DIY Funfetti Birthday Cake

For my birthday:
...I bummed around town with my dad.
...we ate lunch at the Hu Hot, which was good, but not as good as our old stand by, the Mongolian Grill, which closed in December.
...I got a handful of calls from some of my most favorite people in the world.
...I helped set up a new outdoor dining table that was a gift from my dad.
...I had a cocktail hour (with cupcakes!) with Matt's brothers and Casey.
...we went downtown for a Bob Marley cover band--and I even got a birthday shout out from the stage.
...we played pinball--the awesome vintage variety with the bells and everything.
...I had cake with my dad.
...Matt made me fried tofu with mashed potatoes--and learned how to knock off Funfetti cake at home.
I've always loved Pillsbury's Funfetti cake.  I remember it fondly from my childhood.  But it contains dairy, which I don't eat, as well as a long list of other unnecessary ingredients such as sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate.  Plus, homemade is always better, if you ask me.  So, for my birthday cake/cupcakes I requested that Matt try to make a homemade version of the Funfetti cake.
I told him that I'd once seen something online about DIY Funfetti cakes--all it takes is a vanilla cake recipe plus rainbow colored sprinkles.  I remembered that the author had tried both standard sprinkles and those colored with vegetables and other natural sources.  She said that for the Funfetti affect you really needed the artificially colored ones.  I didn't experiment on my own and just took her word for it.  So there is that.  This homemade Funfetti cake involves a minute amount of questionable dye chemicals--certainly a lot less questionable ingredients than in that cake mix though!  I figure its not about being perfect.  Its about moderation and minimizing harm.
I was very, very pleased with the Funfetti birthday cake(s) Matt made.  It was just as yummy and fun as I remembered.  The second one was better than the first as with so many things.  He learned to not over mix the sprinkles or they just dissolve completely.  The result was still pretty and tasty, but not quite as confetti-like.
DIY Funfetti Cake
*Prepare a vanilla cake from any ol' vanilla cake recipe.  I have one here, but it would work with any vanilla cake recipe.
*After the vanilla cake batter is all ready--but before its poured into the baking pan--stir in as many nonpareils/Hundreds-and-Thousands/sprinkles as desired.   (As a guide, we had a 7.5 oz bottle and made a dozen cupcakes, a two-layer round cake, and a single layer round cake--including sprinkles on top.) But JUST barely stir them in.  As the batter is poured they will distribute throughout and if over-stirred they break down resulting in a cake that is more tie-dyed than confetti speckled.
*Bake according to the regular directions for the cake recipe.
*Frost and top with more nonpareils.
I'm glad to have this baking trick up my sleeve.  I feel it will come in handy for many a birthdays to come.


  1. Happy birthday!! I always loved funfetti cake, too. And one of my friends always sends me one for my birthday. (The cake mix one. I figure it's the thought that counts.) How great that you got a homemade one!

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

      And yes, the thought is totally what counts--how sweet. Frankly, if mix didn't have dairy in it I might eat such junk, as its just once a year after all! Still, I am always more pleased with a homemade version of just about everything. Because of the dairy thing I bet I hadn't had one in, oh, almost a decade...maybe more.

  2. Well, you definitely were able to have your cake, and eat it, too! Eat a healthier cake, that is. Very sweet of him to do this.

  3. Sounds like a absolutely wonderful birthday!


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