Our friend Mrs. A has been creating pinterest worthy moments long before blogs and pinning were a thing. We have been blessed to share in a good part of those moments, from unbelievable themed birthday parties to the most All-American 4th of July barbecues, and Christmas wouldn't be the same if we didn't giggle over trivia games and stuff ourselves with her famous meatballs on Christmas Eve. She has been making our lives special in so many ways for the past 25 years, and such a wonderful friend deserves a special birthday dessert.
We wanted to make something amazing for Mrs. A, and this cake has been on the special occasion list for quite a while, so her birthday was the perfect time to pull out all the stops.
This is a really long and involved recipe, but each step on its own is relatively easy and they can be done several days in advance. This is not something that can be done at the last minute, and takes a bit of planning, but it is absolutely worth it. The cake itself is delicious, with flavors similar to the boxed Funfetti of childhood, but better because it is homemade. The crumb layer inside gives a nice sweet crunch, and the frosting is light and smooth, and not overly sweet.
Our family would not be the same without Mrs. A, and we look forward to many more celebrations with her. We know we can count on her for beautiful, creative decorations, and we will bring the cake.
adapted from Milk. Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi
1 recipe Birthday Cake
1 recipe Birthday Cake soak
1 recipe Birthday Cake frosting
1 recipe birthday Birthday Cake crumb
1 6 inch cake ring
2 acetate strips 3 inches wide and 20 inches long.
One bottle clear vanilla extract (you need this if you want it to taste like the boxed funfetti cake.)
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon (25g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
3/4 cup (90g) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
2 tablespoons (25g) rainbow sprinkles
1/4 cup (40g) grape seed oil
1 tablespoon (12g) clear vanilla extract
Heat oven to 300f
Combine the 1st six ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute, continue paddling until mixture forms clusters.
Spread the clusters on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 20,minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should be slightly moist to the touch, they will dry and harden as they cool. Cool completely before using in recipe.
4 tablespoons(50g) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (60g) vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (50g) light brown sugar tightly packed
1/2 cup(110g) buttermilk
1/3 cup (65g) grape seed oil
2 teaspoons (8g) clear vanilla extract
2 cups (245g) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon (3G) kosher salt
1/4 cup(50g) rainbow sprinkles
Additional 2 tablespoons (25 g) rainbow sprinkles
Heat oven to 350f
Combine the butter, shortening and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium high speed for 2-3 more minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
On low speed stream in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Increase speed to medium high and paddle for 4-6 minutes until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of the original fluffy butter sugar mixture and completely homogenous. Don't rush the process, there should be no streaks of fat or liquid.
On very low speed add the cake flour, baking powder, salt and the 1/4 cup of sprinkles. Mix 45-60 seconds, just until your batter comes together. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Spray a quarter sheet pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. Spread the batter in an even layer in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sprinkles evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake cake for 30-35 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger, the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave in the oven for an extra 3-5 minutes if it doesn't pass these test.
Remove cake from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Birthday cake soak
1/4 cup (55g) milk
1 teaspoon (4g) clear vanilla extract
Whisk together in a small bowl.
Birthday cake frosting
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) vegetable shortening
2 ounces (55g) cream cheese
1 tablespoon (25g) glucose or 2 teaspoon (12g) corn syrup
1 tablespoon (18g) corn syrup
1 tablespoon (12g) clear vanilla extract
1 1/4. Cups (200g) confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
Pinch (.25g) baking powder
Pinch (.25g) citric acid (fruit fresh)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with paddle attachment combine butter, shortening and cream cheese, paddle on medium high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Scrap down the side of the bowl
With mixer on low speed, stream in the glucose, corn syrup and vanilla. Change speed to medium high and beat 2-3 minutes until silky smooth and a glossy whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed,add confectioners sugar, salt baking powder and citric acid and mix to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium high and beat. For 2-3 minutes until you have a stark white smooth frosting.
Invert cake on clean parchment paper, peel off the parchment on the bottom of the cake. Use a six inch cake ring to cut out 2 cake circles, these are the top 2 layers. You will use the scrapes to fit into the cake ring for the bottom layer. Clean cake ring
On a clean piece of parchment place your cake ring line the inside with an acetate strip, and fit the cake scrapes in the ring and tamp to an even layer.
Using a pastry brush on 1/2 the birthday cake soak.
Spread 1/5 of the frosting in an even layer over the cake.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the birthday crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
Use the back of a spoon to spread a second 1/5 of the frosting as evenly as possible over the crumbs.
With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5-6 inches tall-high enough to support the height of the cake.
Set a cake round on top of the frosting, brush with remaining birthday cake soak, spread with 1/5 of frosting, followed by 1/3 cup birthday cake crumbs, 1/5 frosting. Top with remaining cake layer and cover with the last 1/5 frosting. Garnish frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.
Freeze complete cake for 12 hour to set the cake and filling. I just put mine the the fridge overnight.
3 hours before serving remove cake from freezer and pop the cake out of the cake ring,push up form the bottom, peel off acetate , cover in plastic wrap defrost in the fridge for minimum 3 hours.
** I have assembled cakes with the cake ring and acetate strips, but this time I was serving this cake at a big birthday dinner so I use 1 1/2 x the recipes and baked the cake batter in 3 - 8 inch cake pans. I weighed all ingredients and assembled the cake on a cake plate without using acetate strips and chilled overnight in the fridge
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