Arsip Tag: confetti

confetti cookies – smitten kitchen

Recipe barely adapted from King Arthur, technique and language were tinkered with

If you’re using a food processor, no need to soften the butter or cream cheese first. If using an electric hand- or stand mixer, you’ll want them softened before you mix the dough. If you’re using vanilla bean, which I really love here, I find you can maximize the flavor you get out of it by rubbing the vanilla bean seeds right into your sugar, distributing it evenly and giving it extra flavor-releasing abrasion. Then use the sugar as written below.

  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces, 225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 55 grams or 1/4 of an 8-ounce brick) cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped (see Note up top)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup rainbow sprinkles

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking large sheets with parchment paper.

To make in a food processor: Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the work bowl and pulse a few times to blend. Add butter and cream cheese in large chunks, plus sugar and blend until mixture is powdery. Add egg, vanilla and almond extracts and run machine until the dough balls together. You’ll probably need to scrape it down once or twice to get the mixture even.

To make with an electric mixer: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and extracts and blend again. Add flour mixture and beat just until flour disappears. In some cases, this dough will feel too soft to roll into balls in your hands; if so, let it chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before using.

Both methods: Scoop balls of dough — I like these cookies best with a #40, or 1 1/2 tablespoon, scoop; the texture is less dynamic when made smaller — and roll them briefly in the palms of your hands before dropping them in a bowl of rainbow sprinkles and gently rolling to coat them evenly. I find that the sprinkles adhere much better to tacky exterior of balls of dough that have been briefly warmed by your hands — trust me here.

Transfer balls of sprinkle-coated dough to baking sheets at least two inches apart. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on the cookies until they are about 1/4 to 1/2-inch tall. If you see any bare spots in the sprinkles that bother you, you can sprinkle a few more on top. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until they look underbaked but lightly golden underneath. [If they’re not quite soft in the center, they will be fully crisped through the next day.] Let set on the baking sheet on a rack for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

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confetti party cake – smitten kitchen

There comes a time in every parent’s life when love must be expressed through buttercream, food dye, and sprinkles; I just didn’t know it would be so soon this time. For my daughter’s second birthday, I planned, as I had as had on her first and her brother’s 7 birthdays to date,* to do my best to heed the siren call of sugar and red dye 40 and then, you know, translate that into something that’s both tasty but not fully plastic. (This is all of parenting, by the way.) My plan had been to make a party-sized Swedish Princess Cake because have you had this buttery cake with custard, jam, whipped cream and a marzipan dome with a single pink rose in the middle? Nothing could be more fitting for our curly-haired wildling. But then Elmo happened.

don't fight itrunny sprinkles
instant partyconfetti within
a not-insignificant amount of buttercreamflat frosting for max sprinkle impact

A little sidebar: If you’ve thus spent most of your time free of toddlers, can I tell you something? It doesn’t matter whether you allow screen time, it doesn’t matter whether your precious clean slate of a human being has ever seen Sesame Street, whether you’ve bought the books or sung the songs, when children turn 18 months old, they all wake up one day obsessed with Elmo. It seems to come out of thin air. My daughter spotted this game of her brother’s out of the corner of her eye and cried EHLMA! EHMLA! until we let her walk around hugging and kissing the box. She sees a red splat of paint on the sidewalk and says “Ehlma?” My mother, witnessing this behavior in the wild, told me my daughter didn’t know or care the first thing about Swedish Princesses, but if I really wanted to put my efforts somewhere heroic, I’d make her an Elmo cake.

The problem is that I do not know how to draw Elmo. The problem is that Muppets are not splats of paint with eyes, and a line even a degree or two off goes instantly from the sweetest most heartwarming thing to Holy Creepsville. We’re talking Times Square Elmos, so close but also so unsettlingly off. In the end, though, I think things went much better than I’d expected.

confetti sheet cake, muppet-style

You might ask, by the way, why I didn’t just draw Elmo on top of a Swedish Princess Cake since I claim to be committed to happy mediums. But I just think once you’re piping Muppets on top of a cake, you might as well grind some extra up inside it. (Shh, don’t tell the children.) You might as well go full funfetti.

confetti party cake

So let’s talk confetti cakes. The best ones are white cakes — white cakes have no egg yolks to keep them as stark of a blank canvas as possible to show of their technicolor speckles of splendor within. They’re traditional for wedding cakes too. The problem with them is that they can be a little firm and dry. If I wanted a dry cake with a poorly drawn Elmo on top, well, I could outsource that to any grocery store bakery, right? So I began tweaking the white cake recipe I’d used previously and found that reducing the flour, the baking powder (I know!) and increasing the butter, I got a white cake as plush and perfect as the best yellow cake. I couldn’t believe it so I made it again, and then again, yielding what has to be the happiest cake I know how to make. It’s one-bowl, lit from within (with the help of some edible confetti) and basically pure joy — butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla.

confetti party cake

From here, today’s cake program bifurcates. If you’re looking for a one-bowl, easy frosting, buttery, joyous birthday cake you can put together in very little time, you should make the 8×8 or 9-inch round party cake. It’s one thin layer with frosting on top. It is never unwelcome; it makes everyone happy. [Oh and please forgive the shameless self-promotion but I’d be remiss to not mention that if you’re into these kind of dead-simple, never-fail party cakes, that little cookbook I wrote that comes out this fall? Party Cake Heaven.]

a lot of sprinklessheet cake thin layersconfetti sheet cake layerconfetti sheet cake, stacked and filled

But if you plan to celebrate with 2 to 3 dozen of your nearest and dearest, as we did this weekend, you will need a sheet cake. Mine was two thin layers with additional buttercream between them. It will make your dentist — and also everyone who is a kid on the inside or outside — very happy.

muppet consumption

* Kid birthdays, previously: There have been monkey cakes (banana layers, fudge filling and frosting), bunny cakes (peaches, cream, vanilla), s’more cakes (in the first smitten kitchen cookbook, a graham cracker cake with fudge filling and marshmallow frosting), subway cakes (roasted apple chunks in a spice cake, cream cheese frosting and filling), airplane cakes (chocolate, chocolate), a rocket ship oreo cake I’ve been keeping from you because it is still too much of a pain to make as written and I don’t want you to yell at me), and a Baked Alaska.

