Funfetti Layer Cake.

Buttery vanilla layer cake filled to the brim with rainbow sprinkles and finished off with sweet vanilla frosting with piped pink and blue border. No celebration is complete without a funfetti layer cake! Learn how to make it completely from scratch using this detailed homemade recipe.

Sally's Baking Addiction Recipe - Funfetti Layer Cake

ITSMA BIRTHDAY!

30!

Funfetti Layer Cake-3

In the spirit of this “no-more-excuses-you’re-seriously-a-grown-up-now-because-you’re-thirty” day, I’m sharing the most obnoxiously vibrant, playful recipe in all the land. I’ve shared a plethora of sprinkle-packed cakes on my blog before:

Each one is a little different in both preparation and ingredients, which just goes to show that there are many ways to enjoy this classic birthday masterpiece.

I made today’s cake for my birthday. Sidenote. Is that weird? I always make my own birthday cake? Do you do that too? #bakerproblems

For my 30th, I wanted a towering colorful cake with a soft, cakey interior that is perfectly moist without tasting greasy. Lots of vanilla and butter flavors in each crumb with a sweet vanilla frosting that can only be compared to big fluffy clouds. I realize these are high standards for a cake but it’s completely doable. Are you ready? Apron = on. Butter = softening. Sprinkles = obviously I just dropped those on the floor. Let’s do this!

This Funfetti Layer Cake recipe is on sallysbakingaddiction.com!

First thing’s first. Look at this cake. This is a huge three layer funfetti monster. Expect high amounts of each ingredient. To get that ultimate fluffy, cakey, soft crumb– we are going to cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer. Oh HEYYY look what I’m giving away right now. Let’s get the butter and sugar nice and creamy. To this, we’re going to add vanilla extract and eggs. Lots of vanilla for flavor. Make sure you’re using pure vanilla, none of that imitation stuff. Likewise, use quality eggs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Eggland’s Best eggs are called the best for a reason. They truly are, uh, the best! For a cake calling for 4 eggs plus 2 additional egg whites*, it’s imperative to use the good stuff.

*About those egg whites. We are going to whip those until they are thick and foamy, then fold them into the batter last. Those voluminous, airy egg whites help create a fluffy cake with less likelihood of a dense crumb. I do something similar with my red velvet cake and love the results.

Make sure you’re using buttermilk. Not skim, 1%, 2%, whole milk, etc. Buttermilk is necessary not only to neutralize the baking soda, but to give the cake a luxuriously moist, rich flavor. If you don’t usually keep it on hand, please read my recipe notes about making your own DIY buttermilk at home.

One more thing about the batter– the sprinkles. I get questions about sprinkles on a daily basis. Confusing little gems, aren’t they? Do not use nonpareils (the little balls) in this cake. They will bleed their color as you fold them in, resulting in a less-than-appetizing color cake. Use rainbow sprinkles, also known as jimmies. I buy them in bulk from here. Or you can use confetti quins. Confetti quins are the little circle sprinkles I used as decor on top of today’s pictured cake. I love quins because (1) they never streak the batter, (2) are adorable, and (3) they’re my last name.

Win win win.

This Funfetti Layer Cake recipe is on sallysbakingaddiction.com!

We’re going to frost this rainbow delight with vanilla frosting. If chocolate is more your style, use the chocolate fudge frosting recipe in this post. (It’s enough for this size cake.)

It’s a basic vanilla frosting recipe that is creamy, smooth, and complimentary to the buttery funfetti cake underneath. I had a little frosting leftover, so I tinted it pink and blue to use as garnish for the top of the cake.

Reminds me of pretty pastel cotton candy. 🙂 You can certainly do this too, or you can tint the entire bowl of frosting any color you’d like.

Sally's Baking Addiction Recipe - Funfetti Layer Cake

Yes or no: you are now blind from the amount of rainbow in this post.

Let’s party!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Funfetti Layer Cake

Buttery vanilla layer cake filled to the brim with rainbow sprinkles and finished off with sweet vanilla frosting with piped pink and blue border.

