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 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!

712 Comments

    1. That should be just fine– fill the pans halfway. If there is leftover batter (there most likely will be) use it to make cupcakes– about 20 minutes bake time for the cupcakes.

  1. I just made this for my daughters 6th Birthday party. Did a trail run today for her party next weekend. Was easy to make. 
    I had a few friends and kids round to test and it got a big thumbs up. I have been looking for a Vanilla cake recipe for ages and so glad I found this one!

  2. Hi Sally! I love your “Easy Homemade Funfetti” cake recipe, What differs in taste and texture from that recipe to this funfetti layer cake recipe? Please and thank you! Love your recipes, all so yummy for my tummy! lol

    1. Not much at all to be honest! I feel they taste practically identical. If anything, this cake is a little fluffier.

  3. Hi Sally, I made this cake last night for a birthday and I followed the recipe exactly, using the vinegar buttermilk method, but my layers turned out really flat, a little bit less then half the size of yours. Do you now why this could have happened? Apart from that, the cake turned out beautiful and very delicious, thank you so much for the recipe, I’ll definitely make it again.

    1. Also how would I go about halving the recipe? I’d like to make a smaller version for my friends birthday. Or do you recommend your other single layer funfetti cake instead?

  4. Made this confetti cake for my daughter’s first birthday, as a double recipe with two 12″ rounds. So pretty, very tasty… but dense as a brick!  What did I do wrong? 

    The cake browned nicely and rose very well in the oven – but sagged back down during cooling and ended up with more of a dense banana bread texture. Please tell me where I went wrong, so I can make it properly next time.

    1. Did you make two separate batters or all one batter? Because doubling this recipe, in my experience, is just too much batter to work with in a home kitchen with regular appliances. I always overmix– lending a very dense cake. If you made two separate batches, though, do you think you overmixed the batters that way? And were you sure to measure the flour AFTER sifting?

  5. This cake is awesome. Super moist. My son has allergies to milk. I had to alter to accommodate. I baked this on Thursday and frosted it Saturday. I had to make my own buttermilk so I used soy milk and vinegar. I tried it today and it was sooo moist. Thank you for your blog!

      1. As Sally said, you can make your own buttermilk by adding four teaspoons of white vinegar/lemon juoce to 1 1/2 cup of milk, I did that and it turned out great. But you could probably do as Kim did and add the vinegar/lemon juice to almond or whatever other milk you use instead

  6. HI Sally!

    I love all of your recipes! Specially red velvet cake is delicious 🙂

    I want to make this cake into a two 6″ pans so I can cut each cake in half and make a 4 layer cake . Do you think I should make half a recipe?

    Thank you!

  7. Hi, can I opt out on the sprinkles and make it as a classic vanilla layered cake?? I’ve been trying to find the best moist vanilla cake recipe and ibonly trust your stuff :$ 

  8. This seems to be very nice cake and I’m going to make it for my son’s 1st birthday. Would you be able to advise how many grams is 3/4 cup of sprinkles? Thank you very much.

  9. Do you use a specific brand of vanilla? I’m just curious because I know the quality can differ. Thank you. 

  10. Hey Sally! Loved your recipe, just tried it out today and the cake was divine. Just wondering… What if I decided to use flavoured yogurt to make the buttermilk instead of plain yogurt (because that’s what I used)?

  11. Hi Sally!
    I have tried many of your recipes and they always work (unlike most on Pinterest.) This is the BEST vanilla layer cake I have made so far, looking forward to many recipes in the future. Thanks for sharing!

    T

  12. Hi I was making this cake for my sons birthday is today and I want to make him this cake. I only have 3 sticks of butter I was wondering if I could use margarine for the cake and the butter for the frosting. I don’t have a way to get out and get more butter. 

  13. HI i just made this cake but i cut down the recipe into thirds doing a trial run before i make a birthday cake with it. I used 2, 4oz and one 16 oz ramekin one plain, one with sprinkles and one with mini chocolate chips in it, the plain one fell completely and the other two fell after cooling. It sounds bubbly looks to be to much air in it. I used egg replacer since i am allergic to eggs. i haven’t tasted it yet but dont know if i can layer it. what did i do wrong?

  14. Hi ok scratch my first two comments i’m bad at math so i didn’t size down the recipe into thirds properly. I used way too little flour and i’m pretty sure my butter was melted. Third times a charm! I did it correctly this time, i used 9 inch pan and one mini ramekin just so i can taste it with chocochips. They look beautiful! If i wanted to use a rectangle pan for this recipe to make a two layer cake do i need more than this recipe or less or is this a good amount for that size! thank you so much!

  15. Hi Sally! I want to make this cake for my birthday but I only have 2 pans. Can I bake the other batter as cupcakes or something? If so how long? Thanks!

  16. This cake is so yummy my 3 layer cake came out so nice and even, it didn’t dome or crack! I also made this recipe for a two layer rectangle it was enough batter. I had to stop myself from eating it so good! This is my go to cake recipe now! I made this for a birthday party. I like how the rectangle cake came out cause it had more crunchy edges. First time i made such an even layer cake.By creaming the butter and sugar it makes it such a velvety batter thank you so much!

  17. Hey Sally I love  all of your recipes you’re definitely my go to when I need a recipe so thank you for that. So I am making this cake today for my husband’s birthday I do not have any more baking powder but I have baking soda can I omit the baking powder and just use the baking soda? also I have I’m really bad at the names of the pans but there are three different pans starts with a large at the bottom get smaller as it goes up can I use those?

    1. Baking powder is a must; do not sub in baking soda. I’m unsure of the bake time if you are baking a 3 tier cake. The layers will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Hope you all enjoy!

  18. Hi Sally! I’m planning on making this cake, it looks delicious! However, I was wondering if this recipe yields enough batter for a double layer 12″ cake, instead of a triple layer 9″ cake? Thank you!

  19. I made this yesterday for my sister’s 59th birthday. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. I love that it’s three layers; it makes the cake much more special. It was moist and delicious and was 5 inches tall. For the next family birthday I plan to substitute chocolate chips for the quins and do chocolate icing.  Thanks for a great recipe!

  20. Hello Sally!

    I’m writing to you from Greece!

    I’d like to make this for my daughter’s 4th birthday. However, approx. 80 people invited! I was hoping to make it in rectangular trays, to make cutting / serving easier, and hopefully make fewer, larger sized cakes instead of numerous smaller ones. Is this possible? If so, how does the mixture convert to a rectangular size without losing it’s height when cooked?

    Your advice on this would be much appreciated!

    Thank you kindly!
    Anna

  21. Hi Sally! I love your blog and have made many of your recipes. I’ve made this funfetti cake multiple times with rave reviews. I was planning to make this recipe into cupcakes when I noticed the recipe on your blog for the cupcakes specifically. Would you recommend using that? I was so happy with the flavor of the cake recipe, wanted to get your thoughts!

    1. Dana– the cake and cupcake recipes are different, but you can use either. This cake is a little fluffier but those cupcakes have a little more buttery taste. Either are fantastic in my opinion!

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