Can you even have a birthday without a FUNFETTI cake?! This homemade funfetti birthday cake is moist, fluffy, and full of fun colorful rainbow sprinkles. The entire cake is smothered in cream cheese frosting and even more sprinkles. This would make the perfect birthday cake because when you cut into it, it is pure color!
What Flavor Exactly Is Funfetti?
Funfetti cake is basically a very sweet vanilla cake that is loaded with sprinkles. A very sugary sweet vanilla cake. Perfect for a birthday!
This isn't a regular vanilla cake because clear vanilla extract is used. Clear vanilla is much sweeter than the pure vanilla. Since it is clear, it also helps to make the color more white as well.
The tons of sprinkles in this cake (they are pure sugar after all) greatly intensify the sugary sweet cake. It is sweet, but man is it good!
How To Make Funfetti Cake From Scratch
It is SO easy to make this cake! All you need is a mixer of some sort (stand or hand mixer) and three 8 inch cake pans. Make sure it's this type of cake pan and not the non-stick pans. Non-stick pans don't bake as evenly.
Here are the best tricks for baking this cake:
- Room temperature ingredients- Oh my, this is SO important. Pull out your eggs, butter, and buttermilk at least 2 hours before you bake this cake. Room temperature ingredients blend together better and you will get a better rise to your cake
- Cut the butter into cubes- After you have all the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, start adding the cubed butter in slowly. If you add the butter as 1 big stick, it will not blend into the flour as nicely.
- Use Buttermilk- Using buttermilk is so important to getting a moist cake. If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. The acidic lemon juice will curdle the milk for buttermilk.
- Baking powder- Make sure your baking powder is fresh and not expired. It generally lasts for 6 months once it is opened.
- Scrape the bowl- You are going to want to scrape the bowl several times when making the cake batter. Make sure all of the cake batter is combined!
Cake Flour Vs All Purpose Flour
Cake flour is very important in getting the very moist crumb on this cake. It has less gluten than all-purpose flour. Less gluten means a more tender cake!
Also, cake flour is a much finer flour which also helps with the texture of the cake. If you do use all-purpose flour, it will just not be as moist.
How To Make Sure The Cake Doesn't Stick To The Pans
The method that I use, works every time! First, spray your cake with a non-stick baking spray. Then, use an 8 inch parchment circle and place that on the bottom of the pan. Now spray the pan again!
Once the cakes are done baking, allow them to sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Slowly cooling in the pan allows the cake to shrink from the sides of the pan.
Next, turn the pan over on the cooling rack!
What Type Of Sprinkles To Use
The sprinkles that go in the cake should be the rainbow jimmies sprinkles. They are the long skinny ones. They don't bleed as much in the cake so you get the bright colors.
I don't recommend using the rainbow nonparallels (The little round balls) inside the cake. Since they are so small, they will bleed into the cake.
For decorating the homemade funfetti birthday cake, I used a mixture of both of those sprinkles. It adds more color to the cake!
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
The cream cheese frosting gives the cake a little bit of tang that pairs so well with the funfetti cake.
To make this frosting, you will need to have the cream cheese be room temperature. It will be SO much easier to blend until smooth! No cream cheese chunks here.
Also, make sure the butter is slightly cold. Leave the butter on the counter for 30 minutes. It should be cold to the touch and still leave a finger indent. Slightly cold butter allow it be beaten until fluffy, but the frosting will still hold it's shape.
While the butter is on the counter, sift the powdered sugar. This is so important to avoid gritty frosting or pockets of powdered sugar in the icing.
First, beat the cream cheese on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Next, add in the butter and beat for another minute on medium. The butter and cream cheese should be thoroughly combined with no butter chunks. If there are still butter chunks, mix it for another 30 seconds.
Next, slowly add in the powdered sugar. If you are using a stand mixer, to avoid a mess, cover the mixer with a wet dish towel. It soaks any flying powdered sugar!
Then, add the vanilla, salt, and heavy cream and beat the frosting on high for 4 minutes. The goal is to get the frosting super light and fluffy. So, when you eat it, it feels like a dream!
Next, scrape the bowl and beat again for 1 minute. I always recommend to store the frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes. This works best for me because the butter solidifies and it's easier to work with.
After the frosting chills, beat the frosting with a wooden spoon to get rid of the air bubbles.
