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



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!

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.

*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!

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

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

  • 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


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 (431g) sifted all-purpose flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 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: Buttermilk is best 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.
  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!


  1. I have made your vanilla layer cake many times and it is the perfect recipe! I was looking to make a funfetti cake but see that this recipe does not call for cake flour when the traditional vanilla layer cake does. Is it better to use all purpose flour for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Taylor! So I began preferring cake flour in some of my cake recipes after this recipe was published. You can use my vanilla cake recipe and add sprinkles (see the notes) or use cake flour in this funfetti cake recipe. (Same amount 1:1 substitution.)

      1. You said 4 cups cake flour in the notes, but you told Taylor to use the same amount. Is it 3 and 3/4 cup cake flour or 4 cups?

  2. Hi Sally! I am attempting this cake for my daughter’s first birthday this weekend. Wish me luck! I am hoping to make a two tier cake, but I am having some trouble calculating how much batter I’ll need and what combo of cake pan sizes to use.

    Your recipe says that this is enough to feed 12-14 people. But when I reference this website, it says 9 inches is enough to serve 24. Any advice?? How tall are each of the 9 inch pans you’re using?

    1. Hi Salma! The 9 inch cake pans I use are 2 inches high. It depends how large you are slicing the cake. You could definitely feed 24 people if the slices were very small!

  3. Hi Sally! This cake looks great 🙂 I will be making it for my birthday. I adore anything with sprinkles (who doesn’t, right? 🙂 ), so this cake is perfect. Though I’m thinking I’ll decorate the cake with piped flowers. I hope all goes well when I make it!

  4. Hi sally I enjoyed your confetti cake a lot. The taste was very good and moist. But I was wondering is the cake suppose to be a little dense.

    Thank You

    1. Hi Grace, the cake should be pretty soft and fluffy! If it’s dense it could be from over-mixing the batter. This will over-develop the gluten and cause dense baked goods. But I’m so glad you enjoyed it anyway!

  5. I am planning on using two 6-inch cake pans to make a small personal cake and use the rest of the batter for cupcakes. Is this a good recipe for that? How high do you recommend filling the pans and baking? Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can do that! Fill the pans no more than 2/3 full. Or I have a seperate recipe already proportioned for a 6 inch cake:

  6. Hey Sally — I know I can bake layers ahead and freeze them (after cooling and wrapping)… any limit on how long I can freeze? Hoping to make this Saturday for a party next Friday.


  7. Hi Sally! I love your recipes! Do you think I could use this recipe for two 12 pans I stead of the three 9 inch? Thanks so much for your help!

  8. Dear Sally, I’m going to make this cake for a birthday party. I was wondering about storing the cake when made, does it need to be refrigerated because of the frosting or will it be ok stored in a covered cake dome? Thanks for your advice, Kind regards, Colin

    1. Hi Colin, How far in advance do you need to make it? Buttercream frosting is ok covered in your cake dome at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

  9. Hi Sally, thank you so much for your reply. Im going to make it on a Wednesday and will refrigerate it. Then we are taking it to my mums for her birthday on Thursday. I just wanted to be able to let my mum know whether she needs to keep any leftovers in the fridge or if its ok under a dome. Her fridge is quite small you see. Thanks for your help, cant wait to make your cake and try, my best regards, Colin

  10. Sally THIS CAKE! It’s EVERYTHING! Made it for my son’s birthday and it was a HUGE hit! And with your instructions, it was fun and easy to make too! So THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe! Now the problem is I have requested for it! And HERE’S MY QUESTION: My nephew has requested it ‘cookies & cream style’ (his words)… do you think chopped up Oreos instead of sprinkles would work? Or chocolate chip cookies?

    1. Hi Steph! You can definitely add chopped Oreos to this batter. I recommend about 1 cup chopped Oreos, then leave out the sprinkles.

  11. Hi Sally,

    I am thinking to use this recipe for a small wedding cake (about 40 ppl). I’m making a 6” tier and an 8” tier, each with two layers of cake. First question- will I need to increase the about of batter? I like my layers pretty full. Maybe do 1 1/2x the recipe? I don’t want to sacrifice the texture of the cake! Lol Second question- is it your preference to use this recipe with the AP flour or the Cake Flour? I’ve loved all your recipes and trust your opinion!

