A basic Vanilla Cake with Sprinkles is a great way to show pride in your team, especially if you have a fan-oriented pan too! Affiliate links were used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
I have a confession to make. I used Photoshop to swap out colors on the Block M cake down below.
I just could not bear the idea that fellow Michigan fans would come browsing and think that I was not fully aware that the blue was too aqua. I could not find the proper shade of blue (kind of a royal blue if you are not a college sports fan) among the sprinkles and finally settled for this more aqua blue. And of course now it is driving me nuts. Alas. I left the loaf cakes unedited except in the Pinterest college I made because once again, well, fellow Michigan fans (or worse yet fans of rival schools!).
I know I am disturbed and probably need help for worrying about it so much, but my brother the football coach will tell you any day: fan is short for fanatic.
In other words, do not expect rational behavior. From either me or my possible critics in this matter.
Anyway about this cake. I have had the Michigan FanPan on my wish list for what seems like ages, but apparently every year when my mom went to buy it for Christmas it was sold out. Alas, not this year–and yes that probably is a comment on the football season. But happily for me it meant I finally got it!! And we are alive and well in basketball! Woo-hoo! And now I have discovered I can get tiny ones and muffins sized ones and I want those too!
So I was thinking about what to bake in it when I suddenly just knew I wanted to do a sprinkle cake. Now mind you, I was envisioning something with more properly colored sprinkles, but hey I did my best. And I will keep looking–one of the annoying things about living away from your team of choice is that finding accessories–whether they are tee shirts or properly colored nonpareil–can be kind of difficult.
The cake itself was fantastic–and the sprinkles were pure genius because they formed a delightfully crunchy top. The cake was very closely adapted from the Vanilla Bean Cake in Sweet, by Valerie Gordon, which my mother in law got me for Christmas (sidenote: as of me typing this it is freaky cheap at Amazon so check that link out). I have about half of the recipes bookmarked, so deciding to start with one of their recipes was a no brainer, especially when I saw they had a plain butter cake that emphasized vanilla, vanilla and nothing but vanilla.
I doubled the recipe–I was not sure how much I would need for a Block M, and it turned out to be a good call, although I did get 3 mini loaf cakes out of it as well. John and I could not stay out of this cake. Sammy took 2 days of convincing to try it, because she felt that eating a Block M might be equivalent to destroying a Block M, but I finally convinced her that it was more like imbibing Michigan Go Blue! spirit.
Kids. They are funny.
The best part of the cake? The crunchy sprinkles on top hands down. Soooo addictive.
- 3 1/4 cups (16.25 oz, 460 g) AP flour
- 2/3 t baking powder
- t scant fine sea salt
- 29 T (15 oz) unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 T light corn syrup
- 2 cups (14 oz) granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 2 T vanilla bean paste (I subbed some ground vanilla beans)
- 2 T vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 6 T sprinkles of choice, plus more to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut out parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan you are using (I did for the FanPan but did not bother for the mini loaf pans). Lightly grease the pans, place the parchment paper on the bottom, and grease again. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Reserve 1 tablespoon to toss with the 6 tablespoons of sprinkles. Set both aside.
Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar in 3-4 additions, beating until light and fluffy. Add the light corn syrup and beat for 3-4 minutes on medium high speed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla paste and extract.
Add the flour mixture and sour cream in 3 and 2 additions, respectively, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Fold in the sprinkles tossed with flour. Try not to over mix or they will start to melt and smear in the batter.
Scrape into the prepared pans. Cover the top of the cake or cakes generously with sprinkles.
If you are using mini loaf pans, look for them to bake about 20-25 minutes; 30-35 minutes for 2 round cake pans, and for something funky like a FanPan you just need to watch and smell--trust your senses! Mine took about 30-35 minutes. The cake is done when it is risen and golden, is pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.
Let the cake(s) cool for about 10 minutes in the pan(s) before inverting them carefully onto a cooling rack and removing any parchment. If you are using something like the Block M, be very careful inverting it--it would be too easy for the line of the letter to break. Mine did not, but I was very careful, and used 2 cooling racks to remove the cake and then get it turned right side up.
Let cool completely before slicing. This cake is best within 3 days of baking.
I did not want to slow down my load time or bore those of you uninterested, but if you are curious, here is a mini version of the collage I created for Pinterest (you can find it here to pin it yourself):