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.

*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.

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

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. 

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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)
  • 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

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 4 cups (400g) sifted cake flour.
  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.
  7. Adapted from Piñata Cake.

Keywords: funfetti layer cake, funfetti cake, sprinkle cake

The one and ONLY funfetti cake recipe you need!

705 Comments

  1. This cake looks just heavenly ♥ Each layer looks so nice and fluffy – exactly how I like it 🙂
    Although, scrolling down to the bottom of this page might have been a mistake because now I really want to make the Funfetti Pancakes as well 😀

  2. Happy birthday to my all time favorite baker!!! I hope your day is as sweet as that delicious looking cake that you made. I can’t wait to try it.

  3. Happy birthday Sally! My birthdays next week and my parents actually just pre-ordered me your cookbook as an early present! Have an amazing day!! 🙂 

  4. You are adorable, as is this cake! I have been on a quest to find the perfect cake, and this just may be it! Hope your birthday was wonderful! Thanks for being so generous with all you share!

  5. Okay so first things first.. as soon as I read that iggy azeala jumped in my head…. anyhoo, am I allowed to post another comment for the giveaway. . Now I wanna make this cake!!!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR SALLY
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUU!!!!

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! nothing is better than funfetti cake on your birthday… or any day that is!  funfetti is definitely one  of my favorites maybe even #1 😉 I hope you had a wonderful day and a great brithday! 

  7. I tried this recipe today and was totally disappointed. It came out heavy and dense and nothing like the picture. I am a veteran baker and this was probably my worst cake ever. A waste of butter, sugar, eggs and sprinkles. I have made other recipes from your book and blog, and those turned out well. How many times has this cake been made before it was posted? Sorry I had to post something negative, but felt you should know.

    1. Hm, how about more positive thoughts on her bday? Happy Birthday Sally! I trust that your cake is delicious! Can’t wait to try it. 

    2. I tried this cake yesterday too and my entire family agreed that it was the best cake I’ve ever made! We actually thought it was very fluffy and not dense at all. Maybe you mis-measured, forgot an ingredient, or missed a step. 

  8. Happy Birthday Sally!!!! Hope you have an amazing day because your recipes have made my friends and family beyond thrilled on their birthdays!!

  9. Happy birthday, Sally!!!!

    Funfetti was always my pick of cake when I was little.  Those box cake mixes with all the little chippies in the frosting?  Anyone else remember those?  They weren’t exactly sprinkles.  It’s impossible to find now, and I prefer homemade cakes anyway, so I can’t wake to make this for my own birthday in a few months!  I hope you had a wonderful day!

  10. Happy birthday, Sally!!! 

    Hope your birthday was as sweet as all your baking (& candy!) creations! Wishing you lots of exciting surprises for the upcoming year. 

  11. OMG IS TODAY YOUR BIRTHDAY???? Congratulations!!!!!!! I hope you had I fantastic day!! And thank you for sharing the recipe….what a WONDERFUL way to celebrate your birthday with FUNFETTIE CAKE!!! Would you have it any other way?? ☺ Lots of love from my kitchen to yours!!! ♥

  12. Happiest Bday Sally!! Hope you have a wonderful day & may all your wishes come true!! Hope your special day includes way too many colored sprinkles!! Is there such a thing!?!

  13. Happy Birthday Sally! I hope you have a wonderful day and get spoiled rotten by your favourite gentlemen! I cannot wait to make this cake! I made GF sprinkle cupcakes for my man’s birthday and a triple layer chocolate and cheesecake cake for my little sister recently – and yes, I always make my own birthday cake too! No one knows just exactly what I want, and often it changes right up to the day 🙂 The planning and dreaming is half the fun!
    Have a great day, put your feet up, drink some wine, eat waaaay too much cake – because you’re ‘a real adult’ now and you can make your own rules!

  14. Happy Birthday Sally!! This cake reminds me a lot of the Suziecakes celebration cake, except it has a million smaller layers and is a VERY tall cake. and is $40 for a 6″ with writing. I think I prefer your everything 😛

  15. Happy Birthday! Welcome to the thirties. Hope you have a wonderful decade! Thank you for your recipes and knowledge.

  16. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sally! And don’t worry, you’re never too old for Funfetti birthday cake. Never ever. And it’s my favorite way to celebrate with a cake as well–ALL the sprinkles! Maybe us May babies are similar in our love of sprinkles? 😉

  17. Aahhh man yesterday was my birthday and my little girls helped me make my cake. I wish we would have had this recipe. They would have loved it! Have to use it for one of theirs I guess.

  18. Happy Birthday Sally! 🙂

    I’m getting thirty tomorrow… And I will also bake my own B-Day cake today in the evening because I simply HAVE to if You know what I mean 😉
    Thank You for great inspiration! I guess I have to somehow mix Nutella in it… 😉

  19. Happy belated birthday Sally! I want to let you know that I made this cake last night for my cousin’s birthday dinner. I had all the ingredients on hand and I’m so glad that I did! This cake is amazing! My entire family was begging for seconds and then they all started asking for the recipe. I actually forgot to whip the 2 extra egg whites and added them in by mistake with the other 4 eggs. Still great! The cake is really fluffy and buttery like you describe. I’m not surprised it was your birthday cake too! Thanks for the recipe!

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