Not to brag, but Mother’s Day was my daughter’s favorite holiday when she was little. ❤ It has now been surpassed by her birthday, Easter, and Christmas, of course, but she still recognizes it is an important day. 🙂 She tirelessly made this cake- completely independently- for Mother’s Day this year.
My son made a family favorite (my choice!), Penne with Vodka-Cream Sauce, for our Mother’s Day dinner. He served it with garlic bread and a giant salad. This lovely dessert topped off our celebratory meal. Lucky me! 🙂
The recipe was adapted from one of our favorite birthday cakes, Rainbow Sprinkle Cake, contributed to The New York Times by Julia Moskin. She used 8-inch pans, omitted the sprinkles, and modified the proportions and baking time. She also topped the cake with fresh strawberries. Delicious.
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup/110 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), slightly softened, more for pans
- 1 1/2 cups/190 grams all-purpose flour, more for pans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup/158 ml whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
- 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), slightly softened
- scant 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
- 2 1/4 cups/225 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, optional
To Make the Cake:
- Heat oven to 325 degrees, preferably on convection, and place a rack in the center.
- Butter and line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter the parchment. Flour the pans, coating the bottom and sides, then tap out any excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together milk and vanilla.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, slowly add egg and whites and beat until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl.
- Add half the flour mixture, then the milk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating to blend after each addition.
- Scrape down bowl and blend once more.
- Remove bowl and use a spatula or spoon to fold in sprinkles by hand.
- Divide batter evenly between the pans (approximately 400 g per pan), and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. (She baked the cakes for 22 minutes.)
- Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 to 4 hours, before turning out.
To Make the Frosting & Finish the Cake:
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter and salt together at medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, slowly add sugar and beat until smooth.
- Beat in vanilla just until incorporated.
- Taste frosting; you should be able to taste the cream cheese and a little bit of saltiness, as well as the sweetness. If desired, add more salt or sugar. Keep refrigerated.
- Turn cooled cakes out of pans.
- Using a bread knife, cut off any domed or uneven parts of each cake to make flat surfaces.
- Place one of the cakes on a platter or a cake stand, cut side up. Line the edges with parchment or wax paper to keep the cake stand clean.
- Using an offset spatula, frost the top.
- Stack the other layer on top, cut side down.
- Place remaining frosting on top of the cake and, working from the center outward, frost the top and sides of the cake, as desired. (She kept the sides relatively naked.)
- Top the cake with sliced strawberries, as desired.
- Refrigerate cake 30 minutes or longer to set. Serve cool.