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plush confetti cupcakes – smitten kitchen

plush confetti cupcakes – smitten kitchen

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Nobody needs my dedication to butter, milk, buttermilk, cream, crème fraîche, sour cream, or eggs clarified here; we all know I get a little twitchy when the fridge is low on any. These vegan cupcakes are not an abnegation of anything, but a celebration, as they should be. What has surprised me the most since I happened on the first vegan cake recipe here, the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, a couple years ago is not what it is “missing” — you’d never know — but what it does astoundingly better than cakes with any of my usual crutches: it’s even more moist and plush. Who knew that eggs in cakes were sometimes a …hindrance? Definitely not me.

easy batterready to bakebakedwhipped nondairy cream cheese

Armed with this knowledge, I was eager to apply it to a classic white cake — plus some sprinkles, as I think we need all of the joy and color we can get right now. Confetti cakes can be a bit of a struggle; the egg whites make them seem more stiff and dry. They’re sensitive to overmixing and overbaking. This cake skips the eggs entirely, uses oil instead of butter, and the result is one-bowl, five minutes from measuring to baking, magic. It’s also really hard to mess up. I tried swapping fats and milks, I’ve even overbaked it, and it did not care. Plus, the texture is even perfect cold from the fridge, which is rarely the case of cakes with butter in them. You are in for such a treat.

ridiculously plush confetti cupcakes

A few questions, pre-answered:

  • Sprinkles: You can make this without sprinkles and have a very lovely white birthday cake.
  • Sizes and shapes: You can make this as a single (1″ tall) layer 9″ round or 8″ square cake; they bake in 25 minutes. You can make this as two 6″ round cakes, and stack them; check the 6″ cakes at 20 minutes, and add more time if needed.
  • Ingredients: I’ve made this with melted vegan butter/margarine, coconut oil, and vegetable oil and all work. I’ve made this with oat milk and almond milk; both work. I’ve only tested it with all-purpose flour.
  • Flavors: One of the things I struggled with in developing this cake was that when using liquids and fats designed with a neutral flavor profile in mind, a flavor boost is needed. A little lemon juice doesn’t make the cake lemon-flavored at all, just adds a little fragrance. Ditto with the dash of almond extract not making the cake taste like marzipan. I use a bit more vanilla than I usually would for a cake this size and it’s great here. If you have and like vanilla bean paste, you can use that for 1/2 teaspoon of the extract here.
  • Frosting options: Shown here is a whipped (non-dairy) cream cheese topping; it’s softer than a frosting you’d use to pipe, or to fill a cake. For a more classic quick non-dairy buttercream, beat 4 ounces (1/2 cup) non-dairy cream cheese, 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) non-dairy butter, margarine, or shortening, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until fluffy. This is enough for 12 cupcakes, the top of an 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake, or to frost and fill a 2-layer 6-inch round cake.
  • Vegan ingredients: Not all sprinkles are strictly vegan. Always check labels where there is a concern.

vegan confetti cupcakes



6 months ago: Whole Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
1 year ago: Roasted Squash and Tofu with Ginger
2 years ago: Baked Buffalo Wings
3 years ago: Banana-Oat Weeknday Pancakes
4 years ago: An Easier Way To Make Cookies
5 years ago: Leek, Ham, Cheese and Egg Bake and Spaghetti Pie with Pecorino and Black Pepper
6 years ago: Fried Egg Salad and Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits
7 years ago: Homemade Dulce de Leche and Cheese Blintz
8 years ago: Intensely Chocolate Sables and Pasta with White Beans and Garlic-Rosemary Oil
9 years ago: Potato Chip Cookies
10 years ago: Chocolate Peanut Spread (Peanutella)
11 years ago: Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions and Ricotta Muffins
12 years ago: Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake and Chicken Milanese + An Escarole Salad
13 years ago: Leek and Swiss Chard Tart and Key Lime Cheesecake
14 years ago: Icebox Cake

Plush Confetti Cupcakes

  • 1 cups plus 7 tablespoons (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 cup (235 ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk such as soy, almond, or oat
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) neutral oil or melted vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • Topping
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) non-dairy cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in a 12-cup standard tin.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together until well-mixed. Make a slight well in the center and add the non-dairy milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond. Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together just until no lumps remain. Stir in sprinkles (the higher amount is shown here) with a flexible spatula.

Divide batter between 12 cups; each will be 2/3 full.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out batter-free. Let cupcakes cool completely — this took about 5 minutes outside on a freezing day.

To finish: Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla until lightly whipped. Dollop about 1.5 tablespoons on each cupcake and spread it out in swirls. Finish with an extra pinch of sprinkles.

Do ahead: Cupcakes keep in the fridge for several days, but they won’t last that long.


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