It is your birthday.*
Well maybe it was also your birthday, but it was MY birthday over the weekend. And while I’m another year older, my taste buds have definitely not grown up. Now don’t take this next part the wrong way – I love ALL cakes. Like this Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry little number, and this Almond Cake with Chocolate Mousse. But on my birthday, I’ll take a slice of funfetti cake with pink buttercream and more sprinkles on top over chocolate cake every year.
Because funfetti = birthday. In my humble opinion.
But as you get older and have less birthday parties that involve 10+ sugar craving kiddos, you really don’t need a standard sheet cake or 3 layered tower of funfetti lingering around the house for the rest of the week post birthday. (Although, a slice the next day after the cake has been chilling in the fridge is MY FAVORITE. Anyone else on team cold cake?)
So I set out to make a teenie tiny single layer funfetti cake. Which is perfect for when you crave funfetti on your birthday but aren’t trying to give your old ass a sugar rush that’ll last a week, in which you’ll make loads of poor choices like crimp your hair, buy super low cut jeans and bedazzle the crap out of them.
*you get bonus points if you get the reference here.
While in test mode for my tiny birthday cake, I tried A LOT of funfetti recipes scaled down, halved, quartered and just had very little success (no pun intended)….until I found Christina’s, the small batch genius behind Dessert for Two. I made her recipe for Mini Funfetti Cake, with very few changes, and it was THE PERFECT small funfetti birthday cake. Thank you for being a total baking babe Christina!
A few things I did differently – I only have a 6 inch cake pan with 3 inch tall sides (she recommends 2 inch sides to prevent your middle from sinking in), but the cake turned out just fine. I think if I had a 2 inch high pan, the cake would have been a little taller but the taste was not sacrificed at all here! Since my sides were a little taller and I didn’t want the edges of my cake to creep up, I made sure to give the pan sides a good coat of oil before pouring the batter tin. I had zero batter creep and the center did not cave in.
I also ended up adding about 2 tablespoons of flour, as my batter was a bit runnier than I was use to and I really wanted to make sure the sprinkles were suspended throughout the cake and not all sunk to the bottom. (A lot of funfetti cake recipes also have a little bit of cornstarch in them to aid with this! But I don’t care for the texture/slight flavor change cornstarch has on funfetti cake).
I also ramped up the amount of sprinkles to 3 tablespoons – because I’m sprinkle crazy! And per Molly Yeh’s recommendation in her funfetti dissertation, I used artificially colored cylinders. Personally, I’m fond of Fancy Sprinkles for my funfetti pursuits.
For the frosting, I followed my own buttercream recipe, because I prefer my buttercream a little less sweet with a 1:1 ratio of butter to powdered sugar. Followed by more sprinkles…because if you’re doing funfetti, you have to go all the way.
Mini Funfetti Cake
Pink Buttercream Frosting
what you’ll need
113 g butter, just barely at room temperate
113 g organic powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons almond milk
2 drops red food dye OR a small squeeze of a beet, 1 teaspoon of fresh cranberry juice or hibiscus! (so many red dye options!)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together butter and powdered sugar together until very fluffy (3-5 minutes). Add in vanilla, salt and milk, and beat until combined and fluffy again (1-2 minutes). Use immediately.