funfetti cake recipeIs there anything more fun than funfetti cake? I have yet to meet a child (or adult or that matter) that does not love to see multi-colored sprinkles inside their cake. I made this cake for our annual First Day of School dinner party. I always make a big deal about going back to school. I feel like going to back to school is almost like a new calendar year. New beginnings, new routines, and a fresh start. I think that making a big deal about going back to school lets your children know that it is a really big deal. Almost every year, William requests spaghetti and meatballs. I always make a cake, but every year, I do change it up. This cake was a huge hit.

This is based from Dorie Greenspan‘s Perfect Party Cake. It makes a light and fluffy cake, that it great for many kinds of frostings and desserts that call for a white cake, like a trifle. If you have never made a cake from scratch before, this is a great one to start with. It is simple and the worth the extra effort. I ended up having to make this twice because the first time, I turned the cake out of the pan, burnt myself, and continued to drop it on the floor. I hope that you have better luck than I do.

I made a batch of my marshmallow buttercream and added some lemon essence to it. Essence is essentially extract, but you can find it in bakery supply stores. It is thicker than extract, and comes in a variety of flavors. It is fun to play with, but if you don’t have any, just use lemon extract.

**edited to add** I have gotten a lot of question and comments asking how I got the cakes so flat. I used strips similar to these Bake Even Strips. You get the strips really wet, and wrap them around the cake pans. It acts as an insulator and helps the cake bake evenly and flat. You can also use strips of old towel (and no, they do not burn, just make sure they are really wet). Just drench them and wrap them around the pans and bake. They are awesome and get rid of the bump that you can get when your cakes bake.

funfetti cake recipe2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Marshmallow Buttercream (plus a teaspoon of lemon extract)

funfetti cake recipeSift together cake four, baking powder, and salt.

funfetti cake recipeWhisk together buttermilk and egg whites.

funfetti cake recipePut the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of the mixer and rub it together with your fingers. Dorie says to do this, so I do.

funfetti cake recipeAdd the butter and beat together until creamy, 3 minutes.

funfetti cake recipeAdd the lemon extract.

funfetti cake recipeAdd 1/3 of the flour mixture.

funfetti cake recipeAdd 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until all of the ingredients are added.funfetti cake recipeAdd the sprinkles and fold until combined.

funfetti cake recipePour batter into 8 or 9-inch pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray with flour. Bake at 350 degree for 30 to 35 minutes.

funfetti cake recipeCool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.

funfetti cake recipeIce with frosting. I used my Marshmallow Buttercream with lemon extract instead of vanilla bean.

funfetti cake recipeSlice and enjoy!

funfetti cake recipe

Funfetti Cake

Funfetti Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • Marshmallow Buttercream (plus a teaspoon of lemon extract)

Instructions

  1. Sift together cake four, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together buttermilk and egg whites.
  2. Put the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of the mixer and rub it together with your fingers. Dorie says to do this, so I do. Add the butter and cream together until creamy, 3 minutes. Add the lemon extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until all of the ingredients are added. Add the sprinkles and fold until combined.
  3. Pour batter into 8 or 9-inch pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray with flour. Bake at 350 degree for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely.
  4. Ice with frosting. I used my Marshmallow Buttercream with lemon extract instead of vanilla bean.
http://bakedbree.com/funfetti-cake

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463 Responses to Funfetti Cake

  1. Shannon Stewart says:

    Thank you so much.I never heard of baking strips before. I love help in the kitchen.

  2. Isabel says:

    HI,
    I tried a similar recipe for my friends birthday cake but it didn’t seem to work.

    I’m from the UK so instead of converting all the cups stuff into grams i just used a regular white cake recipe (Don’t know if that makes a difference) and baked it in a silicone tin. I put in roughly the same amount of sprinkles but when i took the cake out it came out of the tin all broken and half of it was stuck to the bottom. Also there was no colour to the cake, i think all the sprinkles melted or something.

    Was hoping you might be able to shed some light onto why it went so wrong. This was my first try with the silicone and at a funfetti cake so i don’t know if it is the bakeware or my baking :(

    This is the recipe I used (In US)

    1-1/2 cups white sugar
    3/4 cup butter
    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 cup milk

    P.S. I’m super jealous that yours looks so beautiful! 😀

    Isabel
    xxx

    • bakedbree says:

      I really wish that I could help you, but I don’t know what happened to your cake.

