Mother's Day Vanilla Confetti Cake

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with Lemony Lemon Buttercream

For the Cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 8 Tablespoons, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ to 1/2 cup sprinkles, homemade or store-bought, plus more for garnish

For the Frosting:
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch salt
¼ cup heavy cream, or more if needed
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind

Make the Cake:
        Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8 inch square cake pan. Line with a square of parchment, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and tap out the excess.
        In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
        In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds. Continue mixing while gradually adding pieces of the butter until the mixture is crumbly, about 3 minutes. Slowly add half of the milk mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Slowly add the remaining half of the milk mixture, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat until incorporated, another 30 seconds.
Remove the bowl from mixer and gently stir in the sprinkles. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on a counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and cool for about 10 -15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, and invert the cake onto another wire rack. Invert it again, so it’s face up, and let cool completely.

Make the frosting:
        Add the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a large size bowl, if using a hand mixer. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half of the confectioners’ sugar, the milk, vanilla and salt. Mix at a low speed to incorporate the ingredients. Add the rest of the confectioners’ sugar, the cream and lemon rind, and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. If it is too thick, add extra Tablespoons of cream, one at a time, to get a spreadable consistency.

Assemble the cake:
        Remove the parchment from the cooled cake and place on a serving platter. Slip strips of parchment under the cake to keep the platter clean. Frost the sides first, and then the top with large swirls of frosting. Carefully remove the parchment strips. Top with lots of sprinkles.

Makes 9-16 servings.      YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. For me, it’s worth the effort to make homemade sprinkles because it’s fun and they taste so much better. But, you can just sub in store bought ones if you like.
2. I think you’ll like this reverse creaming method for making the cake.
3. The amount of sprinkles you add to the cake can range anywhere from ¼ cup to a ½ cup, depending on how sprinkle filled you want the cake.
4. It’s easiest to use a stand mixer, but you can also use a hand mixer.
5. Make sure to sift the confectioners’ sugar. You don’t’ want lumpy frosting.
6. I’m a lemon girl, so I put a whole tablespoon of grated lemon rind in my frosting. If that’s too tart, start with half that and taste as you add more.