Hummingbird High has introduced me to maybe the best thing to come out of quarantine – mini cakes. Made in a loaf pan rather than a cake pan, these are normal sheet cakes, but meant for 4 to 6 people instead of 16 to 20. So for those socially distant gatherings you might be able to start having, where the group has to stay small, you can still have cake!
I also discovered, in making this recipe, that I’ve been living a lie. I always say to make any loaf pan recipes in a 9×5 inch loaf pan, but it turns out, now that I’ve measured them, I only actually own 8×4 inch loaf pans. Which explains a lot, really. Like why my banana bread always takes so much longer to bake than it should.
But now that I know, I feel like I need a 9×5 inch loaf pan. If anyone’s looking to send me a housewarming gift, I would gladly accept this!
Anyways, back to the cake. Start by making the cake itself. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the milk and vanilla extract.
This recipe was also a fun exercise in “what does Meg still have in her pantry.” Turns out I had BOTH cake flour and imitation clear vanilla extract – a very lucky weekend!
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer – small batch is tough in a stand mixer, I’ve now learned), beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, add in the egg white. Increase speed to medium and beat for another couple of minutes. With the mixer on low, slowly add the oil, and beat to combine.
Add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla, so that you start and end with dry ingredients and beat after each addition.
Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the rainbow sprinkles.
Pour the batter into your 9×5 loaf pan, which you should spray and line with parchment paper. My loaf pan here is 8×4, which means my cake was a little taller and took a couple minutes more to bake.
Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, and the top springs back when touched.
Allow to cool completely.
Next up, make some frosting! I think, more exciting than a small batch cake recipe, is the idea of small batch frosting. Just enough for this little guy – nothing more.
Start by beating the butter and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium low speed with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) for 2 to 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the confectioners sugar. Beat to combine.
Scrape down the sides again and add the milk. Beat on medium high speed until smooth and creamy.
I added a touch of pink food coloring here, because why not.
Spread the frosting over the cooled cake, swirling around with an offset spatula if that’s as soothing for you as it is for me.
I topped mine with some more sprinkles, because I now have a tub of rainbow sprinkles (surprisingly, I didn’t have any in my pantry).
This cake was perfect for a small cookout on the roof with some friends, and was a huge hit. Best part for someone living in an apartment with a roommate that won’t help her eat baked goods? (Love you, Madison!) There was only one small piece leftover! Which I obviously had for lunch dessert today.
Don’t mind the outside-lighting picture of the inside – that’s what I get for serving cake as it’s getting dark on the roof.
Mini Funfetti Cake
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (71g) cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (67g) sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg white, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (28g) rainbow sprinkles
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
- 1 cup (113g) confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole milk, room temperature
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk and vanilla extract.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the egg white and beat until light and fluffy, another 2 to 3 minutes.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly beat in the oil to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients in three parts, beating after each addition, and alternating with the wet ingredients. Beat until just combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the rainbow sprinkles.
- Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan and spread to corners.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean and the top bounces back when pressed.
- Allow to cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and vanilla extract until light and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and add in the confectioners sugar. Beat until combined.
- Scrape down the sides again and add the milk. Beat until light and creamy consistency for spreading.
- Add food coloring if desired. Frost cake and decorate with sprinkles.