Sunday, June 30, 2013

recipe: homemade funfetti cake

I grew up on the quintessential American street. It wasn't a large block - just a couple dozen houses, many of which the vacuum manufacturing company down the street built around 1920 and sold to its workers. My parents bought one of those houses soon after they got married. When I was growing up, some of the men on the street still worked at the company and walked to work.

A lot of young families lived on the street, so kids were always playing games in the street or playing hide-and-go-seek through the neighbors' backyards or drawing with chalk on the sidewalks.

When my parents brought me home from the hospital, the neighbors down the street had just brought home their two-week-old baby girl, Valerie. She and I grew up together, walked to school together, and marked a lot of milestones together.

Our lives went in a lot of different ways after high school, and we didn't stay in touch. But then last summer, she moved to D.C. for a fellowship, and she ended up moving into an apartment that is (literally) just down the street from where I live. Neighbors again. We see each other often now. It's funny how life works out that way.

The other weekend, Valerie turned 30. Which means, of course, that my own 30th birthday is right around the corner. (Cue the panic.)

Anyway, we had a really fun time celebrating Valerie's milestone with good, old-fashioned bowling at the Fort Myer Bowling Center. (It was a pretty rad place, so I'm planning to post a separate blog about the center.) The bowling alley has a party room, and they let me bring a cake to the party as an exception to the center's no-outside-food rule.

Valerie requested a Funfetti cake. Instead of picking up a boxed cake mix, I did a Google search to see if anyone had perfected a homemade version. Lo and behold, I found a recipe that turned out to be awesome.

It was super moist, had a lot of vanilla and butter flavors and was pretty easy to put together. My cake didn't turn out as white as the boxed version or the pictures on the original recipe writer's blog - but I still give this recipe very high marks.

Homemade Funfetti Cake

  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sprinkles (not nonpareils)
  • additional sprinkles for the top
Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar and brown sugar. Whisk in eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract.

Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

Stir in sprinkles, being careful not to overmix, which would cause the sprinkles to bleed.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 33-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When cool, frost cake with recipe that follows.

Vanilla Frosting (for a two-layer cake)

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • up to 3 tablespoons milk
Combine powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in a stand mixer bowl. Add milk, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until frosting is a spreadable consistency.

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