I’ll admit that my heart sank to my ankles when I was asked to make “something like” the Milk Bar Birthday Cake for a first birthday party a few weeks ago.It’s not that I have anything against Christina Tosi or Milk Bar—I think she’s incredible and I have been known to enjoy a Cereal Milk Latte—but I have very little interest in making someone else’s recipes, especially when they involve things the average American homebaker doesn’t keep around, like acetate strips and large cake rings. Also, Tosi’s layer cake recipes are notoriously intricate; at their most basic, they involve a cake, a soak, buttercream, and a crumb. That’s a lot, even for someone who enjoys stupidly complicated baking projects 🙋🏻♀️ Long story short, I got it together, spent a lot of time looking at my copy of the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, and then did what I wanted. Since I am unlikely to ever post that full recipe, I’ll go ahead and tell you what I did: I used my Funfetti Cake recipe as-is, trimmed the sides by hand, brushed on sweetened condensed milk for the soak, and layered it all with a cream cheese-spiked vanilla buttercream and a simplified version of the Milk Bar Birthday Cake Crumb. And it was effing delicious. I have little intention of making it again because who has that kind of time??? But I will make time for one element: the Funfetti crumb. It’s got all the buttery crunch you’d expect in a shortbread or crispy sugar cookie, but it’s as simple as making the crumb topping for a coffee cake. And it’s colorful and happy and just the tiniest bit salty. And, well, connect the (rainbow sprinkle) dots.Double Funfetti Crumb Cake is exactly what it sounds like: tender sour cream Funfetti cake with a layer of Funfetti crumb baked on top. It’s the buttery, rainbow-speckled, no-cinnamon-allowed everyday coffee cake you didn’t know you wanted.The cake is rich and dense, the crumb provides just the right amount of crisp-crunch, and the rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils!) make it as cute as can be! It would be great for a celebratory breakfast or any coffee cake occasion, but I can also see it being a perfect birthday cake for someone who doesn’t like frosting.What? We all know that person. We may not totally understand their tastes but we respect them, and now we can make extra-fun cake for them to show them how much we love them.…this took a weird turn. Happy Friday, dear readers! Make yourself a cake this weekend!
Double Funfetti Crumb Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake, about 10 servings
Funfetti Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a springform pan. Set aside.
Make the crumb topping. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in rainbow sprinkles. Add vanilla and melted butter and stir until dry ingredients are saturated and clumps form. Set aside.
Make the cake batter. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Mix in egg, sour cream and vanilla; mixture may be a bit lumpy. Mix in half the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Add remaining dry ingredients, followed by remaining milk. Use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold in rainbow sprinkles.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Use your fingers to evenly distribute crumb over the top. Tap full pan a few times on the countertop to release any large air bubbles. Bake cake for 65-75 minut e, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool 20 minutes in the pan on a rack. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the springform. Cake may be served warm or room temperature. If you’d like, let the cake cool completely, invert it and remove the parchment before placing on a serving platter. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. Serve.
Leftover cake will keep well at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.