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Funfetti Layer Cake

This delicious funfetti layer cake recipe is made from scratch and is so easy to make. It’s tender, moist, and packed with sprinkles!!

image of a slice of funfetti cake on a plate that's been cut into to show how tender it is

How to Make This Funfetti Layer Cake

To make sure this cake turns out as amazing as possible, let’s walk through each step together! I’ve also included a video tutorial of the process below.

I figured it might be helpful to know what tools I use too, so I’ve shared a list below.

Not all of these are mandatory, but they make the process a lot easier. If you don’t have all these things on hand, feel free to improvise and work with what you have.

Step 1: Bake the Funfetti Cake Layers

The first step is to make the funfetti cake batter following the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

image of sprinkles being folded into cake batter to make funfetti cake

After folding the rainbow sprinkles into the batter, divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

image of funfetti cake batter that's been poured into cake pans and is ready to be baked

Bake the layers for 34-36 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove the cake layers from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 15 minutes.

Gently run an offset spatula around the rim of the cake pans to loosen them, then flip the cake layers onto wire racks to finish cooling. If you’re in a rush (or impatient like me), you can pop the cake pans into the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate the cooling process.

Once cooled, use a serrated knife to level the top of each layer and remove the caramelization around the sides of the layers.

I also like to torte the cake layers horizontally to create 6 thinner cake layers, but this is optional.

If you make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 20 minutes before assembling your cake. The cake layers should still be cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble your cake.

Step 2: Make the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla frosting.

I like to frost this cake with my American buttercream because it’s so easy to make and I love eating it. However, I know that it can be a bit sweet for some palettes!

image of American buttercream being made in a kitchenaid stand mixer

If you aren’t a fan of American buttercream, I’d recommend using a batch of my Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) or 1.5 batches of my hybrid buttercream.

This frosting can also be made in advance if needed and kept in the fridge for up to a month.

Step 3: Stack and Fill the Cake Layers

Then it’s time to assemble this cake! Stack and frost the cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate. Use a dab of buttercream to help stick the first cake layer to the board.

Spread an even layer of buttercream on top of each cake layer with a large offset spatula. If desired, add a couple of spoonfuls of sprinkles on top of the frosting. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.

Flip the top cake layer upside-down to make it easier to frost.

image of funfetti cake layers being frosted and stacked to make a funfetti layer cake

Once all the layers are stacked, gently press down on top of the cake with both of your hands to help them settle and to press out any trapped air between the cake layers.

Step 4: Chill and Crumb Coat the Cake

Chill the cake in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to prevent the layers from sliding, then add a thin coat of frosting around the cake that fully covers the cake layers.

Smooth using a large offset spatula and/or bench scraper, then chill the cake again in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.

image of a funfetti layer cake being crumb coated and smoothed with a bench scraper

Step 5: Add the Second Layer of Frosting & Decorate

While the cake chills, fold ½ cup of rainbow sprinkles to the remaining buttercream.

image of rainbow sprinkles being folded into buttercream to make funfetti frosting

Use the sprinkle buttercream to add a second layer of frosting to the cake with the remaining buttercream. Smooth using a large offset spatula and bench scraper.

image of sprinkle buttercream being smoothed onto a funfetti cake

Then decorate as desired and enjoy! I added some pink white chocolate ganache drips around the cake and used the remaining buttercream to pipe some buttercream dollops in a ring around the top of the cake.

image of sprinkle funfetti buttercream being piped in a ring on top of a funfetti cake

If you want to pipe a border around this cake, be mindful of the sprinkles in the buttercream. They can get stuck in the groves of frosting tips. I recommend using a large, round piping tip if you use one.

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 were called confetti cake. My theory is that we call it the name we grew up with.

image of sprinkles being poured into cake batter

Pillsbury is the only brand that dubs its sprinkle cake mix funfetti, and I’m like 90% sure we used Pillsbury mix when I was a 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.

Substitutions and Swaps – Funfetti Cake Layers

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this cake recipe.

  • All-Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar because it will change the texture of the cake layers.
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it instead of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this cake recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place (and also skip the salt)!
  • Egg whites – I like to use the pasteurized egg whites that come in a carton, but you can also use 7 fresh egg whites or 4 whole, large eggs. If you have an egg allergy, you can use flaxseed eggs or an egg replacer.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use full-fat yogurt, sour cream, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Vegetable Oil – Any flavorless oil can be used in this recipe. Canola or even sunflower oil would work great!
  • Almond Extract – I love a hint of almond in this recipe, it really elevates the flavor! However, if you have a tree nut allergy, you can skip the almond extract or replace it with another extract like lemon or coconut.
  • Sprinkles – The best sprinkles for making a funfetti cake are rainbow jimmies. They hold up best in the batter and bleed less than other types of sprinkles. Avoid nonpareils at all costs, they instantly bleed into the batter and turn it grey.
image of rainbow jimmy sprinkles in a measuring cup

Substitutions and Swaps – Vanilla Buttercream

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place (and skip the salt)!

