Who doesn’t love Funfetti cake? This style takes the best things about birthday cakes and brings it up to an entirely new level.
Funfetti cakes are everything that birthday cakes should be. They’re fun, colorful, and vibrant. Because of the multi-colored sprinkles and sweet, light flavor, this type of cake is perfect for children and kids at heart!
Of course, these cakes aren’t just for birthdays; they’re for any occasion where you want a bit of color in your life. Funfetti cakes are quick and easy, and you can top them in many different ways.
For those who are tired of the same cake, there are also a few varieties you can try, like Funfetti fudge and Funfetti muffins.
But what goes into this wonderful, colorful cake? Let’s dive into how to make a Funfetti cake from scratch, and all the other ways you can get more Funfetti in your life.
What is Funfetti Cake?
Funfetti cake, also known as confetti cake or sprinkle cake, refers to any type of cake with rainbow sprinkles inside its batter. While they’re currently a popular recipe, Funfetti has been here for a while.
In 1989, Pillsbury introduced white cake mix enhanced by mixing multicolored sprinkles into the batter. They called this a Funfetti cake. It was originally meant to attract younger audiences, or at least their parents.
Perfect to serve at birthday parties, we can see today that Pillsbury’s plan worked.
Modernly, the concept of adding sprinkles into the batter has expanded into more than just cakes. There are various recipes for bars, cookies, and muffins, each with their own flare.
What Sprinkles Should You Use?
Are all sprinkles created equally? Of all the types in the baking world, you can mix and match your favorites for a delightful Funfetti cake. Just make sure they’re rainbow-colored!
The traditional variety is confetti sprinkles, which are round and flat, like confetti. You can also use quins, which are multicolored but in different shapes. Of course, the readily available jammies will always work in a pinch.
You can try out all the sprinkles that your heart desires—just make sure that they’re not too large. Larger sprinkles may end up sinking to the bottom of your batter instead of being suspended.
Of course, you can always save your larger sprinkles, as well as the ones that don’t mix well in the batter, as a cake topping.
Funfetti Cake Recipe
Homemade Funfetti cake doesn’t have to be hard. This easy-to-bake recipe creates a three-layer Funfetti cake designed for a nine-inch pan.
- 3 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted.
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder.
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
- 1 teaspoon of salt.
- 1 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
- 1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar.
- 4 large eggs at room temperature.
- 2 large egg whites at room temperature.
- 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.
- 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk at room temperature.
- 3/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles.
- 1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
- 6 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar.
- 1/3 cup of heavy cream.
- 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract (or use clear imitation vanilla extract for stark white frosting).
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
- Additional sprinkles for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your cake pans by greasing and lightly dusting flour on the surface. Line with cake strips, if available.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl. Add in the salt, and whisk all the ingredients. Set aside.
- Using a handheld- or stand mixer, beat the butter on a high setting until smooth and creamy, for about one minute.
- Then, add the sugar. Beat the sugar on high speed for five minutes. The mixture should be creamed together.
- Then, on medium-high speed, add in four whole eggs one by one. Make sure that each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Once the eggs have been added, beat in the vanilla extract.
- Set your mixer to a low speed and add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. The dry ingredients and buttermilk should be added in three batches. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, making sure to completely mix everything before adding the next batch. Stop mixing just as soon as the ingredients are incorporated – do not over-mix. At this point, the batter should be smooth and slightly thick.
- Vigorously beat the two egg whites until soft peaks form, for about three minutes.
- Gently fold these egg whites into the batter. Fold in the sprinkles. Be sure to mix minimally.
- Pour the batter evenly into each cake pan.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool entirely before assembly and frosting.
- Beat the butter in a large bowl with a handheld- or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about two minutes.
- Change the speed to ‘low.’ Add confectioner’s sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Increase to a high speed and beat for three more minutes.
- If the frosting is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. If too thick, add more cream. If the frosting is too sweet, add more salt. (It’s better to err on the side of barely-sweet because the cake will be sweet as well.)
Assembly and Frosting
- Using a serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Set the extra cake aside. (You don’t have to throw this out—you can crumble it and eat it with ice cream.)
- Place a drop of frosting on the center of your cake stand, and place the first layer of cake on top. Then, cover it evenly with frosting.
