Funfetti Cake Recipe

How have I never shared my funfetti cake recipe?!?! It’s mind blowing, especially considering it’s my very favorite cake flavor. In fact, Stephen and I love it so much it’s going to be the largest tier of our wedding cake!

And that’s saying a lot, I’ve made a ton of different cake flavors over the years. When I think about why I love it so much, it’s hard to say why.

I grew up on funfetti boxed cake mix, and I think I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for it. Or maybe it’s just all the sprinkles!!

Technically I’ve included it in past recipes, like in my funfetti cookie dough cake. But most of you aren’t trying to make a cake that over the top (there’s a cookie dough filling, chocolate drip, sprinkle coating…etc.).

You want a moist, easy to make, and absolutely delicious funfetti cake recipe that you can make from scratch.

I took things a bit further and colored both the cake batter and buttercream with gel food coloring, but this is totally optional 🙂 I just couldn’t resist!!

blue and pink funfetti cake image

What is Funfetti Cake?

Funfetti cake is usually a moist vanilla cake base. It has sprinkles folded into the batter, and baked right into the layers. The sprinkles add both a pop of color, and a bit of texture to each bite.

Most funfetti cakes incorporate sprinkles into the decoration or design of the cake as well!

Sprinkles are usually used to decorate the outside of the cake. Sometimes they’re gently pressed into the frosting, to completely coat the cake (just like the tiny smash cake below).

Another popular look is to use a fancy sprinkle blend, around the base or sides of the cake.

Tiny funfetti smash cake, covered with sprinkles

Or to really take things to the next level, you can even fill the center with sprinkles.

What Types Of Sprinkles Should I Use To Make Funfetti Cake?

While you might think all sprinkles are created equal, sadly you’re wrong. When making a funfetti cake, you have to be sure you use the right type of rainbow sprinkle.

The best sprinkles for making a funfetti cake are rainbow jimmies. They are the longer sprinkles, that you used to (and may still) put on your ice cream.

These sprinkles keep their color, and won’t immediately bleed into your batter.

This is important, because it will help your batter say white while you add it to your pans. This will allow the color of the sprinkles to really shine through once the layers are baked.

Sliced funfetti cake, with bright blue frosting

If you really want to be picky about your sprinkles, I also recommend getting a rainbow sprinkle blend that doesn’t have any chocolate/brown sprinkles in it. Funfetti cake layers look so much better with out any brown sprinkles!

The type of sprinkle you should NOT use are the tiny, round, rainbow sprinkles. They’re called nonpareils, and they are the true enemy of funfetti cake layers.

Nonpareils will start to bleed their colors the second they’re stirred into your cake batter, resulting in a creepy, pink/grayish batter.

This can also happen if you let you rainbow jimmies sit in your batter for an extended period of time, and then try to stir it.

The key take aways? Only use rainbow jimmies in this funfetti cake recipe, gently fold them into your batter, and immediately pour into your cake pans.

Funfetti vs Confetti Cake?

In my mind, sprinkle cake layers have always been called funfetti. But when I was doing a little keyword research, I learned that a majority of you (about 80%) call it confetti cake.

Back in the day, a lot of the boxed cake mixes called it confetti cake mix. My theory is that we call it the name we grew up with.

Pillsbury is the only brand that dubs its sprinkle cake mix funfetti, and I’m like 90% sure we I used pillsbury mix as child!!

While I clearly am outnumbered on this one, I definitely think that calling sprinkle cake layers funfetti is just more…fun! No pun intended.

What Makes This Funetti Recipe So Delicious?

There are lots of funfetti cake recipes out there. Why is this one the best (in my opinion)?There are a few reasons.

This cake recipe is based off my vanilla layer cake recipe, which is amazing on its own. It’s a butter cake recipe, can be made in one bowl, and is pretty much fool-proof.

This recipe also uses buttermilk, which makes tender cake layers, and adds so much moisture! It also gives this cake a delicious tang, which pairs so well with the sweet buttercream the cake is frosted with.

