Gender Reveal Cake

overhead image of gender reveal cake with pink and blue frosting details

Our hearts are full as we await the arrival of our first baby in the coming weeks. The journey toward getting pregnant was overwhelming and emotional, but experiencing pregnancy has been nothing short of a blessing.

As with any woman who has been on this journey, these last few weeks are full of emotions and excitement, aches and pains. I’m taking it one day at a time, kicking my feet up and soaking in every joyous movement I feel. Our world is about to change forever and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Life right now? Doing teeny tiny baby laundry and crying about how cute it all is because HORMONES. Using my belly as a snack bowl holder. Nesting. Energy fading. Catching Jude and Frankie sniffing around the nursery. Waddling.

zoomed in image of gender reveal cake with pink and blue frosting details

We found out our baby’s gender on May 1st. We told our family and close friends, but decided to keep it mostly private up until now so that we could really cherish this exciting news with loved ones. We didn’t do anything special when telling our friends/family– just phone calls and text messages. I couldn’t wait to spill the beans.

Even baking a cake was too long to wait!!!

Gender reveal parties and cakes are all the rage right now, so I wanted to do something special to share the news with YOU. You have all been so supportive and encouraging during this special time and we are so thankful! I also wanted to share a new cake recipe– something that you can make when the opportunity for a gender reveal cake (or, well, any layer cake!) presents itself in your life. 🙂

I had a few dreams about the gender in my first trimester. Mother’s instinct, perhaps? (It’s def a real thing!) We would’ve been ecstatic either way as long as our baby is healthy and thriving, but I totally had a feeling our first would be a…

inside photo of a gender reveal cake with a pink cake layer on a white plate


Many of you have been throwing out guesses this year and you were right. ♥ We cannot wait to meet and snuggle with our daughter!!

And how cute is the oh baby topper? (cake topper or cupcake topper)

slice of gender reveal cake on a white plate with a fork

Gender Reveal Cake

How about this cake though! I adapted it from my funfetti layer cake, swapping all-purpose flour for cake flour. I love how fluffy and soft cakes are when made with cake flour. It’s not always necessary and you can certainly get around using it by ensuring there’s plenty of creamed room temperature butter/sugar for fluffiness– but a gender reveal cake screams for a super light cake flour crumb.

Did you know? If you’re ever swapping cake flour for all-purpose flour, you should increase the amount because cake flour is much lighter than all-purpose; there won’t be enough dry ingredients to soak up the wet. The cake could be *too* moist. OR you can experiment by changing the amounts of wet ingredients. I actually skipped all that and just used the SAME amount of cake flour. I was pleasantly surprised by how light and soft the cake crumb was… without being too wet or soggy. You’ll love this switch!

If all-purpose flour is more convenient for you, use it to make this cake flour substitute.

cake batter in a glass bowl with pink sprinkles

The recipe all stems from 1 vanilla cake batter, but you’ll divide the batter up. 2/3 of the cake will be funfetti and 1/3 will be pink/blue. The batter is about 6 cups, so:

  • 4 cups = funfetti batter
  • 2 cups = pink or blue batter

I used 1-2 drops of “deep pink” Americolor gel food coloring and pink Sweetapolita sprinkles. You can obviously use any food coloring or sprinkles you like best. Or you can make every layer the pink or blue color OR every layer pink or blue funfetti. How you choose to “reveal” with this cake is totally up to you!

This is a super fluffy, super simple, super soft, super delish 3 layer vanilla cake recipe that you’ll use time and time again.

For decorating, I used my basic vanilla buttercream and Ateco #844 tip for decorating. I turned to our beloved two-toned frosting trick to pipe pink and blue designs. Remember when I taught you that for April’s Baking Challenge? (Video included!)

slice of gender reveal cake on a pink plate with a fork

For a nice tight-looking crumb, I refrigerated the cake for 2 hours before cutting into it. This creates a beautiful slice and keeps the frosting decoration intact. Highly recommend especially if you’re showing this cake off at a party!!

