Monday, 6 August 2018

Funfetti Cake - gluten free

Funfetti cake. Beautiful huh? This one is gluten free and decorated with 'Unicorn' sugar confetti. I've wanted to make one for... well... ever. So now I have!

Miss GF turns 13 this week (where has the time gone?) and I had hoped that I could make it as her birthday cake... It is such a show stopper. But this year Miss GF has taken a dislike to her birthday. She has decided that in no uncertain terms, she does not want a birthday.

Like what???? Really? 13th birthday.... no birthday? What the heck is a parent supposed to do with that bombshell? A girl should love her birthday shouldn't she? Lap it up and enjoy the attention right? Apparently not. Not only have we been told 'no cake', but also 'no presents'... Yeah.... right!

The trouble is that we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. I know that if we don't 'do' the birthday, the message she will take from it will be harmfully negative. If we do 'do' the birthday, we will be bollocked for not listening to her. Talk about a roadblock... Although in reality, I guess it really is a no-brainer.... I know what I would rather be berated for.

Unable to make this cake for her actual birthday (she knew this was what I had planned), I decided to make it anyway... as an unbirthday 'just' cake. I sort of had my heart set on it, so it seemed a little bit crazy to put it on hold.

I am so glad I did. Although quite sweet, the texture of the sponge was almost better than perfect. The buttercream was light and creamy and the 'Unicorn' funfetti (which I found in Morrisons, from Dr Oetker) was so bright and pretty.

The sponge was a slight variation on my Best Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge, which has such a fantastic crumb and is brilliant for layering. With the heat, I was worried that it might affect the consistency of the mixture, but if anything, it improved it. The warmth made the butter amazingly soft so that it creamed to a sumptuous paste with the sugar. When I gently added the eggs a little at a time and whisked, they too absorbed the magic and the resulting batter was smooth and silky.... rose to perfection and remained moist and spongy for several days.

I just love it when gluten free cakes fool the hardiest of gluten-eaters and this one went out of its way to prove that gluten free doesn't have to be dry, gritty or tasteless. In my (very humble) opinion, this sponge is as good, if not better than any glutenous cake I ever remember.

The funfetti adds a certain charm too, giving the cake a rather enchanting appeal... Although getting from 'naked' to 'funfettied' resulted in one hell of a kitchen mess.... funfetti all over the floor, a lot of swearing and a hoover doing overtime. I am no expert on cake decoration by any means, but sticking sprinkles all over cake sides always presents me with a nervous dilemma. I really have no idea what I am doing, and end up picking up piles of whatever it is I want to stick to the sides and combining the actions of throwing and squashing in one. If anyone can give me some advice on getting a better result without such a mess, please, please let me know!

Funfetti chaos complete, I was actually quite pleased with the resulting appearance of the unbirthday 'just' cake.... So happy in fact, that I am sending a few slices over to the following to share the 'unbirthday' love...


Bake Of The Week with Casa Costello and Mummy Mishaps
Cook Blog Share with Recipes Made Easy
Love Cake with Jibber Jabber


Baking Crumbs with Only Crumbs Remain
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum


Got To Be Gluten Free with Glutarama and Gluten Free Alchemist
Fiesta Friday #236 with Angie, Foodie On Board and Canvassed Recipes
What's For Dinner with The Lazy Gastronome

Other Celebration Cakes on Gluten Free Alchemist
Chocolate Birthday Bundt
Chocolate Kiss Cake
Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Rosy Swirls
Golden Egg Cake with Chocolate Sponge
Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Flowers
Coffee and Walnut Cake
Flourless Orange Cake with Honeyed Raspberry Coulis
Mocha Celebration Cake
Orange Cake with Orange Curd Butter Icing and Orange Jelly
Raspberry & Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake
Vanilla Sponge with Icing Roses
Zesty Drizzled Lemon Cake

Funfetti Cake (Makes 1x 9 inch (23 cm) two-layer or 1 x 8 inch (20 cm) three-layer cake)