While buttermilk can be found in most grocery stores, some parts of the country or foreign countries don’t sell it! If you’re having a hard time getting your hands on buttermilk, don’t worry.

You can make your own buttermilk! For each cup of buttermilk that the recipe calls for, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to fill 1 cup. 

You also can use plain, low-fat yogurt as an equal substitute, cup for cup.

photo of frosted funfetti cake, decorated with turquoise teal frosting and pink frosting swirls

This funfetti cake recipe also uses the tiniest bit of almond extract. It can be omitted if you’re worried about tree nut allergies. Otherwise, I highly recommend including it.

It added just a hint of almond flavor, which makes this cake feel even more special. Almond extract reminds me of wedding cakes, and it takes this cake recipe to the next level.

How Should I Decorate my Funfetti Cake??

Over the years I’ve decorated my funfetti cakes a lot of different ways. I highly recommend using some assortment of fancy sprinkles, rainbow frosting, and/or cute candles!

Below is an ombre sprinkle look I did a couple years ago. Sometimes all you need is a cute sprinkle blend!!

simple funfetti cake with sprinkle decoration

I’ve also made some epic sprinkle covered funfetti cakes in the past, included the funfetti cookie dough cake below.

The most important thing to keep in mind when decorating a cake is to have fun. That’s the whole reason why we bake, right?!

Or to hop on the latest sprinkle cake trend, you could make a fault line sprinkle cake!! It’s made with my funfetti cake recipe, and is frosted with my black buttercream frosting.

Sprinkle fault line cake, made with funetti cake layers and black cocoa buttercream frosting

Let Me Know What You Think!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this funfetti cake recipe! Are you team funfetti or team confetti??

Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your amazing cakes. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3

If you try this funfetti cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations!

Yield: 24 servings

Funfetti Cake Recipe

Funfetti Cake Recipe

This amazing funfetti cake recipe is made from scratch, and is so easy to make. It's moist, and packed with flavor and sprinkles!!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Funfetti Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (390 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (8 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract (6 grams)
  • 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (345 grams)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)
  • 3/4 cup of rainbow jimmies or long strand sprinkles (130 grams)
  • gel food coloring (if desired)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (678 grams)
  • 11 cups powdered sugar (1375 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (75 grams)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract (18 grams)

Decorations

  • Fancy sprinkle blend
  • Wilton 1M
  • Deep pink and Turquoise gel food coloring (optional)

Instructions

Funfetti Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans or three 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  5. Add in vanilla extract, almond extract, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on low speed for about 15 seconds (the key is to mix until the ingredients are JUST incorporated, so that the batter isn't over-mixed). 
  6. If desired, add in gel food coloring. Mix the color in by hand using a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl part way through. Mix until the batter is evenly colored.
  7. Fold the sprinkles into the cake batter using a rubber spatula, just they've evenly distributed.
  8. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (about 475 grams per pan).
  9. Bake for 34-37 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  10. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers from the pans.
  11. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
  3. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla extract and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  5. If you plan to color the buttercream, add in the gel food coloring once the frosting is fully made.
  6. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of frosting to color a separate color, to pipe swirls on top of the cake. Place this frosting in a piping bag fit with a Wilton 1M frosting top.
  7. Color the remaining frosting with gel food coloring.
  8. In this cake, I used turquoise Americolor gel food coloring to make the blue frosting, and deep pink americolor gel food coloring for the swirls on top of the cake.

To Assemble The Cake:

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer.
  3. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the the cake, to fully cover the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (10 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  4. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired!

Notes

One batch of cake batter makes about 1900 grams, so when I'm making a cake with four layer, I add 475 grams of batter into each pan.

Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife.

These cake layers can be made in advance!! Learn more about how far in advance they can be made, and how to properly wrap them in my post on how to make cake layers ahead of time.

Since this frosting will be used to decorate a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on the lowest speed at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.

