Funfetti Sugar Cookies by Chelsea Zwieg

OH HAIIII!!! Long time, no talk (type? blog? ramble?) Whatever it is, I haven't done it in a while. But I'm here and I've got cookies to tell you about.

But first, some real talk about blogging. If you're just here for the cookies, you can scroll on down to the recipe. I won't be offended, I promise. I usually show up places just for the cookies, too. But I just wanted to talk about where I've been for the past month of not blogging and some deep (or not so deep) revelations I've had about blogging. When I first started this blog I was 22, I was living with my parent's, working at a job that was terrible in a lot of ways and all I really wanted to do was bake and share it with people. When I moved to Wisconsin I still wanted to do the same thing, but I decided to take it a lot more seriously. I committed to posting at least two times a week, I started doing a lot of freelance work and I was actually making money (WHAT?!) from my blog. It was super fun...until it wasn't. After a while, posting so often started to feel like a major chore and I wasn't really sure why I was doing it. There are so many blogs I have admired for a long time that are run by brilliant, creative and inspiring bloggers that work on their blogs full time. But somewhere along the way of constantly trying to get more readers and obsessively checking my ad revenue, I forgot that that's not actually what I want to do. What I originally wanted from this blog, to bake what I want and share it with people who appreciate it, is exactly what I get from my full time job of being the kitchen manager at the bakery. Except I like it so much more. I get to wake up super early every day (that's not sarcastic. I actually love getting up at 4), go into a kitchen for hours at a time and bake all day every day. It does not get any better. But it also does not leave unlimited hours for blogging, and that's so ok with me. I would so much rather have a few hours after work to go for a run, hang out with friends or actually relax (jk. I don't do that.) than have to run home and work on a blog post until bedtime.  That's not the point of this blog and it never was. 

So. Long, rambly story short: I'm still here! I'll still be blogging and I'm still so grateful for every single reader that comes here to tell me about their baking adventures and listen to me talk about mine. But I will be doing it a little less often. I'll be here when I made something fun and I want to share it with you. Not every Monday and Thursday because I have to be. Sometimes I might just post what I make on Instagram, sometimes I might throw together a post with only one or two pictures and sometimes I'll go all in with the whole picture-filled, wordy rambles post thing. I can't wait to share all of the summer recipes ideas I have with you and if you made it to the end of this paragraph, thank you! I like you a whole lot. 

So let's talk about these funfetti sugar cookies! May is PARTY month in my family. Mother's day, anniversaries, birthdays (your girl is going to be 25 next week...oh BOY), there's pretty much a cause for celebration every weekend. Which means a whole lot of funfetti is in order. My sister's birthday was last weekend and I made a sprinkle covered funfetti cake to add to the margarita river cruise festivities. But a few days before, I made these cookies as a little funfetti warm up. Because everyone needs cookies to warm up for cake, right? These cookies are perfectly chewy with a crackly, sugary exterior. Clear vanilla extract (a must in any funfetti situation) gives them that whole boxed-cake-flavor thing that I love. And then of course a ridiculous amount of sprinkles. It's the perfect party cookie for the perfect party month. 

Funfetti Sugar Cookies 

Makes 2 dozen 

| Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar + more for rolling
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. clear vanilla extract (see note) 
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles 

| Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or non stick baking mats. 
  • Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well and scraping after each addition. Add the vanilla and salt and beat well. 
  • Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix on low until dough just begins to clump together. Add the sprinkles and continue to mix until dough is just combined. Scoop the dough using your desired size cookie scoop (I like to make mine a little on the bigger side -- 3 tbsp. ish) and roll the dough into balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes, until they are just golden around the edges and still light in the center. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

Matcha Swirl Bundt Cake by Chelsea Zwieg

How how how is this the first bundt cake I have ever posted on the blog?? It's no secret that I have serious love for layer cakes of the multiple-hour-project-variety but there's just something about a simple bundt cake that I have always loved. Maybe I never shared a recipe for one because until embarrassingly recently, successfully removing a bundt cake from it's pan was more stressful to me than assembling a 10 tiered wedding cake. Or maybe it's because I didn't have bag of matcha powder begging to be swirled into the prettiest bundt cake I ever did make. 

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Matcha and I had a bit of a rough start for a while there. But really, that's just keeping me on track with being about 5 years behind on any worthwhile food trend. It's cool. But really, I blame a certain coffee shop where I used to work for filling my head with all sorts of matcha mis-information. Every day I would put on my green apron and make green tea frappuccinos for hoards of cooler-than-me teenagers with something called  'matcha powder'. Full disclosure, I never actually tried it but the horrifying swamp smells wafting out of the blender were enough cement by belief that matcha was going to be a hard pass for me, now and forever. But it turns out, real deal matcha is actually a wonderful thing. Wonderful in an I'm completely obsessed and want to share nothing but matcha recipes from now on, kind of way. 

Tea is such a great addition to baked goods (like earl grey banana muffins. omg yes.), but it often requires some level of heating, steeping, cooling or straining. Matcha powder provides green tea flavor but can be mixed right into batters, doughs, ice cream, whipped cream, really whatever you're feeling. Just please tell me you are feeling some vanilla and matcha swirled bundt cake. 

This cake is super tender and moist (thanks, buttermilk) and full of vanilla and matcha flavor. You could also substitute almond extract for the vanilla, if that's your thing. Finally, the cake gets topped with a matcha glaze so you can get as much green tea lovin as possible. Oh and lastly, about how I couldn't brave making a bundt cake for years after a few too many broken/stuck/miserable cake disasters: the secret to getting the cake out without a problem is butter and flour. Spraying it down with cooking spray is never enough. I like to melt a few tbsp. of butter in the microwave, then use a pastry brush to brush it into every last nook and cranny of the pan. Then I add a good scoop of flour and turn the pan to coat every inch. This method has never, ever, ever let me down. So go get to buttering, flouring and matcha swirling! 

Matcha Swirl Bundt Cake

| Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. Aiya cooking grade matcha powder

For the glaze: 

  •  3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Aiya cooking grade matcha powder

| Instructions

  •  Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Scrape the bowl and add the sugar. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until well light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the baking powder, salt and flour. Add half of the flour to the mixer and mix on low until just combined. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and continue mixing to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Remove half of the batter from the bowl and place in a small bowl. Add the matcha powder to the remaining batter and mix to combine. 
  • Fill the bundt pan using alternating scoops of vanilla and matcha batter. Use a knife to gently swirl the batter together. Be careful not to over-swirl or you will lose the definitive swirls and just have green batter. 
  • Bake 50-60 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  • Once the cake is cool, make the glaze. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Scrape the bowl and add the matcha powder, Whisk until combined. If the glaze seems too thick, add milk a splash at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. 
  • Use a small spatula to glaze the top of the cake, letting the glaze drip down the sides. This cake is best served the day it is made. If you are not serving it the same day, wrap the unglazed cake in plastic wrap to keep it fresh and apply the glaze just before serving. 

Thank you to Aiya Matcha for sponsoring this post. All opinions are, of course, my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Whole Bite running!