Funfetti involves baking coloured sprinkles into a white, fluffy cake. The use of egg whites and oil makes it white, which helps the colours pop. It’s really fun to decorate. You’ll feel like a proper artist flicking the food dye splatters all over, and then creating the drippy-egg effect.
Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus cooling and chilling | Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
150g rainbow jimmies sprinkles (ideally not nonpareils, as these bleed and don’t look as vibrant after baking); available from Amazon
300g lemon curd
For the buttercream
550g salted butter, room temperature
800g icing sugar
1½ tbsp vanilla bean paste
3-4 tbsp milk, to soften
A combination of green and blue gel food dyes
Brown food dye plus water (or ideally vodka as it will evaporate faster)
For the white ganache drip
130g white chocolate, roughly chopped into small pieces
70g double cream
White food dye
1 white chocolate Easter egg, partly broken
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Grease four 18cm round cake tins, and then line the bases with a circle of baking paper. Ideally, wrap your cake tins in a damp cloth (soaked strips of an old tea towel secured with safety pins work well, though you can also buy “bake even” cake strips). This isn’t essential but is advised for best results, as it helps your cakes to brown less on the sides, plus rise better and more evenly.
Add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk on high until soft peaks form before adding 160g of the sugar in three parts, whisking for 45 seconds after each addition. Transfer to another bowl and set aside for now.
Place the flour and softened butter in the cleaned mixer bowl. Use a paddle mixer and mix on slow speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (about 30-60 seconds). Then add the remaining 390g caster sugar and baking powder and mix for a few seconds until just combined.
In a separate bowl, add the milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Microwave until lukewarm. Add one third of the lukewarm liquid to the flour mixture. Mix on slow speed until just combined, and then beat at high speed for two minutes. Add the rest of the liquid one third at a time, whisking on slow after each addition until combined.
Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture in three parts, trying to knock out as little air as possible. Add the sprinkles with the second addition of egg whites.
Divide between the cake tins, and bake for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave in the tins to cool for five to 10 minutes (the cake will shrink away from the sides a little bit, but this is normal) before running a knife around the rims and turning out on to a wire rack. Peel off the baking paper and leave to cool completely. It helps to wrap the cakes in clingfilm and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to one hour, so that they are very chilled/less fragile when trimming.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter with the icing sugar until incorporated (as this is a big quantity, you might want to cover the bowl with a tea towel to stop the icing flying everywhere). Add the vanilla, then increase the speed to maximum and whisk until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Add just enough milk to soften and achieve a spreadable consistency.
To assemble the cake, first ensure your cakes are fully cool before trimming off any domes. I also trim off the brown edges around the cakes, though this isn’t essential. Place the first cake layer on a cake board or plate (add a blob of buttercream to make it stay in place) then use an offset spatula to spread buttercream over the top. Ideally place your cake board on top of a turntable. Then place some of the buttercream in a piping bag, cut a medium tip and use to pipe a border about 2cm thick around the circumference of the cake. This “dam” will prevent the curd from escaping through the sides.
Spoon a generous amount of lemon curd (about 3-4 tbsp) into the centre.
Place the second cake layer on top. Repeat this process until you’ve added the final cake layer to the top. Then use the offset spatula to roughly apply buttercream around the top and sides of the layered cake. Smooth out as much as you can, then use a larger smoother/dough scraper to smooth the sides more evenly. It doesn’t need to be totally smooth at this point, as this is what’s called a crumb coat. Place in the fridge (or freezer for speed) to chill until the buttercream is firm to the touch.
Add a combination of green and blue food dye to the rest of your buttercream until it looks a duck-egg colour. Spread this buttercream all over your cake, this time trying to smooth it a little more. You can run a metal smoother under hot water, and this will help get a better finish on your buttercream. You can leave the top edges rough and raised, just chill the cake again before trimming these neatly off. Chill the cake again until the buttercream is firm.
Meanwhile, make the white ganache drip. Place the white chocolate in a bowl. Heat the double cream in a small saucepan on a medium heat until it just starts to bubble, then pour over the white chocolate, making sure the pieces are fully submerged and covered. Allow the mixture to sit for two minutes (set a timer), then stir until all the chocolate has melted. If it hasn’t melted, you can return the mixture to the pan and heat on low until it does. Stir in just enough white food dye until the ganache is close to white in colour. Let the mixture cool until it is a good dripping consistency (you can test this on the side of a glass).
To decorate the cake, add brown gel food dye to a plate and mix with a tiny amount of water or vodka. Then dip a paintbrush in and use your finger to flick brown specks all over the cake (one fingertip will be temporarily stained by the food dye so wear gloves if you prefer). Place the chocolate egg on top, then drip the ganache down from it using a spoon.
Once the ganache is set, position a spoonful of lemon curd on top so that it also looks like an egg yolk dripping down a little. Enjoy!
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