You can also stir the frosting in a bowl with a rubber spatula, pushing it from side to side, to get rid of any air bubbles.This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

The frosting recipe above is 1.5 batches of my American buttercream, which is the amount I usually make for 7 or 8 inch cakes. This makes enough buttercream to add a generous amount between the cake layers, and to have leftover buttercream for any special decorations. If you have extra buttercream you don't use, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month in the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24 slices

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 682 Total Fat 33g Saturated Fat 19g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 12g Cholesterol 82mg Sodium 286mg Carbohydrates 94g Fiber 0g Sugar 80g Protein 4g

74 thoughts on “Funfetti Cake Recipe

  1. Could you share a step by step of the fault line cake?!
    Also you are my ultimate inspo thank you for all your great recipes and ideas!!

  2. Hi! I’m a new baker and don’t have a stand mixer. Is there anything special I’ll need to do differently with a hand held mixer?

    1. i would not recommend it for cupcakes! This cake recipe is great because it bakes flat, but this causes the cupcakes not to have much rise, and they also stick to the liners 🙂

      I’m actually going to share my funfetti cupcake recipe next week, which I would recommend using instead!

    1. it can, but they’ll be thin! I like doing 3 8-inch layers if I’m going to make them that size, so they’re nice and tall!

  3. Thanks! I did the carrot cake and the chocolate cake, both were amazing. However, I only have 9 inch cake pan, should I multiply the recipe by 1.3? I had five of those pans (I don´t know how) but I would love to make a 4 layer cake.
    best!!!

    1. Haha that’s going to be one big cake!! I’d actually recommend making 1.5 batches to make four, nine-inch cake layers! That way the layers should have decent height <3 Hope that helps, happy baking Sandra!

    1. I’ve never tried it with cake flour, but it should still turn out! The texture will definitely be different though. I really love the way it turns out with AP flour <3

    1. haha it’s coming, I promise Cris!! I’m baking a batch to take photos this week, and it should be up shortly after that 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for your response, I am glad you responded because I was going to give it a whirl this weekend. Trying to come up with the perfect funfetti for my Nieces wedding?

  5. Hi Chelsweets, I love watching your videos on YouTube and have not yet tried one of your recipes but I plan on giving this one a whirl this weekend for a birthday cake. I have 2 questions: 1) For someone with a nut allergy, do I just omit the almond extract and use the same amount of vanilla or should I increase the amount of vanilla extract slightly? and 2) How would I adjust the recipe if I’m making a 2 or 3- layer, 6 inch cake?
    Thanks so much for your help in advance!

    1. Hi Belinda! I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying my videos 🙂 Great questions! You can definitely swap out the almond extract and replace it with vanilla!

      If you want to make a funfetti cake, I recommend using this recipe instead! It makes perfect cake layers that bake pretty flat 🙂 Here’s the link: https://chelsweets.com/2019/05/09/funfetti-cake-recipe/

      Hope that helps, happy baking!!

  6. My daughter has been looking at cakes for what seems like a month… she has finally picked a winner for her birthday with this cake! Now do I bake a practice one before her party?!?! Thank you for your straight forward instructions and pictures and just being awesome! My whole family watches!

  7. Is the only difference between this recipe and the vanilla cake the almond extract and sprinkles? Also is it okay to make this in 3 – 633 grams each instead of 4 – 475 inches? Going to try and make a tiered funfetti cake and hoping your small batch vanilla will work for the 6″ tier if I just add almond and sprinkles!

  8. I am going to try this right now actually!! I have made the small batch vanilla, but today I am going to add some almond extract ( 1/2 tsp ), 1/2 cup of sprinkles, and a little of the dark pink gel color. I will taste test and I will have my trusty team of taste testers try it too!! 🙂

  9. How does everyone, or yourself, handle possible allergies to nuts when adding almond extract to cakes? My family and friends are not allergic, but I have a friend who may be wanting me to make a vanilla, or funfetti cake, and I want to add the almond extract, but am wary. I have read many conflicting comments and opinions on almond extract. What are your thoughts? Thank you,.

  10. I made this cake yesterday and it came out quite dense. I followed the recipe to to T. Any idea why that would have happened?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica, so sorry to hear that!

