Funfetti Cake is a white-colored, vanilla-flavored cake batter filled with rainbow-colored sprinkles and topped with a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. This cake is made from scratch and has a moist, light and delicate crumb texture, perfect for any birthday celebration!

A slice of Funfetti Cake with one candle lit on the top of the cake slice.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you because I tested this recipe three times before feeling confident about it. I wanted to get it just right. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

I feel like it’s appropriate to post this funfetti birthday cake during my birthday month! So whether you’re celebrating your own birthday, a friend’s or a family member’s, this recipe will be the perfect birthday cake for your celebration!

A slice of Funfetti Cake, with a fork cutting a portion of the cake.

This homemade funfetti cake (aka confetti cake) has the perfect amount of sprinkles, the crumb is just right and it’s so yummy! My sister came over and we had like three-day-old leftovers of this cake and she was gushing about it, so if you don’t take my word, you can take my kids’ word, my husband’s word AND my sister’s that this recipe is amazing.

I know people will often use the cake mix as a go-to for a birthday confetti cake, but it is FAR from the same as this guys. Once you make this, you’ll never want to make the dry and tasteless box cake mixes ever again.

Ingredients 

For the Cake Batter

  • Cake flour — Fluff your flour and use a spoon to fill your measuring cups (this keeps the flour light. If you scoop and shake the flour into the measuring cups, you’ll end up with more flour than you need and risk a dry cake!) I recommend using cake flour since it is lighter than all-purpose flour and gives the cake a soft crumb.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda — When the baking soda combines with the acid in the buttermilk, it reacts and gets bubbly. That’s how we get the leavening for the batter. 
  • Salt — Enhances flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Unsalted butter — Softened to room temperature. If you use salted butter, be sure to cut down on the salt you add to the batter.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs — At room temperature. Always use room temperature wet ingredients in cakes! The dry ingredients will incorporate better with the wet and you’ll get a lighter and more even bake.
  • Clear vanilla extract — The secret to achieving the genuinely sweet and “funfetti” taste is to use clear vanilla extract.
  • Buttermilk — At room temperature. I’d recommend real buttermilk over a substitute option.
  • Sprinkles — This is how we get that classic rainbow-colored cake look inside! See my FAQs for what sprinkles are the best to use. 

For the Buttercream

  • Unsalted butter – softened
  • Powdered sugar – sifted
  • Heavy cream (or milk) — I like using heavy cream because as you’re beating the frosting, the heavy cream whips up a little bit and gives the frosting a much lighter and fluffier texture.
  • Vanilla extract — Feel free to use the clear vanilla extract or regular vanilla extract here
  • pinch salt
A homemade Funfetti layer cake with sprinkles around the perimeter of the cake and hot pink frosting piped on top.

For a show-stopping birthday cake, lets make a Funfetti LAYER cake!

How to Make Funfetti Cake from Scratch 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line each with circular parchment paper, and then grease and flour the bottom and sides of the pans (Yes, on top of the parchment paper.) Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Sifting the ingredients allows the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour to fully and evenly incorporate, giving the cake a much more even bake. Plus it gets rid of lumps that might be in the flour.
  3. In a large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. The butter and sugar will appear fluffy and smooth. 
  1. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30-60 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then add in the clear vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  2. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour and buttermilk. Starting with the flour and finishing with the flour (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour). Mix until JUST combined! Don’t over-mix the cake batter. Overmixing will limit the rise of the cake.
A glass mixing bowl full of Funfetti Cake batter with a pile of colorful sprinkles on the surface of the batter.
  1. Add the sprinkles to the bowl and then gently fold them into the batter. (It doesn’t take long for the sprinkles to be evenly distributed. If you get carried away and start mixing the batter too much, the cake batter will start to turn gray — not pretty!)
A glass mixing bowl full of Funfetti Cake batter.
  1. Evenly divide the batter among the three cake pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  2. Remove the cake pans from the oven and set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the cakes out of the pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Three eight inch cake pans full of Funfetti Cake batter.

How to Make Homemade Buttercream Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium high speed for about 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix. Add the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. The consistency of buttercream should be thick yet easily spreadable. Once the ingredients are added, beat on high speed for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is fluffy and lighter in color.