      • Isabel says:

        Oh well thanks anyway… I guess I’ll give it another try and hopefully I can fix it!
        Isabel
        xxx

        • Amanda says:

          I just baked this cake today :) amazing flavor and texture but mine also stuck to the bottom! :(

          • bakedbree says:

            Sorry! Make sure you use enough spray or grease it.

          • Bgk says:

            To avoid stuck cake. Wilton makes a cake release liquid that works well. Brush it on in a thin layer inside the cake pan. Also only let your cake cool 10 min in the pan. Then invert it onto a rack with parchment paper to cool fully.

            • E says:

              Isabel, I think might have happened is you might have overcooked your cake just a smidgen. Try taking it out a little bit sooner and see if that helps. Here’s a tip that I use all the time, just cut a circle of parchment paper, works every time to stop anything from sticking to your pans. Hope this helps.

            • Pam Payson says:

              Cake release is amazing stuff! And I use the wet strips all the time. They work!

          • Maria says:

            Cut wax paper to the size of your pan and place it inside and pour your batter on top of it and it will help from sticking and less crumb’s. I do this all the time. Hope this helps

        • Chanine says:

          I’m going to say it was probably your silicone tin. I find silicone bakinging molds are too floppy to get a cake to stay sturdy. I’d try with a regular cake pan sprayed with either a butter with flour spray or smeared with butter and dusted with flour. Being in the UK, not sure if Wilton brand products are available to you, but they make a cake release spray as well to help with sticking :)
          Not entirely sure where your poor sprinkles went! Did you beat them in with your mixer or fold them in by hand? Maybe that makes a difference. I would fold them in.
          Also if you don’t have baking strips available to you, a wet paper towel wrapped around then covered with a strip of tinfoil works as well. And can also lay a piece of bread on top when you take it out to cool. Should help with cracking. Good luck on your next cake adventure! Happy baking :)

          • Natalie says:

            My sister and I use to make great cakes that had one flaw: they stuck to the pan! So we finally tried parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan and it worked like a charm! Not one crumb stuck!

        • E says:

          Hi Isabel, if you look further down, I offered you some suggestions that I hope will work for you. Good luck and happy baking! :)

    • Laura says:

      Isobel, when I moved from America to Ireland, I found I had to add extra flour to my American recipes. I think it has something to do with a difference in how the flour is milled. Try using 2 3/4 cups flour instead of the 2 1/4 in your recipe, and also try it in a traditional tin lined with baking parchment..

    • Elena Purton says:

      Hi Isabel! I’m also from the UK and I bake and decorate cakes for a living.
      Even when using silicon pans (which I don’t if I can help it!) I will alway place a sheet of baking paper to the bottom of the pan and spray the pan and baking paper as well very liberally with a oil spray ie fry light or just a cake release spray will do it!
      Allow you cakes to cool and turn out, no sticking
      But I will also say that when you do use a recipe that has the cup measurements you really must convert.
      I’ve had so many recipes fail where I try out using the cup method but nope no good!
      It’s very easy to covert online now so, give it another go!

    • Denise says:

      Do you have an oven thermometer? A lot of ovens become hotter than they should and this could also explain baking troubles.

  3. Kberg says:

    Bree, I read the whole article, all 300 + comments looking for the Marshmellow icing recipe. Did I miss it? If I did just tell me to read it all again lol.

  4. Renee says:

    I suggest using parchment rounds to keep the cake from sticking to the bottom. I use the rounds for cakes like “carrot”, even “red velvet” which for some reason HAD a tendency to stick for me. No more…

  5. Debbie says:

    Does this end up tasting “lemony”?

  6. Stephanie says:

    Hi there! This cake looks fabulous! I was curious roughly how many cups of batter it makes? Thanks!

  7. Have you tried baking this recipe as cupcakes? I’m trying to figure out how long I should bake them. Suggestions anyone?

    • bakedbree says:

      No, I have not. I’d start at 18 minutes.

    • Colleen says:

      A trick to baking cup cakes is preheat oven to 350F, fill tins/liners 3/4 full; reduce temp down to 325F and bake for 25 minutes, but check at 23 minutes. I get perfect cupcakes every time.

