Yesterday, as a full-fledged Adult Who is No Longer In School (yikes), I did my taxes for the first time. Admittedly, this year, “doing my taxes” actually looked more like “sitting behind Dad and handing him pieces of paper,” but it was the first time I actually had to deal with form numbers, withholdings, expenses. The English degree, unfortunately, was not terribly helpful.
While I’m a little late on this front (I generally prefer to ignore all but the most necessary aspects of intimidating financial matters), the organization kick that I’ve been on during the last few weeks was well-timed. Two cheap Target binders and a few sheets of printable labels later, I’m feeling much more organized.
Lest we tip the scales too far toward responsibility and adulthood, I offer the childhood classic that my anti-box-mix parents never made me: Funfetti cake, resplendent in a classic white birthday cake frosting and jaunty rainbow sprinkles. Honestly, I can’t think of a better, cheerier birthday cake, so it’s a good thing I had someone to give it to this weekend.
In the annals of irony, which I hope actually exist, homemade Funfetti cake has to be in there somewhere. Not only is the point of Funfetti cake its fluffy artificiality, but the damn homemade version is, if not drastically, at least significantly more complicated than nine out of ten cakes you’ll find. Whipping egg whites? Folding?! Seriously, it serves me right for messing with a classic.
When all was said and done, though, even taking into consideration the mass consumption of sketchy homemade wine by the guests of the party at which this was served, it was a pretty decent effort. Just light enough to balance out the chocolate peanut butter fudge cookies served alongside it (coming soon) and just cheery and sweet enough to celebrate a birthday, this is one I have to recommend.
Homemade Funfetti Cake
Adapted from a variety of sources across the Interwebs
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups milk
1/3 cup colored sprinkles (or jimmies, depending where you’re from)
4 egg whites
Additional sprinkles, for decorating
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 9″ round cake pans [*Alli’s note: I used 9″ square] with cooking spray. Lightly coat with flour; set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Cream butter with 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract.
Alternately stir in dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix in sprinkles. Set aside.
In a clean bowl with your mixer’s whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until whites form soft peaks. Fold gently into batter.
Divide batter equally between cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cakes are a bit springy and pull away slightly from the edges of the pans. Cool.
Basic White Frosting
2 lb. (usually one bag) powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup water
Beat together butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar, regularly scraping down the sides of the bowl. In small increments, beat in water until frosting reaches desired consistency (you may not end up using all of the water). Easily frosts a 9″ two-layer cake.