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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.

slice of funfetti layer cake on a pink polka dot plate

funfetti layer cake on a serving plate with a 3 and 0 candles

Funfetti Sprinkle Cake

This is 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?

slice of funfetti layer cake on a pink polka dot plate

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.

layer of funfetti cake with frosting on top

We’re going to frost this rainbow delight with vanilla frosting. If chocolate is more your style, use the chocolate fudge frosting from my piñata cake. (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. You can certainly do this too, or you can tint the entire bowl of frosting any color you’d like.

funfetti layer cake on a plate and a slice of cake on a pink polka dot plate

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slice of funfetti layer cake on a pink polka dot plate

Funfetti Layer Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 1214 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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



Funfetti Cake

  • 3 and 3/4 cups (443g) 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


  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!


  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi! If I want to make cupcakes, do you recommend using the Funfetti cupcake recipe instead of this one? I looked at the cupcake recipe and they are quite different.

    1. Hi Amanda, I have a soft spot for those funfetti cupcakes! Since they’re made with melted butter, you can really taste that buttery flavor in the baked and cooled cupcakes. Using melted butter in a tall layer cake does create a denser texture, so that’s why I prefer softened/creamed butter here among a couple other small changes.

  2. Two questions:
    1. Why flour dusted bottom versus parchment for baking?
    2. If I bake on a Monday and plan to serve on a Wednesday, would you recommend for storing? Keep out or freeze?

    1. Hi Teal, You can use parchment here. Spray with non-stick spray, use a parchment round, and then spray again. If your cake is covered tightly, you can keep it out until you’re ready to serve it. Enjoy!

      1. The recipe is for a 3 layer 9 inch cake, but what about a 2 layer rectangular cake?

      2. Hi Athena, you can double this Easy Homemade Sprinkle Cake (Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean) for a single 9×13 cake — so you can do that twice for two 9×13 cakes. Let us know if you give it a try!

      3. Thanks! Can i use lowfat cultured buttermilk vs regular if all I can find?

  3. I followed this recipe exactly – room temperature ingredients, not overmixing the flour (I used cake flour), etc. My cake didn’t rise. I used fresh baking powder & fresh baking soda. But when I saw only 1 tsp baking powder & 1 tsp baking soda for 3 & 3/4 cups flour, I was skeptical. I was taught in my college baking class that 1 tsp leavening to 1 tsp flour is the norm. So a big part of the rise was supposed to happen because of the 2 whipped egg whites folded into the quite thick batter. I ended up with 3 flat layers of cake on my hands that needed to feed 11 people. I had to bake another cake. I baked my mom’s old recipe for yellow layer cake and added sprinkles. It turned out perfectly. I used 2 of the Funfetti cake layers (they tasted really dry & “heavy”) & the two of my mom’s yellow cake layers which were tender & fluffy. The cake was a success, but not because of the Funfetti Layer Cake recipe. I won’t make it again. However, the frosting was to die for. I frosted the cake with the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting from Sally’s Homemade Strawberry Cake which is delicious & I bake often.

  4. Hi Sally! For a six-inch layer cake, would you recommend using this recipe or the cupcake recipe?

  5. Excited to try! How many cups of batter does this recipe make? I want to use a dome pan (9in x 4.5in) that says it needs 6 3/4 cups of batter. Wondering if I will have enough batter/ how much I will need to adjust the recipe by. Thanks!

    1. Hi Audrey, Happy to help, this batter produces at least 8 cups. (Around 8-9 cups exactly!)

  6. Can’t wait to try this, Sally! If I want to tint the entire batch of frosting blue, how many drops and when should I add the coloring?

    1. Hi Paul, you can mix in food coloring at the end. We always recommend gel food coloring for the most vibrant colors without adding too much liquid. Start with a small amount and add more to your desired color. Enjoy!

  7. Each layer was a little bit over an inch tall. Is this normal for this recipe?
    I need two 3or 4 layer cakes and my layers came out much shorter than expected m. Suggestions?

    1. Hi Amanda, these layers aren’t particularly tall, but if yours seem a bit squat, make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. We find they start to lose their freshness after 3 months. Also, be sure not to over mix your batter, as that can lead to dense, squat cakes. Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try!

  8. Quick question.. How does using cake flour instead of all purpose flour impact the outcome of the cake? I see you identified they could be substituted for one another at a 1:1 ratio, but just wanted to explore this further before I make the cake. Thank you!

    1. Hi CeeCee, cake flour will give you a lighter crumb/texture than all-purpose flour. Let us know what you try!

      1. Hi Nelson, this cake batter will fit nicely in a Bundt pan — we’re unsure of the exact bake time. Let us know how it turns out for you!

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