Sweet Treats

Vanilla Funfetti Cake – for Little Graduation Celebrations

Virginia was one of many states to recently cancel public school for the remainder of the school year. We’re whipping up some special recipes, like our favorite vanilla funfetti cake, and trying to figure out some ways to let our kids, especially our seniors, know they are still celebrated and still accomplished a lot, even if the Class of 2020 won’t walk at graduation.

This post in collaboration with Basic Invite, a high quality special event stationary company that makes keepsake quality senior announcements, invitations, menus, thank yous, and business cards we just love. All photos and opinions are my own.

vanilla funfetti cake with graduation announcements

Schools around the country have cancelled class as we continue on our…how many weeks of quarantine, isolation, social distancing, and what not are we on? It’s all running together. But some schools have cancelled school in entirety for the rest of the school year.

Parents aren’t the only ones feeling slightly frantic about this, especially the ones who are either heading into work and need care or who are trying to keep up with work from the house while keeping their kids on track and busy. Many parent friends have been soothing kids in tears about not seeing their friends or favorite teachers. My little son cried when he asked to go play with his two besties at daycare as he usually does in the morning and I told him no, we weren’t going to daycare. For kids, it’s being grounded with no end in sight.

The ones I’m feeling for, though, are the seniors. Around this time of the year when I was a senior {I don’t want to talk about how long ago that was}, all the college applications were in and we had our acceptance letters, we probably knew where we were going, and the remainder of the school year was more about jobs and saving up for prom, maybe a car, and planning graduation celebrations, with prepping for AP exams sprinkled in there somewhere.

There’s none of that for the class of 2020. Good friends of ours have a senior who just learned her school is out and her class won’t walk, not to mention no prom, no grad night party, no senior trip, and on top of that, she was laid off from her job since the restaurant where she worked closed and had to let go of a majority of the wait staff.

To say she’s down is an understatement. There are lots of teens like her who need to be reminded that they’re loved and cared about and that they accomplished something. I’m a big fan of treating graduating like a big deal, so together with a group of friends, we decided we would do something for her – that we’d hold her a virtual graduation shower.

basic invite graduation announcements

We’re all getting used to the power of Zoom and other digital collaboration tools when it comes to bringing people together, so we figured, why not Zoom ourselves a little virtual party to celebrate our friends and their daughter’s achievements?

We combined a few different things for this. For one, we asked her to put together an Amazon registry of the things she thought she’d need for the year that we might be able to help with {and take some of the edge off of her losing her job}. For another, we threw keepsake announcements into the mix, that everyone would receive announcing her upcoming graduation and party. And then a few of us baked things that her mom would drive around and pick up for the party.

Basic Invite was a great choice for this, because we’re talking keepsakes. While there’s nothing wrong with DIY, some self-design-and-print services really feel and look DIY while everything I’ve seen from Basic Invite is polished and professional. You can completely personalize the look and feel of everything from the cards to the envelopes and foil, and if you can’t find what you want, their designers will work with you to create what you need, all for a really affordable price.

I don’t want to buy anything that people are going to just look at and throw away, but when it comes to something you know will be kept in scrapbooks and you want people to be able to keep, it makes sense to go for quality.

I grabbed a couple samples to help us choose which ones to use for her. A good photographer friend already captured senior portraits for her, so we’ll use those, and also announce the college she’s attending in the fall – which I feel will add a little bit of normalcy to all this. At some point, the craziness will end, we will flatten this curve, and we’ll be able to chase after our horizons again.

basic invite graduation announcements

My contribution to all of this was my favorite vanilla cake, with a little chocolate funfetti. It’s bright, it’s cheerful, it’s really easy to make, and my vanilla buttercream is my favorite thing ever. Way too much snacking happened when I was creating this cake, you guys.

And this is definitely not dry and bland vanilla cake. It is anything but. It’s dense but not too heavy, moist but not soggy, and everything I wanted to send along for our friends, especially with a few sprinkles added in. Because that’s the secret to funfetti cake. All you do is add a half a cup of sprinkles and you’ve got a vanilla cake that looks beautifully marbled.

So, of course, in true food blogger fashion, I made two cakes – one for her mom to pick up, and one for this photoshoot. I used all the colorful sprinkles on her cake. I had a few colored sprinkles left for the outside of my cake for this photoshoot, but inside, I used chocolate sprinkles. Although I’m really loving how they made the inside of the cake look marbled.

Either way, I think these fun cakes and fun graduation announcements are the perfect things to show our friends and their senior that, despite everything being cancelled right out from under her, there are people who care about her and are proud of her.

vanilla funfetti cake

[lt_recipe name=”Vanilla Funfetti Cake” summary=”This is our favorite vanilla cake, sweet and light, easy to make from scratch, and perfect for a little impromptu celebration!” servings=”10″ total_time=”45M” print=”yes” image=”https://homefrontcooking.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Funfetti-Cake-Basic-Invite-0447-1024×683.jpg” ingredients=”For the vanilla funfetti cake:;1 cup butter, room temperature;1 1/2 cups granulated sugar;3 eggs + 2 egg whites, room temperature;1 tbsp vanilla extract;3 cups cake flour;1 tsp salt;2 tsps baking powder;3/4 tsp baking soda;1 1/3 cups buttermilk, room temperature;1/2 cup sprinkles;For the vanilla buttercream:;1 cup butter, room temperature;4 1/2 cups powdered sugar;1/3 cup whole milk;1 1/2 tsp vanilla;1/8 tsp salt;more sprinkles for decoration!” ]Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and very lightly flour two 7- or 8-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper.;In a bowl that’s easy to pour from, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.;Fit your stand mixer with paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer), and beat together the butter and sugar on high speed until they are smooth and creamy.;Switch to the whisk attachment and beat in the eggs and egg whites on high speed, and then add the vanilla. Scrape the sides as needed.;Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, running the mixer on low speed, until everything is just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure there are no lumps hiding in there.;And this is the one easy step that makes it a party, and turns this from just a plain vanilla cake {although this vanilla cake is anything but plain!}: fold the 1/2 cup sprinkles into the cake.;Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake at 350F for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely in the pans.;To make the frosting, let’s get back to your stand mixer {or you can use a hand mixer}. Fit with the paddle attachment, and beat the 1 1/2 cups butter on medium speed, or until nice and smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt, raise the speed to high, and beat until smooth and creamy again. Add more sugar if the frosting is too thin.;Assemble the cake. Level your cakes as needed and start with the first layer. Add a 1 cup {or thicker} frosting layer and then add the second layer. Apply the rest of the frosting. Or do what I do and apply about half of the frosting to make a semi-naked cake and keep the rest on standby for another project!;Chill the cake for 1 hour before slicing.[/lt_recipe]

vanilla funfetti cake

Happy baking and happy snacking, friends! The world needs a little happy right now!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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