Nothing says “party” like confetti. Whether you’re remembering confetti cannons during the Giants parade, a booby-trapped card sent by your grandma, or a wild New Year’s celebration, confetti says, “let’s not worry about cleaning this up; let’s just enjoy this moment.” Funfetti, similarly, is all about the party. During childhood, that party was your best friend’s birthday (pre-sugar crackdown) when her mom made multi-colored cupcakes for the whole class. In high school, you partied at your house with your drug of choice (sugar), baking a pan of Pillsbury cake and singing along with your favorite musicals. Now, entering adulthood, you demand a good bar with strong drinks and a relaxed policy about homemade birthday cakes.
When invited to a birthday bash for Lizzie – of the fantastic blog Company Co. Events – we decided to go all out. Lizzie chose as her ideal venue the Albatross on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. In the interest of full disclosure (because we have established a relationship, you and I, dear reader), I’ll admit that the Bird is my favorite bar. I lived within three blocks of the hallowed place for years. I actually know some of the bartenders on a first name-basis – a miracle for a shy girl like me. I’ve spent more evenings playing card games and bingeing on popcorn there than I’d care to admit. While they don’t serve any food besides the $1 unlimited popcorn, they have a very generous policy regarding food; we have previously carted in Cheese Board pizza, Everett & Jones BBQ, and La Mission burritos. This time we decided to do things properly.
With the apricot-glazed pork from the last post and the mac ‘n’ cheese from the next, we took that place over in style. The cake itself was light, flushed with the fragrance of vanilla and almond, moist and sweet. Plus the delirious rainbow of sprinkles, inside and out, fulfilled all of our childhood desires. What more could you want on your birthday?
Funfetti Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting (From Sweetapolita)
Yield: Two 8-inch round cakes
For the Cake:
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 whole egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2-3/4 cups flour, sifted
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
1/2 cup rainbow jimmies
For the Frosting:
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3.5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease, line with parchment, butter and flour two round 8-inch pans.
- In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla and the almond extract. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar, together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
- Add the butter and blend on low speed for about 30 seconds, then add remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1-1/2 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg/milk mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium for 20 seconds after each addition. Gently stir in the rainbow jimmies, until just combined.
- Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh the batter in the pans to ensure 2 even layers.
- Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals.
- Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.
- Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).
Assembly of the Funfetti Cake
- Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake plate or 8-inch round thin cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top. (Our note: we place the first round directly on two slightly overlapped pieces of parchment paper. Once the cake was decorated, we each pulled a piece out so the cake stayed where it was on the plate.)
- Place 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer, and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife. Sprinkle a handful of sprinkles on top of the frosting (optional).
- Gently place 2nd cake layer face-down on top. Place a generous scoop of frosting on top, spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife and working your way down the sides until you have a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from refrigerator and cover cake with a final layer of frosting. Sprinkle to your heart’s content!
Wrap baked cake layers tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.