Genevieve | @beesandbubbles

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Milk Bar Funfetti Cake

Milk Bar Funfetti Cake

Ever since watching the Chef's Table episode featuring this cake, I knew I needed to try it! Christina Tosi, the genius head pastry chef of Momofuku's Milk Bar, created this concept of a "naked cake" where you could see and appreciate the intricacies of what's going on inside, and the result is beautiful. She has a very nostalgic spirit, and seeks to replicate the flavors of childhood in her creations, hence this homemade funfetti cake with cookie crumble flavored with artificial (!) vanilla extract. It is reminiscent of a classic box cake, but at a whole other level. The cake is comprised of four parts, then assembled in a mold, frozen and then served.  

  • Funfetti Cake Crumb (can be made a few days in advance, store in airtight container)

  • Funfetti Cake

  • Funfetti Cake Soak

  • Funfetti Cake Frosting

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

Funfetti Cake Crumb

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

  • 3/4 cup cake flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract

Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles in a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix on low until combined. 

2. Add the oil and vanilla and mix to combine. Keep mixing until the mixture becomes little clusters. 

3. Spread the clusters on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes; the clusters will become dry and crunchy as they cool.

4. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for a week, or longer in the freezer. It is really helpful to make these first to save some time. They would also make an amazing ice cream topping. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

Funfetti Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil

  • 2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract

  • 2 cups cake flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream butter, shortening and sugars in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add eggs one at a time, and mix for another 3 minutes. 

2. Reduce speed to low and stream in buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and paddle for 5 minutes, until the mixture has increased in size and looks white and smooth.

3. On the lowest speed setting, slowly add cake flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 cup of sprinkles. Mix until just combined. 

4. Spray cooking spray on a quarter sheet pan, and then line with parchment. Spread the cake batter onto the parchment-lined pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sprinkles on top of the cake batter. 

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until no longer wobbly, and the cake should bounce back when poked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

Funfetti Cake Soak

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract

Recipe

1. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. 

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Funfetti Cake Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

  • 2 oz cream cheese, chilled

  • 1 tablespoon glucose*

  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup

  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • a pinch of baking powder

  • a pinch of citric acid

*I could not find glucose anywhere. It should have been in the specialty baking aisle at Walmart (Wilton brand) but was not in stock. I substituted an additional tablespoon of corn syrup and the result was still excellent. 

Recipe

1. Cream butter, shortening, cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy on medium high. 

2. Reduce speed to low and stream in glucose, corn syrup and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and glossy. 

3. Reduce speed to low again and beat in confectioner's sugar, salt, baking powder, and citric acid. Increase speed to medium high and beat another 3 minutes. The frosting will become bright white and very smooth. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

Assembling the Cake

  • Funfetti Cake Crumb

  • Funfetti Cake

  • Funfetti Cake Soak

  • Funfetti Cake Frosting

Special Equipment

  • Parchment paper or Silpat mat, on which to assemble the cake

  • 6-inch cake ring or round cake pan, for cutting out cake shape and assembly

  • Pastry brush

  • Transparent acetate and masking tape (I used two sheets of 8.5" x 11" clear overhead projector sheets taped together to form my mold.)

Steps

1. Invert the cake onto a piece of parchment. Use your cake ring or pan to stamp out two full cake rounds, and two cake halves. Once I had my cakes stamped, I used a sharp, serrated knife to neatly cut out the cakes. 

2. The bottom layer will be the two, imperfect cake halves. Place these inside your mold. Fill the middle with extra cake scraps to complete the circle. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles
Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

3. Dip your pastry brush in the cake soak and generously spread over the cake, using about half the soak.

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

4. I divided my frosting into fifths on a sheet of wax paper. Spread one-fifth of the frosting onto the cake. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

5. Crumble one-third of the cake crumb onto the frosting. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

6. Top the cake crumb with another fifth of frosting and spread evenly. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

7. Add the next layer of cake and repeat the same process, using half of what remains of the cake soak (not as much as the first layer) and saving the remaining half for the top layer. Repeat for the third and final layer of cake, and finishing with the remaining third of cake crumb. 

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

8. Freeze for a least 6 hours. Remove from the freezer about an hour prior to service and remove the acetate. Enjoy!

Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles
Milkbar Funfetti Cake | @beesandbubbles

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