This is the best funfetti cake made from scratch! It’s a fluffy vanilla cake that is filled with confetti sprinkles and covered with a creamy vanilla frosting, making it fun and festive. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s the perfect birthday layer cake that anyone can make and decorate, no special skills needed!
Confetti cake is the classic birthday cake, and it’s even more special if you can make it from scratch. The cake batter is mixed with colorful sprinkles, making a festive slice from inside out. Funfetti cake tends to evoke nostalgia for many people and brings a sense of joy and playfulness.
If you are planning a birthday, we recommend serving cake with blue bubblegum ice cream or mini ice cream sandwich pops! You can also decorate this cake as intricately or as simple as you would like. Use my cake decorating tips and tutorials to learn how to pipe swirls and detailed designs or use fondant “confetti” like we did on this confetti cake.
- unsalted butter – allow it to soften at room temperature
- granulated sugar – adds sweetness and reacts with other ingredients for a soft and moist cake.
- whole eggs – room temperature eggs incorporate more air than cold eggs, important for leavening (rise) in cake
- almond extract and pure vanilla extract – a must have for that classic funfetti taste
- vegetable oil – keeps the cake moist, we use both butter (for flavor) and vegetable oil (for a soft, moist texture) in the cake batter
- flour – we used all purpose, which contributes to the soft and dense crumb. Cake flour will work, too.
- baking powder – helps the cake rise, so double check the expiration date.
- salt – flavor enhancer
- milk – adds moisture and actives the baking powder.
- rainbow Jimmies – it’s important that you use a sprinkle that won’t bleed its color when mixed in to the batter – nonpareils, for example, are a no. Jimmies are my favorite colorful add-in.
- unsalted butter – always soften so the frosting beats together smoothly and isn’t lumpy
- powdered sugar – adds sweetness and stiffness to the icing
- vanilla extract and almond extract – compliments the cake flavors perfectly.
- heavy cream – adds richness and helps to get the right consistency.
- Rainbow sprinkles for decorating
For a full list of ingredients and their measurements, 📋 please view my printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
We topped our funfetti cake with piped frosting and sprinkles. When it’s a celebration, don’t forget to serve with ice cream!
Substitutions and Variations
- Pan size – We used 7 inch cake pans, but you can also go use 8-inch cake pans (or 9 inch) to make a two layer cake. The cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- Colored frosting – take this buttery cake to the next level by tinting the frosting in fun colors. We recommend gel food coloring as it takes less to get the best results.
- Cupcakes – follow this same recipe to make cupcakes. Fill the liners no more than ⅔ of the way full and slightly reduce the cooking time. Frost once they have cooled.
- Chocolate cake – rainbow sprinkles don’t show up well in chocolate cake batter, but you can still make it funfetti by using a white cake mix or yellow then top with a chocolate frosting that has plenty of sprinkles in it.
PREP: Grease three 7 inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until it’s light and creamy using the paddle attachment. Add one egg at a time, beating after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 2: Pour in the extracts and oil, and continue mixing on low speed.
Pro Tip: Room temperature eggs aid in the leavening process of the cake. The proteins in eggs, specifically the albumen, are more elastic at room temperature, allowing them to stretch and hold more air. This trapped air expands when exposed to heat in the oven, providing additional lift and creating a lighter, fluffier texture in the cake.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking powder, and flour.
Step 4: Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Then pour in half of the milk and the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the milk. Mix until combined.
Pro Tip: Rainbow Jimmies are the best sprinkles to use when adding them directly to the cake batter because they will not bleed and they keep the confetti look throughout the cake.
Step 5: Fold in ½ cup of colorful sprinkles using a rubber spatula.
Step 6: Divide the cake batter into the pans.
Step 7: Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn out from the pans and finish cooling.
Step 8: In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy using an electric hand mixer at medium speed. Gradually add the powdered sugar.
Step 9: Mix in the extracts. With the mixer running add the heavy cream until the frosting is fluffy, light, and spreadable.
Step 10: Set aside 1 cup of frosting if desired to add between the cake layers. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sprinkles.
Step 11: Sit the first cake layer on a platter, stand, or cake board. Add a ½ cup of frosting on top and spread to the edges using an offset spatula. Stack the second layer on top, add a layer of frosting and repeat with the third layer.
Step 12: Cover the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting. Pipe swirls on top if desired and add sprinkles around the bottom.
SERVE: When ready, slice and enjoy with ice cream if desired!
- To make frosting easier, freeze the cake layers for a couple of hours. This also locks in moisture.
- For a simpler cake, halve the frosting. This recipe makes enough for a thick filling and more than enough to cover the cake, plus add swirls or decorations.
- The frosting will be cream in color because of the vanilla and butter. For a whiter version, use clear vanilla extract.
- If the layers aren’t completely even after baking, use a serrated knife to slice the tops so that they are flat for stacking.
- Some bakers prefer to use cake strips around the edges of their pans for more even baking.
- Rainbow sprinkles are also known as Jimmies. These are the best when making a classic funfetti cake because they don’t bleed into the batter like the nonpareils do.
- If you have a bench scraper, use it to apply a thin layer of frosting to the outside of the cake. This is also known as a crumb coat. Pop the crumb coated cake into the fridge or freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Then apply another layer of frosting. The crumb coat keeps the crumbs out of the final frosting layer so it stays pretty.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Room temperature ingredients combine more evenly.
Funfetti cake debuted in 1989 and was created by Pillsbury! -Mashed
Uncut cake can be refrigerated without being covered. Once cut, store the sprinkle cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Once the cakes have cooled completely, wrap them in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze. When ready, remove them from the freezer and frost as directed. The finished cake can also be frozen – it will keep for up to 3 months if wrapped well.
Technically the cake is a white cake mix that has a buttery taste; it’s flavored with vanilla and almond extracts and goes best with a vanilla buttercream frosting.
Love festive treats and rainbow sprinkles? Try these cake mix donuts!
If you tried this Funfetti Cake or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the 📝 comments below.
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup rainbow Jimmies
- 2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Rainbow sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray three 7” round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and vegetable oil and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and begin to beat. Add half of the milk, then the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the milk. Beat just until fully combined.
- Fold in ½ cup of rainbow Jimmies.
- Divide the batter between the three prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Cool cakes on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn out from the pans and cool the rest of the way.
- To make the frosting in a standing mixer, beat the butter on high speed until lightened and fluffy. Add powdered sugar gradually.
- Beat in the extracts. With the mixer running, pour in the heavy cream until the frosting is light and fluffy and desired spreading consistency.
- If you’d like to fill the cake layers with funfetti frosting, set aside about 1 cup of frosting. Mix in 2 tablespoons of sprinkles.
- Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or platter. Add about ½ cup of frosting to the top and spread to the edges. Stack the second layer on top and add a layer of frosting on top of this one also. Top with the third cake layer.
- Frost the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate as desired. We piped a few swirls on the top of the cake and added sprinkles to the tops and around the bottom perimeter.