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23 March 2015

This recipe is a bit of a curve-ball for Pudding Lane. I'm more of a flavours baker than a pretty one - and never go in for fondant figures and cupcakes (okay okay, apart from these ones.) When it comes to flavour, vanilla is nice but well, it's vanilla. The word actually features more heavily in my vocabulary as an insult than a baking ingredient.

But sometimes vanilla is just the ticket and, as someone who has only recently rediscovered the joy of being able to swallow food, rainbow sprinkles make this one happy cake. You can sprinkle them on top of course, but adding a few tablespoons to your silky vanilla batter puts the fun in fetti.

Perhaps my temporary stint of recurrent infant-hood has sent me right back to my childhood, as this cake is party rings, iced gems, cheese and pineapple and pom bears wrapped into one. In a good way, of course.

Perfect for children's parties, or just indulging your inner kid. You'll need to find sugar strand sprinkles as opposed to hundreds and thousands, and the brighter the better.

100g butter
90g caster sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt 
160g plain flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp milk 
50g sprinkles/funfetti
100g butter
100g full-fat cream cheese
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line x2 5" cake tins with parchment. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs whites, and beat until mixed and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the oil, then the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and milk. Mix in the sprinkles, then divide between your prepared tins, and bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and the cakes pass the knife test.

Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Separately, make the buttercream icing. Beat the butter  and cream cheese until pale, then gradually add the icing sugar a spoon at a time, and once the mixture is just wet enough beat it for 5-7 minutes, so that it is airy, pale and fluffy. 

Using a palette knife or piping nozzle, use to sandwich and decorate your cake. Decorate with more sprinkles.

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