Can I Make This Funfetti Layer Cake in Different Sizes?

One batch of batter is about 1900g or 10.5 cups, so I add about 630g to each of my cake pans when using 3, 8-inch cake pans.

If I’m making 4, 7-inch cake pans, I’ll add 475g to each pan.

You can also use one batch of batter to make 2, 9-inch cake layers or 4, 6-inch cake layers. Bake time will be a few minutes longer at 350 F / 175 C.

image of a slice of moist funfetti cake that's been placed on a plate

If you want to make a tiered cake with this recipe, check out my cake batter calculator to see how many batches of batter you’ll need.

If you want to make funfetti cupcakes, fill the liners 3/4 full and bake them at 350F / 175C for 18-21 minutes. One batch of batter will make about 3 dozen cupcakes (yield will vary based on the size of your liners).

Or if you just want to make a dozen cupcakes, you can use my funfetti cupcake recipe and make a half batch of this frosting recipe.

image of a cute funfetti sprinkle cupcake that's been unwrapped

Can I Make This Funfetti Cake in Advance?

I highly recommend making the components of this cake in stages. It breaks the process up and makes it so much more approachable!

The cake layers can also be made in advance and frozen. They taste just as great when they’re frozen as when they’re freshly baked, I promise!

You can make the frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

Be sure to give the frosting a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

cross section of a funfetti layer cake

Tips for Making the Best Funfetti Layer Cake

  • Properly measure your flour. Either spoon it into the cup measure, then level with a knife, or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better. Set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use a kitchen scale to weigh your cake pans as you fill them. It helps the cake layers bake to the same height and bake more evenly.
  • Chill the cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. This makes them easier to stack and frost.
  • Level the room temperature or thawed cake layers with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack and fill.
  • Chill the cake before adding on the crumb coat. This will help lock all the layers in place and minimize crumbing.
  • If you want to make funfetti cupcakes, I recommend trying my funfetti cupcake recipe (I like the texture better for cupcakes).
  • Use my small batch funfetti cake recipe to make a 6-inch layer cake.
  • Use this recipe if you want to make a vegan funfetti cake.
image of a slice of funfetti cake on a plate that's been cut into to show how tender it is

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you make this funfetti layer cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think of it! Let me know by leaving a rating and comment below.

Tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets if you share on social media so that I can see your amazing creations.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 24

Funfetti Layer Cake

image of a slice of funfetti cake on a plate that's been cut into to show how tender it is

This delicious funfetti layer cake recipe is made from scratch and is so easy to make. It's tender, moist, and packed with 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 (360g)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10g)
  • 1 tsp fine salt (6g)
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
  • 1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton or about 7 egg whites, room temperature (240g)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (360g)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (28g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract - optional (6g)
  • 2/3 cup of rainbow jimmies or long strand sprinkles (115g)
  • gel food coloring (if desired)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Recommend Tools & Equipment

Instructions

Funfetti Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line four, 7-inch pans or three, 8-inch round pans with parchment rounds and grease with non-stick cooking spray. You can also use this recipe to make 4, 6-inch cake layers but the bake time will be a few minutes longer. If you don't have enough cake pans, the batter can sit at room temperature for a few hours. Bake as many layers at a time as you can at a time.
  2. Mix 3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 cups sugar, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fully combined.
  3. Mix in 1 cup of room temperature, unsalted butter slowly into the dry ingredients on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture looks like moist sand.
  4. Pour in 1 cup of egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk in two installments on a low speed.
  5. Add in 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 tsp almond extract and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. If you want to color these cake layers, add the gel food coloring during this step.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat on a medium speed for about a minute to make sure everything is properly mixed together. This also helps lighten the texture of the cake layers a bit.
  7. Fold 2/3 cup of sprinkles into the cake batter using a rubber spatula and mix until they're evenly distributed.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a scale to weigh each pan and make sure they have the same amount of batter. This ensures that the layers bake evenly and end up being the same height.
  9. Bake for 34-36 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let the pans cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  10. Place the cake pans 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. These layers bake up pretty flat, so leveling them is optional! If you want to level them, use a serrated knife to level the top of each cake layer. I also like to trim the sides of the cake layers to remove any sprinkles that have caramelized and make them easier to frost. If you make these in advance, wrap and freeze them at this point.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat 2 cups of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment until smooth.
  3. Mix in 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp salt on a low speed.
  4. Slowly add in 7 cups of powdered sugar while mixing slowly on the lowest setting. Halfway through add 1/4 cup of heavy cream or milk to make it easier to mix. I like to place a kitchen towel over my mixer to contain any powdered sugar clouds.
  5. Continue to mix on a low speed for a few minutes until the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting seems too thick, add additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (a quarter of a cup at a time).
  6. Wait to add in the sprinkles until you've filled and crumb-coated the cake. Cover the buttercream flush with plastic wrap to prevent crusting, then set aside.