- Add the second and third layers the same way. Then, cover the top and sides of the cake with more frosting. You can always opt to leave the sides bare, like this recipe from Pretty Simple Sweet. It’s a great way to highlight the sprinkles in your cake.
- And of course, top your frosting with more sprinkles!
Making Cake in Advance
For parties that start early in the day, you can easily prepare the cake and assemble it the night before. Assembly shouldn’t take more than an hour – half if you’re used to assembling cakes.
To make this recipe ahead of time, bake the cakes the day before. Once cooled, slice and cover tightly. These will last a night when refrigerated.
The frosting can also be refrigerated overnight, as long as it is covered tightly.
For longer shelf life, you can easily freeze the batter for up to two months. Just be sure to thaw it out overnight in the fridge before baking.
The same is true for baked cake. Of course, cakes are always best when eaten fresh.
This video shows another example of how to make a funfetti cake.
Funfetti Cake Variations
Whether you’re tired of Funfetti cake or just can’t get enough of it, you can always make more Funfetti pastries! Whether it’s cupcakes or fudge, more sweetness and color can be added to any recipe.
Let’s check out two variations: Funfetti cupcakes and Funfetti fudge.
If you’re used to making Funfetti cakes, these won’t be very different. They’re simply a scaled-down version of the cake, but easier on the stomach!
This recipe is suitable for about fifteen cupcakes – or a regular muffin tin for twelve muffins. You can always use a mini cupcake tin if you prefer, which creates an additional eight to ten mini muffins.
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature.
- A ⅓ cup of oil (canola or vegetable).
- 1 cup of sugar.
- 1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- 1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour.
- 1 ½ tablespoons of baking powder.
- ½ teaspoon of salt.
- A ½ cup of buttermilk, room temperature preferred.
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature.
- A ⅓ cup of sprinkles.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature.
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- 3 cups of powdered sugar.
- 3 tablespoons of heavy cream.
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Sprinkles for decorating.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- Pace the butter in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Then, add sugar and oil, and beat until they become smooth and creamy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a different bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With your mixer on a low speed, add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Once incorporated, add some buttermilk. Continue to alternate the flour and buttermilk, ensuring each ingredient is fully incorporated before adding the next batch. End with the flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl, combine your egg whites with a hand mixer until they form stiff peaks. Make sure that your bowl and mixer are completely clean and grease-free. You can also chill your bowl and mixer to achieve peaks. Beating your egg whites well is the secret behind soft and fluffy muffins. Make sure that the peaks don’t fall; you’ll want them to keep their shape.
- With a spatula, add the egg whites and sprinkles into your batter. Fold them into your batter gently, making sure not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake tin, filling each liner about ¾ of the way, allowing space for the batter to rise.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Mini cupcakes should be baked for about 14 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before frosting.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter on a high speed until creamy.
- Sprinkle salt over the butter and stir to combine.
- On medium-low speed, add the powdered sugar – about a half cup at a time. Make sure that it is fully incorporated before adding more.
- Then, add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.
- Once the ingredients are fully incorporated, raise the speed to ‘high’ and beat for 30 more seconds.
- Then, add vanilla extract and stir.
- Add the frosting to the cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
For those who want Funfetti without the messiness of icing, you can always opt for Funfetti fudge. This recipe takes the best things about Funfetti cakes and puts them into a convenient, no-mess treat.
Funfetti fudge is easy to carry around -perfect for sugary snacks on the road. What’s even better, this fudge recipe only needs four ingredients, so you can ease your Funfetti cravings quick and easy.
- 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk.
- 1 (12-ounce) bag of white chocolate chips.
- 1 cup of white cake mix.
- 1/3 cup of sprinkles, plus more for topping.
- Prepare an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment or wax paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and white chocolate. Cook over low heat, continually stirring to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Cook until the chocolate is completely melted – about two minutes.
- Remove the mixture from heat and stir into the cake mix. At this point, the mixture should start to become firm.
- Gently fold in the sprinkles into the mixture.
- Pour the fudge into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth and flatten the top.
- Top with extra sprinkles.
- Transfer the fudge to the refrigerator and chill for about two hours, or until the mixture has fully set.
- Once chilled, cut into two-inch pieces.
Here’s a video showing another example of funfetti fudge.
No matter the age or occasion, Funfetti is a great way to add more color and fun to your life. Hopefully, this has helped you make your own Funfetti pastry. Happy baking!
What’s your favorite funfetti cake recipe?