Birthday Cake!

Momufoku Milk Bar strikes again!  The first time I was flipping through their cookbook at the Austin Food and Wine Festival, I saw this:

I was sold and bought the cookbook immediately.  How couldn’t I?  That cake is preeetty.  Now let me say this one tiny thing:  I don’t even LIKE cake really, but I had to make this.  So when a friend’s birthday was approaching, I decided to give it a go.  Of course I never remember to photograph the final product so believe it or not the cake did turn out to look pretty much like that one up there.  Only maybe slightly uglier but semantics, okay?

Here’s how it’s built:

  • 1 recipe birthday cake
  • 1 recipe birthday cake soak
  • 1 recipe birthday cake frosting
  • 1 recipe birthday cake crumb

Basically you make a homemade funfetti sheet cake, cut it into three rounds, make frosting and this delicious crunchy crumble and put it all together.

First I tackled the birthday cake crumb (Momufoku Milk Bar owns all of these recipes, please don’t sue me!), the crunchy buttery crumble that went both in between layers and on top.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tbs rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbs CLEAR vanilla extract (its the artificially flavored stuff but is important to get that white cake flavor.  i found it at Michael’s in the cake decorating section.)

Heat the oven to 300.  In a mixer, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles.


Mix on low until well combined.  Then add the oil and vanilla and mix again to combine.


The ingredients should form small clusters.


Dump them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (or use a Silpat like I did, aka the best thing ever) and bake for 20 minutes.  Break the clumps into smaller pieces if needed.


They should come out slightly moist but will dry and harden as they cool.  Make sure they’re completely cooled before assembling in a cake.  This stuff is like crack.  It’s also really freaking tasty on top of ice cream, just sayin’.

Next comes the Birthday Cake!  Note that it’s only a 6-inch layer cake, which seems pretty tiny, but three layers is a lot.  This cake fed a good 15 people.

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbs tightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp CLEAR vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tbs rainbow sprinkles

Heat the oven to 350.  Combine the butter, shortening and sugars into a stand mixer and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes.




Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and add the eggs.


Mix again at medium-high for 2-3 minutes.  Scrape the sides again.  On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  This takes awhile since you’re cramming a whoooole lot of liquid into an already liquidy batter.  You don’t want it to separate.  Then crank it up to medium-high again for 4-6 minutes.  You know it’s good enough when you don’t see streaks of fat.

On very low speed, add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix until the batter just comes together.


Add the 1/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles and mix to combine.


Spray a 1/4-sheet pan with non-stick spray and line with a piece of parchment paper.  Add the batter and spread evenly among the pan.  Sprinkle last 2 tbs of sprinkles on top.


Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through.  Stick in a toothpick and make sure it comes out dry.  Shouldn’t jiggle at all.  I of course forgot a photo because I suck.

While it’s in the oven, make the birthday cake frosting!

  • 8 tbs (1 stick) of butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbs glucose
  • 1 tbs corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch baking powder
  • pinch citric acid

Combine butter, shortening and cream cheese in a mixer.


Cream together at medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until it’s very smooth and white.  At really low speed, add glucose, corn syrup and vanilla.  Then speed it up again for 2-3 minutes.

Add the sugar, salt, baking powder and citric acid and mix on low until combined.  Crank it up high for 2-3 minutes but the frosting is smooth and really delicious.  Boom.  Frosting.


Prior to starting to assemble the cake, put together the birthday cake soak:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract

This will keep the layers nice and moist.

Time to put all your hard work together!!  If you have a 6 inch cake round (who does?!) cut out two complete circles in the cooled birthday cake.  I did the super nerdy engineer thing and cut mine with a compass for a guide.

With the cake round empty, start assembling the remaining scraps of birthday cake into a circle (basically the scraps make up the bottom layer which you can’t really see).  Smush them all together to form the bottom layer.  Just do the best you can, no one says it needs to be perfect, right?  Use a pastry brush to bathe the bottom layer with half of the birthday cake soak.

Then spread a thin layer of frosting, top with a little layer of crumble and another little layer of frosting like sooo


Add the second layer (whatever cut out layer looks not as good) and brush the remainder of the soak into the cake.  Repeat with a layer of frosting, crumble, and frosting.  Top with final layer, remaining frosting, and some of the crumble to make a beautiful three layered masterpiece!  Let’s all pretend I took a photo of the final product (I know, I’m an idiot) but pretend that first one is mine… ha.

Wrap the cake in parchment paper and plastic wrap and stick in the freezer for 12 hours and defrost 3 hours prior to eating.  Adorn with candles and sing your little heart out because this cake is really freaking good.

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