So You Want To Make Funfetti Cake From Scratch?
When I saw the title “How to Make Funfetti Cake From Scratch” on Huffington Post, I squealed. Not only do I LOVE funfetti cake, but my birthday is in 2 days and I have been scouring the internet for the perfect birthday cake. Would I do an “Anaconda” inspired chocolate cake with a “I’ve Got A Big Fat Asssssss” written on it, or go super traditional and just go to Ralph’s and have them make me a cake with Frozen characters on it?! I don’t know, but I’m turning 32 and I need to be prepared for adulthood or whatever.
I’ve tried to make Funfetti Cake from scratch MORE THAN ONCE. It’s not easy. You can’t just use any old white or yellow cake and dump some sprinkles in and call it a day. The sprinkles fall to the bottom, they bleed everywhere and you have a mess. Nothing fun OR fetti about that.
I’m going to be totally honest about this recipe that was originally posted on Food52, it’s weird. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert baker, but the frosting recipe was SO OFF I didn’t even touch it. The cake recipe itself turned out good the first time I did it, but that’s only because I knew what I was doing. There are a lot of ways this recipe can go wrong and I’m going to spell it all out so you don’t fuck it up. Don’t fuck it up okay? This will be good. Promise.
Some things you’ll need if you don’t just have cake flour and clear imitation vanilla on hand. They are cheap. Also since this is a white cake, make sure you are using clear imitation vanilla. McCormick’s sells it, just get it. It makes your cake super pretty white and imitation vanilla does have a different taste to it. You will also need to use cake flour like the Swans Down I used. It’s a lot lighter and you can actually make it using this recipe if you don’t feel like buying it. Use artificially colored sprinkles. I know, I know “but artificial is bad and there’s gluten and casin and other stuff” well it’ll be prettier ok? The color with naturally colored sprinkles aren’t funfetti enough.
First thing I did was flour and grease my pans. ALSO this recipe calls for two 8″ cake pans. MAKE SURE YOUR CAKE PANS ARE AT LEAST 3″ deep! This isn’t mentioned, but if you have 1″ cake pans, it won’t work. Trust me, don’t make the same mistake I did. You’ll cry in your kitchen with a bottle of Chardonnay at 10am. Not a good look. Here are the ones I use from Amazon. Buy them, okay?!
Hopefully you have a stand mixer, if not that’s ok I’m just super lazy and just want to dump in my ingredients and walk away. Cream your butter until fluffy then add the sugar while the mixer is running and run it on medium speed until it seems pretty mixed. Now add your egg whites in one at a time. It’s ok if you mess up and get a little yolk in there, it just won’t be as white. You’re not doing egg white to get it like a meringue so it’s ok. DON’T FREAK OUT!
Now with your cake flour and rest of your dry ingredients, just whisk them together so they are all mixed. Alternating between your butter batter, alternate between your flour mixture and milk making sure they are combined before adding the next. When you add the milk, make sure your mixer is on low or you’ll get it all over yourself, Emily.
Yay! Time for sprinkles! Using a spatula, gently fold in your sprinkles until mixed through. Try not to mix it because you want to keep it nice and fluffy and crap.
While it’s baking, you can start making your frosting! Since we are frosting a cake, I like to make the frosting now and let it get back to room temperature, or sometimes even a little colder (if you live in LA and your room temperature is 80 in the winter I’m not complaining!!!).
Here’s the thing. I’ll link her frosting recipe, but her ratio butter to powdered sugar was bizarre to me so I said no thanks. I also like to add milk or heavy cream to mine, so I basically threw her recipe in the garbage and did my cream cheese frosting recipe after realizing I wanted cream cheese frosting after taking this picture. It’s basically the same so relax. I mean 4 STICKS OF BUTTER to 4 CUPS OF CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR?! Insane. I had so much frosting left over I cant even tell you. I CAN’T EVEN! Use 2 sticks of unsalted. Don’t use salted because you didn’t have any unsalted. Every brand uses different quantities of salt in their butter so it’ll taste like crap.
So here’s my recipe I guess. First, sift your powdered sugar. Just do it, you’ll thank me later even if your sifting hand doesn’t. Make sure your butter isn’t too softened, almost ice cream like texture. If it’s too soft it’ll be too soft and if it’s too hard it won’t mix. DO NOT PUT YOUR BUTTER IN THE MICROWAVE TO SOFTEN IT! Just wait. Please don’t put it in the microwave then send me mean messages that your frosting didn’t work.
With your paddle attachment, beat your butter on medium until creamy. Then add your same clear imitation vanilla so it’s nice and white and your cream cheese that’s softened. I know I took a picture with the wrong vanilla. WHOOPS!
Put your mixer on low and slowly add your confectioner’s sugar. Add to taste, sometimes I add almost 4 1/2 cups, sometimes only 3 1/2. Just keep eating it, it’s not the worst thing you’ll put in your mouth. I usually add between 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk, this is completely up to you, I just love how creamy it makes it. Beat until delicious. This will be the BEST CREAM CHEESE FROSTING EVER. Save it for your arsenal.
I also like adding coconut to the sides because you don’t have to worry about how pretty your sides are or if you can’t find your off-set spatula. Coconut hides your flaws, kind of like Spanx! I usually take a handful of my sweetened coconut and just press it on there. I go through about a cup or so. It’s good to do it this way for Basic Bitch Brittany who hates coconut, but loves cake. She can just not eat the edge. Everyone wins.
Funfetti Cake – adapted by Emily Lallouz, Originally by Molly Yeh for Food52
Serves 10 to 14
For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons clear imitation vanilla (I used Wilton’s)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cake flour, like Swans Down
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sprinkles
1 cup sweetened coconut (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8×3 inch cake pans and flour. Tap off excess. I didn’t do the parchment and they popped out just fine!
- With an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the room temp egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Mix in the vanilla and oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With your mixer running on low, add this to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Once you have a smooth batter, fold in the 2/3 cup of sprinkles.
- Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sprinkles over the top and bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at around 25 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pans and then flip them onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to ice cream like texture
- 2 tbsp milk (or less)
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2½ teaspoons clear imitation vanilla or if you’re making this for any other cake, use Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, spooned in cup, leveled off & sifted