Marshmallow Flavoring Will Upgrade Your Funfetti Cake

A bag of Skittles may be the most convenient way to taste the rainbow, but where's the fun in that? We're sure a number of millennials would agree that indulging in a slice (or two) of Funfetti cake is an even more exciting way to add a bit of color to your day.

Introduced to the boxed cake mix scene by Pillsbury in 1989, the '90s birthday dessert phenomenon is still all the rage today, but that should hardly come as a surprise since the Roy G. Biv-inspired confection literally has "fun" in its name. And while it may be hard to believe that a rainbow sprinkle-infused cake coated in a thick layer of vanilla frosting and even more colorful jimmies could get any better, Heather Gray of the Instagram account @onesweeetmama suggests that swapping the vanilla extract for marshmallow flavoring is the simple switch that will upgrade your next homemade Funfetti cake.

In an Instagram post, Gray explained that she followed her Funfetti cake recipe exactly as written. However, when it came time to add in the vanilla extract, she swapped it for 1 ½ teaspoons of marshmallow flavoring, which she noted could be purchased through Amazon or Walmart. "It holds up in the baking process and it is a great flavor," she said of her secret Funfetti tip. "So ditch the vanilla. Use the marshmallow flavor."

Why this ingredient swap works

Whether a single-layer sheet cake or an extravagant, multi-tiered confection on par with Milk Bar's iconic birthday cake, a finished Funfetti cake is a beautiful sight. However, as anybody who has ever dug into a slice of the nostalgic sweet treat likely knows, most are traditionally made with a basic white, yellow, or vanilla cake that isn't exactly remnant to the taste of marshmallows. So why, then, does substituting marshmallow flavoring for vanilla extract take a homemade Funfetti to the next level?

According to Gray, most commercial Funfetti cakes get their taste from an artificial flavor called vanillin which, believe it or not, can be produced without using a single vanilla bean. This flavor is not interchangeable with the typical brown-colored pure vanilla extract that you likely have in your pantry right now. That is made using vanilla bean extractives in water. However, as our Insta-friend claims in her post, marshmallow flavoring will apparently get you pretty close to replicating that vanillin taste that is responsible for the classic boxed Funfetti cake mix that we all know and love. Additionally, you could also experiment with clear vanilla extract, which does get its flavor primarily from vanillin and is an ingredient you might find in celebrity chef Christina Tosi's famous Milk Bar cakes.