Ditch that boxed mix! Making super-moist funfetti cake from scratch is (literally) a piece of cake.
I am a serious funfetti-er. I adore anything and everything to do with sprinkles, cake batter, nonpareils, and rainbow colors. This right here is the mother of all funfetti cakes. I made it 100% from scratch in no time at all – the 3 coworkers of mine who tasted it say it’s the best cake they’ve EVER eaten. The crumb is SO unbelievably moist, the batter is loaded with sprinkles, and the ingredients are convenient. It is, literally, a piece of cake to make this.
I honestly can not praise this cake enough. Ditch the box mix!
I used the same recipe as my Easy Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes, with two very small changes: I added some brown sugar to replace some of the white sugar. Not much, just 1/4 cup. I did this because cakes have the tendency to dry out and I wanted to avoid this at all costs. The scant 1/4 cup of brown sugar does nothing to the taste – just the texture. I also added more vanilla extract to enhance the vanilla flavor.
I’ve heard from many friends, family, and readers who have made my homemade funfetti cupcakes that they are hooked. They tell me they are never buying a box mix again! The cupcakes are THAT good and THAT easy to make. Well, the cake is just the same. What I love most about the cake is how moist it stays after a few days. Today is day 3 and the cake is actually even more moist than the day I made it. Sort of like banana bread, the vanilla and butter flavors settle together after a few days and become more concentrated.
Typically cakes dry out as the days go on, but this magical cake gets more moist on days 2 and 3.
You may make this recipe into one 9-inch cake or 12 cupcakes. Or even mini cupcakes!
Today, we are focusing on cake.
There is nothing complicated about the ingredients or preparation for today’s recipe. You will need: all-purpose flour, leavening agents (baking powder & soda), salt, brown sugar, white sugar, 1 stick of melted butter, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and milk.
You will toss the dry ingredients together by hand. Set those aside. Grab a whisk and mix the melted butter and sugars. The whisk is used to break up all of the brown sugar lumps – you do not want any lumps. Whisk, whisk, whisk until things appear to be combined.
Now, I mentioned this in the cupcake post, but let me reiterate why I use butter instead of oil today as the fat. I love using oil in cake and cupcake recipes – it brings the finished baked good SO much moisture and a delicate texture. Oil is one of the main reasons I call my homemade carrot cake “super moist.” However, I use butter in my funfetti cake and cupcake recipe because the addition of plain yogurt does a mighty fine job keeping things moist and soft. Plus, you still get a that iconic buttery taste funfetti cakes possess.
To the butter/sugars, add 1 large egg, yogurt, a whopping 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk it all together so no yogurt lumps remain. Plain yogurt (greek or regular) or sour cream may be used to replace the vanilla yogurt.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, making sure not to overmix the batter. Use a bit of elbow grease and stir out all the lumps. The batter will be thick. And by the way… will taste AMAZING.
Now it’s time to add the sprinkles. Sprinkles = life. Be careful adding them to the batter as nonpareils (the little balls) have the tendency to bleed their color. I used traditional sprinkles in the batter and nonpareils to decorate the cake. Lots of nonpareils. In addition to the nonpareils, I showered the cake with Edible Gold Glitter Stars.
Bake the cake in a 9 inch springform or regular round/square pan. The cake takes 33-37 minutes to bake through. Cover the cake after 20 minutes to avoid the top from browning too much before it is finished.
For the frosting, I used my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe. I added a tad more vanilla extract to make it a little thinner to spread easier over the cake. Two tricks for my frosting: (1) use heavy cream as the liquid for the ultimate creamy, fluffy frosting and (2) whip your butter around with the mixer for a solid 3 minutes before adding anything else. This creates a solid, creamy base for the frosting.
The vanilla buttercream frosting is SO thick and full of vanilla flavor. You will just love it. I am quite certain that nothing beats homemade buttercream. My recipe does not taste processed or fake, like the kind you have at the grocery store.
Once the cake is cool, you may frost it any way you like. I simply frosted the top using an offset icing knife. I chose not to frost down the sides to save myself some time. There is plenty of frosting for this cake. In fact, you’ll be getting close to a 1:1 cake/frosting ratio in each bite.
Each moist bite of this childhood favorite cake is loaded with sprinkles. The sprinkles really stand out in the baked cake – colorful and bright – which I loved. I plan to make this funfetti cake again using our upcoming wedding colors – pinks, golds, and oranges.
The taste and texture? Moist, fluffy, tender, buttery, with a profound vanilla flavor. Much more profound than what you get from most funfetti cake mixes. Yes, this recipe puts ALL box mixes to shame. Don’t you just want to dive in?
Making funfetti cake from scratch is so simple – truly, you should not be intimidated at all. It’s actually easier than cupcakes – no scooping into individual muffin tins. Just pour and bake and frost and eat. You’re going to love this homemade cake!
Homemade Funfetti Cake
Easier and tastier than anything you can get in a box!
Yield: Serves 10
- 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt (plain or vanilla; or greek yogurt; or sour cream)
- 3/4 cup (180ml) milk (cow's milk; or soy milk; or almond milk)
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup sprinkles (not nonpareils)
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3-4 cups (360-480g) powdered (confectioners') sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream (see note above about substituting milk or half-and-half)
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- salt, as needed
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform or baking pan (round or square) generously with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick. Slowly stir in sprinkles, but do not overmix because the sprinkles will bleed their color.
Pour/spoon batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil). Bake for 13-17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add 1/4 teaspoon (or more) if frosting is too sweet. Frost cooled cake as desired and top with sprinkles. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you wish to use.
Cake stays fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Interested in making a layer cake? You could: (1) Bake the cake as indicated and slice the cake horizontally to create two layers. Double the frosting if desired. (2) Double the cake recipe and bake in two separate 9-inch cake pans for 1 extra tall layer cake. Double the frosting recipe as well.
Try using this recipe to make standard size cupcakes or into 24+ mini cupcakes, baking for just 8-9 minutes.
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