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. 

Print

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. Happy birthday!!! I don’t know how you read my mind and knew I was planning to make funfetti layer cake tomorrow…the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Funfetti is the best flavor!

  2. Hello, Sally, let start with this, I, love all your recipes, I have your book and I did pre-order your second book, congratulation.
    I have been locking for a white velvet cake recipe, can  you  share one with me.

    Thank you, God bless.

  3. I always make my own cake. Well, usually I make cupcakes since they’re easier to share. I always get weird looks when I say “It’s my birthday! I made cupcakes!” “You baked for your own birthday?” “Well…yeah. I like to bake, so it’s like a present!”

    In other news, this is fantastic! Funfetti’s one of my favorite cakes to make!

  4. And now I get the worst comment-leaver award for forgetting the reason for the post.

    Happy belated birthday, Sally! I hope it was wonderful and amazing and fantastic and a whole slew of other positive adjectives!

  5. I’m a bit late to this… BUT HAPPY BIRTHDAY SALLY!!! How on earth could you celebrate your birthday without sprinkles?! You just couldn’t!! Hope your birthday was filled with all things special! And lots of cake. And sprinkles. And more cake. This recipe is definitely now on my to-bake list. It looks like such a such crumb!

    AND THAT SPRINKLE PLATE!!! Where did you find it?! I’m in love.

    1. Thanks Kathryn!! The sprinkle plate was a gift from my sister in law. It is actually just a regular large white serving platter that she painted herself!

  6. Happy Birthday! I always make my own birthday cake, too. No one else in my life likes to bake as much as I do. 

  7. I love this and can’t wait to try it! I hope you had a great birthday. I know what you mean about always making your own birthday cake. That way I know I’ll love it and I can pick a tricky recipe if I want to do the extra work! 

  8. Happy Birthday Sally!  It’s totally not weird to make your own cake for your birthday!  I do the same thing, and will probably be banging out cupcakes in additional flavors on the side.  All the cakes! No one else has the proper cake pans after all.  I hope you have a wonderful birthday!  At least the cake will be delicious!  (For all the cakes that I have ever tried from your website, none have failed me yet)

  9. Of course you buy your sprinkles in bulk!!! ha!!! I LOVE that!!!!!! Now, one thing I do not love? You said to “Discard” (or put over ice cream) the top of the cakes…. what the heck Sally, how would one not just eat all three of those cake tops completely dredged in the bottom of the bowl buttercream icing???? I know thats exactly what I would do.  Again – Love the recipe, I wish I could make baking my entire life and do what you do… love it! 

  10. Happy belated birthday, Sally!

    I just put these cakes in the oven for a family party tonight! I’m baking at 7am. I understand your #bakerproblems. Haha! I’ll let you know how the cake turns out!

    1. Sally the cake was exceptionally good! I decided to use the chocolate frosting you mentioned. There wasn’t a slice leftover. We all loved. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  11. Happy Belated Birthday!! I hope you had a great one! I have a question for you. Is there any brand of pans/bakeware that you would recommend over another? I usually go with Wilton, just wondering your thoughts. Thanks! 🙂

  12. Happy belated birthday Sally! My son’s 2nd birthday was yesterday. We had your piñata cake! I saw your recipe last month and really wanted to make it but I had too much to do (food and party games) and so I asked my sister to make it and it was YUM! The kids loved the surprise when we cut the cake. And i made your homemade icecream. Yum again! Love your recipes.

  13. Sally, I have a question?  I plan to make this for my daughter’s 9th birthday.  Can I make it a piñata cake by making a hole in the second layer and filling it with candies? I think this would be such a cool surprise for my daughter, but have no idea if I can pull it off!

  14. Hi Sally! I was just wondering if any of he extra batter for this recipe would be okay as cupcakes? I am going to make a smaller layer cake, as such I’m thinking I will likely have batter left over. Thanks!!!!

  15. Hi Sally,
    I LOVE your blog!
    I’m going to bake the funfetti cake for my sister’s birthday later today and am trying to decide between the “simple funfetti cake” recipe you posted in 2013 and the 3 layers one you posted just recently. I’m mainly wondering about the difference in the amount of eggs – the recent one has 4+2 egg whites while the simple one has only 1. Can you explain how it effects the cake?
    THANKS :-)!
    Lola

    1. Hi Lola! This cake is much larger so there are more eggs needed to emulsify the batter and tenderize the cake. I like the fluffy, soft texture extra egg whites provide– this is something I picked up on in the past year testing recipes.

      1. Thanks! 🙂

        By the way – since I’m usually trying to create a vegan version of things that I bake, I’m just curious if you have an idea with what to try and replace the butter of the frosting. I’ll go for coconut cream for sure (because it’s just so yummy) but don’t want to use margarine. It would be cool to have a vegan version for your wonderful cake so if you have any thoughts at all that would be awesome.
        And thanks again! 🙂

  16. This looks great! I am going to make it for my niece’s birthday later this month! Side note, I make my own birthday cake too and people give me a hard time about it but it makes me happy:-)

  17. Hi there, I am making this cake for my daughters 3rd birthday this weeken. If I want to do just 2 layers instead of 3, do I just divide the ingredients into thirds then double them? Also what would the cooking time for a 2 layer cake be instead of a 3 layer please. Can’t wait to make it!!

    1. I would divide the recipe into thirds. Or just make the recipe as is and use the extra batter for a few cupcakes. That might actually be easier. The bake time is the same for the cakes. The cupcakes take about 20 minutes.

  18. Thank you so much. I’m literally in the middle of making it now (very excited).

    One last question. If I am going to put the frosting on tomorrow morning (party is in the afternoon), can I make the frosting tonight and either set aside or put it in the fridge and then use it tomorrow? Or would it be best if I got up early to make the frosting and applied it as soon as it’s made? 

    1. Just getting on the computer now after the day off– so this response is late. You can prep the frosting the night before, cover, and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

  19. Hi Sally, I bought extra large eggs at Costco and I am wondering if I am still able to use them to bake this cake? I have so many I am really hoping to use them! Any advice would be helpful! Thanks! 

    1. Catherine– I recommend decreasing the amount of eggs in this cake if you use XL. My suggestion is using 3 XL eggs and 2 XL egg whites (compared to 4 and 2).

  20. Hi Sally, I want to bake this cake as half vanilla (one side) and half chocolate. Any idea how I can incorporate cocoa into the final batter?

  21. Hi Sally! Thanks for this wonderful looking cake recipe! Can always count on you to come up with something awesome! I actually need to make a 6 layer rainbow cake so I was wondering if I should use vanilla butter based recipe here or the easy homemade funfetti recipe that you also have! Could I just add the 2 extra egg whites mentioned here (for more fluffiness) to the other easy homemade funfetti recipe or should i double the recipe here?

    Sorry if my questions are confusing! Would appreciate any advice for making a rainbow cake! Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Angie, I do not recommend doubling the amount of cake batter. I suggest making two batches and using as match of the batter as you need to for the 6 layer cake. Then use any extra batter to make a few cupcakes on the side. (About 20 minutes bake time for those!) Enjoy.

      1. Thanks so much for the quick response and advice Sally! Appreciate it!! :)) Will do as advised!

  22. Sally, this was the best homemade cake I have ever made.  You inspired me to try the 4 layer piñata cake, and it turned out awesome! My kids and family were so impressed with it.  Thanks Sally.

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