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Fruit Pebbles Cake – Fruity Pebbles infused cake layers, with a Fruity Pebbles filling and vanilla buttercream.
I’ve had this Fruity Pebbles cake on my mind since trying the Fruity Pebbles macaron ice cream sandwich from Perfect Scoop in Las Vegas last month. I was obsessed with how well they incorporated the cereal flavor into the cookie and the ice cream without just throwing in pieces of the cereal. The flavor was a part of every bite and that’s exactly what I wanted for this cake.
Trial and Error
In my first round, I used ground up cereal in place of some of the flour in the cake. It created a great flavor to the cake, but the texture was all wrong! It was too dense and fell apart really easily. I was disappointed, of course, but kept going. As I thought about how to get the Fruity Pebbles flavor into the cake, I remembered that Milk Bar has something they call “Cereal Milk.” Milk Bar creator, Christina Tosi, originally came up with this idea for a cereal panna cotta. Cereal Milk is made by soaking cereal in milk for about 20 minutes and then strain the milk. The milk remains smooth but there’s now a fabulous cereal flavor to it.
That’s exactly what I needed for this cake and it worked beautifully. With the Fruity Pebbles milk, you get a great Fruity Pebbles flavor in the cake (not too strong) and still have a fluffy, moist cake.
While I was thinking about Milk Bar, I also decided to use their cereal crunch element for this cake to add some texture to the layers. The cake is certainly a sweet one, so the added kosher salt in the crunch provides a bit of a balance.
And not one to stop there, I also wanted the filling to be flavored with Fruity Pebbles, so I ground up some more cereal and added it to my vanilla frosting. I love how it adds just one more touch of the cereal flavor and is a slightly different texture than the frosting itself. It does thicken slightly with the cereal crumbs in it.
So now with Fruity Pebbles cake layers, Fruity Pebbles filling and cereal crunch, and a whipped vanilla buttercream, this cake shouts Fruity Pebbles with every bite. It’s definitely on the sweeter side but I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Here’s a peek at how to assemble the cake. More detailed instructions can be found in the recipe below.
Fruity Pebbles Cake
Light and fluffy Fruity Pebbles flavored cake layers, topped with Fruity Pebbles filling and cereal crunch, and coated in a whipped vanilla buttercream.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
For the Cereal Flavored Milk
- 1 1/4 cup (300 g) milk
- 1 1/2 cup (180 g) Fruity Pebbles cereal
- 1/2 tablespoon (7 g) brown sugar
- pinch of salt
For the Funfetti Cake
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 1 1/3 cup (293 g) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons (16 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (240 g) cereal milk (recipe above)
- 5 egg whites room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (13 g) clear vanilla extract
For the Cereal Filling
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) Fruit Pebbles cereal
- 1/2 cup (75 g) milk powder
- 1 tablespoon (12.5 g) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (84.75 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Buttercream
- 2 1/4 cup 5 sticks (508.5 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
- 6 1/2 cups (812.5 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 1 tablespoon (4.2 g) clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
- 5 tablespoons (72 g) heavy whipping cream
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
For the Filling
- 2 cups frosting recipe above
- 2/3 cup (80 g) finely ground Fruit Pebbles (about 2 cups)
For the Cereal Milk
- Combine the milk and cereal in a medium bowl. Let sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve or strainer, collecting the milk in a small bowl. Collect 1 cup.
- Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved.
For the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round pans with nonstick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Spray again and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- With the mixer on medium low, gradually add the butter and milk. Stir until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the egg whites and clear vanilla extract in three batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Evenly divide the batter among the three pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks to cool completely. Can wrap each cake layer individually with plastic wrap and freeze for up to a week.
For the Cereal Crunch
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F.
- Pour the Fruit Pebbles into a medium bowl and crush them a little with your hands. Add the milk powder, sugar, salt, and toss to mix. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.
- Spread the clusters on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before using or store in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to a month.
For the Buttercream
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until nice and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
- Add the cream, salt and clear vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes.
- Transfer 2 cups of the frosting to a medium bowl.
- With the remaining frosting, beat by hand with a wooden spoon to push out any air pockets before frosting the cake.
For the Filling
- In a blender or food processor, pulse the Fruity Pebbles cereal into fine crumbs.
- Combine the Fruity Pebbles cereal and 2 cups of frosting and stir until combined. The filling will now be a little thicker than the frosting. It will spread more like a cookie dough filling. I suggest making the filling when you're ready to use it.
- Place your cake board on a turntable. Spread a small dollop of frosting on the cake board and place the first cake layer, top side up, on the center of the cake board.
- Carefully spread half of the Fruity Pebbles filling on the cake layer, followed by 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the Fruity Pebbles Crunch.
- Place the second cake layer, top side up, on the fillings and repeat step 2.
- Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the second layer of fillings. With the vanilla frosting, lightly frost the cake to create a crumb coat. (This layer of frosting is meant to be thin and does not need to be perfect. The point of the crumb coat is simply to lock in the crumbs.) Freeze the cake for 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- Continue frosting the cake with the remaining frosting and extra Fruity Pebbles Crunch. Best served day of assembly. Can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to a week.