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

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!

My tip: 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.

The best confetti birthday cake recipe! Learn how to make this vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream from scratch! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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Funfetti Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12-14
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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 flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 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 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, room temperature*
  • 3/4 cup (142g) rainbow sprinkles*

Vanilla Frosting*

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.*
  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!

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Honestly, it tastes much better fresh.
  2. Flour: 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 the same amount, 1:1 substitution.
  3. Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a DIY sour milk substitute. Add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 and 1/2 cups. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cake won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  4. Sprinkles: Avoid using 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.
  5. Chocolate Frosting: Try my chocolate fudge frosting instead! Use this frosting recipe. It makes enough for this size cake.
  6. 4 Layer Cake: 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.

Keywords: funfetti layer cake, funfetti cake, sprinkle cake

The one and ONLY funfetti cake recipe you need!

380 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    I want to make this cake for my niece’s birthday. The only thing is it has to be dairy free, will this work with non-dairy butter and almond milk substituted for the cream? (I see the edit about the DIY buttermilk- will almond milk and white vinegar be okay for this?)

    Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bethany, The buttermilk will would with soured almond milk, however we haven’t tested this recipe with dairy free butter. Let us know if you try it!

    2. Hi Bethany- I’m curious if you tried this and it worked? I have to make a non dairy cake for my niece next week!

      1. Yes! I have made this recipe a few times using ripple (and adding lemon juice) for buttermilk, and used plant-based “butter” and even vegan frosting with the same to meet my son’s allergy restrictions and no one has ever noticed it’s a vegan cake!!

  2. Would this recipe work in a cakelet bundt pan? This will be my first time using a cakelet bundt pan so I’m not familiar with how they cook. This recipe sounds so good and I want to use it for a special birthday cake. Thank you

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dianna, This cake batter will fit nicely in a bundt pan! I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  3. Hi Sally, I was will be making this cake for a birthday party and was thinking of adding jam to each layer as well as your buttercream for added flavor and moisture. Do you think it would be too moist and sink my layers?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rubylu, I don’t recommend adding jam to the batter before baking the cake, but you can certainly layer it with the buttercream between layers if you wish.

  4. Would this work in 8 inch pans?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Isabel, yes! The layers will be thicker if using 8 inch pans, so increase the bake time. I’m unsure of exact bake time. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Happy baking!

  5. Hi Sally,
    I have to make a cake for my cousin’s baby shower. I was planning on using a onesie cake tin to make her cake. Out of your white cake recipes, what would you suggest is the best to use? I am also going to use icing to ice the cake first and then cover it with fondant. Thank you!! :))

  6. Hi Sally,
    I have to bake a white cake for my cousin’s baby shower. Do you have any suggestions on which recipe of yours I should use? For her cake, I am going to use a onesie cake pan. I am going to ice it as well and cover over it with fondant.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie, This is our Favorite White Cake recipe. We have not tested it in a specialty shaped pan so I’m unsure of how much batter and the bake time needed.

  7. Becki Vieira says:

    How would you recommend storing this cake. I usually try and leave my cakes out the fridge in a cool place so the sponge doesn’t dry out. Would this still be okay even with the cream?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Becki, After decorating anything with buttercream or cream cheese frosting, it’s fine for 1 day at room temperature. After that, I would definitely refrigerate it. But, use your best judgment and whatever you are comfortable with- We’ve never had any problems leaving frosted desserts at room temperature for a day

  8. Hi Sally
    I’m wondering how much buttercream I’d need to make to fill and crumb coat a five layer 8” inch cake with buttercream rosettes all over as well?!
    Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Esha, You can double the frosting recipe so that you can be sure you have plenty to work with for your rosettes.

  9. Thanks Sally for this great recipe, it was my daughter’s 10th birthday yesterday and we both made the cake, we also baked your cake batter chocolate chips cookies, what a hit!
    She was over the moon.

  10. Could I add food coloring to the frosting to decorate?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely!

  11. Hello! I’m planning to build a fire truck cake (pray for me!!!) for my son’s 4th birthday. I’m like to use this recipe since it’s firmer than the sheet cake recipe, but still plan on using a 9x13x.75inch sheetcake pan — would that work? If not, any suggestions?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kristen! This will be too much batter for a 9×13 or 12×17. You can use it, however, and only fill the pan halfway. Use the rest for cupcakes if you’d like. Hope your son has a wonderful 4th birthday!

  12. Becki Vieira says:

    I made this the other day and it was amazing!! However I would now like to try and bake in either 2 6 inch tins that are 4 inches tall and cut each layer in half to make a 4 layer cake, or maybe bake in 3 x 6 inch tins. I’m looking for a relatively tall cake

    Is this possible? My thoughts would be too reduce temp and cook for longer but not sure if it is too drastic a change?

    1. Hi Becki! I’m so glad that you enjoy this cake recipe! Thank you so much. For different cake pans, I recommend checking out my Cake Pan Sizes and Conversions page to help you determine how to alter this recipe. I wouldn’t reduce the oven temperature– likely just the bake time.

  13. Charles Fisher says:

    Hi Sally. I made this for my daughter’s second birthday party. It was beautiful and the taste was good, but the layers were thin and very dense. I thought I was very careful to not overmix and folded in the sprinkles carefully. I’m looking to make it again for a friend’s birthday party, and I want to do better. Do you have any recommendations? I was considering adding a bit more baking powder and using 8 inch pans.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Charles, 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 for an even lighter texture. For more troubleshooting tips see the post How to Prevent a Dry or Dense Cake. I hope this helps!