    1. Hi Gina, To figure out the capacity of baking pans I like to refer to this chart:
      Just keep in mind it’s better to make the batter twice instead of doubling the recipe!
      And honestly you can use whichever flour you prefer as long as you follow the recipe amounts. Cake flour produces a lighter fluffier crumb so it’s whatever texture you are going for!

  12. Hi Sally! Any chance you know about how much batter this recipe produces? I’m going to be making one of those giant cupcake cakes (using a Wilton mold) and I will need probably around 8ish cups. Just trying Ron figure out if I should make 1.5x or 2x this recipe. Thanks!!

  13. Hi Sally! I’m wanting to make this recipe in to cupcakes. Just wondering what the baking time and temp would be? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kayla, You can also use a cupcake pan to make about 3 dozen cupcakes, more or less. Fill halfway, bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

  14. Hi Sally,

    Sorry to ask you another question about sprinkles, but I wanna make sure I get this cake right! Did you use the confetti quins for the cake batter as well or regular jimmies? I’m worried about the confetti quins bleeding because they don’t have a waxy coating.


    1. For the pictured cake I used them just as decor on top of the cake. But I love quins because they never streak the batter if you mix them in! The link to the exact ones I use is in the post above!

  15. I have made your delicious peach bundt cake with brown butter icing and an apple pie from your recipes, so when my husband asked to bake me a cake for my birthday, I had him go right to your recipes. He made this delicious 3 layer fun-fetti cake and it was beautiful and delicious. My favorite part of my birthday is the cake and it did not disappoint! Thanks again, Sally!

  16. Hi. I have a party on sat night. Can I bake cake today on thurs and refridgerate it and icing it on Friday and refrigerate it until it’s time to take it out Sat? I just have family coming from out of town and am
    Worried I won’t have time to icing it sat

    1. Hi Robyn, That should be fine! Just be sure to tightly wrap your cake layers before frosting so that they dont dry out and bring the cake back to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

  17. Hi Sally!
    I’ve baked this about 5 times now and while it has an exceptional flavor and has become a favorite request it always comes out a bit dense for me. I did all the typical trouble shooting and usually only mix the dry and wet ingredients about 30 seconds to avoid a dense cake…but still have to fold in the egg whites and sprinkles…..then it’s often not mixed properly and still comes out dense. Your cake looks light and fluffy with a tender crumb in the pictures. Is this cake recipe just a bit more dense by nature like the white cake recipe tends to be or am I still doing something wrong here? How long do you mix your batter toward the end? 

    Thank you kindly,


    1. I’m so happy you have been enjoying this cake, Nissa! If it’s turning out a bit too dense I would take a look at your 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 for an even lighter crumb. Use the same amount, 1:1 substitution.

  18. I am preparing to make this for my baby’s 1 year birthday but I have 10 inch pans. How do I make this recipe work for that size?

    1. Hi Krystal, I often refer to this chart by Wilton when looking at how much batter to use for different size pans:

  19. Hi Sally! Planning to make this next week for my son’s birthday with some awesome primary colored quins I just got. I no longer measure by volume, only by weight, so I have a couple of questions for you around subbing cake flour (which I prefer): Is 431g still the correct weight for using cake flour? (It actually seems light for 3 3/4 cups of AP flour by your equivalents in your measuring post, so I’m thinking it’s fine for cake flour.) I know you say 1:1, but I wasn’t sure if that applied to weight as well as volume. Also, do you sift your cake flour also? If so, should the measurement be even lower (like 375 grams)? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Liz! The easiest route to take– make my vanilla cake recipe which is formulated for the use of cake flour. See the recipe notes for adding sprinkles. I LOVE that vanilla cake– very popular with readers, too. You (and the birthday boy) won’t be disappointed.

  20. “Sally, I’m looking forward to making this cake. I’d like to make it in a 9 X 13 pan so I can cut it into thirds as part of a slumber party “bed cake”. Will it be enough batter for the pan?

    1. Hi Sheila, This makes a little too much batter for a 9×13 inch pan. I suggest using my White Cake recipe, folding in sprinkles, and following the recipe notes for a 9×13 pan. Enjoy!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally