Funfetti Birthday Cake

I really like baking cakes.  I also really like when someone has a birthday so I can make them a cake.  Not just any cake but a BDAY CAKE!!!!   Birthday cakes have to be special.  They're a big part of the birthday celebration and should be glorious.  This one is lightly flavored with lemon and pops with colorful sprinkles that are mixed into the batter.  The edible gold glitter helps, too.

Edible glitter can be found at cake baking supply shops and Amazon.  The one used on this cake is Disco Dust which is an extra fine, non toxic, edible glitter.  It does get everywhere - all the cake eaters had gold glitter on their faces from it but it's pretty so who cares. 

Serves 20 people. (Yea, it's a big one.)

Confetti Cake

3 1/2 cups cake flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

6 oz unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

15 oz whole milk

6 egg whites

1/2 cup sprinkles

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease three 9 inch cake pans.  Place a 9 inch round of parchment paper in the bottom of each, butter the paper.  Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until very light, about 4 minutes.  Add lemon and vanilla.  In another bowl, whisk milk and egg whites.  

With the mixer running, add 1/3 for the flour mixture to the creamed sugar butter.  Next, add 1/3 of the milk eggs, do this 2 more times until everything is in the mixer bowl.  Fold in the sprinkles.

Pour equal amounts into each prepared cake pan.  Bake until edges are light gold, centers are set and a toothpick tests clean.  It's about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert and cool completely on rack.  (Don't forget to remove the paper!  Seriously, I've seen it happen.)  

Once completely and totally cooled, you may frost it.  I recommend a swiss meringue buttercream, if you're up for a fun/frustrating challenge.

I was not.  The first buttercream I made failed and I did not wish to make another one.  So, went for something super light and not too sweet.  I used a stabilized, sweetened whipped cream frosting.  It is delicious but not to best for layered cakes as it tends to push out the sides as it's cut.  If you're interested:  In a small saucepan, whisk 1 cup powdered sugar with 8 teaspoons corn starch.  Whisk in 1 cup heavy cream.  Cook, stirring constantly until thickened (will coat the back of a spoon.)  Let this pudding you have just made cool completely, even chill it if you can.  In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters/whisk, whisk 5 cups heavy cream to loose soft peaks then whisk in cooled pudding until stiff peaks form, less than 5 minutes.  Don't over beat past the stiff peaks or you'll ruin it.  

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Here's something sweet just in time for halloween!  Garnish these with pieces of candy corn or bake them in festive papers and you're all set!  Can you give trick or treaters baked treats instead of candy?   

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake tin with papers or grease well if not using paper liners.  

Whisk together flour, pumpkin spice blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add pumpkin puree and vanilla.  Once well combined, add flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the milk.  Don't over mix.

Fill cupcake wells halfway with batter.  Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from baking pan and cool completely. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.  

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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I can't believe I'm saying this but I really prefer these without frosting because the actual cake base is so flavorful.  The buttermilk adds a little tanginess and the (in season) blueberries are juicy and sweet.  If you do want to frost these, after all these are cupcakes and what's a cupcake without frosting?  (practically a muffin.) , consider a lemon glaze or a lemon cream cheese frosting.  

I like to smash the blueberries instead of leaving them whole, they float in the batter instead of sinking.  Just put them in a bowl and smash them with a spoon, fork or masher.  

Makes 24 standard cupcakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter, very soft or melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 pint blueberries, lightly smashed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep cupcake tin with papers or oil.  Set aside. 

In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.   

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Mix until pale yellow.  Add flour mix and buttermilk.  Add vinegar and fold in blueberries.  

Spoon into prepared cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test clean.  Carefully, remove from tin, cool completely before frosting.   

 

Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

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 If you are needing a little indulgence, this cake will do the trick.  Originally, I wanted this cake to be a bread but after making 3 different test breads (because each wasn't just right) it seemed like the bread was telling me it wanted to be cake.  It would also be good as cupcakes.  I like cupcakes.  

Chai Apple Cake

1 cup milk

2 chai tea bags

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons cardamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 stick butter. softened

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons white vinegar, separated

2 apples, peeled, cored, diced

Lemon Ginger Frosting

1 stick butter, softened

grated zest of one lemon

grated fresh ginger of about 1 inch root

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease two cake pans, 8 or 9 inch rounds and set aside.

For cake, Heat milk until hot but not boiling and brew a strong tea using both chai tea bags, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar and let stand 5 minutes.  It is now chai flavored buttermilk.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.   Set aside.  In another bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs 1 teaspoon vinegar and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and chai butter milk.  Lastly add apples.  Pour evenly into prepared baking rounds.  Bake about 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes in pans and then turn out to cool completely.

In the mean time, make the Frosting.

For Frosting, with an electric hand or stand mixer, combine all ingredients.

Frost the cake.