Soft and buttery vanilla sheet cake filled to the brim with sprinkles. Topped with my favorite creamy vanilla frosting and, as expected, more sprinkles.
Here’s a giant cake filled to the brim with sprinkles. It’s topped with sweet and creamy homemade vanilla frosting. It’s big enough to feed an army of sprinkle and cake and frosting lovers. Is there a better way to end a wonderful year??
Yes! Add more sprinkles on top.
Funfetti sheet cake is what dreams are made of. Let’s dig in.
I have to be honest, I made this funfetti cake back in October and have waited this long to share the recipe with you. Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cookies got in the way. Sorry? I did, however, make it again this past weekend to bring to some friends. Just as tasty as I remember.
Anyway. Having a loved sheet cake recipe in your baking repertoire is priceless. It’s a fun-filled cake that you can bring along to potlucks, office parties, birthday parties, and basically anywhere you need to feed a crowd some dessert. I have a recipe for a three layer confetti cake, but I’ve never made a sprinkle sheet cake before, so this recipe was fun to play around with. The most important part about this cake recipe (and, well, any cake recipe) is having the correct size pan. I can’t tell you how many readers have contacted me about a cake recipe catastrophe. Only to find out they weren’t using the correct size pan. Whoops!
This sheet cake requires a 12×17 inch jelly roll/half sheet pan. I own 5 of these pans. They are DYNAMITE in the kitchen. I bake cookies on them, I cool toffee on them, roast vegetables on them, and I make sheet cakes in them. A fabulous multipurpose sheet pan is irreplaceable. Please, from one baker to another, get this pan.
And a huge supporter of frosting. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Also important: using the right ingredients. Quite often, I hear about recipe disasters stemming from using substitutions. Like using margarine for butter, baking soda for baking powder (don’t do that! ever!), using almond flour for all-purpose, etc. Recipes that are developed with certain ingredients won’t turn out the same unless you’ve been testing and playing around with the recipe. I always suggest making the recipe as written first and then playing around with the recipe as you see fit. Some ingredients in some recipes shouldn’t be altered. And for this recipe? It’s pretty much all of them.
Every single ingredient plays a major roll in this thin cake’s texture, taste, and appearance. The butter and vanilla give the cake unbeatable vanilla cake flavor while creaming the butter and sugar give the cake its soft, cake-like texture. The two eggs tenderize and give structure while the whole milk leaves the cake moist. The yogurt (an acid) reacts with the baking soda to leaven the cake, and the flour is… well… everything. The only room for substitutions would be using sour cream instead of yogurt and other types of milk instead of whole milk. Please see my recipe notes for further details. If you’d like to leave the yogurt out all together, you’d have to sub in a different moist ingredient as well as use baking powder– and play around with that amount. And you’ll have a completely different tasting cake. What a headache. So, always follow a recipe.
On top of this buttery, sprinkle filled sheet cake is my classic vanilla frosting. My prized frosting, my favorite frosting! One of them, at least. There is just enough frosting to get that creamy extra sweetness in every bite, but not too much to take away from the fluffy cake hiding underneath. A fabulous cake to frosting ratio.
The happiest cake for the happiest new year. 😀 For another sprinkle-filled happy dessert, add my confetti sprinkle cheesecake to your list, too!
Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥Print
Funfetti Sheet Cake
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 24 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Yield: serves 25-30
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Soft and buttery vanilla sheet cake filled to the brim with sprinkles. Topped with my favorite creamy vanilla frosting and, as expected, more sprinkles. This recipe requires a 12×17 half sheet jelly roll pan.
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream or plain yogurt*
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk*
- 1/2 cup (94g) rainbow sprinkles, plus more for decoration*
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2–3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) whole milk*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously grease and lightly flour a 12×17 inch half sheet/jelly roll pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed and beat until fluffy and light in color. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. You’ll need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl to get it all mixed a couple times. Beat in the yogurt on medium high speed until combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Pour half of this flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds. Pour in half of the milk. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds. Repeat with the rest of the flour and beat in the remainder of the milk until combined and smooth. Do not overmix. Fold in the sprinkles.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Smooth it out into a thin, even layer. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Make sure you rotate the cake pan once or twice during bake time if your oven has hot spots (mine does). Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack. As the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
- For the frosting: Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, milk, 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 milk if frosting is too thick, or a pinch more of salt if frosting is way too sweet.
- Spread frosting all over cooled cake, then top with sprinkles. Slice and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Cake can be made 1 day in advance, covered tightly at room temperature, and then frosted before serving. Frosting can also be made 1 day ahead of time– cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator.
- Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt, regular plain yogurt, or sour cream are all OK. Do not use nonfat; I suggest full fat or low fat.
- Milk: I highly recommend whole milk for the richest taste and moistest texture. 1% or higher milk fat is ok, as well as nondairy (low fat, not nonfat) milks. Whole milk (or even half-and-half or cream) is best in the frosting as well.
- 9×13 Inch Cake: Simply pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured 9×13 inch pan and bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be sure to tent the cake with foil after 20 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning on the top and sides.
- Sprinkles: Here is where I buy my rainbow jimmies sprinkles in bulk. Do not use nonpareils (the little ball sprinkles) inside the cake batter because they bleed color. You can, however, decorate the frosting with nonpareils like I did in these photos.
Keywords: funfetti sheet cake, sprinkle sheet cake
Reader Comments & Reviews
This is awesome! Do you have a recipe for a cookie cake that would also work on this 12×17 sheet pan?? I have made your cookie cake recipe that goes in a pie dish I believe. But it would be awesome to make one this size for birthday parties.
Hi Susanne! We would make two batches of our cookie cake recipe for that size pan. We’re unsure of the exact bake time, but keep a close eye on it. You may also be interested in these soft M&M cookie bars. Let us know what you try!
Hi Sally! I’ll have leftover buttermilk after frying chicken this weekend and would like to use that instead of the milk and sour cream/yogurt. How much buttermilk would you recommend?
Hi Amanda, just seeing this now! If it’s not too late, you can replace the milk and sour cream with 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk.
Great, thank you! Not making the cake until this coming weekend. 🙂
I have made this cake twice, using a half sheet pan. Baking time for that much batter was about 35-40 min. My kids love it!! It’s been a hit at their birthday parties.
This is a soupy mess for me as well. Have been baking over 40 minutes. Pretty expensive ingredients to have to throw out
Forgot to mention, I double the recipe for the half sheet pan size.
Can I halve this recipe to use in a quarter sheet pan?
Hi Alli, this recipe (as written) will fit into a quarter sheet pan. That’s because they are usually thicker than the half sheet pan cakes. Start checking for doneness at 35 minutes.
Hi! Is it possible to make this two days ahead of time and keep wrapped in the refrigerator unfrosted? I’m totally booked up the day before my daughter’s birthday party and need two of these (40 people)!
Hi Nadja, that should work fine — just make sure to cover it tightly to retain as much freshness as possible. Hope it’s a hit at the party!
This cake is so good and very moist. I made cake push-ups. Follow recipe exactly and you will not be disappointed
So today is my sons 10th Birthday and I always made him homemade carrot cake but this year he said mom I want a funfetti cake,so today I took him to the store to get some of the things I needed to make this cake,as we where checking out he said where’s the cake mix(hahahaha) I said I found a recipe to make it homemade and OMG he was ecstatic.It turned out beautiful and delicious! So from now on I’m told he wants this cake every year for the rest of his life!!!! Sorry for the long story but your recipes are amazing! I’m glad this cake made his Birthday so special! Thanks Sally ♥️
So happy to hear that this cake was a hit for your son, Stacey! Happy 10th birthday to him!
Hi Sally! I want to use this recipe for an upcoming birthday but would like to bake double and stack it to make a layered cake – does this recipe provide the structural integrity so that I can stack one on top of the other without the layers crumbling or falling apart? Thanks!
That shouldn’t be a problem at all! It’s a thin, yet sturdy cake.
Thanks for your terrific website which is a regular go-to for me.
I have been asked to bake this for an child’s birthday, while we’ll be on holiday at a high-altitude location. Although I am an experienced baker, I’ve never baked at high altitude so am considering making the cake in advance and finishing the icing etc. later.
Question: Will this cake, not iced and well-wrapped, freeze successfully for 5-7 days? Or would it be better to attempt baking at higher altitude?
Or would you recommend a different recipe with more body? Naturally, I would still want to add the sprinkles in the batter and use your vanilla icing.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Marilyn! You can absolutely bake and freeze this cake. This post on freezing cakes has all our tips and tricks for best success. We wish we could help with tips for baking on site, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
Hi Sally, What’s the difference between this sheet cake and the funfetti layered cake? I want to make a funfetti cake regardless but not sure if the taste would be different for the layer vs sheet!
Hi Kaylie! The recipes are very similar. The layer cake makes a bit more batter and is a bit fluffier with the addition of egg whites. It just depends on what style cake you would enjoy most – both are delicious 🙂
Anyone use sour cream vs yogurt ? Would love review of the sour cream vs yogurt.
I used sour cream instead of yogurt and it was delicious.
