Funfetti Layer Cake is perfect for any celebration, including birthdays, anniversaries, or even holidays. This recipe features a buttery and very vanilla-forward cake that is both soft and tender. Plus, it's covered with a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting and decorated with extra rainbow sprinkles!
Today is a very special day because it's the one year celebration of Ginger Snap's Baking Affairs! One year ago today I pressed the publish button on my very first recipe and here we are one year later celebrating with this delicious funfetti layer cake!
Can you think of a more celebratory cake combination than funfetti that's loaded with colorful sprinkles? I couldn't either! I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with you and celebrating how far we have come. Thank YOU for trying my recipes, leaving comments, following me on social media, and just being excited about baking. Without you, I'm not sure I would have gotten to this point.
What is funfetti cake? It's basically a vanilla cake with sprinkles baked into it. You can pair it with almost any frosting flavor, but I wanted to keep it classic and traditional with vanilla buttercream.
I know I might get some pushback on making this cake yellow instead of white, but I really love this cake and I hope you do too!
Why You Need To Try This Rainbow Sprinkle Cake:
- It has 3 layers of vanilla cake that is so soft and crumbly.
- Each bite just melts in your mouth.
- The vanilla buttercream pairs perfectly with the cake.
- The cake is 100% homemade.
- It's buttery, full of vanilla flavor, and just screams birthday celebration!
Baking Tips Before Starting:
- Cake Pans: This recipe calls for three 6-inch cake pans. These are my favorite 6-inch cake pans to use and I own four of them. Line each pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray.
- Measuring Flour: To help ensure you don’t add extra flour, follow these three simple steps: 1) Fluff up the flour using a fork. 2) Spoon the flour into your measuring cup. 3) Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level out the flour.
- Cake Layers: You must wait for your cake layers to completely cool before frosting and decorating.
- Crumb Coat: This is where we add a thin layer of frosting on the cake in order to catch the crumbs and keeps them secure. You'll want to chill the cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes after the crumb coat has been put on before the final frosting layer.
- Make Ahead Instructions: This cake recipe is great to make ahead of time. Simply bake the cake layers the day before, wrap them in plastic wrap, and leave them on the counter at room temperature overnight. Frost and decorate the next day.
Ingredients In Funfetti Layer Cake:
This homemade cake recipe uses simple and every day pantry ingredients that you probably already have at home. Just be sure to pay attention to the ingredients that need to be at room temperature before baking.
- All-Purpose Flour: Adds structure and stability.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Both help the cake to rise.
- Salt: Balances out all of the other flavors.
- Unsalted Butter: Butter is used in both the cake and vanilla buttercream. This ingredient does need to be at room temperature.
- Sugar: Used for sweetness.
- Eggs: 3 large eggs are used to create structure within the cake. This also needs to be at room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract: Gives both the cake and buttercream a deep vanilla flavor. Be sure to use real vanilla, not imitation.
- Milk: Adds softness and helps to create a beautiful outer crust on the cake.
- Sprinkles: Use rainbow jimmies (long and skinny), not nonpareil sprinkles (tiny balls). I like Wilton's or Betty Crocker's rainbow sprinkles.
- Powdered Sugar: Used to sweeten and thicken the frosting.
- Heavy Cream: Adds softness to the buttercream.
How To Make Funfetti Cake From Scratch:
Overall this cake is fairly easy to make from start to finish. Just be sure to follow each step for maximum success! I'm sorry to say, you'll probably never reach for that box mix again because the flavor of homemade is just so much better!
- Cake: Whisk together your dry ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract.
- Alternately add the flour and milk to the wet ingredients in two additions (flour, milk, flour, milk). Then gently fold in the rainbow sprinkles.
- Divide the batter up amongst the prepared cake pans and bake for 28-31 minutes.
- Buttercream: Cream the butter together until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Then beat on high speed until buttercream is light and fluffy.
Assemble The Cake
Once the cake layers are completely cool and your buttercream has been made, it's time to assemble and decorate your funfetti layer cake.
First, if needed, use a serrated knife to level off the tops of each cake layer to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and evenly cover it with vanilla buttercream (I like to use my offset spatula for this part). Place the next cake layer on top and repeat until each layer is frosted.
Then, give the entire cake a crumb coat by spreading a thin layer of buttercream around the sides and top of the cake. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Finally, remove the cake from the refrigerator and finish frosting with the remaining buttercream. Cover the sides and top of the cake again (use a cake scraper for a smooth finish if desired). Add additional sprinkles to the sides and top of the cake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rainbow jimmies, which are the long and skinny sprinkles, are what you should use in this cake. The nonpareil sprinkles, which are the tiny balls, tend to bleed out their colors in the cake batter.
Traditionally, funfetti cake is typically a white cake that is buttery in flavor and very vanilla-forward. I chose a yellow cake for this recipe, so in my opinion you can use either a white or yellow cake batter and it'll still be delicious.
Wrap each individual cake slice in plastic wrap before placing it into the refrigerator. This method will help the cake not dry out to quickly. You can keep the cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Absolutely! You could go with a cream cheese frosting, strawberry, or even chocolate. The choice is up to you!
My Cake Decorating Tools
You can certainly assemble and decorate your cake without these tools, but they definitely make it a lot easier and gives you more options on decorating. Here's what I used:
Let me know how you like this 6-inch layer cake! I had so much fun creating it and I can't wait to share more cake recipes with you!
Until then, happy baking 🙂
More Cake Recipes:
Funfetti Layer Cake
- 3 6-Inch Cake Pans
- Mixing Bowls
- Silicone Spatula
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Funfetti Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and creamy (2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture and milk in two additions (flour, milk, flour, milk), mixing until just combined. The batter will be smooth and slightly thick (be careful not to overmix!). Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the rainbow sprinkles using a silicone spatula.
- Divide the batter amongst the three prepared pans and use an offset spatula to smooth out the batter (this helps for the cake layers to bake evenly). Bake for 28-31 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes come out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes then carefully remove them from the pans and cool on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
- Vanilla Buttercream: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or you can use a handheld mixer) using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at high speed until light and creamy (1-2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until combined. Then increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Assemble the Cake: If needed, use a serrated knife to level off the tops of each cake layer to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and evenly cover it with vanilla buttercream (I like to use my offset spatula for this part). Place the next cake layer on top and repeat until each layer is frosted.
- Give the entire cake a crumb coat (see note below) by spreading a thin layer of buttercream around the sides and top of the cake. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and finish frosting with the remaining buttercream. Cover the sides and top of the cake again (use a cake scraper for a smooth finish if desired). Add additional sprinkles to the sides and top of the cake. Decorate how you like it and have fun with it!