confetti layer cake

My dear friend has twin girls, who just celebrated their 2nd birthday. Now that lock down restrictions have eased for the double vaccinated here in Sydney, we met for a birthday celebration. Of course I made the birthday cake, specifically a confetti layer cake inspired by Claire Saffitz with some confetti crumbs pinched from the Momofuku Milk Bar birthday cake recipe. 

The cake is made using the reverse creaming method, a technique I've not used before. It made a light creamy batter, which didn't rise a great deal but that meant less work levelling the cake layers.

I made the cake 2 days before we ate it, so I added a milk soak just to make sure the cake was still delicious at the birthday party. The cake is sandwiched with cream cheese icing and I sprinkled the layers with a few confetti crumbs.

Of course it was 35°C the day I iced the cake so my piped border did slump a bit. I decorated the cake with a banner from Paperboat Press (no longer available) to hide the dodgy piping.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 16cm cake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. Please refer to the original recipe for quantities and bake time for a 9 inch cake.


Claire Saffitz Confetti Cake – makes a 3 layer 16cm cake
225g plain flour, minus 1 tbs 
1 tbs cornflour
145g (⅔ cup) caster sugar 
1 tsp baking powder 
pinch salt 
¼ tsp baking powder
1 egg at room temperature
2 egg whites (70g) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
112g unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup buttermilk 
25 mls neutral oil,
30g store-bought rainbow sprinkles, plus more for decorating

Confetti crumbs (optional) 
⅓ cup plain flour
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs light brown sugar
1 tbs rainbow sprinkles
¼ tsp baking powder
pinch salt
30mls neutral oil
7 mls vanilla extract

Classic Cream Cheese icing 
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
250g cream cheese at room temperature
Pinch salt
250g icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Milk soak 
30 mls full cream milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of three 16cm layer cake tins with baking paper.

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pulse a few times to mix.

Mix the egg, whites and vanilla together in a bowl to break up the egg whites. Set to one side.

Add the softened butter, buttermilk and oil to the flour and mix until combined. Add the egg mixture to the batter and mix until combined then increase the speed to high and beat for one minute. Finally fold in the sprinkles before measuring out 1/3 of the batter into each pan. Smooth the top of each cake before arranging on the racks in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes before rotating the layers. Total bake time is 20-25 minutes for the layers, which should look golden and spring back when pressed in the centre. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. When cold remove the cakes from the tins and remove the baking paper.

Confetti crumbs
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper or a silicone mat then set aside.

Combine flour, caster sugar, light brown sugar, sprinkles, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and vanilla, and using your hands, mix until no dry spots remain and large clumps form when the mixture is pressed together.

Break the mixture up into clusters (some small, some large) as though you were making a crumble topping and spread onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the crumble is light golden brown and crunchy, 10–12 minutes (it will firm up as it cools). Let cool completely. Wrap crumbs tightly in plastic and store at room temperature up to 5 days.

Cream cheese icing
In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is completely smooth. Turn off the mixer, then add the salt and all of the icing sugar, and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel (to shield you from the icing sugar). Pulse the mixer on low several times to incorporate the sugar, then remove the towel and beat frosting on medium-high, scraping down the sides once or twice, until the icing is light, thick and very smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla. The icing is now ready to use. Whilst I made a naked cake, there should be enough cream cheese icing to fully ice the cake.

To assemble 
Level the cakes if needed. Using a pastry brush gently dab the cut surface of each cake with some of the milk soak. Place a single cake layer upside down on a cake round, serving plate or cake stand. Using a small offset spatula spread about 1/3 cup of the icing across the surface. Sprinkle some of the crumbs over the top of the icing (if using). 

Place another upside-down layer on top, centering it and pressing gently to level, then repeat with another 1/3 cup icing followed by some crumbs. Place the third layer upside down on top and press gently. Cover the top of the cake and fill in any gaps between the layers with remaining icing. Top with extra sprinkles or confetti crumbs then refrigerate until the icing has set. 

The twins Dad had 2 pieces of cake and the girls ate more cake than landed on the floor  so I think it was a success.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.
Bye for now,



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