A fluffy, moist and colorful Funfetti Cake is speckled with rainbow sprinkles, slathered with vanilla buttercream and finished with a special decorative touch. It’s the best confetti cake recipe made from scratch for birthdays, special celebrations or just because.
Is there anything more fun than funfetti cake? I have yet to meet a child (or adult for that matter) that does not love to see multi-colored sprinkles inside their cake. I have made this cake many times and it always a hit, who doesn’t love funfetti?
I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and whipped together an incredibly simple funfetti cake recipe that’s much better than any boxed cake mix. If you have never made funfetti cake, you are sure in for a treat.
What Flavor is Funfetti Cake?
Funfetti cake is a fluffy, light vanilla cake. Classic recipes use a white cake recipe, but this version is made with whole eggs for moisture and richness.
The extra boost of tang from the buttermilk balances the sweetness and the vanilla extract creates a bold vanilla flavor.
This easy funfetti cake recipe is made with a homemade cake mix and colorful rainbow sprinkles that can be broken down into dry and wet ingredients.
For the dry ingredients, you will need all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
For the wet ingredients, gather together and bring to room temperature unsalted butter, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and buttermilk.
And don’t forget the rainbow sprinkles!
Buttermilk. Buttermilk adds that special hint of tang and acidity. It also reacts with the baking soda to create tiny pockets of air bubbles in the cake, creating that sought-after light and fluffy texture.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, simply measure out 1 1/2 cups milk and remove 1 ½ tablespoons. Then add 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes, or until slightly curdled.
Rainbow Sprinkles. The best sprinkles to add to the cake batter are traditional jimmies – the long and skinny rainbow sprinkles. I would avoid using nonpariels or any other shape, as these have a tendency to bleed into the batter. Save the decorative sprinkles for the finishing touch!
Frosting. Speaking of the finishing touch, I made a batch of my vanilla buttercream to really highlight that vanilla flavor and added 1 cup of rainbow sprinkles to the frosting.
How To Make // The Steps
This confetti cake made at home is so much more enjoyable than the shortcut box cake mix. It takes some extra effort, but the reward is well worth it. Simply:
- Grease pans. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray and line with Bake Even Strips. Set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Cream butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in eggs. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
- Alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour in three batches, and alternate with the buttermilk. The batter will look curdled, but it will become smooth.
- Fold in sprinkles. Take the bowl off the mixer, add the sprinkles and gently fold through, also making sure that everything is well combined.
- Bake! Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until centers spring back and a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Ice with frosting. I used my Vanilla Buttercream with 1 cup of rainbow sprinkles added to the frosting. For a special touch, separate a portion of the icing into three small bowls, dot with red, yellow and blue food coloring (one color in each bowl), fill pastry bags with the colored frosting and add dollops in your own decorative style. Sprinkle with more sprinkles while the buttercream is still moist.
How To Get Cake Layers Flat?
I have gotten a lot of questions 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 an old towel (and no, they do not burn, just make sure they are really wet). Simply drench them with water, wrap them around the pans and bake. They are awesome and get rid of the bump that you can get when your cakes bake.
What Makes This Funfetti Cake So Good?
- Whole eggs create an extra rich, moist cake batter.
- Buttermilk adds that special pop of tang while creating a light and fluffy texture.
- Homemade and colorful vanilla buttercream creates a pleasing-to-the-eye decorative appeal.
How To Store
This homemade vanilla cake with sprinkles is best stored in the refrigerator.
The whole cake (frosted and unsliced) will keep well uncovered in the fridge for up to 1 day or covered for up to 3 days.
Once sliced, store the slices in an airtight container or simply store the remainder of the unsliced cake with a piece of parchment paper covering the exposed sliced portion. This prevents the cake from drying out.
Just remember to remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving to take the chill off.
Top Tips For Homemade Funfetti Cake
- Bring the cold ingredients to room temperature. This ensures a smooth cake batter and even bake in the oven. I like to measure out my ingredients and leave them out on my kitchen counter for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes. This creates small pockets of air within the butter and makes for a well-textured cake.
- Use cake strips. I mention this again since this is the trick to flat cake layers. The damp strips keep the outside of the pans cool, which allows the cake to bake evenly from the outside-in.
- Make sure you have the right size cake pans. This recipe uses two 9-inch cake pans. If you only have 8-inch cake pans, leave out about 1 cup of batter to prevent over-filling the pans. Fill a cupcake-tin with the extra batter and make a few funfetti cupcakes for a baker’s treat.
More Colorful Cake & Cupcake Recipes //
Originally published in September 2012, updated August 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk room temperature
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
- Marshmallow Buttercream
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
- Reduce the speed to low, add the flour in three batches, and alternate with the buttermilk. The batter will look curdled, but it will become smooth.
- Take the bowl off the mixer, add the sprinkles and gently fold through, also making sure that everything is well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until centers spring back and a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- I used my Marshmallow Buttercream with lemon extract instead of vanilla bean to frost this cake.