      If it’s dense it means you might be using too much flour (sometimes when you scoop out of a bag you end up packing a lot more flour into the cup than the recipe calls for (by weight), or you may be over mixing! Those are usually the two main culprits for dense cake layers <3 Hope that helps!!?

  11. I am planning on making this recipe for my sons first birthday party. I was going to make a cute bear face cake using 12 inch round pans. Should I double this recipe?

  12. I made this recipe tonight and used three 8” pans. When they baked they are only a lil over 1” think/high per layer. Does that seem right? My plan is to make a unicorn cake for a birthday but I wanted the cake to be tall. Should I make another batch for more layers?

    1. Hi Abra,

      Yup, this recipe bakes pretty flat! that’s one of my favorite things about it, you don’t have to level the layers if you don’t want to. Each cake layer is usually about 1 inch tall. If you want taller layers, I’d recommend using 4, 7-inch pans! I use 7 inch pans to make most of my cakes.

    1. Hi Amelia! I’ve gone back and forth on this. 3 and 1/4 cups of APF are 390 grams, but I find a lot of home bakers (including myself when I first started baking) actually add more when they use a cup measure. I liked the way the recipe turned out with a tiny bit more flour, but didn’t want to make the recipe 3 1/2 cups, because I was worried that people using cup measures would end up adding way too much flour. I eventually conceded to just using the standard weight on my vanilla cake recipe, and need to update the grams on this too to avoid confusion :/

  13. Made this cake for a trial run before my son’s birthday- my husband took it to work and everyone loved it! Thanks for posting measurements in grams- makes it super easy to know I am using exact measurements.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Anna! And yes, it’s a bit of extra work but everyone seems to appreciate when I include the grams 🙂 Happy you’re utilizing the recipe that way!!

  14. This recipe is terrific! I used it for my birthday cake and everyone loved it. I personally could have done with a smidge less almond extract, but my party guests disagreed. Thanks also for a recipe that uses pasteurized egg whites, saving time and lots of egg yolks! Will definitely make again.

    1. Hi Nadja,

      I’m so happy to hear that! Almond extract is totally a preference thing, so if you want to add a touch less next time, you definitely can!! And yes, carton egg whites make life so much easier 🙂

  15. Hi Chelsea, let me first say that your cakes always look amazing, you’re truly talented! You’ve inspired me to attempt to make my son’s 1st birthday cake. I’m not sure yet if I want to make a single tier (8”) or a 2 tier (8” and 10”) cake. I am planning on using your funfetti and buttercream recipes. My question is, how many layers of cake is needed per each tier?

  16. Hi Chelsea, let me first say that your cakes always look amazing, you’re truly talented! You’ve inspired me to attempt to make my son’s 1st birthday cake. I’m not sure yet if I want to make a single tier (8”) or a 2 tier (8” and 10”) cake. I am planning on using your funfetti and buttercream recipes. My question is, how many layers of cake is needed per each tier?

    1. You’re too sweet Judy! That part is up to you!! I’ve done tiered cakes with three layers, and with four layers! It all depends on what look you’re after 🙂

  17. I need help. I’d like to make this cake but with (3) 12-inch layers. Based on your batter guide I know I need 339 cubic inches of batter, but I don’t know how many batches of batter this funfetti cake makes (unless it makes 154 cubic inches like your vanilla cake recipe). Could you advise me? Thanks, ma’am.

    1. Hi Jessica! It does make almost the same volume as my vanilla cake recipe (slightly more bc of the sprinkles, but pretty close!). You should be able to use a double batch of my funfetti cake batter for 3, 12-inch pans <3

  18. This looks amazing! I want to make this cake in 6 inch layers, but I am wondering how to adjust the recipe. Will 3 six inch layers be way too tall with one full recipe? If I half it will it not be enough for 3 six inch layers? I know this is the most annoying question to ask… sorry!