320g plain GF flour mix (I used Blend A from this post)
160g ground almonds
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons GF baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
330 ml milk
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
170g unsalted butter - softened
360g caster sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs - room temperature - lightly beaten
100g funfetti

Butter Icing & Decoration
230g butter - softened
460g icing sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
jam of choice
approx 80 to 100g funfetti to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and base-line the non-stick baking tins that you are using with baking paper.
  2. Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, making sure the ingredients are fully combined and all lumps are broken down (I weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously). Set aside. 
  3. In a jug, stir together the milk and vinegar and leave to stand for 10 minutes (it will become clumpy). 
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a whisk, until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add and beat in the vanilla extract.
  6. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat together with a fork to break up the egg. Add a little at a time to the butter mixture, beating thoroughly between each addition until smooth and creamy.
  7. Alternate folding in the liquid and flour mix to the butter-batter about a third at a time, gently and quickly until just combined. As the mix starts to even out, add the funfetti and fold through. Be careful not to over-mix.
  8. Divide the mixture between the baking tins and smooth the tops.
  9. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden and the top springs back to the touch. A skewer should come out clean.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes in the tins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttercream, Decoration & Putting it all Together
  1. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the icing sugar a little at a time and continue to beat so that it remains smooth.
  3. Add and beat in the vanilla extract. The mix should be smooth and spreadable. If it needs to be loosened, add a tiny drop of milk at a time and beat again until you have reached the desired consistency. 
  4. Layer the sponge cakes together : Spread a layer of buttercream on one side and a layer of jam on the other and put together. Repeat for the additional layer of a three layer cake.
  5. Place the layered cake into the fridge for about an hour to firm up slightly.
  6. Remove from the fridge and using a palette knife, spread an even layer of buttercream around the sides of the cake and also on the top. Use an icing spreader to smooth the surfaces.
  7. Decorate the sides with funfetti, by sticking handfuls gently and carefully until happy with the effect. (It helps if the cake is on a cake turntable, but don't tilt as the layers may slide).
  8. Pipe decoration onto the top of the cake as you wish and sprinkle a little more funfetti on the top. 
  9. Enjoy.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-18 unless otherwise indicated


  1. A very happy unbirthday to Miss GF. How odd that she has turned on birthdays - I would worry too about the recriminations later

    about you not celebrating and not caring - welcome to her teenage years and lots of angst. I hope you at least enjoyed your beautiful cake - I really admire those even layers. I have a feeling you are meant to ice the side first, roll it in the sprinkles and then ice the top but are you meant to freeze it too - I worry it would fall apart when you rolled it. And your sprinkles look beautiful.

    1. Thank You Johanna. It's a tricky one..... either way I think the best strategy is to wear a tin hat and brave it out!
      As for the sprinkles.... you may be right, although I think the whole thing might have fallen apart if I tipped it on its side xxx

  2. I'll come round and celebrate your daughter's birthday for her especially if it means I get a slice of this cake! I can imagine the mess your kitchen got into with all that confetti about!

    1. Ha! Absolutely.... you can help me clean up the kitchen at the same time.... I'll be finding sprinkles for months I think! x

  3. Soooo pretty, I love this Kate. Not made a funfetti cake yet but seeing yours has inspired me. The kids will love this, who am I kidding, anyone will love this!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. I think everyone should make a Funfetti cake at least once.... although they are rather sweet! x

  4. It may have been messy but I bet it was so much fun to decorate! A very happy unbirthday to Miss GF!

  5. Having two grown lads the unicorn trend has passed me by but I am seriously tempted to try this cake when my sister who is celiac visits she is a big kid at heart. Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Oh yes.... I think making it for your sister would be fun. Although I think it would be hilarious to see your sons faces if you put this in front of them xxxx

  6. Happy Birthday to your little one! I've been wanting to make funfetti anything for such a long time! This looks brilliant!

    1. Thank you Priya. Funfetti is so colourful, it begs to be made! x

  7. No cake, no gifts, that sounds a bit too drastic. There must be a reason why she didn't want her birthday celebrated. Maybe you can talk with her again, now that the day has passed, to see why.

