No ‘90s birthday party was complete without Funfetti. Now, pastry chefs across the country are elevating the classic childhood treat in items like Funfetti croissants, biscotti and – yes – even wedding cakes. Pillsbury first released the white cake mix featuring rainbow sprinkles in the batter in 1989; today, the multicolored treat is having a major resurgence in even the most high-end bakeries. Milk Bar pastry chef Christina Tosi is often credited with reviving Funfetti; much like her cereal milk soft-serve, the New York City shop’s best-selling birthday cake evokes a wave of nostalgia.
Sasha's Baking Co.
In Downtown Kansas City, European-style bakery Sasha’s Baking Co. brings a little bit of “new-world flair” to old-world pastry traditions. The shop’s bakery cases are lined with traditional treats like flaky croissants, gooey cinnamon rolls and puffy French gougères, but its Funfetti-infused treats best embody the bakery’s playful spirit. Chef and kitchen manager Julie Steele has used Funfetti in everything from cake pops and French macarons to classic breakfast sweets like cinnamon rolls and bear claws. “We started working with Funfetti because it grabs kids’ attention, but it’s also popular with many adults who are kids at heart,” she says. “It’s colorful, festive and attracts people.” Sasha’s also frequently receives requests for Funfetti in its custom cakes and cake pops. Steele hopes to add a Funfetti croissant to the shop’s offerings soon, inspired by a few bakeries she’s seen on Instagram. This month, look for the Funfetti Bomb, which features Funfetti mousse and a white Funfetti cake dome topped with rainbow sprinkles.
Sasha’s Baking Co., 105 W. Ninth St., Downtown, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.474.9935, sashasbakingco.com
You can celebrate your birthday any day of the year at Gerard Craft’s Pastaria in Clayton, Missouri, where Funfetti birthday cake has earned a permanent spot on the ever-changing dessert menu. Mathew Rice, executive pastry chef for Niche Food Group (which also includes Sardella, Brasserie by Niche, Taste and Porano Pasta), developed the original recipe and began revamping it when he returned to St. Louis last summer following stints at The Publican and The Girl and The Goat in Chicago. The vanilla-buttermilk cake features rainbow sprinkles in the batter and an old-fashioned buttercream frosting recipe from Rice’s mother. A sprinkling of confetti shortbread crumble on top gives the cake a sweet, salty flavor and added crunch. You can also grab a pint of birthday-cake gelato featuring chunks of sprinkle cake mixed in, from Pastaria’s rotating gelato case. “I think it plays into the whimsy factor and nostalgia,” Rice says. “If you ask five local pastry chefs, three of them are going to tell you that their favorite cake growing up was boxed Funfetti cake. Everybody just loves it.”
Pastaria, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, Missouri, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com
Elle Feldman is not afraid of color. Elle’s Patisserie, her Springfield, Missouri, bakery, which specializes in chocolate truffles, French pastries and ice cream, is even painted a striking shade of lilac. “We’re always looking for something really unique, colorful, fun and whimsical,” Feldman says. “We like to make bright, beautiful things that taste amazing.” That’s how she stumbled upon the recipe for confetti sugar cookies, which feature rainbow sprinkles mixed into the batter; the same sprinkles also lend an extra pop of color to Elle’s traditional French macarons. But the unicorn bark – a spin on the shop’s traditional chocolate-ganache bark – might be Feldman’s most colorful treat yet. It features a combination of colored white chocolate – pink, purple, blue, green, yellow and orange – swirled together with a layer of truffle ganache inside. To add a little texture and even more color, Feldman throws some edible confetti, stars and glitter on top. “It’s kind of an explosion of color,” she says with a laugh.
Elle’s Patisserie, 1454 East Cherry St., Springfield, Missouri, 417.832.2171, ellespatisserie.com