Decorating The Funfetti Cake
Start by taping the 8 inch board to the 10 inch board. The cake will sit on the 8 inch and the larger board is for easy transferring. Then, place a bit of frosting on the 8 inch circle. This will act as the glue of the cake.
Next, place the first layer of the cake bottom side down. Pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. I used the wilton 1M tip to pipe the frosting.
Then, scoop ⅓ cup of frosting and smooth it until it is even. Repeat the process of the second layer of the cake. Place the last layer of the cake bottom side up. This will give it the most flat surface for decorating.
Now, before you go crazy with frosting the cake, apply a light layer of frosting on the cake first. It is light enough that you can see the cake peeking through the frosting. This is the crumb coat layer.
Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will glue all those crumbs in place and you are left with a solid cake. No crumbs in our frosting today!
Now you can go crazy with the frosting. To get the textured look I have for the cake, use the back of a spoon and swirl the frosting!
Can This Cake Be A Sheet Cake
Yes! This cake can! Pour the batter in a 9x13 inch pan. Make sure the pan is well sprayed with parchment paper. Then, bake it for 20-25 minutes.
You should also halve the frosting recipe because you won't need as much since there are no layers.
How To Store The Funfetti Cake
To store the cake, keep it in a cake carrier in the fridge. It should last up to 5 days in the fridge before it starts to dry. You can also cut the cake into slices and store in an air tight container.
Can This Cake Be Frozen
YES! This cake can be frozen. Cut the cake into slices and then wrap it in cling wrap. Then, wrap in aluminum foil or in an air tight container. It will be good for 30 days.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
- Blueberry jam and cream cake
- Lemon sheet cake with blueberry frosting
- Chocolate sheet cake
- Cookies n cream cake
Homemade Funfetti Birthday Cake
- 3 ¼ cup Cake flour
- 1 ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ¾ cup Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
- 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature
- 3 Egg whites room temperature
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- 2 ½ teaspoon Clear vanilla extract
- ½ cup Rainbow sprinkles use jimmies sprinkles
Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 1 ½ cup Unsalted butter slightly cold
- 12 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 9 ½ cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 3 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8 inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray. Place an 8 inch parchment circle on the bottom of the pans and spray again.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the cake four, baking powder, and salt together. Add in the sugar. Using a mixer, mix everything together for 20 seconds.
- Cut the butter into cubes and slowly add in the butter. Mix on low until all butter is added. Add the buttermilk slowly in 3 intervals. Mix on low until all combined. It should be thick.
- In a small bowl, mix the egg whites, eggs, and clear vanilla until the eggs are slightly beaten. Add the eggs slowly to the batter in 3 intervals. Between intervals, scrape the bowl. After the eggs are added, scrape the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds on low.
- Take off the mixer. Add in the sprinkles and fold them in with a rubber spatula.
- Pour batter evenly through the 3 cake pans using a kitchen scale. Bake for 18-23 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to sit for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, transfer to cooling racks. Allow them to cool completely before frosting. I usually wrap each layer in cling wrap and freeze the cake. Then, 1 hour before decorating, pull out the cakes allow to get to slightly cold temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Set the butter on the counter for 30 minutes. The butter should be slightly cold to the touch. While the butter is sitting out, sift the powdered sugar.
- Using a mixer, beat the room temperature cream cheese for 1 minute on medium. Add in the butter and beat for another minute. The butter and cream cheese should be mixed with no butter chunks.
- Add in the sifted powdered sugar very slowly on low. Once mixed, scrape the bowl and beat on medium for 20 seconds.
- Add in vanilla, pinch of salt and heavy cream. Beat on low until it starts to combine, then beat on high for 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat on high for another minute.
- Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then, use a wooden spoon and beat the frosting by hand for a few minutes until all air bubbles have been smoothed.
- First layer place bottom side down. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake. Place ⅓ cup of frosting in the middle of the ring of the frosting. Smooth with an icing spatula.
- Repeat step 1 but with the second layer.
- Place the third layer bottom side up. Fill any gaps on the sides of the cake with frosting. Apply a thin layer of frosting around the sides and top of the cake. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the freezer, frost the rest of the cake. Use the back of a spoon to get the textured look. Pipe a border on the top of the cake. Decorate with more sprinkles.
- Chill cake until ready to serve.