Since several major food brands started phasing out the use of artificial coloring, we've been forced to face the reality that many of our favorite snacks from childhood will be a bit duller than we're used to. Kraft mac and cheese is no longer almost-neon. Blue and green Trix, au revoir.
And what will become of our Technicolor-swirled Easter eggs?
Thankfully, at least one treat remains untouched in all of its sugary, rainbow glory: We're talking about the almighty Funfetti cake. Introduced by Pillsbury in 1990, Funfetti cake is a glorious synthesis of fluffy white carbs and psychedelic color crystals. Although they probably didn't do much in the way of flavor alteration, the "fettis" in Funfetti cake serve to illuminate the dessert with the gaiety of artificial coloring and needless but charming decoration.
Now that we're a little bit older, we find ourselves making cake from a box a little bit less frequently than we used to. But that doesn't mean that we couldn't use a little fun in our cake, dammit. Maybe we're a little too adult to be rustling for eggs in the bushes this morning, but we're never too old for Funfetti.
Callie Speer of Austin eatery Swift's Attic is a culinary genius for many reasons—some of which are showcased in her episode of Chef's Night Out—but not the least of which is her remix and reprisal of the now-classic cake.
For starters, yes, it's made from scratch, which is a tad more challenging than the just-add-eggs-oil-and-water Funfetti you remember, but is well worth the additional legwork. (And it's still very easy, as far as baking goes.)
But here's the best part, and it's not the quarter-cup of sprinkles dumped in the mix (although those are delightful, too). Once you've made the from-scratch vanilla cake, you go all tres leches on it by soaking it in a mix of coconut milk, condensed milk, whole milk, and kaffir lime leaves.
Maybe being a grown-up ain't so bad. We can still eat what we love, and it might just be even a little bit better than we remembered. Guess that's the wisdom that comes with age.