  8. Paula says:

    Hi, I want to ask you something about baking white cakes… I bake vanilla or any other white cakes but the colour comes out yellow? is it because of the yolks or butter? how can i make them cloud white like yours… very pretty looking cake u have… 😀

    • bakedbree says:

      Probably the yolks. This recipe calls for whites only.

    • kelsy says:

      Not sure if it is an amount that would effect the color, but they do make clear vanilla extract for your white vanilla cakes. May have to go to a specialty store for it! =]

  9. Jane says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you think these would turn out well as cupcakes, too. Also, I am not a fan of lemon. I know that the zest brings out the flavor and you can’t even tell it’s there. In my case, would you suggest leaving out the extract? Finally, what does the buttermilk do that regular milk won’t? Thanks in advance!

    • bakedbree says:

      I have never made this recipe as cupcakes. Please feel free to try it out and let us know how it goes. Buttermilk makes a tender cake. If you want to use regular milk, go ahead, but buttermilk is great in baking. If you don’t want lemon leave it out, or use vanilla.

      • estelle says:

        Since I was inspired by a friend that says she never uses milk in any cake she bakes she only uses Buttermilk, the cake is always much softer so that is what I do, never used milk again believe me it really works

      • estelle says:

        Since I was inspired by a friend that says she never uses milk in any cake she only bakes with Buttermilk, the cake is always much softer, so from then on I never used milk again believe me it really works

  10. Janine says:

    I’m so excited to try this for my baby girls first birthday this weekend :) will 100s and 1000s do the same job do you think?… Also, how necessary is the lemon extract – can I use vanilla instead?.. Thanks for your help

  11. Anne says:

    I love this recipe! So cute and colorful. Thanks!

    Anne’s Scribbles and Doodles

  12. Sara says:

    How much does a ‘stick’ of butter weigh? I am in a different country and we can’t buy ‘sticks’ but ‘slabs’ here.
    Thankyou!

  13. Sharon Gillison says:

    You can also bake the cake layers at 300 and they will come out even, same amount of time.

  14. Helen Weible says:

    I can’t find where you told about how to make the cake flat on top……Help

    • bakedbree says:

      Copied and pasted from the notes: **edited to add** I have gotten a lot of question and comments asking how I got the cakes so flat. I used strips similar to these Bake Even Strips. You get the strips really wet, and wrap them around the cake pans. It acts as an insulator and helps the cake bake evenly and flat. You can also use strips of old towel (and no, they do not burn, just make sure they are really wet). Just drench them and wrap them around the pans and bake. They are awesome and get rid of the bump that you can get when your cakes bake.

  15. susana says:

    Hi Bree,

    I tried this recipe for my little girl’s 3rd birthday…the even bake strips were really useful, the marshmallow buttercream was really enjoyed by her little friends and the adults really loved the lemon flavour…however, my multicoloured sprinkles didn’t have the desired effect with the multicoloured little dots in the batter after baking…all the different colours seemed to have melted even before placing the cake tins in the oven…and even more so as i sliced the cake…there were no little colourful little dots :( The cake was very tasty and gone very quickly but I was a little gutted it hadn’t turned out exactly like it was supposed to… do you have any idea why?
    The bottle of sprinkles says “Decor Sugar strands” and the brand is Dr Oetker.
    Thanks :)

    • bakedbree says:

      Maybe they were smaller? I am not really sure why. Sorry!

      • susana says:

        That’s ok, I don’t think it was anything to do with their size as they were just pretty standard decorating sprinkles…I’ll try and figure out why by trying different ones.
        It was a very successful cake in every other way though!
        There was barely a slice left for the baker!! :p
        Thanks for replying anyway!
        I always come to your blog for recipe ideas :) you create some yummy things…just read your “slice of bread on cake tip” on a different recipe and I’m so pleased with it as i hate having to wrap my cakes up in cling film so they don’t become stale overnight! Now that won’t happen anymore!
        Thank you Bree’s mum!! :)
        Susana, from Portugal, living in the UK.

    • Jenna says:

      My best guess is because the Dr. Oetker sprinkles are “all natural” with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives (not to mention the fact that they are also vegan) unlike the generic store brand sprinkles she used which I bet meet none of those hallmarks lol. I have the same Stop & Shop brand in my cabinet I am just too lazy to go look.

