I've never been a sprinkles person - at least, not since I was very young. I don't choose something to eat solely based on decoration or appearance, not since I was 5 or 6 and chose the Pink Bubble Gum ice cream from Baskin Robbins based on its color and the little pink bits strewn throughout it. I didn't want to eat it all. I think I didn't care for the little pieces of gum. It was particularly disappointing because we rarely went out for treats, and I chose something I didn't like. The experience sticks with me 30 years later.
However, sometimes I give in:
I generally eschew sprinkles on cupcake and donuts, because they don't add anything delicious for me. They're distraction. (The exception was when I made Sprinkle Cookies earlier this year, because Smitten Kitchen had once again made a recipe that I couldn't resist trying. Those were definitely worth making.)
Despite my apparent disdain for pretty things, every now and then I'm tempted to buy a funfetti cake mix at the grocery store. It looks so festive, and really, the sprinkles bake into it, so there's no distracting textures in the cake. But you know I usually don't buy cake mixes.
So I was particularly excited when I saw Smitten Kitchen's recent recipe for a Confetti Cake. It just looked so darned festive. I had no reason to make it. I waited a month to find a reason. Then I rationalized that baking is simply what I do. I shouldn't, and don't, need a reason for festive food. None of us should.
Besides, Amelia was very excited when I bought sprinkles, and wanted to pull them out of the cabinet to open them. If she's going to open them for me, I might as well use them.
The cake was an easy (and not very large, thankfully) white cake to assemble. I decided to leave it in the pan for easy storage. The frosting was easy and only took a few minutes to make; it makes a little more than you need, unless you like to have tons of frosting on your cake.
The cake basically tasted like a sweet and vanillay sugar cookie. The cake is dense if you don't whip the batter long enough, so the second time I made the cake I was sure to whip the butter and sugar for a full 3 minutes, and the egg whites a bit longer as well. I also increased the baking powder (per Deb's suggestion on her website) to give the cake a bit more height. The second time, it was perfect - moist, soft, and fluffy.
This is a very easy and festive cake to make. Give it a try, and you won't be disappointed.
Want other vanilla or sugar cookie recipes? Try vanilla sugar cookies. Sprinkle Scones are also amazingly vanilla-y and delicious. Want really good vanilla extract to use to make this cake? Try making your own.
Like this recipe or have questions? Rate it or leave a comment below!
In the past:
Four Years Ago: Alton Brown’s Asian Slaw
Five Years Ago: Date, Rum, and Pecan Ice Cream
Seven Years Ago: Blueberry Cinnamon Swirl Ice Cream
This festive Confetti Cake is made from scratch! Vanilla-y, tender, and delicious. Your guests will be surprised it's not from a mix!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2 large egg whites
- ½-1 teaspoon vanilla (I tend to overpour)
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup rainbow sprinkles (long are better)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- extra sprinkles for decoration
Preheat oven to 350F. If you plan to remove the cake from the pan, line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Either way, coat the bottom and sides with nonstick spray.
Beat 1 stick butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl with an electric or stand mixer for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add egg whites, beating until combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and buttermilk and beat to combine. Batter may look curdled, but that's ok. Add baking powder and cornstarch and beat well. Add flour and mix until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in sprinkles.
Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If not serving in the pan, let cool for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Once unpanned, you can optionally chill the cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes if you want to frost it immediately.
Frost cake once completely cooled. To make the frosting, beat 1 stick butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until fluffy. Add milk and beat until smooth. If you removed the cake from the pan, place on a serving plate to frost. Spread frosting along the top (and sides). You may have extra frosting leftover for decoration. Top with sprinkles.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen