super moist funfetti cake
So, I turned 30 last week. I've been spending the time contemplating my life and what I've been doing. I sometimes reminisce about the career I left behind in San Diego to support my husband's work. But mostly, I am happy to be in Texas and happy for the change and the opportunity to continue to grow. There are some days where I really miss being a chef in a restaurant. I miss the pace, the aggression, the deliberateness of everything. Do you ever stop and wonder what your life would have become had you taken a different path or a different step along the way? I wouldn't trade having met my husband for anything--he truly is my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. And to be honest, had we not made this very big move I would not be using this creative outlet to share my love of food with you all. I guess it all comes down to attitude. I can be sort of sad at times about what I've left behind, or I can be grateful about what I have gained and all I have to look forward to. It's easy to see the past with rose colored glasses but in reality I have so much left ahead of me.
Anyway, you came here for cake! I know in the past I've said that I only make this cake for my birthdays, so thirty felt like the appropriate age to throw things back and get back to my childhood roots of all the boxed cake mixes. Why are boxed cake mixes so freaking good and moist?! I feel like making a cake from scratch is necessary because boxed mixes are garbage with tons of preservatives but we're fighting an uphill battle trying to achieve the same texture and flavor. Well, I can say that I have created the ultimate funfetti cake. I read a lot of different recipes before attempting this cake and I like to think that it combines the best of a lot of different techniques. Most people who have done any baking are familiar with most recipes starting out with the creaming of butter and sugar together before adding eggs and subsequently dry ingredients and liquids. However, this cake employs the use of the reverse creaming method. All of our dry ingredients are dumped into the bowl and then our fats (in this case butter and coconut oil) are mixed in until the dry ingredients look like wet sand before adding our remaining liquid ingredients. This encourages our fat to bond to the flour resulting in a super moist cake and a tight cake crumb. This is one of the easiest cakes I have ever made and i was very pleasantly surprised to find it to be light, airy and moist. All the things I want in a cake that I'm just going to smother with frosting anyway.
The frosting is a recipe from the book Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and it is the most unique and delicious buttercream frosting I've made yet. It basically starts out as a vanilla pudding that is whipped until cool and then whipped while adding COPIOUS amounts of butter. But it doesn't have the sickly sweet flavor that powdered sugar sometimes imparts in a frosting. It is just so vanilla-y and fluffy and I love it so much! I cant think of a better way to spend my birthday than in sweats, eating this whole cake, surrounded by my husband and three dogs. Life may not be where I thought it would be at 30, but it's still pretty fucking great.
makes 3 8" cakes
500g granulated sugar
450g all purpose flour (Gold Medal brand)
18g baking powder
226g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g refined coconut oil, room temperature but solid
175g whole milk, room temperature
90g heavy cream, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
20g (1 tablespoon) pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup jimmies rainbow sprinkles
very vanilla frosting (recipe below)
Before starting the cake batter, prepare your pans. Grease and line 3 8x2 inch cake pans with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (use a paddle attachment with the silicon scraper if you have one!), add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix on low to combine. Add butter and coconut oil and mix on low until the mixture looks like wet sand. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, vanilla, milk and heavy cream. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 45 seconds, until batter is very smooth. Add sprinkles and mix for 5 seconds more. Using a scale, weigh the amount of batter that goes into each pan. This is super important so that all the cakes bake evenly! I found that 570g per cake pan worked out great. Bake until cakes are lightly golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly, this was about 50-60 minutes for me. Cool the cakes completely in the pan and remove carefully. I wrapped and froze mine before frosting the cake for ease. Frost with your favorite frosting (or the one below which was AWESOME), cover with extra sprinkles, and dig in!
VERY VANILLA FROSTING:
adapted from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis
makes enough to frost 1 3-layer 8" cake
375g granulated sugar
65g all purpose flour
500g whole milk
100g heavy cream
4 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cool and cut into small pieces
1 vanilla bean scraped of seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream, and vanilla bean seeds and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened to the consistency of a light pudding, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, at least 7 to 9 minutes (you can speed up the process by pressing bags of frozen berries or corn against the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl). Reduce the speed to low and add the butter a few chunks at a time, every 20 to 30 seconds, while the mixer is constantly stirring; mix until thoroughly incorporated. If the mixture looks curdled, don't worry, it'll come together as you add more butter. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla paste and extract and mix until combined. If the frosting is too soft, place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it can hold its shape. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is spreadable.