was so happy that she asked for a birthday cake. If some of you follow the blog, you may remember some time back celebrating another birthday with chocolate covered strawberries. Someone in the house doesn't like birthday cake! So, when I have the opportunity to bake a cake, I am all in.
I was asked to make a "funfetti" cake. A what cake? Okay, so maybe I am way behind in the cake scene because funfetti cakes are all over the internet. Little did I know it is just a vanilla cake with sprinkles added to the batter. Easy. So, I headed into the kitchen at the crack of dawn to embark on the funfetti cake. I used a trusty ol' vanilla cake recipe that I have been using for years and years and honestly can't remember where it came from originally. It has changed somewhat from originally making it about 20 years ago, but still the same basic vanilla cake. Personally, vanilla birthday cake is my favourite.
After searching my "sprinkle" basket, I found lots of interesting things. What I didn't find was the right kind of sprinkles to make a funfetti cake. Too late to fix that problem because the cake batter was already made. So, I just dumped in what I had. The little tiny sprinkles that you see on the cake below. Sure, they are going to work right?
Note: It is best to use the long sprinkles as opposed to the tiny dot ones that I used in this cake. They will bleed much more colour into your cake than the smaller ones. Careful not to over mix, or the dye will run too much into the cake.
Okay, so my first attempt at "funfetti". I didn't quite achieve the rainbow of sprinkle colours that I was expecting. Apparently, according to the birthday girl, I used the wrong sprinkles! Who knew? Well, now I know for next time. Organization isn't my strong suit. Next time I embark on a cake, I will check to make sure I have everything!
Cake decorating is an art that I am aware I am never going to achieve. I love all all the beautifully decorated cakes I see in magazines, on the Internet and in shop windows. I have complete admiration for anyone that sets out to make one of those masterpieces. But the reality for me is I don't have the patience or, more importantly, the skill to pull it off. I read this great post yesterday from Rosie the Cake Diva. It was such an inspiring post and worth a read for all of us hobbyist cake makers. I almost didn't make a post about this cake, because it doesn’t hold a match to all the stunning cakes out there. The photos were taken in a rush with everyone standing around me waiting to cut it an singing Happy Birthday. But isn't that what real life is all about? Anyway, after reading that post, I thought that my cake is worth writing about. It is delicious, yes. Is it presentable enough for a family birthday cake, yes. Will it will any awards, ah no. But this is simply a cake made with love for my beautiful daughter to share with her family and friends on her very special day.
Serves 16 / Prep time : 1 hour / Cook time: 20 minutes
For the cake:
1 Cup/225 grams butter
1 3/4 Cups/350 grams sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 Cups/345 grams flour, sifted
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup/240 ml buttermilk
1/4 Cups sprinkles
For the frosting:
1 1/2 Cups/340 grams butter, at room temperate
3 Cups/375 grams icing sugar, sifted
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons milk, more if needed
Extra sprinkles for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line four 6 inch pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix the butter on high speed for about a minute and add the sugar all at once. Continue to mix on high speed until pale in colour and light and fluffy. About 5 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, one at a time and mixing well after each addition.
In three additions add the flour and the milk. Starting and ending with the flour. Gently stir in the flour with a spatula and be careful not to over mix. Stir in sprinkles and give a gentle stir. Evenly pour into prepared pans.
Bake around 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes our with just a few crumbs. Remove from oven and cool in pans for about 5 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cakes from pans and gently peel off parchment paper. Leave to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the icing. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Gradually start adding your icing sugar and mixing as you go. Continue this process until you have added all of the icing sugar. It should be smooth and quite thick. Mix in the vanilla extract and two tablespoons of the milk. Mix on high speed. Add the remaining milk until smooth and creamy. If you think it is still too thick, add a little more milk until you reach the desired consistency.
To assemble the cake. Put your first layer flat side up on the cake plate or stand you are using. Spread over enough frosting to cover the entire layer. Repeat for remaining layers. For the top layer, place it with the flat side down, so you will have a mounded top. First frost the cake by almost scrapping the frosting against the cake to just cover it. This is the crumb layer, so crumbs won't show through in the final result. Then, frost the cake over completely until is it all covered. While the frosting is still really moist, throw over as many sprinkles as you like.
This cake can be stored in the fridge, but the frosting will harden. Make sure you take it out of the fridge at least an hour before cutting into it. It will keep up to 3 days but best the day it is made.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!