This funfetti cake made with light and buttery vanilla cake layers studded with rainbow sprinkles and fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting is such a fun and cheerful dessert!
I think it’s safe to say that funfetti cakes have the most fun. I mean, how could they not? Each bite of delicious, beautiful, and sprinkle-flecked cake does nothing but bring joy.
This cake recipe starts with light and tender cake layers, which have a wonderful buttery and vanilla flavor. The frosting is my favorite rich and creamy whipped vanilla buttercream. And rainbow sprinkles, both inside the cake layers and on top for decoration, are the final touch for this fun and delightful cake. While I often make this cake for birthdays, it’s perfect any day of the year!
What is Funfetti Cake?
Okay, so funfetti cake is pretty much just a vanilla cake + sprinkles. The sprinkles are like confetti, and it’s a lot of fun, so— funfetti! ?
You could use a box of funfetti cake mix from the store, but why would you when homemade is almost just as easy and tastes so much better? This from-scratch recipe isn’t overly complex or complicated, and only has 2 parts:
- Vanilla cake layers filled with sprinkles
- Fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream frosting
Seriously, homemade funfetti couldn’t be any easier. If you’re new to baking (and even if you’re not!) be sure to keep reading for my best layer cake tips!
Which Sprinkles Should You Use?
Not all sprinkles are the same, and you can’t use just any kind of sprinkle in this funfetti cake recipe. I recommend jimmies or confetti sprinkles (sometimes called sequins or quins). I’ve used both successfully in this recipe, and confetti sprinkles are pictured here in this post.
I do not recommend using nonpareils, which are really tiny round colorful sprinkles. They won’t work because they bleed into the cake batter. Also, when adding sprinkles, always fold them in gently and don’t overmix.
My Best Layer Cake Tips
- If you’re new to baking layer cakes or need a little help, be sure to check out my complete guide for how to build a layer cake. It’s got everything you need to know!
- This cake recipe uses cake flour to achieve the lightest and most tender crumb. For best results, don’t substitute for all-purpose flour. You should be able to find it any any grocery store or you can even make your own.
- For the absolute best results, have the butter, buttermilk, and eggs at room temperature before mixing the cake. This will help the ingredients combine better, which affects rise and texture.
- You can use either 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. (These are the pans I have and love.) 8-inch pans will yield a taller cake, 9-inch will yield one that’s wider. You can also use more or less pans for a 2, 3, 4 (or more) layered cake. I baked this cake in 2 8-inch pans and split them into 4. See my tip for how to split cake layers, it really is quite easy!
- The cake recipe uses the reverse creaming method, which means all the dry ingredients are beaten together with the butter before the eggs and liquids are added at the end. It’s not any more difficult than using the traditional creaming method, and I like how light and tender the cake layers turn out.
- Do your cakes tend to stick inside the pan? See how I prepare my cake pans so they come out clean every single time.
- If you need a little help frosting your cake like a (semi) pro, see my full tutorial.
- I like to store assembled cakes in the fridge to keep them firm, fresh, and safe from little hands. They will be freshest within 2-3 days of assembly but can be stored for up to a week. Pull the cake out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
More Layer Cakes to Love
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Layer Cake
- Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- White Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake
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Funfetti Layer Cake
For the cake:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk (310 ml)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups cake flour , sifted (360 grams)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (226 grams)
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup sprinkles , see Notes
For the frosting:
- 6 cups powdered sugar , sifted (683 grams)
- 1 ½ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (3 sticks, 340 grams)
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream (80 ml)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Sprinkles , for decorating
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two or more 8 or 9-inch pans with parchment paper and grease with butter and flour (see Notes).
- In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, ¼ cup of the buttermilk, the vanilla, and almond extract.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, and remaining 1 cup of buttermilk.
- Beat on low speed until it comes together, then increase speed to high and beat until light and creamy, pausing to scrape down the bowl as needed, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, mixing after each.
- In a separate mixer bowl (alternatively you can transfer batter to another bowl and wash that mixer bowl) with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
- Gently fold in two additions into the cake batter. Add the sprinkles with the second addition.
- Divide the cake batter evenly into the two pans and bake until the centers of the cakes bounce back when touched or a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25-30 minutes. Time will vary slightly depending on which pan size you use.
- Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting and assemble cake:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, combine the powdered sugar, butter, heavy cream, salt, vanilla and almond extracts.
- Beat on low until the frosting comes together, then increase speed to high and beat until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Cover with 1 cup of frosting. Top with other cake layer.
- Cover completely with frosting and top with sprinkles as desired. For clean slices, let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Do not use "nonpareil" sprinkles as they will bleed into your batter. Use "jimmies" or "confetti/sequin" sprinkles.
- For a double layer 8-inch cake you'll need to use two 8-inch pans that are 4 inches deep. Shallower pans will not be able to hold all of the batter. You can also use 3 (or even 4) pans, washing and reusing pans as necessary, or use 9-inch pans.
- Cake layers can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month. See my tips for how to store cake layers.
- Here are some tutorials to help you make your cake: How to keep your cake from sticking to the pan, how to bake flat cake layers, how to cut a cake into even layers, and how to build a layer cake.