Is it a special occasion? Or just an occasion that would be made that much better with cake? Does it matter? I think not! Especially when this cake is so easy to make and requires little more than some basic pantry supplies and a large container of rainbow sprinkles. And, it definitely brings out the joy in everyone. People get really excited when they see that I’ve used a ton of sprinkles. It’s like I’m throwing around dollar bills when I walk into the room with this cake. Money is great but, a slice of cake tastes way better.
(makes one 6″ layer cake)
1 1/2 cups AP flour*
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 6″ round cake pans and set them on a large cookie sheet.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together. Combine all wet ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together. Add wet ingredients to dry and fully whisk together to combine. Add batter in two equal portions to prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven when a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes, then invert the pans onto the cooling rack to release the cakes. Allow cakes to cool for a few hours before frosting.
*Substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure flour for a gluten-free cake. I have only used this gluten-free brand successfully in this cake recipe.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
2 sticks softened butter (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8-1/4 cup milk at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
nonpareil rainbow sprinkles
larger rainbow sprinkles
Place butter and salt and a bowl of a stand mixer. Beat butter and salt until mixture is fluffy and smooth. This takes about 2 minutes. Turn off mixer. Add half of the sugar and beat into butter mixture on low. Add a small amount of milk and beat until combined. Add the rest of the sugar, beat mixture together. Slowly add in more milk until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Add vanilla and mix in thoroughly.
To assemble cake:
To create four layers, cut each cooled cake horizontally. Take a few teaspoons of frosting and smear it onto a flat plate for some “glue” to anchor the bottom layer. Place bottom layer on “glue”. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of frosting and spread over bottom layer to edges. Place another cake layer on top. Scoop out another 1/4 cup of frosting and spread over that layer. Continue until cake is topped with final layer. Cover entire cake with a very thin layer of frosting, as thin as you can get it, to create a crumb coat. This will seal in all of the chocolate crumbs. Place cake in refrigerator for 20 minutes to slightly harden the frosting.
Remove from refrigerator and cover cake with the rest of the frosting. Place a rimmed baking sheet under the cake. Immediately top cake with nonpareil sprinkles and press lightly with your hands to make them stick. Any excess sprinkles should fall on the cake plate or rimmed baking sheet. Next, take large handfuls of rainbow sprinkles and press the sprinkles into the sides of the cake. This creates quite a mess of sprinkles and many of them will land on the plate and baking sheet. Just keep scooping them up and pressing them into the frosting until the entire cake is covered. Brush off any excess sprinkles and serve!