  16. Nancy says:

    I tried using the wet towels around the pans when baking a cake for a special occasion a few weeks ago. It worked perfectly! The only issue I had was that even though the cake was cooked all the way through, when I took them out of the pan it was…sticky for a lack of a better word. Do you know why this happened or what I could do to ensure that next time I wont have the same problem? Thanks!

  17. Claire says:

    Hi Bree,
    I just made this cake yesterday using hundreds and thousands instead of sprinkles – unfortunately they pretty much dissolved as I was incorporating them. It tasted great though and my family thought it had a great marbled effect even if that wasn’t what I was aiming for! So a word of warning to anyone planning on using 100s and 1000s – don’t!!

    • susana says:

      Hi Claire, it may have been because the 100’s and 1000’s are smaller but be aware of the fact that if you don’t get good quality decorating sprinkles, they too, will dissolve as that happened to be only recently… don’t use “Decor Sugar strands” and the brand is Dr Oetker…. they do dissolve :( !

  18. Nancy says:

    Hi Bree,

    I tried using the wet towels around the pans when baking a cake for a special occasion a few weeks ago. It worked perfectly! The only issue I had was that even though the cake was cooked all the way through, when I took them out of the pan it was…sticky for a lack of a better word. Do you know why this happened or what I could do to ensure that next time I wont have the same problem? Thanks!

  19. Jessy says:

    Okay so how do you get them so FLAT. I don’t bake often, but I DO have those baking strips. First thing I do is push them to the bottom of a sink full of cold water so they sink to the bottom. Then I start grabbing all my ingredients to bake. So they have been soaking the whole time. Then I wrap them around the cake. I still get a mound. Not a big one, but still a mound none the less.

    • bakedbree says:

      I did it exactly like I showed you in the pictures, I didn’t do anything special. But I do think that using quality, bakery pans really help. They cook more evenly.

  20. My says:

    Hi Bree,

    Will baking the cake a day in advance and wrapping them in plastic dry out the cake or retain its moisture?

    Thanks for replying.

    • bakedbree says:

      I use the bread trick, or frost it and keep it in the fridge. I think that frosting it keeps it moist and you can make it ahead of time.

  21. Lindsay says:

    What type of knife did you use to get your frosting so perfectly spread?

  22. Jasmine says:

    Can you use 100 &1000’s instead of sprinkals would it do the same thing

  23. Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m planning to make this for our daughter’s first birthday tomorrow and I’ve read the recipe and method several times to make sure I haven’t left anything out. Just a couple questions though, is there any particular method to note to ensure that the sprinkles on top of the cake don’t end up everywhere except the outer rim of the cake? Also can I just use a cream cheese or normal buttercream frosting since I can’t get Marshmallow creme here in New Zealand? Thanks.

  24. Monu Teena says:

    Very Nice.. One of my friend tried it with round shaped sprinkles.. color really look great.. and very catchy to eyes.. you got nice recipes, dear .. Must visit my place when time persists..
    Recipespassion

  25. Ava says:

    Hello! This is slightly off-topic, but do you know where you got the little wooden jar (I think it’s holding the salt) in the ingredients picture? I’m charmed by it! Wonderful recipe!

  26. Kristy says:

    Hi there, I don’t know if anyone will get this. But I wan’t to make this cake for my boyfriends birthday next month, I live in the UK so we don’t have “cake flour” here, I have read I can use either plain flour or self raising instead but I don’t know which one? If you can email me that would be great thanks x

  27. Suzie says:

    Hello,

    How are you? I was just wondering if this recipe would make cupcakes too? And if so, approximately how many? (Sorry for the bothersome questions, I have a cupcake obsessed friend and all the other recipes ask for cake mix).

    Thanks, have a nice day :)

  28. Kristen says:

    Sooooo I have been sitting on this recipe for awhile and I needed a go to white cake recipe where I did not have to whip the eggs separately. I made yours today as the base of a zebra cake. I did not think this recipe was good. IT WAS AMAZING! Sorry had to do it. It was simple and easy and the cakes came out light and fluffy. I just did almond and vanilla extract in lieu of the lemon zest (although I love citrus zest) in the sour milk I used. I thought this recipe was amazing and I will make this my go to white cake recipe! Love your blog and all your recipes never fail!

  29. viky says:

    Hola yo vivo en españa donde puedo conseguir el suero de la leche o puedo sustituirlo con otra cosa gracias.

