Funfetti Birthday Cake

There are few people in this world who merit a 3-layer funfetti birthday cake. My sister in law, Devora, happens to be one of them. She’s the loveliest person and when she asked me to bake her birthday cake this year, I was honored. Devora is a huge sprinkle-lover (she introduced me to ordering vanilla milkshakes with rainbow sprinkles) and I knew immediately that her birthday cake had to be funfetti. Sprinkles just make people happy.  This cake tastes way better than the classic boxed cake version and elicits all the fond memories of that birthday cake you ate in 1998. While not for the faint of heart or organically-inclined (hello, butter!), this cake is perfection in every other way and enhances a birthday second only to cold-hard cash.  I decided to really go for it here and cover the entire cake in sprinkles. Ultimately, I’m glad I did, as it yielded the desired results – lots of oohs and ahhs, but my kitchen was a sprinkle massacre and hasn’t recovered yet from the whole ordeal. You’ve been warned.



funfetti birthday cake recipe

funfetti cake recipe


funfetti cake recipe

There’s something oddly ethereal about this pic.


Funfetti Cake

Adapted from Molly Yeh’s recipe in her cookbook, Molly on the Range

2½ cups flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
4 large egg whites
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla (I used McCormick brand)
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup rainbow sprinkles

1¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3½ cups powdered sugar
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons clear imitation vanilla
2 tablespoons whole milk

2 cups sprinkles for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and line the bottoms of three 8 or 9-inch cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the oil and the vanilla extract. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry mixture and the milk in two or three alternating batches and mix until just barely combined.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles until they’re evenly distributed. Distribute the batter among the cake pans, spreading it out evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes. for cupcakes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Add the salt, extracts, and milk and beat to combine. Frost the cake and decorate with sprinkles as desired.

Olive Oil Grapefruit Cake?!

Grapefruit is kind of an old person fruit. But unlike cottage cheese, grapefruitMetamucil and Cheerios, grapefruit is pretty awesome. And so is this cake, but I’m not going to lie to you folks, this was a bit of a pain in the ass to make. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, zest and extra steps (re: massaging the zest and the sugar to release precious grapefruit oils… Yep, I did that) make this cake super moist and full of that delicious winter citrus flavor our grandparents love. But beware, this is not for the faint of heart, like I said before, there are serious steps involved. Speaking of steps, I should really get my butt to a gym and stop baking midweek pound cakes…

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Olive Oil Grapefruit Cake

From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 tbsp fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (1-2 large grapefruits)

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp grapefruit zest

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs (it says room temperature, but who the heck is that organized to get their eggs out of the fridge before baking a dessert? I used cold eggs, and it was totally fine)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

The syrup:

1/3 cup grapefruit juice

2 tbsp sugar


1 cup of powdered sugar

2 tbsp grapefruit juice

Preheat oven to 350. Greeeze up a loaf pan. Massage (I know, I know) the zest and the sugar together to release magical grapefruit flavor oils. Whisk the zest, sugar and eggs together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Combine the yogurt and grapefruit juice and alternately add the yogurt mixture and flour mixture to the eggs and sugar. Dough will be fairly thick, pour it into your loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Test it with a toothpick for doneness. Mine baked in just 45. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then take the cake carefully out of the pan and let it rest on a cooling rack. Rest, massages, toothpick acupuncture, this cake is receiving some serious 5 star treatment.  In a small saucepan heat 1/3 cup of grapefruit juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar over low heat until sugar dissolves. Poke holes all over the top of the cake and pour the syrup over the cake for maximum grapefruity absorption.  I recommend putting a cake plate under the cooling rack while pouring the syrup. Major mess saver.  Ok, we’re almost there people! Once the cake is fully cooled, whisk the powdered sugar,  grapefruit juice and a pinch of salt until smooth and pour over cake, letting the excess drip down the sides. Try to refrain from licking up the puddles of glaze. Aaaand we’re done.

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