Ingredients:

Funfetti Cake

  • 3 and 3/4 cups (431g) sifted all-purpose flour1 (measured correctly)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large Eggland's Best eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large Eggland's Best egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, room temperature2
  • 3/4 cup (142g) rainbow sprinkles3

Vanilla Frosting4

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 cups (700g) sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) pure vanilla extract (or use clear imitation vanilla extract for stark white frosting)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional: additional sprinkles for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.5
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 5 full minutes until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, add 1 whole egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all 4 whole eggs are mixed in. Set the 2 egg whites aside for now. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix this batter. The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick. Vigorously whisk or beat the 2 additional egg whites until thick, foamy, and soft peaks form- about 3 minutes. Gently fold into the batter. Finally, fold the sprinkles into the batter. Spoon/pour batter evenly into each cake pan.
  4. Bake for around 25 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
  5. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin, more cream if frosting is too thick, or a pinch more of salt if frosting is way too sweet.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with frosting. Finish with the third cake layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. I tinted extra frosting both pink (1 drop pink food coloring) and blue (1 drop blue coloring) and used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe it around the top edges. Decorate top of cake with sprinkles, if desired.
  7. Slice, serve, enjoy!
  8. Make ahead tip: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Assemble and frost the cake the next day when you are ready to serve. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months if you have room in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Honestly, it tastes much better fresh.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Make sure you sift the flour before measuring. Sifting is KEY. Otherwise, your cake layers could taste much too dense. You can also use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Use 4 cups (400g) sifted cake flour.
  2. Buttermilk is required for this cake recipe. If you do not keep it on hand, you can make a sour milk by adding 4 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk (whole, skim, 1%, 2%) to make 1 and 1/2 cups total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This soured milk can be used in the recipe.
  3. Do NOT use sprinkles that will dye your batter. Steer clear from nonpareils, which are the little balls. I use rainbow jimmies and pastel colored quins. Always be gentle adding these to batter and do not overmix.
  4. Try my chocolate fudge frosting instead! Use this frosting recipe. It makes enough for this size cake.
  5. You can pour this batter evenly into four 9-inch cake pans to make a 4 layer cake instead of a 3 layer cake. The bake time is around 23-24 minutes. You can also use a cupcake pan to make about 3 dozen cupcakes, more or less. Fill halfway, bake for about 20 minutes.

Adapted from Piñata Cake

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

3 more birthday treats!

Funfetti Cheesecake

Funfetti Cheesecake Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Funfetti Buttermilk Pancakes (YES and YES)

Funfetti Buttermilk Pancakes-2

Cake Batter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cake Batter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Eggland’s Best provided me with eggs to bring you this recipe.

The one and ONLY funfetti cake recipe you need!

484 comments

  1. Sally, This recipe looks so yummy. I would like to try it for my son’s birthday next week. I can bake only one cake at a time. Can I keep the remaining batter outside until the first cake is done? Heard that the cake batter must go to oven immediately after mixing.. Please advice..

  2. Can this cake recipe be used for stacked tier cakes? 

  3. Oh my goodness! I just made this with a gluten free flour blend and coconut milk and it turned out aaah-mazing!!! So light a fluffy, I think I just died and went to heaven. Thank you for this gem!! My three-year-old is in birthday cake heaven <3

  4. I cant use buttermilk due to my sons milk allergies, is there a subsitution?

  5. Hello! I would love to bake this cake, but before I do, I would like to know if anyone has tried in high altitude. If so, what changes, if any, were needed. 
    Sally, have you read any comment of somebody trying this cake at high altitude? Thank you!

    • I don’t recall– and sorry, I wish I could be more help. Zero experience baking at high altitudes! Let me know what you try out.

      • Thank you Sally!! 

      • Hi Sally! I tried the frosting for now and it absolutely delicious, I never thought I could make a frosting that taste that good! Thank you for the recipe! I’ll be using it for my daughter’s birthday next month:)  One question though: do you think I can add some caramel and turn it into caramel buttercream? If you think it’s a good idea, how much should I add?

    • I made this cake at an elevation of 4500 ft and it turned out great!

  6. How many grams is 4 cups sifted cake flour

  7. Would a 8×1.5 inch pan work for 3 layers? I don’t have a 9 inch pan. 

  8. Hi Sally! I can never get get the frosting to be so white? Please help, it always has a tint, is there any way to get it to be stark white like in the pictures? Thank you and love your stuff!! xx You are super! 🙂

  9. Hi Sally~ Is it okay to bake and frost the cake on the same day and leave it out of the fridge overnight to be served the next day? I found that when I put the cake in the fridge after applying sugar water and covering with cling wrap, the cake was slightly dense and a bit dry. So I’m thinking of assembling it without putting it into the fridge.
    Also, great recipe! My family loved it xoxo

  10. I baked this cake for my boyfriend. He loved it. I find it a little too sweet probably because the rainbow sprinkles added in the batter are sweet as well. I would try to reduce the sugar quantity in the cake batter next time. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks for this great recipe!

