November is a great month. I mainly love this month because my most favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, falls at the end of it. But November is also my birthday month, as well as the birthday month for several good friends. The older I get, the less I seem to like my birthday. As they say, kids spend their days wanting to be older, and many adults spend their days wanting to be younger. I’m told there is a time of your life when you are ok with your age and “comfortable” being there. Either I have not reached that point in my life, or I blew past it without even realizing it. That aside, we all have birthdays and we all age, all I hope for now is that I do so gracefully and in good health.
Although I am not a huge dessert fan, I do like a delicious, moist cake, especially on my own birthday. But if I’m going to indulge a bit, it better be worth it in my eyes. When my kids have birthdays I like to make a big deal about the celebration. Not the party or the gift, but the day. I like my boys to feel special, loved and happy, about who they are and their special day. I am known for elaborately decorating our breakfast area with signs, streamers, giant number balloons and anything glittery, sparkly, or cheerful. We eat traditional birthday treats at breakfast, and then again at dinner. Everyone deserves one special day. And everyone deserves a great birthday cake.In the world of endless cake options, the sky is the limit: light to dense, plain to filled, fondant to spun sugar, you name it, it’s out there. But I prefer a classic cake. A simple, delicious, vanilla cake with fluffy vanilla frosting. Surprisingly, this flavor combination is getting harder to locate; but thankfully I know just where to find one. The original cake recipe for my favorite birthday cake is from the The Cake Book cookbook by Tish Boyle, it is her basic golden cake layers recipe. I adore it. The frosting is my recipe. It’s a simple, straightforward sugar frosting that works well with any cake out there. I have adapted the cake recipe only slightly, mainly by adding colorful sprinkles. The addition of rainbow sprinkles in both the cake and the frosting just make me happy, and it is my birthday month so why not post about it. Happy Birthday to all my November friends and readers out there–make a wish!
A little note about cake assembly. As I have mentioned in previous posts, trimming cake layers before frosting them is essential in my book. This should not be hard, nor does it need to be perfect. Many have asked me why do it. Trimming cake layers evens out the layers and gets rid of harder, browned edges that no one wants to encounter when biting into a moist, fluffy cake. For trips on how best to trim cake layers, check out my post here.
Once the layers have been trimmed you see a nice, well-shaped cake round, free of hard crust. Even cake layers also allow the frosting to be spread on more evenly.
Vanilla Confetti Birthday Cake
- 3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks, unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
- Step 1 Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust the pans with flour and set aside.
- Step 2 In a large bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Step 3 In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 30 seconds.
- Step 4 With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat on high speed until light in color, about two minutes.
- Step 5 Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition and scrapping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Step 6 Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
- Step 7 With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture, alternating it with the milk in two stages. Mix only until the flour is incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
- Step 8 Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles.
- Step 9 Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly. Using a rubber spatula, smooth the top of the cakes.
- Step 10 Place the cakes in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks completely before frosting.
Vanilla Confetti Frosting
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1/4-1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
- Step 1 In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on high.
- Step 2 Scrape down the sides and with the mixer on low, slowly add the sugar.
- Step 3 Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix on medium until light and fluffy.
- Step 4 Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold in the sprinkles.