Assemble the Cake

To assemble place a generous amount of frosting on one of the cakes, spread until it’s in an even layer. Add a second cake to the top of the frosting. Add a generous amount of frosting to the top of the cake and spread until the top of the cake is evenly covered. 

Finish by placing the third and final cake atop the frosting. Do a thin crumb coat on the top and along the outside of the entire cake. Place the cake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set the crumb coat. (The crumb coat is important because it will set in the freezer enough to be able to frost the entire cake without getting a bunch of crumbs in your buttercream as you’re frosting.)

Remove from the freezer and add the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Add sprinkles or additional decorations.

A slice of a layered Funfetti Cake, with birthday candles scattered around the cake slice.

Tools Used for This Recipe

Cake decorating stand — This is a cake turntable that makes frosting cakes a breeze!

Ateco tip — I used this for the top of the cake for my pink frosting.

Sprinkles — For the outside of the cake. These aren’t the exact ones I used, but a very cute mix!

Cake pans – This is my favorite brand of cake pans. 

Electric pink food coloring — I used this pink food coloring to frosting the top of the cake. I love this brand of food coloring. It’s gel, and the pigment is insane! You can find a handful of beautiful colors here.

Recipe Tips

This recipe calls for cake flour, I suggest you use cake flour. — The protein content in cake flour is about 8%, while all-purpose flour has a protein content of 13%. So ultimately, cake flour will give you a lighter and more tender cake. If you choose to use all-purpose flour, I can’t guarantee the same result in the recipe. However, if you do, you’ll use 3 cups of all purpose flour rather than 3 1/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons of cake flour.

This cake is delicious as is, however, if you’d like a super extra moist cake, you can substitute some of the buttermilk for sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Do a straight substitution. This recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, so if you wanted to do the sour cream route, I would try 1 1/4 cups buttermilk and 1/2 cup full fat sour cream. This cake recipe is already moist as is, but use this substitution to really kick it up. While I’ve made plenty of cakes with either sour cream or Greek yogurt that have turned out amazing, I haven’t tested this cake recipe with it. So, keep that in mind. If you do try it, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

If you don’t have heavy cream, go ahead and use regular milk to make the buttercream.

If you aren’t a fan of American buttercream frosting you can frost this cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

The crumb coat is important because it will set in the freezer enough to be able to frost the entire cake without getting a bunch of crumbs in your buttercream as you’re frosting.

I use my kitchen scale to divide the batter among the cake pans. This is the best way to get even layers!

I made this cake in three 8-inch round cake pans. You could do this in four 6-inch round cake pans, too. I haven’t tested the recipe with this cake size, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the oven to determine when the cake will be done.

For the cake batter, sifting the ingredients allows the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour to fully and evenly incorporate, giving the cake a much more even bake. Plus it gets rid of lumps that might be in the flour.

Creaming the butter and sugars until it’s light and fluffy is an important step in cake making! Creaming the sugar and butter pushes air into the mixture and aids in leavening the cake (making it rise).

Sprinkles — Don’t use nonpareils (the tiny circular ball sprinkles) because they bleed their color. You can use confetti quins or jimmies sprinkles (whit-make these links affiliate) in the cake batter. If you’re looking for fun sprinkles to use as decoration, I love Sweetapolita’s and Sprinkle Pops’ sprinkle mixes. There are some really cute ones! 

A slice of funfetti cake laying on its side on a black border lined plate.

FAQs

What is funfetti cake?

Funfetti cake is a white-colored, vanilla-flavored cake filled with rainbow-colored sprinkles. 

What sprinkles are used in funfetti cake?

I used jimmies sprinkles in the cake batter. (whit-make this link for sprinkles an affiliate) Don’t use nonpareils (the tiny circular sprinkles) because they will bleed their color and affect the color of your cake. With that said, any sprinkles you use, if you overmix your cake batter with the sprinkles in there, the color of your cake will change.

Can you freeze funfetti cake?

Yes! You can make this cake in advance and freeze it. Make the cake layers as instructed and let them cool completely. Once cooled fully, wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap and then wrap each layer again in aluminum foil. You can freeze the cake layers for 2-3 months. Pull the cake layers out of the freezer and thaw at room temperature. Then make the frosting and assemble!

Is funfetti cake white or yellow?

Funfetti cake is a white-colored, vanilla-flavored cake filled with rainbow-colored sprinkles. 

