Cakes and I have a terrible relationship where I follow all the “Cake Baking 101” rules to a T and my cake still looks like I did it blindfolded, upside down and while on crack. The terribly frosted, crumby sides. The topsy-turvy lean. The poorly decorated-cake accouterments. Every cake I touch looks like a CakeWreck.
And giiiiirl, don’t even get me started on fondant. I don’t even know what it is, and thinking about it sends me into a downward spiral of hair pulling and name calling. If I need special tools to use it, frankly, I’m not interested. I’d much rather spend my would-be fondant-rolling money on things like this or this. Sue me.
But sometimes I really want to make a pretty, tasty, and pseudo-elegant cake without all the fuss behind elaborate cake-making. It is an art, much like the art of eating whatever you want and not gaining weight, and the art of liking Beyonce, of which I do not possess. However, this time, I think I nailed it. Except for the non-bacon funnel cake part.
Back to my roots of “no-fuss”, I knew I wanted to make this cake but the thought of making a cake AND a funnel cake had me scratchy. Clearly I had better things to do, like watch Pretty Little Liars or obsessively floss my teeth. So admittedly, I used a box of funnel cake mix that I found at the dollar store. Heed my advice, lazy children like myself: don’t used boxed funnel cake mix. It really doesn’t do anything in your favor except falsely moonlight as bacon on top of a cinnamon cake.
Silly me, because there are tons of easy funnel cake recipes on the interwebs. I’m particularly fond of this simple one from my girl, Nikki. Why I didn’t just buck up and make it myself, I don’t know, but I do know that overall, the cake was scrumptious–fake funnel cake or not–and I’m only imagining that a real funnel cake atop this delicious cinnamon-vanilla studded cake would be, well, the cake on the cake.
- 1 box Golden Vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
- 3 tsp cinnamon, divided
- Pinch nutmeg
- 2 tubs vanilla Cool Whip Frosting, thawed
- Funnel Cake Ingredients (either from your favorite recipe or from a boxed mix)
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease two 6″ cake pans with cooking spray. In a large bowl, prepare the cake mix according to package directions, stirring in ONE teaspoon of cinnamon and the pinch of nutmeg into the batter to combine. Pour the cake batter evenly among the cake pans.
- Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely.
- Once the cakes have cooled, slice each one in half horizontally. Trim off the domed tops, if needed. Place one of the now four cake rounds onto a plate. To prevent frosting smudges, lightly tuck some wax paper around the edges of the cake.
- In a large bowl, dump out the Cool Whip Frosting and add the remaining two teaspoons of cinnamon; gently fold to combine. Add a generous dollop of frosting on top of the first cake layer; spread to edges. Add the second layer and repeat this pattern until all the cake layers have stacked four-high.
- Continue to frost the sides of the cake and the top of the cake evenly, smoothing out the frosting as you go. Once the cake has been frosted, pop it in the fridge while you prepare your funnel cake.
- Prepare your funnel cake according to recipe or package directions; cool on a paper-towel lined plate. Carefully take the still-slightly warm funnel cake and put it on top of the frosted cake. Dust copiously with powdered sugar. Serve!
- This cake is best served the same day its made, as the funnel cake on top will gradually become softer and potentially soggy.
This cake is one of the best ones I’ve eaten in a long time. The layers are so moist, studded with that aromatic cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, lending the cake almost the same flavor as a cake donut. The whipped cream frosting is light, luscious and marries perfectly with the soft, tender layers of cake. And of course, who can resist a funnel cake, especially when it sits atop of a cake?! Even Kristan has the right idea–she made a cupcake version recently, too!
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