PS: A very heartfelt prayer for all of you experiencing the hurricane in Texas. Stay safe. ♥

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inside photo of a gender reveal cake with a pink cake layer on a white plate

Gender Reveal 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


How to make a gorgeous and festive gender reveal cake for a gender reveal party or baby shower. Such a fun way to share the exciting news!


  • 3 and 3/4 cups (443g) cake 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, at room temperature*
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature*
  • 3 teaspoons (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (95g) blue or pink sprinkles
  • 12 drops blue or pink food coloring

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (3 and 1/2 sticks; 400g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 7 cups (840g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the 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 and sugar together on high speed for 4-5 minutes until creamed together. 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. Beat in the 2 additional egg whites and the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. If mixture looks curdled, don’t worry. It will all come together.
  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.
  4. There will be just over 6 cups of batter total– transfer just over 2 cups of it to a separate bowl. Tint that batter pink or blue with food coloring. Gently stir the sprinkles into the remaining 4 cups of batter.
  5. Pour/spread batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
  6. 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.
  7. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a 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.
  8. Assemble and frost: 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. Use any leftover frosting for piping decoration. (I used an Ateco #844 tip and piped two-toned designs.) For a neat cut, refrigerate for 1-2 hours before slicing.
  9. Cover and store leftover cake at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead 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 if you have room in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. It tastes much better fresh though!
  2. Cake Flour: If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, use this homemade cake flour substitute.
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 9-inch Round Cake Pan | Piping Bags | Ateco #844 Tip | Americolor Soft Gel Paste Kit | Oh Baby Cake Topper | Oh Baby Cupcake Topper | Custom Printed Fork
  4. Eggs: You need 4 whole eggs and 2 additional egg whites for this recipe.
  5. Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a DIY sour milk substitute. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 and 1/2 cups. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cake won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.

You could even make a checkerboard cake with blue or pink instead! Recipes are similar.


  1. Congratulations, and thank you for letting us know!  How can she be anything but sugar and spice and all things nice with Sally’s Baking Addiction in her genes!

  2. Hi from your biggest fan in Australia!
    I’d like to make one of the layers a chocolate flavour to get a neopolitan layer cake. Any suggestions on how to that without the cake being too dry?

    1. I’m unsure without testing anything myself– replacing some flour with cocoa powder would work but you’d likely need to add some wet ingredient since cocoa powder tends to dry everything out.

  3. Congratulations, Sally! All the pink and bows! So joyful for you 🙂 And that cake! Stunning.

  4. Congratulations!

  5. Congrats! So happy for your expanding little family!


  6. That’s so cool! Any name ideas?

  7. I love your photography! Do you use natural or artificial lighting?

    1. Natural 🙂 And thank you so much!

  8. Congratulations sally! ♥️ 

  9. Yay!  I have been dying to know what you’re having.  My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in October.  And boy are you right….the pregnancy journey is nothing short of amazing!:)  Congrats and good luck!!!

  10. Congratulations!  So excited for you!

  11. Phillip || says:

    I can’t get enough of these colors! I’ll pass on the babies, but take seconds on the cake. 🙂

    1. Phillip || says:

      And congrats!

  12. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    Adorable, Sally! This cake is so gorgeous and I’m so excited for you! 🙂

  13. Oh my goodness congrats!! I’m so excited to see pretty baby pictures! Do you have a name in mind? Beautiful cake by the way!

  14. Congrats Sally! So happy for you and your husband. Enjoy every precious moment because they grow up so fast. I can picture you in the kitchen someday with your little helper!! Gorgeous cake. Best wishes. 

  15. This cake looks amazing! I plan to make it when my aunt and uncle reveal my new cousin’s gender this winter! I know that’s technically not how you do it, but I still want to do it. Great looking cake!

  16. I was catching up on my SBA blog reading and read this one! YAY HOORAY! (I would have said that if the baby was a boy too!). May blessings continue for your family!!!! 