Would this cake work with a cream cheese frosting or it’s not recommended?
Hi Ann, can’t see why that wouldn’t work! Let us know how it turns out.
Can you use this for cakepops?
I want to make this cake for a 2 yr old birthday but I wanted to do it as a two layer 9×13. Would this work if I use two 9×13 pan?
Hi Joey! You could make this cake a two layer cake by making and baking the batter twice, then stacking the cakes. If you don’t make the batter twice and bake between two pans instead of one the layers will be quite thin and the bake time shorter. We haven’t tested it but let us know if you do!
I love this funfetti cake but how would you adjust this recipe for a 9 x 13 pan?
Hi Shannon, you can follow the recipe as stated, but we’re unsure of the bake time for a 9×13 size cake. Let us know how it goes!
This recipe did not work out in a 9×13 pan for me. I baked it for 35 minutes, checking every two minutes after 25 minutes, and the edges were dry and overbaked with an undercooked middle. I followed the recipe to a t otherwise, so I was disappointed.
Can I use this recipe to make cupcakes if so same temp? How long do they stay in oven?
Hi Brooke, you sure can. We’re unsure of the exact bake time, but likely around 18-20 minutes or so. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Or, you might enjoy our Confetti Cupcakes instead!
Great cake, made it for my sons 2nd birthday. Easy and great flavor. Makes a lot.
This cake is delicious! I was thinking of making it near Halloween and using a Halloween mix of rainbow sprinkles (jimmies) inside the cake but unsure of how black jimmies would turn out. Have you used a Halloween rainbow sprinkle mix inside this cake? Do the black sprinkles turn out ok or bleed throughout the cake batter?
Hi April, This would be so fun with Halloween sprinkles! Of course every brand is different, but usually jimmies do not bleed their color (even black). The sprinkles that will almost always bleed are nonpareils (the little ball sprinkles).
Made it for my family of 20, it was a hit!
I stumbled across your recipe for Funfetti cake back in Jan of this year, and since then it has been a hit in my home! It has been requested for every birthday since then… even from the adult friends! I have made this cake at least once every month since Jan 😀
Hi Sally! Any idea if a 10 x 15 x 2 cake pan would work?
Hi Nicole, this recipe calls for a 12×17 inch pan which holds about 12 cups of batter. A 10×15 inch pan hold about 10 cups of batter. If you use your smaller pan without adjusting the recipe there will be leftover batter which you can use to make a few extra cupcakes on the side. For more details you can visit the post Cake Pan Sizes & Conversions.
I’m going to try this for my daughter’s birthday party in 6 days. I have a 12×18 pan, is that okay? Although I like my cake a little thicker, and since it is a bigger pan, can I do 1.5x the recipe? Would that work?
Hi Laura, you could definitely 1.5x this recipe for a larger 12×18 inch pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time though.
Can this version also be used to make cupcakes?
Ive made this about four times during shelter in place. I’ll never buy a cake again!!
Great recipe, Sally!
Can you make 2 of the and use like a layered sheet cake?
I can’t see why not. Let the cakes cool completely and be careful removing them (or one of them) from the large pan.
This cake is SOOOOOOOO good. I’ve probably made it about 10 times and I can’t get enough of it. It is not good for my waistline, but I will sacrifice for this.
SO I made this recipe, but it wouldn’t cook and ended up being soupy. I used plain greek yogurt in the recipe, which the note says it ok to use. I did exactly what the recipe told me. I have a tendency to overmix, but I made sure I didn’t this time. Any thoughts as to why that would happen?
That’s odd that it wouldn’t cook. Was your batter thick and fluffy? In the first step when you cream together the butter and sugar make sure that your butter is just to room temperature and not too soft (this is what room temperature butter really means).
I had this same issue! It eventually cooked, but something definitely went wrong! I don’t think the butter was too soft – not sure what else could have gone wrong?
Hi Sally! I’m trying to figure out making my son a 3D dump truck cake for his 3rd birthday in a few weeks, and thinking I could start with a sheet cake like this and then cut pieces from it, but I’m worried this would be too thin. I might be better off with something I can make in a loaf pan. What do you think? Any ideas or tips for me? I bake a lot, but I’m more of a fancy layer cake kinda gal — which it turns out 3 year olds really don’t care about, so this time I’m going to be more of a dump truck kinda gal! Thanks! Love your recipes!
Hi Liz! I wish I could help, but I don’t have much experience with specific shaped cakes. This is a thinner cake, you’re right. You could try my funfetti layer cake instead. You could bake that in loaf pans, too. Check the doneness with a toothpick. The layer cake is also a bit more dense, so should hold its shape better.