If you ask most cooks or bakers why they love being in the kitchen, many will tell you it is not the actual making of the recipe but the joy of sharing it with others.
For me that joy amplifies with the opportunity to bake a celebration cake for those that I love — especially when it is for one of my nieces or nephews. With my nephew’s third birthday party approaching, my sister asked that I bake him a special cake. He asked that his party be Trolls-themed. So, deciding on the type of cake was easy—funfetti—because it matched the rainbow theme.
Because my nephew may or may not be my favorite of the group, I wanted to take the simple funfetti cake up a notch by making it piñata style.
A piñata cake is a cake that has the center removed and filled with candy or sprinkles. I choose both. It is an easy method to apply to any layered cake and creates a very dramatic effect for your cake eaters. Once you cut the first slice, the center comes pouring out.
My nephew absolutely loved the effect; you can see his little hands sneaking some candy as I tried to snap a picture.
To cut the sweetness of the sugary cake and center, I went with a cream cheese frosting. This takes the cake from one note to several, especially for the adult party goers.
As for decorating the outside of the cake, stick with what your are capable of. If you have never used fondant, try your first time with a smaller project. The same goes for any technique you haven’t used much. I knew I could create a semi smooth and level cake, so that is the method I applied to get a show stopping cake.
Really, with my sister hosting the party outside at her cow farm I am sure any cake decorations would have done just fine.
A few tips for cake decorating:
• Let your cakes cool completely before assembling. The cake will fall if you do not.
• To make your cake level take a perforated knife and slice off the rounded top of each layer.
• After layering the cake with icing, always coat the outside with a crumb layer of icing. This will give the cake a cleaner finish.
• After the crumb layer is on, stick your cake in the fridge to allow the icing to set up. This will help hold the cake together.
• To smooth the final icing coat, use a cake scraper or even a large plaster knife.
- 2 Sticks of Butter, Softened
- 2 Cups of Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 Cups of Buttermilk
- 4 Large Eggs
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 4 Cups of Cake Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 Cup of Sprinkles
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your four 6-inch cake pans by first rubbing them with Crisco or butter, then coat the lard in flour. Be sure to dump out the excess flour. Set pans aside.
- In a large whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a second large bowl whisk together your eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- In your stand mixer or with a hand mixer on medium, beat together your butter and sugar. Continue to beat for at least five minutes until butter becomes pale and fluffy.
- Start 1/3 of your wet mixture and add it in, mixing until combined.
- Add 1/3 of your flour mixture, mix until combined. Continue with 1/3 wet, then 1/3 dry, repeating until all of the ingredients are mixed in. You should end with the last third of your flour mixture.
- With a spatula, fold in your sprinkles.
- Evenly divide your batter into your prepared cake pans.
- Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let you cake cool on a wire rack before assembling.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 – 8 Ounce Blocks of Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 Stick of Butter, softened
- A 1 Pound Box of Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- In your stand mixer or with a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together your butter and cream cheese.
- Next add your extract and salt, mixing to combine.
- Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time, being sure to mix in the last amount before adding more.
- Beat frosting until all of the ingredients are combined, then continue to beat for another minute or two until the frosting becomes fluffy.
- 6.25 Ounce Container of Sprinkles or Candy
- Funfetti Cake (above)
- Cream Cheese Icing (above)
- Level your cake layers by removing the rounded tops with a knife.
- Cut a 1 to 1 1/2 inch hole into the center of three of the four layers of cake. A small cookie cutter will work fine.
- Using 1/3 of your icing, assemble your cake. First layer the three tiers that have a hole in them by placing frosting in-between each layer of cake, then pour in your sprinkles, last top with the whole and last layer of cake. .
- Apply 1/3 of your icing to the outside of your cake, creating a crumb coat.
- Let the cake rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Apply the remaining 1/3 of icing to the outside of the cake, smooth with a frosting smoother.
- Decorate or top the cake how you desire.