We celebrated Lilly Beth’s third birthday this weekend with a fabulous pink & purple flamingo party! This party has been in the works for months — we talked about doing a dinosaur party last fall, but after AnnaCate’s mermaid shindig in February, our shared spirit animal won out and flamingos it was.
Lilly isn’t a big cake girl; she will eat copious spoonfuls of cake batter, but when it comes to cupcakes or a slice of cake, she usually just licks off the frosting and discards the rest. I subscribe to the belief that a party without cake is just a meeting, so I knew I had to find SOMETHING she would like. Enter funfetti. LB always raids Grandma’s baking shelves (which happen to be at her eye level, so can you blame a girl?) and steals the sprinkles (which she calls “sparkles”), so I figured sprinkle cake would meet her approval. We got a big canister of rainbow sprinkles (obviously including pink & purple) and I got to researching funfetti cakes.
As far as frosting goes, my personal preference on cake is swiss meringue buttercream. I love the silky consistency, the smoother application, and the not-cloyingly-sweet flavor. While I do have a little stockpile of bright food coloring gels, I didn’t want to have to artificially color the frosting if I could avoid it. That + the fact that Lilly is OBSESSED with frozen raspberries made it an easy decision to do a light raspberry buttercream.
Homemade Funfetti Cake
3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 egg whites (set aside from other eggs)
3 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup sprinkles (not the nonpareil tiny circle kind!)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and two 6-inch cake pans and line with greased parchment paper circles (Can also do three 9-inch pans if you want all layers to be the same size!). Note: I use coconut oil spray, but butter will also work!
Whisk sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
Beat butter with a stand (paddle attachment) or hand mixer on high until creamy. Add sugar and beat on high for 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. On medium-high, add in each of the four eggs until they are well incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
With the mixer on low, add in dry ingredients in three parts until just incorporated, alternating with buttermilk. (DO NOT OVERMIX!) In a separate bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until thick and foamy with soft peaks, then fold into batter. Finally, fold in sprinkles. Pour batter into each of the four pans, as evenly distributed as possible.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until cakes are baked through. Use a toothpick (inserted in center of cake, to see if it comes out clean) to test doneness. Set cakes on a wire rack to cool. Once completely cool, set in freezer before frosting (can be left overnight).
Frost cooled or frozen cake with Raspberry Buttercream and let it come to room temperature to serve.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
8 oz pasteurized egg whites (from a carton)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter
1 cup frozen raspberries
Place raspberries in a mesh sieve over a bowl, to extract puree. Let it sit to thaw.
Combine egg whites and sugar in heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and set over simmering water. Stir periodically until sugar is dissolved and temperature reaches 160°F.
Remove from heat and cool to 60-65°F. (I do this with an ice bath by using my metal mixing bowls, but you can also move the mixture to the freezer or refrigerator.)
Beat the butter in a mixer bowl with the flat paddle attachment for 1 minute until creamy and lightened. Reduce speed to medium low and add cooled sugar syrup to butter. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat on medium high for 3 minutes or until silky and combined.
Extract raspberry puree: Press thawed raspberries into sieve with a spoon to remove seeds. Scrape the bottom of the sieve into bowl to collect puree. Repeat the process until only seeds remain in sieve.
Add raspberry puree to buttercream mixture. Beat in until combined.
This was the first party I’ve thrown where not a SINGLE crumb of cake remained. Several guests told me they had four slices, it was that good!!! I suppose my dream of notoriety for my legit kids’ birthday cakes is coming true. 😉