  17. Bianca Pellet says:

    I’m having a baby boy so made this recently! Turned out very well except my sprinkles were obviously not colourfast and basically melted when cooked into the cake batter. They coloured the whole cake batter too rather than leaving dots of colour so the whole effect was less striking. Any brands you especially recommend? Thanks!

    1. Make sure you are using jimmies and not nonpareils (the little balls). For decorating I often use Sweetapolita sprinkles. Or if I’m buying jimmies in bulk I order these:

  18. Brandy English says:

    Hi Sally,

    I love this! I was wondering, what kind of sprinkles did you use for the top of this cake?

    1. Hi Brandy! I used a mix of the following:

  19. Can these be made into cupcakes?
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    In Christ,

    1. Absolutely! Maybe tint half of the frosting whichever color and pipe/fill the baked cupcakes. Then frost with white frosting on top. 🙂

      1. Do you mean tint half of the cake batter which ever color than frost with white frosting on top? Thank you for your time.
        In Christ,

      2. Hi Lindsey! Well the “surprise” would be the filling inside the white cupcake. So tint the frosting/filling.

  20. Thank you!
    In Christ,

  21. I turned the gender reveal cake into a three layer rainbow cake( i skipped out the sprinkles in the batter) for my little sisters birthday, and used a cream cheese frosting instead. It turned out amazing and everyone enjoyed it. Thanks Sally.

    1. That sounds like such a fun cake! I’m glad it was a hit!

  22. This cake tasted wonderful! I made it for my mom today and we loved it!!!!! We are so excited to have another little boy coming May 2020!

  23. Shona-Lee Thompson says:

    Hi Sally,
    You think I could halve the recipe and use 6″ cake pans instead?

    1. Did you know that cupcake batter that produces about 12-15 cupcakes is the perfect amount for a 3 layer 6 inch cake? You can use the recipe for my Confetti Cupcakes and follow the baking instructions on my post all about 6 inch cakes. Enjoy 🙂

  24. Hello Sally I made this cake into a 9×23 pan turned out tender and moist but it wasn’t that sweet I left out the sprinkles could that have made it less sweet or should I add more sugar

    1. I meant a 9×13 pan

    2. Hi. I tried your red velvet brownies and because of that I’m now a fan of yours. 🙂 May I just ask how tall is this 9 inch cake?
      Will try to do this recipe for my brother’s sister-in-law’s gender reveal party this Sept 12, 2020. But with a little twist. Will try to have a candy filled surprise effect instead of colored cake in the middle.
      Thanks in advance for replying.

  25. Hello,

    I love all your cake recipes. I am planning to make this one for my daughter’s 7th birthday. Just needs to know if it’s ok to use low fat butter milk or would it affect the overall texture of the cake?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi! I’ve used low fat buttermilk in this cake before and it’s just fine.

  26. I just made this cake for my baby’s gender reveal and it was a hit! We’re having a girl and my tip for others who are making a pink layer would be to follow Sally’s guidance on the pink food coloring. I tested using red dye for the frosting which worked perfectly but the cake batter was a blush pink at best. I ended up dying the frosting between layers and we definitely got the point across, however, I wish I would have gone with pink dye for the actual cake. Make sure you send some home with your guests because you’ll want to eat the rest yourself 🙂

  27. This cake was perfect!! I actually used the weight measure as I only had medium size eggs. I also didn’t have buttermilk and was going to use vinegar but I didn’t have enough milk (so organized)!! I added sour cream to make the milk the correct amount and voila! Lol. After all of this that this recipe still turned out amazing. I will be the first to admit that vanilla is not my best cake but I think this recipe has changed all that. Thanks Sally.

  28. Sally, Thank you for such a wonderful recipe! I used this cake recipe, but turned it into a 6 layer rainbow piñata cake for my daughter’s birthday. I divided the cake batter into 6 equal portions, used food coloring and baked (6 thin layers, cooked 15 minutes each). I then used the chocolate frosting recipe and candy/sprinkles instructions from the piñata cake recipe, and it was all fabulous! Everyone loved it! We have been trying several of your recipes this past year, and all have been great!

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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