Learn how to make this Confetti Cake from scratch that tastes like the beloved boxed cake mix but better. Three layers of light and fluffy white vanilla cake speckled with rainbow-colored sprinkles are frosted with vanilla based funfetti buttercream for the perfect birthday or party cake.

A confetti cake on a white cake stand.

As a pastry chef, I’ve baked quite a few birthday cakes from scratch, so I can confidently say that confetti cakes are most peoples’ favorite! This nostalgic sprinkle cake flavor is rich, buttery, and very vanilla-y, with rainbow sprinkles mixed into the batter.

The reason it’s called confetti cake is because as the cake bakes, the sprinkles melt, making the signature colorful flecked effect that resembles confetti (hence the name). If you are a new baker you can check out this post on why cakes sink in the middle to ensure cake success!

If cupcakes are more your thing you can make these confetti cupcakes instead! These are also sometimes called Funfetti but that is a name trademarked by Pillsbury.

These step-by-step instructions will show you to make a classic confetti cake and funfetti frosting without any store-bought shorts cuts. Instead, you’ll bake a super sweet, moist, and delicious three-layered confetti cake from scratch slathered in homemade sprinkle vanilla frosting.

If you’re a fan of throwbacks like funfetti cake, what could be better than chocolate cake with sprinkles or classic vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles?!

To make anyones birthday even better you can make these birthday cake cookies to go along with the cake!

Cake Ingredients

Ingredients for confetti cake.
  • Flour – Fine-milled cake flour is perfect for achieving a light and fluffy texture, while all-purpose flour achieves a denser mouth feel. You can use either one.
  • Baking powder & baking soda – This pair of leavening agents gives the cake its distinct soft and fluffy texture by creating a reaction in the batter as it bakes, causing the cake to rise.
  • Kosher salt – Salt plays a role in activating the leavening agents and also improves sweet flavors.
  • Butter – Softened butter is critical for confetti cake. This is how I soften butter quickly when I’m short on time.
  • Sugar – Makes the cake extra decadent and sweet.
  • Eggs & Egg Whites – The proteins in eggs help strengthen the batter and hold it together. The extra egg whites make the cake extra light and fluffy.
  • Vanilla Extract – Intensifies the sweet and creamy flavors.
  • Buttermilk – The acid in buttermilk reacts with the leavening agent, so the cake turns out light and fluffy. It also adds a touch to the tang to balance out the sweetness.
  • Jimmy Rainbow Sprinkles – Rainbow sprinkles transform this cake into funfetti! These are my favorite.

Frosting Ingredients

Ingredients for confetti buttercream.
  • Butter – Again, the butter must be room temperature!
  • Confectioners Sugar – Sweetens and thickens the butter, turning it into the buttercream.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds smooth, sweet, and indulgent vanilla flavor.
  • Cream – You can use half & half, cream, or milk to help the creamed butter and sugar into a spreadable, glossy, buttercream frosting.
  • Jimmy Rainbow Sprinkles – You can never have enough!

How to make confetti cake from scratch

Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350F, and spray three 8″ round cake pans with baking spray. Set the pans aside.

Combine dry ingredients: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt until combined. Set the mixture aside.

Cream butter with sugar: In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar, and continue mixing on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy.

Mix wet ingredients: Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, then add the eggs, egg whites, and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Mix cake batter: Add 1/3rd of the dry mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Add another 1/3rd of the mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk. Finish with the last 1/3rd of dry ingredients. Mix the ingredients until a smooth, cohesive batter forms (do not overmix!). Finally, mix in the sprinkles by hand (again, do not overmix!).

Bake & cool: Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans. Transfer to the oven and bake until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan (35 minutes). Set the pans on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes and finish cooling completely on a wire rack.

Confetti buttercream frosting

Make the buttercream: Add softened butter and confectioners sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, gradually increasing to medium as the mixture combines. Mix for 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low, and add in vanilla extract and cream. Mix on low-medium speed for 1 minute. Finally, add the sprinkles and mix by hand.

Assemble confetti cake: Spread a layer of frosting over top of 2 of the three cakes. Stack one on top of the other, and then place the third cake on top. Generously frost the exterior of the stacked cake, and garnish with -you guessed it, more sprinkles!

