Funfetti Birthday Cake: A cake for Chris

Or as I like to call it: A cake that looks like a magical unicorn threw up into it.


This pretty, girly, colourful cake is for Chris' 21st. The same Chris that broke up with me last week. Despite that I am still making him a birthday cake. His punishment for breaking up with me is that it is not banana cake. Oooh take that Chris! Instead it gets to be whatever the hell I want it to be. Since I found a 190g packet of hundreds and thousands in my cupboard I decided to make a funfetti cake.

I first got the idea for funfetti off this post by Rosie from Sweetapolita. She has made both a cake and cupcakes. I tried out adding sprinkles to my cupcakes a few months back. They were so fun to make and eat. So logically a whole cake with that much internal colour would be infinitely times better.

I just took my simple vanilla cupcake recipe and multiplied it by four then split the mixture into three 20cm cake tins and baked for around 45 minutes on around 170 degrees. I turned the temp right down to stop the cakes from doming. When they dome I have to cut the tops off, throwing away precious cake and precious height. My oven is weird, half the time it fan forces and the other half of the time it doesn't. If your oven is on a steady bake then you can probably increase the temp to just 180 degrees.

I wrote the above before the cakes came out of the oven. I obviously spoke too soon. For some strange reason the sugar decided to all sink to the bottom and form a hard sticky purpley brown toffee at the bottom. The first two to go in had hollows in the sides. It looked like I had taken massive bites from the cake. I swear I hadn't. Even more strange is that the third cake turned out beautifully. It was the picture of cake perfection. One of the cakes however was so munted that it was lop sided, a terrible cake for layering. So in record speed I whipped up another batch for a single layer and threw it in the oven. Alas the gym had to be delayed another forty minutes. The scientist in me decided to use a different brand of 100s and 1000s. When I added the previous brand, all the colour ran off into the mixture very quickly. When I added the new brand the 100s and 1000s held their colour. This could perhaps have had an impact. Maybe the sugar wasn't dissolved enough in the first batch. When making cakes out of these cupcake recipes you absolutely need to use castor sugar over normal sugar. In the larger batches there just isn't time for the sugar to dissolve properly.

I wish there were more than just two of us in the flat sometimes. Today is the perfect day to be making scones while it sporadically rains. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for just two people to eat batches of anything and since we are not obese we don't really like the idea of having baked goods lying around all the time for us to eat. We need a few guys around the place I think. They would hoover down anything giving them the satisfaction of eating home baking and me the satisfaction of making it. Win win. Funnily enough, Chris didn't/doesn't have much of a sweet tooth so he was never much help in the consumption department.

I'm still thinking of that Jon Snow look alike that I saw yesterday. I wish my phone had a face scanner feature, sort of like what shazam does for music. You could just sneaky take a photo of someone and the app could tell you who they were. Then you could stalk them on facebook and them plan to 'accidentally' bump into them. Ok I need to stop being so creepy. Now. If the Jon Snow look alike is reading this (highly unlikely) I apologise for this creepiness. I am actually normal (most of the time).

Sooo where was I? ah right. I'm making a cake. A cake with lots of sprinkles. How exciting.

Vanilla Funfetti Birthday Cake
Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery's vanilla cupcake recipe
makes 3x20cm cakes

560g castor sugar
160g butter, softened
480g flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
4 large eggs
480ml (2 cups) whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
150g 100s and 1000s or other colourful sprinkles

Vanilla buttercream icing:
700g icing sugar, sifted
150g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
A few tablespoons whole milk

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees bake. Like three 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper and grease around the sides.

Beat together the butter and sugar until all the sugar lumps have been broken down. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and beat until a sandy consistency is achieved.

In a separate bowl, whizz the eggs with the beater so they become a little frothy.

Add half the milk to the dry mixture, beat then add half the egg mixture, beat. Add the rest of the milk, beat again. Then add the rest of the egg and beat on high for a few minutes to smooth out the batter. Remember to regularly scrape down the sides of the bowl so you don't miss any bits. Pour in your sprinkles and lightly mix. If you mix too much the colour bleeds and you get a cake mixture that looks like a giant's snot rather than a unicorns stomach contents.

Using a large cup measure, scoop the batter evenly between the three tins.

Place as many of the tins as you can on the same shelf (don't use two shelves) and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool before tipping them out onto a cooling rack. I made the mistake of taking them out too early when I made my brothers birthday cake a few weeks ago. The cakes sank and caused the edges to bulge making getting a smooth side very difficult.

Leave to cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, cream the butter and icing sugar together, adding a bit of milk to smooth it together. Beat until the icing is really light in colour and fluffy. Don't forget to add the vanilla, or whatever flavour you want it to be. I might actually add a bit of strawberry to this icing.

Follow the Whisk-kids instructions here on how to ice a cake properly :)

I hope this cake brings endless joy to your next birthday celebration and gives you less angst and frustration that it did for me.

So the next day at Chris' 21st was the moment of truth. To be honest the cake didn't last long enough to be examined by anyone properly so I was safe!

On a non-cake related note, I learnt a great deal about how to spit roast a whole lamb carcass that day. When Chris said he was having a barbecue for his birthday I assumed they were going to try and get the crappy rusty thing at the back of his flat to work. Oh no, they  got these people in who bring with them at 7.30am a 3m long spit roast barbecue and cook to perfection whatever whole animal you prefer. It was great. I'm pretty sure I had my years quota of red meat that day. It just melted in your mouth (well you would expect it to after being cooked for four and a half hours. 

So yes, happy birthday Chris.

Sophie x