    1. Hi Bethany! Great question!! You are totally right, I’ve found a half batch makes the layers a bit too thin for 3, 6-inch cake layers. I’d recommend making 2/3 of a batch! It’s an annoying calculation, but it makes 3 perfect little 6 inch cake layers! Or you can use 1 batch to make 4, taller six inch cake layers!

      hope that helps, happy baking!! <3

    1. Hi Jackie!!

      So sorry, that’s a typo! It should be 24 servings, like the rest of my 8-inch cakes! Just updated it. I usually cut the cake into quarters, then cut each quarter into 6 thin slices (or you can cut three slices, and then cut them in half so that each slice has only 2 cake layers)!

  19. Hi just wondering if I have to use pasteurized eggs? The batter will be baked anyways so wondering what difference does it make? I want to try this recipe for my sons birthday using three 6 inch pans. 🙂

    1. You definitely don’t have to! I just mentioned that because that’s how egg whites in a carton are sold! You can totally use fresh egg whites in this recipe <3

      This is going to be a lot of batter for 3 six-inch pans!! They may need to bake a bit longer, since the layers will be super tall. I usually use 2/3 of this size of recipe for 6 inch pans, but you may want taller layers than the way mine are!

  20. I made this cake today as a practice round for my son’s birthday party. It is so cute and YUMMY! Thank you for giving me the confidence to try and do this on my own. My only concern is that the cake turned out a little sweet for our taste, is there a way to dial the sweetness back some? Also to get an even cook, I may have to bake two layers at a time, should I keep the batter room temp. for the two layers awaiting baking?

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Nicole!! If you can only cook two layers at a time, the other two can sit out at room temp until you can bake them. Just be sure to pour the batter in to the pans right after it’s made, and then not stir it/move it as they sit. Otherwise the sprinkles will bleed!

      You can try to dial down the sweetness by adding more heavy cream to the frosting, and mixing it at a high speed to incorporate more air into! Or you can try frosting the cake with a less sweet frosting like swiss meringue buttercream, or even whipped cream <3

    1. Hi Caitlin! I usually bake my cake layers in pans that are 7in x 2 in tall! I love the Fat Daddio’s brand (the silliest name but they’re great pans), and I order them on amazon! Here’s the link to the ones I use: https://amzn.to/2HT3r8r

  21. I’m using this recipe for a wedding cake, and the bottom tier is going to be three 10” layers. How much batter per pan should I use?

  22. Hi! I’m making this recipe this weekend for my daughters 3rd birthday and it’ll be a 3D cat cake for about 36ish people. How many layers should I make and how big of layers should I make? I figure the head I would make 6inch rounds but the rest I’m not sure ? and I have low fat Greek yogurt on hand already, would I be able to use that instead of buttermilk or do you think it would taste bad?

    1. Hi Brooke,

      I’m so sorry for the delayed response on this! I was on my honeymoon, and am still playing catch up now.

      I think full fat greek yogurt would probably work fine, but I’m not sure about low fat. If you did end up using it, how did it work out?? I’d love to hear, I hope it was a big success!!

    1. Hi Raven!

      Do you mean you’ve tried the recipe for 4 egg whites, and then with 5 egg whites, and you like version with 4 better?

  23. Love this cake for my daughter’s birthday! Did you make a note of what gel colors you used for the cake and frosting and how much you added? Thanks!

    1. I use squirt bottles, so it’s hard to quantify the amount I added! I used americolor turquoise gel, and americolor deep pink gel food coloring to color the cake layers and frosting. Hope that helps Jackie!

  24. Do you recommend using simple syrup on this cake to keep it moist? I find that my from scratch cakes always tend to be a bit on the dry side, and I don’t know if that would help.

    1. Hi Jocelyn,

      This cake recipe definitely doesn’t need any simple syrup! It’s a butter cake base, and should be plenty moist from all the buttermilk in the batter. If you find your cake is a bit dry or dense, it means you might be using too much flour (sometimes when you scoop out of a bag you end up packing a lot more flour into the cup than the recipe calls for (by weight), or you may be over mixing!

      Those are usually the two main culprits! Hope that helps!!?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      It should still bake in the same time range if you make 3, 8-inch cake layers with this recipe. Hope that helps, happy baking!!

Let me know what you think!