Assembling This Funfetti 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. Spread an even layer of buttercream on top of each cake layer with a large offset spatula. If desired, add a couple of spoonfuls of sprinkles on top of the frosting. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.
  3. Flip the top cake layer upside-down to make it easier to frost.
  4. Once all the layers are stacked, gently press down on top of the cake with both of your hands to help them settle and to press out any trapped air between the cake layers.
  5. Spread a thin coat of frosting around the cake to fully cover the cake layers. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  6. While the cake chills, fold ½ cup of rainbow sprinkles to the remaining buttercream.
  7. Use the sprinkle buttercream to add a second layer of frosting to the cake with the remaining buttercream. Smooth using a large offset spatula and bench scraper.
  8. Then decorate as desired and enjoy! I added some pink white chocolate ganache drips around the cake and used the remaining buttercream to pipe some buttercream dollops in a ring around the top of the cake.
  9. If you want to pipe a border around this cake, be mindful of the sprinkles in the buttercream. They can get stuck in the groves of frosting tips. I recommend using a large, round piping tip if you use one.

Notes

If you need to make any substitutions or swaps in this recipe, please check out my section on ingredient substitutions above.

Funfetti Cake Recipe Variations

This recipe can also be used to make a sheet cake! One batch will make 2, 9-inch x 13-inch cake layers that are about 1 inch tall. Bake at 350°F/175°C for 30-35 minutes.

One batch of cake batter makes about 1900 grams. If you plan to use three circular cake pans, add 630 grams of batter into each pan. If you plan to use four circular cake pans, add 475 grams of batter into each pan.

Tips for Making the Best Funfetti Cake

  • Properly measure your flour. Either spoon it into the cup measure, then level with a knife or use a kitchen scale.
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to help them mix together better.
  • Chill your cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. This makes them easier to stack and frost.
  • Level your room temperature or thawed cake layers with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack.
  • Crumb coat and chill your cake, then smooth on a second layer of frosting. This will help ensure your final coat of frosting is crumb-free and beautiful.
  • Make sure your buttercream is the right consistency before frosting your cake. It will help give your cake proper structure and make it easier to decorate.
  • If you want to make funfetti cupcakes, I recommend trying my funfetti cupcake recipe (I like the texture better for cupcakes).
  • Use my small batch funfetti cake recipe to make a 6-inch layer cake.
  • Use this recipe if you want to make a vegan funfetti cake.

Make this Funfetti Cake in Advance and Storage Tips

Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.

Make your frosting ahead of time too or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!

If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 751Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 72mgSodium 287mgCarbohydrates 101gFiber 1gSugar 80gProtein 5g

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Monday 20th of November 2023

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Amy

Thursday 14th of September 2023

Could I whip the egg whites a little before incorporating into the dry ingredients to get a thicker batter to stop the jimmies sinking ??

Chelsweets

Monday 25th of September 2023

Hi Amy

I haven't tried that, but you can try doing that! What type of jimmies are you using? Mine usually don't sink to the bottom!

Amy

Friday 18th of August 2023

Hi, I made this cake for the first time and found when I removed from the pans after baking that all the sprinkles sank to the bottom... ? any thoughts on why this would be? Thanks!

Chelsweets

Friday 25th of August 2023

Hi Amy,

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that!! My first guess would be maybe the type of sprinkles that you're using? What brand are they?? The other thing is that the batter may have been too thin. But if you're following the recipe correctly, that shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully we'll be able to figure it out together!

Dineen

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

This is an amazing recipe I’ve made many times now. I don’t normally leave reviews for recipes but I just have to on this one. I’ve made this cake for 2 of my friends weddings now, and it’s always a huge hit. People flip over it, probably because wedding cakes are notoriously dry, but not Chelsweets recipes!! So moist and dense and flavorful and delicious. I’m so grateful for your recipes and instructions, Chelsea! Everyone should make this cake!!

Chelsweets

Thursday 17th of August 2023

Hi Dineen,

I am so happy to hear that!! Yay :) Thank you so much for sharing!!

Brittany Trecker

Sunday 18th of June 2023

I measured out my baking powder to 10g and the cake turned out perfectly but some spots in the cake have a tinny taste. My baking powder is not aluminum free, could this have caused the tinny taste? It was perfect otherwise but the tin taste really threw me off and I’m scared of it happening again.

Chelsweets

Monday 26th of June 2023

Hi Brittany,

That's so odd! I've never heard of that before, but if you think that's what caused it I'd recommend trying a different brand. Is there any chance it might be the pans or mixing bowl that caused it?? Hopefully we'll be able to figure out what's causing it!

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