For my daughter’s first birthday, I decided to make a homemade funfetti birthday cake for a couple reason. First, it’s cute and looks pretty. Second, I made a low-sugar healthy smash cake for my son’s first birthday, and he didn’t dig into it like I had hoped.
I figured the lure of the sweet buttery goodness of a homemade funfetti birthday cake would win her over. Selfishly, funfetti was my absolute favorite cake as a kid (remember that rainbow chip frosting?!), so I wanted to try making a funfetti cake from scratch.
I searched through a bunch of different funfetti recipes, but chose to adapt this Food 52 recipe because their cake just looked the best. The major thing I changed was that I used pure vanilla extract instead of imitation because you can’t compare the flavor and I don’t mind the slightest brown color the vanilla imparts.
The other major thing I changed about this recipe is I upped the cake ingredients to make one and a half cakes so that I would have enough cake batter and frosting to make my daughter’s mini cake.
The recipe below is for one full-size cake. If you want to make a full-size cake and a mini cake like I did, multiply each ingredient in the cake and frosting recipe times 1.5. If you decide to make the mini cake, I would suggest baking the extra batter in a 9×13 pan and then cutting out 3-4 circles for the layers of the mini cake. My cake in the pan turned out thicker than I expected, so two layers was actually plenty of cake for my little one year-old.
To decorate the cake, I cut the number one out of the center of a piece of waxed paper and used it as a stencil to add a number one to the top of each cake. I used sprinkles to fill in the stencil space.
I am so happy with how the cake turned out. The cake is super moist and not too sweet. The frosting is ultra rich and adds the right sweetness to the cake. It taste so delicious and also looks so pretty. My daughter enjoyed her mini funfetti smash cake and quickly smashed it to teeny messy pieces. My family loved our full-sized homemade funfetti birthday cake too–it is so much better than the boxed store version. I even brought the leftover cake to share with my co-workers. My office mate said it was really delicious.
What is your favorite birthday cake recipe?
Homemade Funfetti Birthday Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Cut out circles of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pans. Lightly spray the parchment.
With an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Mix in the vanilla and oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With your mixer running on low, add this to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Once you have a smooth batter, fold in the 2/3 cup of sprinkles.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sprinkles over the top and bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at around 25 minutes.
Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pans and then flip them onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
2cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.