We celebrated my grandmother-in-law’s birthday this weekend, and what better way to celebrate a birthday than with a funfetti cake. My wife will tell you that the best birthday cake is a funfetti cake with chocolate icing, so that’s what I made.
This is the second made-from-scratch funfetti cake (because mixes are just no fun), and it had a nice buttery, vanilla flavor to go with the sprinkles. The frosting whipped up well (I was worried I wasn’t going to have enough for piping). It was more than serviceable, but it was not as good as this frosting. It was somewhere in between frosting and whipped ganache given the melted chocolate.
My wife commented that this was the best I have frosted a cake, evenly between each layer of cake and on top. Usually, I don’t want to waste extra frosting so I just add as much of it as I can to the top and sides (because why not). For this reason, I also eat my slice of cake slowly from the ” bottom center” out to the edge so that my last bites of cake have all of the frosting.
I decided to try out some piping to decorate the cake with decent success. I’ll have to try baking cupcakes to get some more practice. I liked the decision to sprinkle around the edges to add more color. And no, I did not write “Happy Birthday”. That task was left to my wife and her excellent writing skills.
1 1/2 cups salted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups (450 g) granulated sugar
4 egg whites, room temperature
3 tsp. vanilla bean paste
3 cups (384 g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, cool
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup (60 g) dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup (127.5 g) bittersweet/semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
4 cups (480 g) confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream (optional, for consistency as desired)
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8″ cake pans and/or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed for two minutes. Scrape sides.
- Add egg whites and vanilla, then beat on medium speed for another minute.
- Add one-third of flour mixture, then beat on medium speed until incorporated.
- Add half of milk, then beat on medium speed until incorporated.
- Continue alternating wet and dry ingredients, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.
- Gently fold sprinkles into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the three cake pans. Bake for 30-33 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans until cool to the touch, then carefully invert onto a wire rack lined with plastic wrap. Cool cakes in the refrigerator or freeze to firm before frosting.
- For the frosting: In a stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed.
- Add cream cheese and vanilla, then beat until incorporated.
- Add cocoa and mix until well-blended.
- Add melted chocolate, then beat until incorporated.
- Gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping sides as needed.
- Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time, beating on low speed to combine.
- Beat frosting on high speed until well combined and smooth, about two minutes.
- Add heavy cream to achieve desired consistency.
- Frost the cakes as desired.