Oct 22, 2012

Birthday Cake Jars

  Most average Americans in this day and age are familiar with the renowned term, “Funfetti.”A well-known confection straight from the box, Funfetti cakes and cupcakes have fueled birthday parties of all ages. For the most part, it is a white cake with rainbow sprinkles, traditionally served with a vanilla frosting.

  For many bakers, cake from a box is a baking sin. Though it’s a simple enough concept, mastering the true Funfetti flavor is a challenge in itself. The perfect balance of moisture, flavor, and the ever-important sprinkles is necessary, not to mention the frosting so vividly known to accompany the cake. This recipe also features a cake soak to keep it moist and enhance flavor. With a lot of research, failed attempts, and minor tweaks, I’ve conjured up my own funfetti recipe that seems worthy enough of the title… Not to mention it’s in a jar, therefore perfect as a birthday gift!

  Just a forewarning, it is extremely important not to over mix this batter. Also, be sure that you use baking POWDER instead of baking soda. Last, I’m revealing my strange and secret cake ingredient for the moistest cakes on the block….. Mayonnaise.Don’t knock it till you try it!

Homemade “Funfetti” Cake in a Jar

*You will need 4-5 eight ounce glass mason jars

For the cake:


1 cup butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

4 whole eggs

3 cups cake flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined and fluffy. Add vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. Beat just until combined.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Slowly add the milk while mixing at low speed, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients.
  5. Beat in the mayo partially with the beaters for about 30 seconds, and then fold it in until combined. Add the sprinkles, folding them in until they are throughout the batter.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 13x9 pan and bake for 30 minutes. When the time is up, check the cake by inserting a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick does not come out clean, put the cake in for five more minutes and check it again.

For the frosting:


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

4 tablespoons cream cheese

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon whole milk

1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in intervals, beating in the first interval before adding the next.
  3. After all the sugar is , add the salt and vanilla and beat for one minute before adding the milk.
  4. Continue to beat until the mixture is consistent throughout and it has a fluffy white appearance. Fold in the rainbow sprinkles and refrigerate if not using it soon.

For the Cake soak:


½ cup of (cold) milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 ½ tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix


1.       Whisk all ingredients until smooth and let sit for at least 3 minutes before using.

Building the Jar:
  1. Once the cake is COMPLETELY cool, use the bottom of one of the jars as a stencil to cut a circle out of the cake, starting near a corner to save surface area. Slice the cake circle lengthwise (like you would a hamburger bun or a bagel) and put one of the slices in the bottom of the jar. If the slice won’t fit through the mouth of the jar, cut it in half and fit the pieces together once in the jar. If there are any gaps, fill them in with scraps from the cake.
  2. Soak the cake with the milk soak using a pastry brush (like a paint brush for baking) and moisten the layer. Top with a dollop of buttercream, enough to cover the layer, but don’t spread the icing all the way to the edge. Top it with the other circle of cake and push down lightly to spread the icing beneath it to the edges and repeat this step. If you have any extra sprinkles, throw ‘em between some layers!
  3. Continue the last two steps until the jar is almost filled and screw the cap on, of just dig in (though, in my opinion, cake is always better the next day…. If you can wait that long)!

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