      1. So if you substitute all purpose flour for cake flour do you still add the baking soda, salt and baking powder to the cake flour? Plan to make this for my daughters birthday. Want the cake to be moist and pretty.

  14. Jennine Beaver says:

    Hi Sally! Hoping to make this for my sons 2nd birthday but looking to make a smaller 6” cake. Any recommendations on bake time or halving the recipe so the layers aren’t too thick?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennine, what a fun and festive cake for your son’s birthday! I recommend making our confetti cupcakes recipe and follow the instructions in this 6-inch cake recipes post. The cupcake batter will yield 3 6-inch layers. Hope he has a wonderful birthday!

  15. Hi Sally!
    I did a trial run of this cake for my boyfriends birthday and he really liked it, but just mentioned it was a little dense. I followed all directions and only changed the buttermilk to oat milk with lemon. In your “How to Prevent a Dry or Dense Cake”, you say to mix the butter and sugar for 1-2 min, but in this recipe you say to do it for 5 min. Just wanted to double check if I should do it for 1-2 or 5 min? And I’m going to try to make the cake with buttermilk instead, do you have any other recommendations on how to make it less dense?
    Thank you!!!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Angela, Make sure you sift the flour before measuring. Sifting is KEY. Otherwise, your cake layers could taste much too dense. For the lightest texture cake you can use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Use the same amount, 1:1 substitution.

  16. I made this today and it turned out perfect! The cake is moist and delicious. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sally,
      I want to make this cake for my son’s bday. I don’t have cake sandwich tins. Can I use this recipe for making a 10inch cake in a deep cake pan? How should I adjust the bake time?

  17. Will this recipe yield too much batter for a 10″ bundt pan? I am making a “donut” inspired cake, but I want a funfetti batter. If you think there will be left over batter, I will make cupcakes.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sonya, This cake batter will fit nicely in a bundt pan! I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  18. Loved this recipe, so good!

  19. Is there a way to make this gluten free? Wanted to make this for a momma to be and her diet requires her to be gluten free.

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amber, so thoughtful of you! We haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free alternatives but some readers report success using 1:1 GF flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup). If you try it, let us know how it goes!

  20. Hi Sally, love your site! I’d like to make a lemon version of this cake. Would you just add the zest of a couple lemons? Or something else?

    And for some reason I always get blobs off egg white when I try to do the folding in thing. Where am I going wrong?

    Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bola, You can try using lemon extract in addition to the vanilla and adding lemon zest. OR use our recipe for Lemon Layer Cake and add sprinkles to it.
      You may need to just fold the batter together for a minute longer to fully incorporate the egg whites. Also for easiest mixing make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.

  21. Hey sally, can I cover this cake with fondant?

    1. Sure can! It holds up nicely under fondant.

  22. Hi Sally

    I’ve tried to make this cake twice now and both times have turned out way too dense. Not just dense but flat and hard. I sifted the flour before measuring, made sure the room temperature butter wasn’t too warm, etc. It seems fine and light while baking but after I take it out of the oven it just falls and solidifies. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Help!

    1. Hi Jen! It’s certainly frustrating when that happens. Lately I’ve found that increasing the baking powder and baking soda to 1 teaspoon each helps support this heavier batter. Make sure everything is at room temperature, avoid over-mixing the batter as much as you can, and see if anything in my How to Prevent a Dense Cake post helps you as well.

      1. Thank you so much for the quick reply! After reading your tips I wonder if I’m over-creaming the butter. I need to make another cake for this weekend so will try again!

        A kind of separate question, you mention cake flour but the ones I find in the UK have raising agents added already so I don’t know how to modify the baking powder and/or baking soda in the recipe. Any suggestions?

  23. Amelia McGoldrick says:

    I just came here to say that I am making this for MY birthday tomorrow! So, it’s not weird, or maybe it is. You can’t rely on someone else to bring cake to blow out candles on. Which is an essential part of the celebration!
    I loveeeeeeee a classic white bday cake and I’m super excited to try your recipe.

  24. I love this recipe!

  25. Can i substitute buttermilk for milk?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Regan, This cake recipe is already written using buttermilk 🙂

  26. Can you use just whole eggs in this batter and omit the egg whites? If so, how many whole eggs should be used?

    1. Hi Julie, for best taste and texture, I strongly recommend following the recipe as written. The less yolks, the fluffier the crumb.

  27. Hi Sally,
    I want to make a vanilla/funfetti Bundt cake. Pan capacity is about 8.5 cups. Which recipe would you recommend using? Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachel, This cake batter will fit nicely in a bundt pan! I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  28. Hi Sally. Can I make this into a two layer cake instead of 3? If so, how do I alter the recipe? Would I half it and do I change bake time? Can I add Oreos to make a cookies and cream cake? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amanda, You could cut the recipe in half and have two thinner layers – the bake time would be less. For 2 layers with the cake as shown, you would need to make 2/3 of the recipe. You can definitely add chopped Oreos to this batter. I recommend about 1 cup chopped Oreos for the full recipe (1/2 cup if cutting the recipe in half, etc.), then leave out the sprinkles.
      OR simply make this 2 layer white cake and add Oreos to that batter 🙂

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