Funfetti Layer Cake.

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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.

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

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 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 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large 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


  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!

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. 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 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.
  3. 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.
  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

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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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

3 more birthday treats!

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The one and ONLY funfetti cake recipe you need!


All Comments

  1. I’m adding some candy melt designs that need to stand up on my layer cake, do you think this buttercream recipe(that I’m dying to try) will be thick enough to hold them up?

  2. I made this recipe… I used yogurth instead of buttermilk.. the flavour is great, but it looks a bit wet…. like if it was undercooked… do you have any thoughts why this could be happening?!  For some reason my cakes made with yogurth end up looking like puddings!! :/

  3. Let me just start off by saying ommmg this so good!! The frosting literally the the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten I used the clear vanilla extract and this frosting to me tastes just like Costco’s whit sheets cake frosting it’s so good!! The cake is so versatile but you can’t go wrong with sprinkles

  4. If I am wanting to make these cupcakes for 2 different functions on 2 different days, could I make half of the batch, and then refrigerate the batter to make the other half the next day? 

  5. Hi Sally, I want to make this cake today but have only two nine inch pans. I am wondering if I could reuse one of them for the third layer. Is it okay if the remaining batter rests on the kitchen counter while the first two layers are baking? Or does this batter have to used immediately after it’s made?

  6. Hi sally, If I was preparing the cake the same day and is to frost it the same day how long would you advice me to cool the cake. thank you

  7. Hey Sally!
    I want to make a 2 layer cake instead of 3. Can you possibly give me the adjusted ingredients? (for my daughter’s 17th birthday on Sunday…she looooves Funfetti cakes!)

      1. Thanks Sally! I was in a time crunch so I made your other recipe, the Homemade Funfetti cake (funny enough, that’s the link you gave me)..I followed it exactly, and doubled the recipe as you suggested to make a 2 layer cake. 
        The taste of the cake and icing was amazing! 
        My only issue was that the cake came out a bit too dense. Not sure why. 
        I noticed that the recipe for your layer funfetti cake is quite different, which included the buttermilk and extra egg white, and I’m wondering if that would be the reason. 

  8. Hi Sally. I want to cover this cake in fondant icing and decorate for my daughters birthday. Will it be strong enough to hold the fondant?

  9.  I was in a time crunch so I made your other recipe, the Homemade Funfetti cake .I followed it exactly, and doubled the recipe as you suggested to make a 2 layer cake. 
    The taste of the cake and icing was amazing! 
    My only issue was that the cake came out a bit too dense. Not sure why. 
    I noticed that the recipe for your layer funfetti cake is quite different, which included the buttermilk and extra egg white, and I’m wondering if that would be the reason. 

  10. I’m making a baby shower cake, baby gender unknown as they want a surprise. I have hoping to make a 10-inch cake with my 10×3 pan. Should I make 2 batches for the 10-inch cake or would I be able to get away with one batch?


    I plan on making a half batch second 6-inch tier for a small mountain of baby dinosaurs! With lots of Italian meringue buttercream on request of the mom to be. We figure I have to pour 240 degree syrup in the eggs it will all be good for her.

  11. Hi Sally
    I would love to make this cake but with 4 layers to make it higher. Any suggestions for a 9inch tin? Shall I make 2 batches? Is it dense enough to torte with a cake leveler or is it too crumbly?
    Thank you

  12. Loved this cake! I used King Arthur cake flour and your optional fudge frosting recipe. I used 3 8″ round pans also and it was delicious!

  13. Hi Sally, I don’t have a stand mixer and only have a hand held whisk so would need to mix by hand. Is this doable? And if so, have you any tips?

  14. Hi SALLY,

    I would really like to make this, but would like it to be rectangular maybe around the size of 9 x 13 if not maybe even a little bigger. This will sound like a dumb question, but can you give me tips on the ingredient ratio when changing sizes and shape? Do you think your recipe as written would be adequate for triple layer rectangular 9 x 13? Thanks !

    1. There is too much batter for 3 6-inch layer cakes. I suggest making it into a 4 layer cake or using leftover batter to make cupcakes (only fill the cake pans halfway).

  15. Hey Sally! I just realized that I bought 10 inch cake pans. Would I be able to use the 10in cake pans to make a 3 later cake as well? Or do I need to be 9 inch?