  11. Hey I am thinking about making this cake tommorow but I want to make one cake and cut the three layers instead of baking them separately. Do you think it will work?

  12. I made this for our Easter dessert, and I had to tell you how amazing it was! The cakes turned out beautifully! I always get a little nervous with cake recipes, because sometimes cakes sink and sometimes they turn out great, so I always get nervous opening the oven for the first time after they’ve baked. I think the key to a successful cake is great instructions. Yours were SO helpful! I like knowing how long to mix something–the time and the speed. I like having the gram/mL measurements. I love all your tips at the end. I really appreciate clear directions. I used cake flour. The crumb of the cake was perfect–it had a light, fine crumb. The frosting was delish. Although, I measured out 580 grams of powdered sugar, then I sifted it. For kicks and giggles, I decided to measure in 5 cups of the sifted powdered sugar, and once I measured the 5 cups, there was quite a bit left in the bowl, SO, I did not use 580 grams of powdered sugar. I also used my butter vanilla emulsion instead of the vanilla extract, since that emulsion is white, and I could keep that beautiful white frosting. Thanks so much for a great recipe! This is definitely a keeper!

  13. Hi Sally,

    What would the baking times be for 3 – 8″ cakes, each 2″ in depth?

    I made this cake for my middle daughter’s 3rd birthday last year, and my youngest will have this at her 2nd birthday this Sunday! Thanks for such great recipes <3

  14. Hi Sally – making this for my birthday!! Can i add a vanilla bean to this for added vanilla flavor?

  15. This cake looks perfect for my son’s birthday but he really wants me to use our igloo cake pan. Will this recipe work in that type of pan?

  16. Can this cake be baked and then frozen?

  17. I love the look of this cake, but my daughter wants a pinata cake for her birthday! I’m therefore hoping to combine the two to make a funfetti pinata cake with white frosting. Would this recipe work for a pinata cake if I increase the quantities to make 4 layers? Or could I add sprinkles to your pinata cake recipe and use the frosting from the funfetti cake? Thanks 🙂

  18. How many serving would you say you would get out of the cake? Looks amazing! My soon to be 2 year old will love it for her birthday! Thanks!

  19. Can i use self raising flour and leave out the baking powder and soda???

  20. Hi Sally, thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I made a raspberry swirl layer cake with this as the basic recipe (omitting the funfetti), and using a skewer to swirl homemade raspberry puree through the batter. It’s totally delicious. This is my new staple vanilla cake for sure – can’t wait to try it with the funfetti too!

  21. I have been on the hunt for a go to, from scratch, white cake recipe and I think I have found it! I used this recipe last weekend to make red, white and blue cupcakes for our neighborhood block party. I also used your buttercream recipe and LOVED it. The cupcakes turned out denser than I had thought they would (thought it was going to be light and fluffy like a box mix) but not sure if that’s normal or because I had to refrigerate (didn’t want to leave it out since I had already added the egg whites) the batter after mixing it before I baked it. I was in a time crunch and thought I had time to bake it but as usual I didn’t so I stuck it in the fridge and baked it when I got home. When I took it out of the fridge it was hard, like when you refrigerate buttercream for a bit then try and spread it (probably because of all the butter!) but I did a test bake with six cupcakes and it worked so I was happy I didn’t have to remake the whole thing. Next time I’ll definitely give myself enough time to mix and bake all at the same time. Everyone loved the cupcakes too so that’s all that counts! Wish I could add a picture of them to this but I did tag you in my instagram post! 

  22. Hi Sally! Per your usual, this recipe is fantastic! Thank you for the very detailed instructions as well! Turns out I haven’t been creaming my butter and sugar long enough, for years! I’ve never seen the consistency the creamed mixture got with the 5 minutes of mixing. I guess patience is important:) 

    The cake is so delicious that it really doesn’t need the frosting and I’m a frosting girl! My only issue is that I got too lazy to cut parchment for the bottoms of my cake pans so one of my layers got stuck and broke apart when I tried banging it out. Nothing a little frosting surgery can’t fix (I hope!). I learned my lesson 🙂 

  23. Hi, I’d love to bake the funfetti cake for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. She’s asking for a layer cake with one blue, one pink, and one yellow layer. I’ve never used food dye when baking before. Could I add coloring to each layer of this recipe? If so, what kind of coloring do you recommend and how much? She likes pastels. Thank you! 

  24. Hey Sally,
    Would this funfetti go well with a buttercream icing? Is that what your icing recipe is like? My son’s first birthday is this week and I’ve never made a cake from scratch (and always used jar frosting) but wanted to attempt #momstatus

    Thoughts??

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