Recipe tips

  • To measure flour correctly, fluff it up, spoon it from the container and into your measuring cup, and level it off with a knife. Otherwise, you’ll end up with too much flour. For the most accurate results, use a kitchen scale!
  • For the batter to mix and bake properly, everything must be at room temperature (butter, eggs, and buttermilk).
  • For precision, the cake pans should weigh between 672-674 grams each after dividing the batter evenly. I used these 8″ round cake pans.
  • Classic confetti cake must be made with classic jimmies! Other types of sprinkles will bleed color into the batter. This will not work with nonpareils or glitter sprinkles.
  • Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting, or else the frosting will destabilize and side right off.
  • If you want to pipe the frosting, make sure to use a large tip, otherwise the sprinkles will get stuck inside. Alternatively you can leave out the sprinkles from the frosting and then add them on after the cake is frosted.

Storing and Freezing

Storing: To store this 3-layer confetti cake, place it in a tall airtight cake carrier and keep it at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to one week.

Making Ahead & Freezing: The cakes themselves freeze well without frosting. Wrap each cake in a tight layer of plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or wrap securely in a couple of layers of foil. Keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw on the countertop, and then decorate.

A slice of confetti cake on a pink plate.

Yield

This is a large cake and can feed about 16 people. The cake is tall so you don’t need to cut huge slices!

FAQ

Can I bake funfetti cake batter in a bundt pan?

Sure! Spray a bundt pan with baking spray, and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is set and the sides pull away from the pan.

How do you make funfetti mix better?

Put back the box of Funfetti cake mix, and make it from scratch! This guarantees the quality of the ingredients, and you’ll know exactly what you’re baking with. Boxed cake mixes are convenient but come with a long list of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and dyes.

Ways to enjoy

Reinvent this childhood favorite by switching up the funfetti frostings with another whimsical flavor. The options listed below pair perfectly with confetti cake, and this post will show you how to apply frosting like the pros.

A slice of confetti cake on a pink plate.
5 stars (25 ratings)

Light and Fluffy Confetti Cake (Better than a Box!)

Learn how to make this Confetti Cake from scratch that tastes like the beloved boxed cake mix but better. Three layers of light and fluffy white vanilla cake speckled with rainbow-colored sprinkles are frosted with vanilla based funfetti buttercream for the perfect birthday or party cake.

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cup flour, (390g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, 227g
  • 2 cup sugar, 400g
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup jimmy rainbow sprinkles

For the Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened (227g)
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, 360g
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons half and half, cream, or milk
  • ½ cup classic jimmy rainbow sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and spray 3 8” round cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl combine the 3 1/4 cup cake flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • Creamed butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
    In the bowl of a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the 1 cup butter for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl and add the 2 cups of sugar. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • A mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl.
    Scrape down the bowl and add the 2 eggs, 4 egg whites and 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
  • Vanilla cake batter in a mixing bowl.
    Add in 1/3rd of the dry ingredients, then half of the buttermilk and alternate, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Sprinkles added to vanilla cake batter in a mixing bowl.
    Add in 1 cup of the sprinkles and mix by hand until combined.
  • Cake batter divided into 3 baking pans.
    Evenly divide the batter into the 3 pans and bake for 35 minutes or until the cake edges break away from the pan.

Cool and make the funfetti buttercream.

  • Add the 1 cup butter and 3 cups powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed working up to medium as the mixture combines. Mix on medium for 1 minute.
  • Vanilla buttercream in a bowl.
    Change the speed to low and add in the 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp cream. Mix on low-medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkles mixed into buttercream.
    Add in the ½ cup sprinkles and mix by hand until combined.
  • A confetti cake on a white cake stand.
    Assemble the cake- fill and stack the cake with the frosting, then frost the outside of the cake. Add more sprinkles for garnish if desired!

Notes

Make sure to use classic rainbow jimmy sprinkles and not glitter or non pareil sprinkles because they will bleed into the cake. Jimmy sprinkles keep their shape and color when baked.
If you want to pipe the frosting, make sure you use a large tip, otherwise the sprinkles can get caught inside. Alternatively you can leave the sprinkles out of the frosting and add them on after the cake is covered.
Serving: 1slice, Calories: 569kcal, Carbohydrates: 82g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 380mg, Potassium: 79mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 62g, Vitamin A: 764IU, Vitamin C: 0.004mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 1mg
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