    1. 10 inch pans is completely fine, but the cake layers will be slightly thinner– so keep that in mind. The bake time will be a little less as well.

  16. I love your recipes! They are always a hit! My question is: I never have success with getting the nonpareils to hold their colour. They ALWAYS bleed even if I’m gentle lol. What other sprinkles could I use? Would confetti (the circular flat ones) hold their colours? Thank you!

  17. Hi Sally,

    I am planning to make this today for my hubby’s birthday. We have the powdered buttermilk on hand, and I’m wondering if that will work as a substitute or if I should just go ahead and grab some regular buttermilk at the store? The recipe looks great- can’t wait to try it out!

  18. Hi Sally! I have made this a few times already and I love it! I’m doing it again for my daughter’s bday this weekend as a sheet cake (I love this way), but my almost year old wants “pink strawberry” cake. Is there anyway I could incorporate strawberries into this batter or frosting? Or would you suggest just adding pink food coloring? Thank you Sally

  19. Hello Sally !

    I am making this recipe for a friend’s kid birthday party but she wants cream cheese frosting instead of buttercream, do you think the flavor profiles will match ? Thank you.

  20. Sally, I’m a novice (but passionate!) baker and I’ve had great success with your recipes over the past couple of years. I’ve recently tried my hand at cake making for the first time and once again, your recipes and techniques have triumphed. I made this cake for my nieces 1st birthday party today and my 91 yr. old grandma – who is the queen of baking, especially cakes and bread – said “this is the best funfetti cake I’ve ever had.” It literally brought me to tears! So I just had to thank you for all of my baking successes, and particularly for this cake! 

  21. Hi Sally,

    I made this recipe using the 4 cups of cake flour. It came out a little dense to me. I sifted the flour a couple of times. What do you recommend to correct this problem? BTW I absolutely love the frosting!!! Will be using it for lots of other recipes. Thanks

  22. Hi Sally
    I wrote this comment back in September, but didn’t hear back from you. Here it is again. thanks

     I was in a time crunch so I made your other recipe, the Homemade Funfetti cake .I followed it exactly, and doubled the recipe as you suggested to make a 2 layer cake. 
    The taste of the cake and icing was amazing! 
    My only issue was that the cake came out a bit too dense. Not sure why. 
    I noticed that the recipe for your layer funfetti cake is quite different, which included the buttermilk and extra egg white, and I’m wondering if that would be the reason. 
    What do you think? Why would the cake be so dense? 

    1. Sorry for missing your comment before! I was either 9 months pregnant or with a newborn. It’s been a hectic Fall and keeping up with comments is difficult 🙂 Regarding the cake, I always suggest spooning and leveling the flour. You can try adding a little more milk to the other recipe to thin out the batter which could help lighten it all up as well.

  23. Hi Sally! I’m planning to use this recipe to bake a guitar shaped cake for my 6 year old’s birthday next week.
    The cake mould is 44X5X23(cms)

    How much batter would I need? How many times should I multiply this recipe?

    I’m really looking forward to baking this soon!

    1. I’m sorry, I’m unsure. I would make at least two separate batters and gauge if you’d need any more. It’s difficult for me to predict.

    2. Hi Garima,
      As a guide for you this recipe is designed for 3 x 9″ round pans (these are 23cm round pans). It sounds like you are making a rectangular cake (17″ x 9″) and cutting out the guitar from that, is that correct? If not, working off a rectangle works.

      Assuming the same fill depth in the pan, we can work off pan area, rather than cake mixture volume which makes calculations easier.

      Your rectanlge has an area of 153 sq inches. Each 9″ round pan has a base area of about 64 sq inches which gives just over 190 sq inches total.

      Based on that, you will need more than a single batch. As Sally recommended, I would do two batches and make cupcakes out of the rest. Hope that helps in calculations.

  24. Hi Sally,

    Firstly, you are single handedly responsible for my scone addiction. Now that we have that out there. I am looking for a recipe to use to make a stacked and iced cake for my son’s birthday party (in the shape of a skyscraper). Is this cake sense enough to be stacked and decorated in that way? I always have a hard time finding a recipe that tastes good but won’t fall apart when I try to ice it.

  25. Hey Sally, I am a huge fan of your recipes, I have made several and they always turn out perfect! I am planning to make this cake for my daughters birthday, could you tell me which tip you used to pipe your border? Thanks!



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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