I don't know if all of the other bloggers out there deal with the same thing I do, but whenever someone is tasked with picking out a cake for my birthday, they always try to pick out some fancy, gourmet cake with fruit or some strange flavor combination, when all I really want is a good, Carvel Ice Cream Cake. Extra crunchies.
My friends and I at my last job would always find a reason to order ice cream cake. National Middle Child Day? Ice Cream Cake. Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Ice Cream Cake (complete with photoshopped Birthday Hat on MLK and his speech playing in the background). National Speak Like a Pirate Day? Well... we actually didn't have time to get the cake that day, but we wanted to, complete with asking the person at the counter to write "Arrrrrrrr" on the cake.
Needless to say, I miss those days of wreckless ice cream cake eating.
A few months back, one of the members of our Carvel Cake Clan (I just made that up), got a new job, and for her goodbye party, we of course got ice cream cake, but then we needed something else. So I offered to make this funfetti cake.
For some reason, I was very nervous about making this cake. You see, there is a reason why the Funfetti cake box mix is so popular. Because it's freaking AWESOME. Why reinvent the wheel when something is so perfect?
But I wanted to be different. I typically don't ever use box mixes for anything (unless they are cake balls - it allows me to eat them faster) so I didn't want to use a box mix for this.
I used my go to white cake recipe and then threw a ton of sprinkles in it. Most recipes call for 2 or 3 tbsp, but I went big and doubled that. I knew that was probably a bad idea... but I just couldn't stop myself. I love sprinkles.
I popped the cake in the oven and allowed it to bake. The smell of sugary sprinkles baking filled the air. I started to get nervous. I've never smelled sprinkles before. I flicked on the oven light and saw a tie dye of rainbow sprinkles atop the top of the cake. I got nervous that the sprinkles were caramelizing and melting into the cake, but I let the cake finish baking.
Luckily, although the top of the cake was somewhat frightful, the rest of the cake was wonderful. Light, airy, and speckled with a colorful rainbow of wonderfully bright jimmies.
Topped with some vanilla frosting, decorated with more sprinkles, and then grab your party hats people, it's cake time.
I didn't get any cut shots of the cake, because I was worried that people would judge me if I was taking photos of my own cake in the conference room, but let me just tell you, it was beautiful.
And you know what's amazing? Funfetti cake topped with Carvel Ice Cream Cake. Watch out now. Now it's a real party.
Cake recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated (I also made a 3-layer cake, but this recipe is for a 2-layer cake. To add the 3rd layer, increase ingredients by 1/2)
2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool
Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
Pour milk, egg whites, and extract into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Add sprinkles. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
Layer cakes with vanilla frosting, frost outside and decorate as you wish!
Vanilla Frosting Recipe
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.