In the world of cake recipes, there seems to be a trifecta – white cake, yellow cake, and chocolate cake. I feel like everyone has a go-to recipes for each of these things. And while I’ve had a go-to yellow cake for a while (this one) and a go-to chocolate cake recipe (this one), I hadn’t even started looking for a white cake recipe. But when I had a client request funfetti cupcakes for her graduation several weeks ago, I knew it was time to start the search for the perfect white cake.
I figured a logical place to start was with a recipe another trusted blogger calls the “very best” and is based on Cooks Illustrated. And to be honest, after making them twice now, I see no reason to look any further.
When I was making these funfetti cupcakes, I get a little too excited about how good the batter tasted. I hurriedly scooped the batter into its respective muffin tins and was seconds from putting the pans in the oven when I had one of those “crap!” moments. I forgot the sprinkles in the batter. I thought about skipping it, but she said she wanted funfetti. I’m staring at the sprinkle-less batter in the pans. Then staring at the container of sprinkles. Scott comes into the kitchen and asks what’s wrong.
“Just stir them in each cupcake.”
But that just might work.
I’m sure anyone who walked in the house would have been thoroughly confused – my dumping like 1/2 tbsp of sprinkles into each cup-ful of batter and Scott stirring each with a knife until the sprinkles are evenly distributed.
Call us silly, but it worked. And my clients were none the wiser.
At least, until I shared the silly story with them as we blissfully ate cupcakes and celebrated the success of one of my clients. I think they like having little reminders like this that no one is perfect. Making mistakes is human, and being able to laugh at yourself is essential to success. Even when you’re the teacher.
2 cups cake flour*
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder (high altitude folks, decrease to 1 1/3 tsp)
1 tsp salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool
3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (optional, for funfetti cupcakes)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Spritz each lightly with cooking spray.
Lightly whisk milk, egg whites, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter, beating at a low speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no large clumps of flour.
Add 3/4 of the milk mixture to the crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Scrap down sides of the bowl and beat for 20 seconds more on low speed. If making funfetti cupcakes, add sprinkles and beat an additional 30 seconds on low.
Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
*to make youre own cake flour, remove 2 tbsp of flour for every cup (4 tbsp for this recipe). Replace those 2 tbsp of flour wtih 2 tbsp of cornstarch (4 tbsp for this recipe). Sift together 2-3 times to make sure it is well blended before adding to recipe.