Funfetti Layer Cake

We celebrated our friend’s birthday last weekend, and it was at the request of the birthday girl that we celebrate with funfetti cake. For those who are unfamiliar, funfetti cake is a white cake base with sprinkles mixed in. It is traditionally layered with a vanilla buttercream. After reviewing some recipes on the internet, we found this recipe from Sugar Spun Run and modified it a bit to the recipe below. What we love about this recipe is the whipped egg whites- adding this extra step makes the cake light and fluffy. The egg whites make the cake something between a regular vanilla cake and an angel food cake. While we love a good vanilla flavor, we have added a bit of almond extract and vanilla beans to give the cake an extra pop.

Here’s the deal with cake decorating. It can be really overwhelming and stressful trying to make things perfect, and unless you decorate cakes often, you aren’t going to be perfect. We don’t make cakes very often, and you will notice this cake is not even close to perfect. Doing a “naked” design gives the cake a more rustic look and forgives a lot of mistakes that we all tend to make in the decorating process.

Funfetti Layer Cake

Makes: 1, 8 inch, 3 layer cake

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 3 tbs flour (for the cake pans)
  • 9 Tbsp butter softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 cups+ 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 9 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles + 2 tbs sprinkles*

Ingredients for the Frosting:

  • 1 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • sprinkles for decoration, optional

Directions for the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three, 8 inch, cake pans for baking. First spray the pan with cooking spray, then add 1 tbs of flour to the pan. Gently shake the flour around the pan until it is completely coated with flour. Bang away any excess flour and discard. Repeat for each of the cake pans and set aside.
  2. Use a stand mixer to whip the butter for a few minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and whip until it is fluffy.
  3. Add the oil in a steady stream while you run the mixer, making sure that the oil is completely absorbed as you continue to add it. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary to make sure that everything is well combined.
  4. Add the salt and baking powder to the bowl. Alternate adding the 1 cup of the flour and a portion of the milk to the bowl, mixing between each addition, until all of the wet and dry ingredients are absorbed. Be careful not to over mix in this process- use the mixer to mix the flour or the milk until they are just absorbed before alternating to the next ingredient. Again, scrape the bowl as necessary to make sure all of the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are being absorbed into the batter. Set aside.
  5. Get out your hand mixer and a separate metal bowl for the egg whites. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed for a few minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  6. Use a spatula and take about 1/4 of the egg whites and gently start to fold them into the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and fold with a spatula until just combined. Add the sprinkles to the batter and divide as evenly as you can amongst the three cake pans.
  7. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes (for us this was 37 minutes exactly). You will know the cakes are ready when you can insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it. When the cakes have finished baking, remove them from the oven and onto a cooling rack. When the cakes are cool enough to touch the pans with your bare hands, remove them from the baking pans and onto parchment paper. You can make this easier by running a paring knife around the rims of each of the cakes to help loosen them from the pan.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them.

Directions for the Frosting:

  1. In your stand mixer, beat the butter and salt on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time (this will prevent powdered sugar from being all over your kitchen) to the bowl. Mix until combined before adding the next cup. Repeat until all of the sugar has been added.
  2. With the mixer on medium-high speed, add the heavy cream 1 tbs at time, until all of the heavy cream has been added. Divide the batter between two bowls.
  3. Use a paring knife to scrape the vanilla beans out of the pod. Add the vanilla bean paste and 1 tbs vanilla extract to half of the batter. Use your hand mixer to make sure everything is well blended together. This will be the frosting for the outside of the cake.
  4. In the second bowl, add 1 tbs almond extract and 1 tbs vanilla extract to the bowl. Use the hand mixer to combine. This will be the frosting for the inside of the cake.
  5. When the cakes have completely cooled, use a long serrated knife to even out the tops of each of the cake. Here is a link for a great tutorial on how to do this successfully. If you have extra time to spare, refrigerating the cakes at this point is a great way to make your icing process easier, but it isn’t necessary. Place one of the evened cake layers on a serving platter. Use a piping bag and a large round piping tip (an 880 for example) to pipe a full, even layer of the almond frosting onto the cake layer. We prefer to do this cake as a “naked cake” so the thick frosting in the center is a must! Use a small, offset spatula to even out the frosting on the first cake layer before adding the second cake. Repeat the piping and evening out of the frosting on top of the second layer before adding the third and final layer to the top of the cake.
  6. Use an offset spatula, and the second (vanilla bean) bowl of frosting, to decorate the outside of the cake. Again, we have chosen to do a naked cake, where only half of the frosting is necessary. Carefully use the spatula to fill in the gaps between layers and to create a thin, crumb coat of frosting on the outside of the cake. For an easy tutorial, click the link here.
  7. After you have finished decorating the cake with frosting, use sprinkles and decorate the outside for your desired look.

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