A light and fluffy white funfetti cake made from scratch, speckled with sprinkles, and iced with a sweet buttercream frosting.
One year ago, I almost canceled hosting for my blog, which would have effectively erased it from the internet.
I’d bought the name, Sugar Spun Run, in 2012, and published a few posts super casually, photographed via iPhone-only, and I had no good focus (desserts and running, mostly, hence the “Run” part of the name). It was maintained sporadically, and was honestly quite sloppy.
In 2014, I made an attempt to get more serious about posting on a somewhat regular basis, and I was able to keep this up for a couple of months until a slew of major life events entirely derailed my course, and there was nothing but radio silence for months.
So, in April of 2015, when I received the bill to renew my hosting for my website, I was feeling pretty discouraged about the whole blogging thing. I hadn’t been able to stick to it in the past, and I knew it would take a long time to develop the skills (mainly photography) needed to make this space anything worth reading.
I came this close to canceling everything.
But I really enjoyed baking and sharing my recipes with people, and even though I wasn’t blogging during those months of silence, I’d still been busy in the kitchen.
So, instead of canceling my website for good, I made a batch of carrot cake cookies (and, if I remember correctly, I made them 4 times before I was satisfied with the recipe) and published that post exactly one year ago today. I’ve been posting 2-3 times a week ever since.
It’s been a year of late, powdered-sugar filled nights, of re-making recipes over and over again (often only to decide that they really were just right the first time), of website code-induced headaches, and of desperately attempting to solve the Rubik’s cube that is my camera. Well over 100 lbs of butter have made their way through my kitchen in the past 365 days (a few have regrettably lingered, as well), and my KitchenAid has become my near-constant companion.
And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
So, while today can’t rightly be called my blog’s “birthday”, I wanted to commemorate this one year anniversary anyway. Today I’m celebrating Sugar Spun Run’s Unbirthday, and slicing up this confetti-colored, sprinkle stuffed, 3-layer, homemade Funfetti cake just for the occasion.
Light and fluffy, this cake is made with a combination of butter (for flavor) and oil (for texture and moisture). Developing this recipe took weeks (as I’ve mentioned before, cakes and cupcakes can be quite a challenge for me), and the ingredients and their ratios were calculated very precisely and carefully.
For maximum fluffiness, this recipe calls for plenty of egg whites (no egg yolks). You’ll whip these separately with an electric hand mixer until they reach stiff peaks (that just means that when you lift a whisk straight out of the whites, the peaks stay and don’t recede back into themselves) and then fold them with a spatula into the cake batter. This is easy to do– it takes only about 5 minutes– and is critical for a light and fluffy white cake.
I used a buttercream that I flavored with a new emulsion that I found at my local cake shop (see notes in recipe), which accented the frosting with notes of citrus and almond. This kept the buttercream from being overbearingly sweet (in my opinion) but didn’t go over as well with Zach, who loathes lemon. Vanilla extract (or any other that you prefer) can also be used, of course, and I included notes in the recipe.
Today, I’m cutting up this carefully-crafted cake into thick slices in an Unbirthday celebration, and I’m so glad that you’re here to join me.
Perhaps most importantly, I want to make sure to give a well-deserved thank you to all of you who take the time to read my posts (or just look at the pictures, that’s OK too) and comment. This space would be nothing without you coming back day after day, and I don’t think I would have made it this far without so many kind, encouraging comments (when I get a comment telling me that you tried a recipe and loved it, it makes my whole day).
Sugar Spun Run is here to stay.
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. –Earl Nightingale
Funfetti Cake from Scratch (and an UnBirthday)
A fluffy white funfetti cake made from completely scratch. Please note that if you do not want a three layer cake, you can divide the batter into just two pans and use the rest to make cupcakes!
- 9 Tbsp butter softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil vegetable oil would also work
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups+ 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 9 egg whites room temperature preferred
- 1/2 cup sprinkles
- 1 lb unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp Princess emulsion or vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 3 8-inch round cake pans by generously greasing and flouring. Be sure to shake out excess flour.
In stand mixer, beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy.
Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla.
In separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
Measure out your milk.
With mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
In separate bowl, combine your egg whites and, with a hand-mixer on high-speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites and sprinkles into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
Evenly divide cake batter into prepared pans.
Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs (should not be wet). For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
Cakes will be a light golden brown when done baking.
Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a butterknife around the inside rim of each pan and invert each onto a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
I used this technique from I Am Baker to frost my cake. If you intend to use this technique as well it requires a lot of icing for the top and I recommend increasing this recipe by 50%. If you are just doing a plain covering that will not be needed.
In stand mixer, beat butter on medium-speed until creamy.
Add salt and beat again for about 20 seconds.
Gradually, about 1 cup at a time, add powdered sugar, waiting until each cup is completely mixed before adding the next cup.
Tbsp at a time, add the heavy cream on medium-high speed, waiting until each addition is well-combined before adding the next 2 Tbsp.
Add flavoring (vanilla extract or emulsion). and stir on medium-high for 30 seconds.
Transfer one layer of your cooled cake to serving platter. Use frosting to ice the top. Add the next layer, ice the top of that. Add your third layer on top and ice the top, and then do a thin "crumb coating" around the entire cake.
Transfer to freezer for 10-15 minutes, then remove and apply a clean, thick coat of frosting around the entire cake.
This cake may also be made in 3 9" pans, just decrease the baking time. Start checking the cakes for doneness at 25 minutes.
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