Sunday, April 10, 2011

Confetti Cupcakes

I grew up on Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix.  While I am certainly not a fan of cake mixes these days, I do admit that there is a tendency for cakes from a mix to come out perfectly moist, whereas cakes from scratch are much harder to get just right.  I am always searching for a great cake recipe… nothing fancy, but one where I control the ingredients (I’d prefer to avoid Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum, and yellow food dye).  Not surprisingly, I found my new go-to on Smitten Kitchen.  Described as the Best Yellow Cake, it really is easy, moist and delicious. 

This time, I decided to get a little crazy.  A friend just mentioned that she had homemade Funfetti cake for her birthday and I thought Clare’s birthday would be the perfect occasion to add a little pizazz to the plain yellow cake.  Funfetti is actually a Pillsbury cake mix, but I figured all I needed to make my own confetti cake was some rainbow sprinkles.  As they dissolve in the batter of a simple yellow cake they form colorful, confetti-like spots.  The results were yummy and adorable…

Happy Caking!

  • 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
  • ¼ - ½ cup of rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (could use 9x13 single layer cake or make cupcakes)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.  (I’m not sure if it matters, but I did this a bit differently.  I added the buttermilk and dry ingredients in batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  This is typical in many other recipes and I figured it couldn’t hurt here either). 

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then tap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.  (I made cupcakes and baked them for about 15-20 minutes).  Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1 box confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-4 Tbls milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients.  Mix until smooth and creamy.

This is the most basic buttercream recipe from the back of the confectioners’ sugar box.  It isn’t the best recipe ever, it can be a bit too sweet, but it reminds me of the birthday cakes I had growing up.  Plus, you can’t beat how easy it is to make.  I tend to mess with it a bit.  This time I added a little buttermilk thinking the tanginess might counteract the super sweet confectioners’ sugar a bit.  It was yummy, as always.

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