Milk Bar Sprinkles Cake

After hitting 1000+ followers on my Instagram page @jennysbreadbaby, I was so elated and wanted to celebrate! What better way to celebrate than with cake, right? As a huge fan of Christina Tosi, the famous Milk Bar founder and creator, I wanted to make my own rendition of her Milk Bar Birthday Cake. I love the colors and the layers of her birthday cake, especially the crumbles. The crumbles actually ended up being my favorite part of the cake as they add a nice, soft crunch to the soft cake and frosting.

Milk Bar has released the recipe for the cake on their website already. However, some of the ingredients used aren’t usually found in normal peoples’ pantries (shortening, clear vanilla extract, etc). So I created more friendly and attainable version for home bakers. The cake still turned out amazing.

I made my cake in the morning and took it to a picnic that I was having with some of my friends later that day (they really liked it!). However, you could definitely make this the day before a party or event if you’d like. Just make sure to give it plenty of time to defrost before serving. This is the perfect celebration cake for any occasion!

  • Taste: ★★★★★
  • Difficulty: ★★★★★
  • Ingredients: ★★
  • Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

Makes 1 two-layered cake

Birthday Cake Crumbs

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Birthday Cake

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk (or buttermilk)

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or cottage cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon, optional)

Birthday Cake Soak

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Crumble

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles until combined. Add the oil and vanilla and mix until it begins to come together and small clusters form when you squeeze the crumble mix.
  3. Use your hands to make more clusters as needed, and transfer crumbs to the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. If making ahead of time, they can be stored for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Birthday Cake

  1. Prepare two 6-in round baking pans, or 2 8×8 square pans
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sprinkles, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients and milk to the wet ingredients until combined. Manually whisk the batter to ensure there are no large lumps at the bottom of the bowl. Batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Separate the batter evenly into 2 prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Let the cake cool completely.

Frosting

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a whisk, beat together the butter and cream cheese on until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating on low to combine.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, milk, pinch of salt, and squeeze of lemon juice, then mix to combine. Beat on medium speed until smooth.

Soak

  1. Whisk together the milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Assembly! (finally)

  1. If you used square pans and want a circular cake, then find plate that you can use to cut/stamp out circular cake layers (6-in). Set one layer aside and set one as the bottom later.
  2. Cut out a sheet of acetate that you can wrap around a 6-in diameter cake. I DIYed an acetate ring by shaping some aluminum foil around the bottom layer of cake. The foil ring had height of ~6-in and a diameter of a little over ~6-in so it could fit around the cake.
  3. Using a pastry brush or spoon, soak the bottom layer with half the birthday cake soak.
  4. Spread 1/4th of the frosting on top with the back of a spoon, then top with 1/2 of the birthday cake crumbs, pressing them down gently. Spread another 1/4th of the frosting on top.
  5. Top with the second layer of cake, brush with remaining milk soak, then repeat step 4.
  6. Transfer the cake to the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight to set the layers. About 3 hours before you want to serve the cake, remove from the cake ring and peel off the acetate. Transfer to the fridge to let it defrost.
  7. Enjoy!!!

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