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Small Batch Funfetti Cake

I’m in the midst of sharing small batch recipes of my most popular cake recipes. So far I’ve shared my small batch marble cake recipe, my small batch vanilla cake recipe, and my small batch WASC cake recipe. It was only a matter of time until I got around to making a small batch version of my funfetti cake recipe.

One batch of my full sized funfetti layer cake recipe makes a cake large enough to feed about 24 people.

It makes three, 8-inch cake layers or four, 7-inch cake layers (my usual MO).

This is all great and dandy if you’re making a cake for a party or a big group of people.

But sometimes you don’t need to make that big of a cake. You might just want to make a cute little six-inch layer cake.

image of funfetti cake slice made from 6 inch cake layers

Maybe you simply don’t need to feed that many people. Or maybe you want to make a smaller cake to create a certain look.

More often, people don’t have bigger pans. A lot of people start off with 6-inch cake pans, which may be the only size they have on hand.

If that’s you, then this is the recipe for you!

How Many Cake Layers Does This Small Batch Funfetti Cake Recipe Make?

This small batch version of my funfetti layer cake recipe bakes three, perfect little 6-inch cake layers.

It may seem like you’re filling your pans pretty full, but this batter doesn’t rise a ton as it bakes.

image of funfetti cake batter in 6 inch cake pans, ready to be baked

That’s part of what makes my funfetti cake recipe so great though.

The layers bake flat, so leveling your cake layers is optional. With that in mind, you should end up with cake layers that are just a bit taller than 1 inch.

What Does Small Batch Mean?

In this case, it just means I’ve updated the amount of ingredients you use to make this batter to make a smaller cake.

Initially, I thought I could just cut the recipe in half and make three cake layers. You can do this, but the cake layers turn out a bit thinner than I prefer.

image of small batch funfetti cake slices, placed on small plates surrounded by rainbow sprinkles

I wanted each cake layer to be at least an inch tall, so I knew I’d have to play around with the ratios.

In the end, I found that 2/3 of a batch is the ideal amount of batter for 6-inch cake layers.

What Types of Sprinkles Should I Use to Make This Funfetti Cake?

While you might think all sprinkles are created equal, they’re not.

When making a funfetti cake, it’s important that you use the right type of rainbow sprinkles.

The best sprinkles for making a funfetti cake are rainbow jimmies.

image of adding the right type of rainbow sprinkles into funfetti cake batter

They are the longer sprinkles that you probably used to (and may still) put on your ice cream.

These sprinkles keep their color and won’t immediately bleed into the cake batter.

This is important because it will help your batter say white while you add it to your pans.

image of pouring funfetti cake batter in three, 6-inch cake pans

This will allow the color of the sprinkles to really shine through once the layers are baked.

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 are awesome for decorating cakes and I used them to create some sprinkle hearts on the outside of this Valentine’s day cake.

image of finished sprinkle heart cake for valentine's day

But that’s the only place they should go- on the outside of a cake!!

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

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

The key takeaways? Only use rainbow jimmies in this funfetti cake recipe, gently fold them into the batter, and immediately pour the batter into your 6 inch cake pans.

image of funfetti cake slices, cut and surrounded by pink frosting and rainbow sprinkles

Tips for Making the Best Small Batch Funfetti Cake:

  • USE RAINBOW JIMMIE (Jimmy?? IDK) SPRINKLES!! I repeat RAINBOW JIMMIES!!
  • Go wild with the cake decoration and use some pretty sprinkles to take your cake design to the next level (like my pink sprinkle heart cake below!!)
  • Chill the cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes the cake much easier to stack and frost!
  • Use a serrated knife to level your cake layers once they’re fully cooled to make it easier to assemble and frost your cake.
  • I do NOT recommend using this recipe to make cupcakes! Instead, I highly recommend trying my funfetti cupcake recipe (I like the texture better for cupcakes).
  • Use my full size funfetti cake recipe to make a 7 or 8-inch layer cake.

Making These Cake Layers 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 the 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 in the fridge for up to a week.

image of pink valentine's day cake made with funfetti cake layers and decorated with sprinkle hearts

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this small batch funfetti cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a comment and rating below.

And don’t forget to tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets so I can see your delicious creations.

Yield: 16

Small Batch Funfetti Layer Cake

image of funfetti cake slice made from 6 inch cake layers

This funfetti layer cake recipe makes the perfect six-inch layer cake! It makes three, moist cake layers that are perfect for stacking.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Funfetti Cake

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (276g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (150g or 1 1/3 sticks)
  • 2/3 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton or about 5 egg whites, room temperature (155g)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (240g)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (15g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1 tsp almond extract - optional (4g)
  • 1/2 cup rainbow jimmie sprinkles (90g)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (339g or 3 sticks)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (625g)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream (30g)

Instructions

6-Inch Funfetti Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line three 6-inch pans with parchment rounds and grease with non-stick baking spray or homemade pan release.
  2. Mix 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fully combined.
  3. Mix in 2/3 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 2/3 cup of egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated.
  5. Next, mix in 1 cup of buttermilk on a low speed.
  6. Add in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 tsp almond extract and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. If you want to color these cake layers, add in the gel food coloring with the oil and extracts.
  7. 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.
  8. Fold 1/2 cup of sprinkles into the cake batter using a rubber spatula and mix until they're evenly distributed.
  9. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees the layers will bake to be the same height.
  10. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  11. Place cake layers into the freezer for 30 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.
  12. 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 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment until smooth.
  3. Mix in 2 tsp of vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp salt on a low speed.
  4. Slowly mix in 5 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Add in 2 Tbsp of heavy cream halfway through to make the frosting easier to mix.
  5. Continue to mix on a low speed for a few minutes until the desired consistency is reached. 
  6. If the frosting seems too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  7. If you plan to color the buttercream, add in the gel food coloring once the frosting is fully made and beat on low until it reaches the desired color.

To Assemble this Small Batch 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. Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer.
  3. Spread a thin coat of frosting around the cake to fully cover the cake layers.
  4. 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.
  5. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired! I used a Wilton 1M piping to pipe large swirls on top of the cake.

Notes

Small Batch Funfetti Cake Recipe Variations

This recipe can also be used to make a sheet cake! One batch can be used to make a 9-inch x 13-inch cake that is about 1 inch tall.

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.
  • Make sure your buttercream is the right consistency. It allows you to easily pipe your rosettes and have them keep their shape.
  • Crumb coat and chill your cake, then smooth on a second layer of frosting. This will help make sure 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.

Making 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 in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 495Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 71mgSodium 260mgCarbohydrates 61gFiber 0gSugar 60gProtein 3g

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Christine

Saturday 21st of May 2022

Hi Chel, I would like to use oil instead of butter. If you recommend, then how much. Would this alter the taste.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Maria Paula

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

This recipe has become my children's favorite. It is perfect for a 6 inch cake, the layers bake to perfection and the cake is moist and delicious. Truly, i have not found a better recipe. I do reduce the amount of sugar a little. Otherwise, it is perfection! Thank you for sharing!

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