How to help: Northern California wildfire relief

4th of July cupcakes, cookie ice cream sandwiches & cake

Courtney Rich, along with her two little ones, Westin and Avery, show us how to create three fun and festive desserts. For more great ideas from Courtney, go here.

4TH OF JULY FUNFETTI CAKE

YIELD 1 4-LAYER 6-INCH CAKE OR 3-LAYER 8-INCH CAKE

Tender white cake layers with sprinkles and vanilla buttercream.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE VANILLA CAKE

  • 1 whole egg (I use extra large)
  • 3 egg whites (also extra large)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 3 cups, plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

FOR THE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE VANILLA CAKE

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare four 6-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans by spraying each pan with non-stick spray, covering the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spraying the parchment paper with the non-stick spray as well. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the whole egg, egg whites and clear vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and buttermilk. Continue to mix on low until just combined and then increase to medium speed and mix for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in two additions, beating on medium speed for about 20 seconds after each addition until just combined and all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter into the four or three prepared cake pans, using a kitchen scale to measure equal parts in each pan. (Use about 11 to 12 ounces of batter in each of the four 6-inch pans or 15 to 16 ounces of batter in each of the three 8-inch pans).
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (my cakes took 20 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire racks until completely cool.

FOR THE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, followed by the heavy cream, clear vanilla extract and salt.
  3. Continue to beat the frosting on medium-high speed for an additional 5 minutes.

ASSEMBLY

  1. After leveling each of the cake layers with a cake leveler or serrated knife, place the first cake layer, top side up. For the 6-inch cake, add about 1/2 cup of frosting on the cake layer. For the 8-inch version, add about 1 cup of frosting. Spread over the cake layer as evenly as possible.
  2. Repeat this step until you get to the final cake layer, which you will lay top side down.
  3. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  4. After the crumb coat is set, continue frosting and decorating the cake.