    • bakedbree says:

      I’m sorry, I tried to translate this, and I don’t think that I understand what you are asking.

    • Kristen Parks says:

      Estas hablando de leche agria? Si no tienes en Espana lo que puedes hacer es por cada taza de leche agrega una cucharada de vinagre o limon y dejala reposar por 5 minutos y eso te ayudara!

  30. keira hurley says:

    Hi, I could not find cake flour so I bought self-rising flour. Will this affect the cake? Please reply soon as I need to bake he cake today.

    • bakedbree says:

      Yes it will affect, self-rising flour is not going to work here. You can google how to make cake flour, it is really easy. And I also just happened to be at my computer when you wrote this, but I don’t usually reply daily. For questions like this, google is your best friend. You can find just about the answer to anything you need. Good luck!

  31. fatima says:

    hi how are you . i want ask you 1 stick butter is how may grams ? THK

  32. Paola says:

    Hi, I’ve just made a cake based on yours (it’s not a white cake recipe, but yellow) and my sprinkles have disappeared :’-( any idea why is this? anyway, next time I’ll try your white cake 😉 Thanks for sharing!!

  33. Dina says:

    Hello Bree!
    I would like to do this recipe but I’m not sure I can marshmallow buttercream here. Any idea with what can I substitute it with?
    Thank you!

  34. Angelica says:

    Hey Bree!!
    I have just made this cake for my nieces birthday and I tried the towel tip!!! Awesome tip!! I’m doing that from now on! I did however have a question. I noticed in your photos that your cakes ended up with a golden brown exterior and when I took mine out it’s completely white. I thought maybe there not cooked through all the way but I checked and they are done. Why do you think this is? Thanks Bree!
    Angelica

  35. Aubri says:

    Does the cake itself taste very lemony? I was wanting to make this cake for my daughters 5th birthday this weekend but am not too sure about the lemon zest.

  36. Jignasa says:

    Hi I tried making it, but mine turned out very sweet. The sprinkles got dissolved while the cake was being baked and added extra sugar in the cake. Next time I am going to reduce the sugar by half if I am going to use the sprinkles in the cake. Thank you.

  37. Chichi says:

    I love funfetti and this cake looks really delicious

  38. Traci says:

    For the towel trick, do you put it over the cake or around the sides of the cake pan?just want to make sure I understand.

  39. Jackie Hardman says:

    hi. What if I want to make a different kind of a cake flat? What di I do??? I am making my own wedding cake for my wedding. Thanks. Jackie Hardman.

  40. Erin says:

    I baked this last night and I also had the problem of it coming it dense. I know that white cakes that are from scratch aren’t ever as light as a cake mix but I didn’t like the texture or flavour of this cake. I have yet to find a good white or funfetti cake. I consider myself a good baker and better cake decorator.I can make a mean chocolate cake but I never have any luck with white cakes – either to dense or too dry. My search will continue for a good recipe. I am not saying this is a bad recipe it just didn’t work for me.

  41. Sarah says:

    Just want to say, I think it’s very nice that you make a celebration out of “back to school”. The world needs more of that attitude!

  42. Emma says:

    I would like to make 3- 6″ layers. Will this recipe cover that?

  43. Tam says:

    This looks delightful and sooo cute!

  44. Natalie Clark says:

    Can you please tell me your cup, tablespoon and teaspoon measurements in size – i think your sizes are different to ours in New Zealand (for example our cup size is 250mls, Tbsp 20mls and tsp 5mls. Just really want to get this right as your cake looks amazing and will be perfect for my daughters birthday!

  45. Jamie Tovar says:

    Hi! Just wanted to thank you for your delicious recipe! I’ve made two cakes with your recipe, one sprinkle cake and another with skittles lined up in a rainbow on top (hid all my frosting imperfections). I’m set to make my third. I just cannot get enough of that lemon! Yummy! Thanks again!

  46. Gaby says:

    Hi there! Thank you so much for this recipe. The search for a white cake recipe is over! This came out super moist and fluffy! Beyond what I imagined. Liked boxed cake but BETTER! My son requested lemon cake for his 7th birthday, and we just did a test run of this and he said it was the best cake and frosting (lemon marshmallow buttercream!) he’s ever had. I’m sending everyone I know to your post!

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