It’s been a funky week. My baking mojo has been off, resulting in two failed cakes and tears in the kitchen (though the tears may have been due to smoke inhalation).
On Tuesday, I attempted to bake a simple yellow cake for my coworker’s birthday, so of course my springform pan ended up leaking butter all over my oven and releasing an explosion of smoke that filled my apartment for the entire night. Hence the tears. In retrospect, it was totally preventable since I could smell the smoke almost as soon as it started, but I smartly decided to ignore it because I thought it would go away. This has also been a bad week for logic.
But one kitchen failure is not enough to deter me, so on Wednesday night, I made these homemade funfetti cupcakes that were only about 45% a disaster. I also made a small 6″ cake, but that turned out underbaked even though I stuck a toothpick in it and it came out clean. Toothpick, I thought I could trust you! I say 45% a disaster because they weren’t up to my standards, but the birthday girl and my coworkers all enjoyed them, so I guess it was a win in the end.
Homemade Funfetti Cake
Adapted from The Kitchn
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup sprinkles (jimmies are best, the waxy kind for ice cream)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your pans with baking spray or butter and flour.
- Beat softened butter and sugar together until fluffy and light, then add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated.
- Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, and finally the milk and vanilla. Stir in the sprinkles.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back slightly when pressed. If making cupcakes, bake for about 8-10 minutes.
- Let cool on wire racks for at least 15 minutes, then remove from pans. If not using immediately, store cake in freezer.
From Martha Stewart
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into tablespoons and softened at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine egg white, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
- Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
- With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.
Okay, so maybe I was a bit harsh when I called them a percentage of a disaster. The frosting really saved these – that buttercream is absolutely divine. The cupcakes themselves were good enough – I left them in the oven for too long, so they got a little dry and crisp around the edges. I used The Kitchn’s quick yellow cake recipe and just added sprinkles to it because I was short on time, so next time, I might try a different recipe to get that perfect fluffy and tender texture.
While these are definitely a fail in my book, they were still delicious. And really, it’s hard to go too wrong when your primary ingredients are butter, sugar, and sprinkles.