How do I keep my cake from turning colors?

Be sure to use sprinkles that won’t bleed. See my Recipe Tips for more on which sprinkles are the best to use. Also, be sure to not overmix your batter (ever, ha) and especially not after putting the sprinkles in. The recipe says fold in the sprinkles. If you overmix or aren’t gentle with mixing in the sprinkles, the color can bleed.

More Cake Recipes


If you make this recipe and love it, I would be so grateful if you come back to leave a rating and review. Thank you! ❤️

A slice of funfetti cake laying on its side on a black border lined plate.
Print Review
4.8 from 5 votes

Funfetti Cake

A delicious Funfetti layered cake, perfect for birthday and celebrations! This cake is loaded with sprinkles and topped with a fluffy buttercream.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Frosting: 15 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 3 1/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons cake flour - (spooned and leveled)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter - softened to room temperature
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs - at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sprinkles

Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter - softened
  • 6-7 cups powdered sugar - sifted
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream - or milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat to 350°F. Grease 3- 8 inch round cake pans. line each with circular parchment paper, and then grease and flour the parchment paper and the bottom and sides of the pans. Set aside
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes. The butter and sugar will appear light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition for 30- 60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Add the clear vanilla extract and mix until combined. 
  • With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the flour. Mix until just combined. 
  • Fold in the sprinkles. 
  • Evenly distribute the batter amongst the 3 pans. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  • Remove the cake pans from the oven and set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, turn the cakes out of the pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium high speed for about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix. Add the heavy cream 1 T. at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • To assemble. Place a generous amount of frosting on one of the cakes, spread until it’s in an even layer. Add a second cake to the top of the frosting. Add a generous amount of frosting to the top of the cake and spread until the top of the cake is evenly covered. 
  • Finish by placing the third and final cake atop of the frosting. Do a thin crumb coat on the top and along the outside of the entire cake. Place the cake in the fridge (or freezer) for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat. 
  • Remove from the fridge or freezer and add the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Add sprinkles or additional decorations.

Notes

This recipe calls for cake flour, I suggest you use cake flour. — The protein content in cake flour is about 8%, while all-purpose flour has a protein content of 13%. So ultimately, cake flour will give you a lighter and more tender cake. If you choose to use all-purpose flour, I can’t guarantee the same result in the recipe. However, if you do, you’ll use 3 cups of all purpose flour rather than 3 1/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons of cake flour.
This cake is delicious as is, however, if you’d like a super extra moist cake, you can substitute some of the buttermilk for sour cream or plain greek yogurt. Do a straight substitution. This recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, so if you wanted to do the sour cream route, I would try 1 1/4 cups buttermilk and 1/2 cup full fat sour cream. This cake recipe is already moist as is, but use this substitution to really kick it up. While I’ve made plenty of cakes with either sour cream or Greek yogurt that have turned out amazing, I haven’t tested this cake recipe with it. So, keep that in mind. If you do try it, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
If you don’t have heavy cream, go ahead and use regular milk to make the buttercream.
The crumb coat is important because it will set in the freezer enough to be able to frost the entire cake without getting a bunch of crumbs in your buttercream as you’re frosting.
I use my kitchen scale to divide the batter among the cake pans. This is the best way to get even layers!
If you aren’t a fan of American buttercream frosting you can use Swiss Meringue Buttercream. 
I made this cake in three 8-inch round cake pans. You could do this in four 6-inch round cake pans, too. I haven’t tested the recipe with this cake size, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the oven to determine when the cake will be done.
Sprinkles — Don’t use nonpareils (the tiny circular ball sprinkles) because they bleed their color. You can use confetti quins or jimmies sprinkles (whit-make these links affiliate) in the cake batter. If you’re looking for fun sprinkles to use as decoration, I love Sweetapolita’s and Sprinkle Pops’ sprinkle mixes. There are some really cute ones!

Nutrition

Calories: 1055kcal (53%)Carbohydrates: 153g (51%)Protein: 11g (22%)Fat: 44g (68%)Saturated Fat: 27g (135%)Cholesterol: 169mg (56%)Sodium: 308mg (13%)Potassium: 251mg (7%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 103g (114%)Vitamin A: 1415IU (28%)Calcium: 117mg (12%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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