    The cake looks amazing, birthday or no birthday. I would like one for myself, although I'm a bit over the teenage years. :))

    1. Thank you Anca for your kind thoughts. It is a tricky dilemma. We have of course talked to her and as is the case with most things, it isn't very straight forward...... Ultimately it isn't really about birthdays per se, but they happen to play into wider life worries! x

  8. Oh my! That looks yummy. My daughter makes a similar cake but I love your version too. Have pinned. #blogcrush

  9. Lovely recipe and you did a beautiful job making and presenting this cake. My daughter and I owned a bakery once and delivered a pink sprinkle cake to a 'Charlie' thinking it was a girl (the mum left the design to us) - only it turned out to be a young lad!! My daughter who took the order has a girl friend called Charlie - luckily it was laughs all round!! xx

    1. That's so funny... I can imagine the red faces. Good job he saw the funny side... I am sure it wasn't the first time he'd been 'mistaken' for a girl. I imagine it was an easy mistake to make x

  10. What a gorgeous cake, I will certainly have a go at making this, so far my venture into gluten free cakes has not been successful. I'm sorry to hear about your girl's birthday wishes. I have a 13 year old next week too and she is over excited about her birthday. I do also have an older daughter and remember her being like this on her 16th birthday. I offered to buy her something she needed ( a laptop) and she accepted that as a gift. She didn't want to celebrate so I asked if she'd like to go for lunch somewhere nice and let her pick the place. All in all I believe she had a very successful and happy birthday. Maybe you can work something like this out with your daughter, if I'm not too late. x
    (p.s. I had a surprise 21st party for the same daughter and she didn't speak to me for a week! eek)

    1. Thank you for your kind words Anne. I think it must be an age thing. I can imagine my daughter reacting in much the same way if I threw her a party, although I suspect I would be getting away lightly if she only ignored me for a week! It just feels so sad that the kids these days get so hung up about it! x

  11. such a gorgeous cake Kate. We adore sprinkles in my house,they just make you smile and make any food instantly feel more happy and colourful. You managed to cover your cake very successfully in sprinkles, I have found it tricky at times and soooooo many sprinkles end up ..... well everywhere in my kitchen! I hope your daughter enjoyed her cake and her birthday despite her initial misgivings.
    thank you for sharing with #Bakeoftheweek xx

    1. Thanks Jenny. Sprinkles do make everything so much happier. x

  12. This looks fantastic, such a fun looking cake. I'm sure your daughter loved it even if she didn't want to celebrate her birthday x

  13. Wow this looks delicious! It is my daughter's birthday soon. Last year, hubby and I made her unicorn cake and, although delicious, it was far too time-consuming to make. But I love this idea to just press funfetti all over the outside (although yes I imagine it is very messy too!) - very effective and fun.

    And someone really enjoyed this recipe so they added it to the BlogCrush linky for some extra exposure. Congratulations! Feel free to grab your "I've been featured" blog badge :) #blogcrush

    1. Thank you Lucy. I imagine the unicorn cake was quite spectacular. I don't think I have the patience or skill to tackle such a project.... Good job there are sprinkles! x

  14. What a fabulous cake Kate - I love the theme you went with it's so much fun (and yeah what a dilema - cake or no cake! - I hope Miss GF enjoyed it and didn't berate you too much when her birthday arrived :-) ). Although it wasn't too much fun popping the oven on in the heat I totally agree that batters whipped up so beautifully! Thankyou so much for linking up with #BakingCrumbs Kate,
    Angela x


I always LOVE to hear from you, so please leave a comment, share your thoughts and stay in touch.

By leaving a comment, you consent to any personal information you choose to share being collected by Gluten Free Alchemist for statistical and monitoring purposes and you enter into a public conversation linked to the post. You may choose to make your comment anonymous by ticking the relevant check-box. For full details of the GFA Privacy Policy, please click on the signposted label at the top of the page.