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Funfetti Birthday Layer Cake (adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook)

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Ingredients

For the Birthday Cake Crumb

    (makes about 2 1/4 cups)

    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
    • 3/4 cup cake flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
    • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
    • 1 tablespoon clear (fake!) vanilla extract

    For the Birthday Cake

      (makes 1 quarter sheet pan cake)

      • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
      • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
      • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
      • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
      • 3 eggs
      • 1/2 cup buttermilk
      • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
      • 2 teaspoons clear (fake!) vanilla extract
      • 2 cups cake flour
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

      For the Birthday Cake Soak

        (makes 1/4 cup)

        • 1/4 cup milk
        • 1 teaspoon clear (fake!) vanilla extract

        For the Birthday Cake Frosting

          (makes 2 cups)

          • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
          • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
          • 2 oz. cream cheese, cold
          • 1 tablespoon glucose
          • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
          • 1 tablespoon clear (fake!) vanilla extract
          • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
          • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
          • a pinch of baking powder
          • a pinch of citric acid

          Instructions

          Birthday Cake Crumb Recipe

          • Heat the oven to 300 (F).
          • Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.
          • Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act as a glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until that happens.
          • Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool.
          • Let the crumbs cool completely before using. Stored in an airtight container, the crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer. I suggest you make these babies a day ahead of when you actually want to make the birthday cake/soak/frosting to save time.

          Birthday Cake Recipe

          • Heat the oven to 350 (F).
          • Combine the butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.
          • On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous. Don't rush the process -- there should be no streaks of fat or liquid. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
          • On very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt and the 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles. Mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
          • Spray a quarter sheet pan with cooking oil and line it with parchment or a Silpat mat. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles evenly on top of the batter.
          • Bake the cake for 30 to 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 cake should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn't pass these tests.
          • Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack.

          Birthday Cake Soak Recipe

          • Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small bowl.

          Birthday Cake Frosting Recipe

          • Combine the butter, shortening, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture  is smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
          • With the mixer on its lowest speed, stream in the glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla. Crank the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth and a glossy white. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
          • Add the confectioners' sugar, salt, baking powder, and citric acid and mix on low speed just to incorporate them into the batter. Crank the speed back up on medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a brilliant stark white, beautifully smooth frosting. It should look just like it came out of a plastic tub at the grocery store.