Buttermilk Funfetti Cake with Rhubarb Cream Cheese Filling and Rhubarb Buttercream

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Cakes / Fruit

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Sorry I’ve been MIA, it’s been a busy few weeks.  The weekend before last was my Bachelorette party in Miami and no baking was to be had, the very least reason being no one wants to stuff themselves with cake while traipsing around a city in minuscule swimsuits.  It was a weekend filled with great friends, amazing weather and incredible amounts of girly conversation.  My very best of friends are all scattered across the country at this point, so it was a truly special and magical time I will forever cherish. Then this past weekend was my birthday, and birthdays just beg for something fun, cheerful and covered with sprinkles.  Maybe it was all the girly conversations of weekends past but I knew I wanted to make something that screamed princess fantasy.  There are sprinkles inside this cake, there are sprinkles outside this cake, there were sprinkles wherever I could put them.  And soon as I saw these sprinkles I knew they were the one.  Because, sometimes you just want a unicorn princess cake for your birthday.  And not to brag, but I think I pretty  much nailed it.



Fruit that is only in season for a short amount of time always inspires me.  Rhubarb happens to be one of those fruits.  It’s tart and has a depth to it’s flavor I find to be very unique.  The ruby red color is really beautiful and it pairs quite well with other more sweet fruits such as strawberries and blood oranges.  However, I’m warning you now, do not even try biting into it’s celery-like stalk raw.  Rhubarb requires a massive amount of sugar to even be considered edible.  I spotted some out front of my local Whole Foods and picked up a few pounds before even knowing what I was going to do with it.

Then, after deciding a funfetti cake was the only acceptable birthday cake I quickly realized most are simply vanilla cakes with sprinkles on them with a vanilla buttercream.  Vanilla and vanilla?  Uhm, no thank you?  I then stumbled upon this recipe while researching and knew it would be perfect (I also immediately bought her book).  While this buttermilk cake is infinitely adaptable, I just really wanted the sprinkles to be the showcase.  You could add lemon + lavender, throw in some mini chocolate chips or even include some sliced strawberries.  The world is your oyster my friends and you may choose to bake it as you wish.

Finally, Happy Birthday to all my fellow April babies!  Tell your significant other you want a funfetti cake and diamonds.  Lots and lots of diamonds.  It is your birth stone after all, and we know you deserve it.

*recipe adapted from Style Sweet CA and The Cake Blog and as always, I halved the cake and buttercream recipes to get a three-layer, six inch cake



3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Poached Rhubarb

3 – 3 ½ cups chopped rhubarb (about 350 grams)
½ cup blood orange juice
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Swirl Filling

½ cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup strained rhubarb

Rhubarb Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 large egg whites
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup rhubarb puree
rhubarb syrup – to taste



Poached Rhubarb

Chop rhubarb into 1-inch long pieces.  Place rhubarb and all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Once the juices begin to boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until rhubarb breaks down and begins to thicken.  Remove from heat.

Strain the rhubarb pulp with a mesh sieve – reserving the liquids separately.  Set both aside.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 9 or 10 inch pans and set aside.  Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed with a paddle attachment.  Add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Turn the mixer to low and add in the vanilla, and eggs – one at a time.

Stop mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

In alternating batches with the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk – beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.

Evenly distribute the batter between the cake pans and bake for 22-24 minutes, or until done.

Let cool for 20 minutes in pan then remove from pan and let cool completely, 1-2 hours


Rhubarb Cream Cheese Swirl Filling

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Add in the sugar and vanilla.  Mix on low until all of the ingredients begin to come together.  Turn mixer up to medium and mix until smooth.

Stop the mixer and gently fold in the rhubarb.

*The only place that sold blood oranges was an hour round trip.  I substituted with 1/4 cup grapefruit juice and 1/4 cup orange juice and it turned out just heavenly


Rhubarb Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Puree the remaining strained rhubarb until smooth.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.  Place a few inches of water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium.  Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler.  Heat egg white mixture and continuously whisk until it reaches 155 F degrees on a candy thermometer – or until mixture no longer feels ‘grainy’ to the touch and sugar is melted.  Once hot, remove the bowl and carefully return it to the electric mixer.  Fitted with the whisk attachment, mix on high until the outside of the bowl returns to room temperature – about 8 minutes.  Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.

With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and butter – a couple tablespoons at a time.  Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth.  Turn mixer down to medium-low and mix in the rhubarb puree until combined.  Add 1-3 teaspoons of the rhubarb syrup, if desired.



Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving dish.  Spread on half of the rhubarb cream cheese with an offset spatula.  Top with the next layer of cake and repeat.  Frost cake with rhubarb buttercream and decorate with unicorn princess sprinkles, if desired.

Don’t throw out the leftover rhubarb juice!  Wow your friends and make you own rhubarb blood orange sodas with the leftover syrup + club soda.  You can even spike them (given) and add vodka.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Rhubarb Big Crumb Coffee Cake – case bakes

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