Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

Sisters are like sprinkles. Sweet and vibrant and (yes) a little bit crunchy. And life isn’t nearly as fun without them.

Needless to say, when your sister comes to town and adamantly requests that you make a funfetti cake together, you don’t waste any time seeking out the most fabulous sprinkles you can find for your equally fabulous sis. Not settling for ordinary rainbow, I found these charming lollipop quins with a bright retro color scheme that I knew would be perfect for her cake. With matching turquoise frosting, this cake is as colorful as my sister’s vocabulary during an Avalanche game.

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

The sprinkles transform an ordinary yellow cake into a kaleidoscope of color, like a miniature paintball gun took aim at the batter, spattering the layers with pockets of vibrant color.

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

There’s no denying that this cake is downright charming, and yes, I am implying that you won’t be able to stop smiling.

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

Behind all the color is a basic yellow cake base, with a tender, buttery crumb and fragrant vanilla flavor. It’s almost identical to the base I used for this Lemon Cake with Fudge Frosting, with no lemon juice (obviously) and buttermilk instead of milk to account for the resulting loss of acidity.

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

Much like the Funfetti Blondies, the confetti or quin-type sprinkles are your best bet. When baked in the yellow cake batter, they melt into perfect pockets of pure color. Even the white sprinkles left their mark.

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

Engineers (like my sister) are serious about leveling, even when it comes to cake. I kept waiting for her to break out her protractor and calculator, but, luckily, she wanted to eat the cake as much as I did and we continued with the frosting despite our almost-but-not-quite-level trim work.

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake from @loveandoliveoil

Sisters. Sprinkles. And cake. I can’t think of a better combination.

Funfetti Layer Cake

Yield: 1 9-inch layer cake (halve for a 6-inch cake)

Total Time: 2 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/4 cup whole buttermilk, divided
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confetti quin sprinkles

For Frosting:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, more or less as needed
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper; butter parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine. Add butter and 1 cup of buttermilk. Mix on low speed until flour is evenly moistened, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a small bowl, beat remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk with eggs and vanilla. Add to the batter mixture one-third at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in sprinkles. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes (about 25 to 30 minutes for 6″ pans), rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are lightly golden on the edges and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire cooling rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. Run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the pan, then invert the cake onto wire rack. It should come out easily and cleanly. Remove parchment from the bottom. At this point the cakes can be wrapped tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and frozen until ready to use (in fact, I recommend you freeze the cakes overnight, as the frozen cakes will be easier to level and frost later.)
  5. To prepare frosting, in a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. As frosting thickens, add a few tablespoons of cream as needed. Depending on the temperature and consistency of your frosting, continue alternating additions of cream and powdered sugar, until frosting is light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean seeds and food coloring and beat until evenly incorporated.
  6. To assemble, level each cake layer by cutting of the domed top with a long serrated knife. Place one layer, flat side down, on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread on about 1/2 cup of frosting onto cake using an offset spatula. Position second layer on top and press to adhere. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of frosting, and then position final cake layer, flat side up.
  7. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting. This “crumb coat” will keep the stray crumbs in place and make frosting the cake easier. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow this crumb coat to set, then spread with remaining frosting, reserving some frosting for piping decorative details and borders if desired.

Did you make this recipe?

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163 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Hi Lindsay… Will it stay moist if I assemble the cake the day before and keep it refrigerated or would I need to put simple syrup on the layers?  Thanks!

  2. I have made this cake several times. It is super moist. I use this cake recipe as my base cake recipe. Such an awesome cake. Thank you so very much for the post and recipe…Yumm!!

  3. Hi!!! This cake looks beautiful!!! After taking it out of the freezer, do I let it thaw before frosting it?

  4. My daughter requested this cake for her 16th BD. Thanks for the wonderful instructions. I wasn’t sure when I saw the ratio of sugar to flour, but it really is a wonderful cake, not too sweet, perfect crumb and rise, even with all that beating and baking soda! (And it did amazing in our high mountain altitude of 5,800 ft.! I didn’t change the temperature or time – 40 min.) I put pearlized candy beads on it and confetti inside. She said she felt beautiful!

    (Sorry, it’s not letting me post a photo.)

  5. Does someone have these measurements in grams or ounces? Thank you for posting recipe! 

  6. hello there. My niece requested this for her birthday. I made it yesterday and will be frosting it today. How do you keep your confetti sprinkles from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking? I want to try again. 

    • My batter was thick enough that this wasn’t a problem for me, you can see the consistency in the mixer photo above. My only thought is maybe your flour measurement was off, or you used low-fat buttermilk instead of whole (which is much thinner). If that’s the case, try using 1 cup instead of 1 1/4 cup. Did you use the same kind of confetti quin sprinkles? Other types might behave differently.

    • I had the same problem too. Mine settled to the bottom as well. I used the correct buttermilk as well. Not sure how to fix. More flour possibly? Thanks!

  7. I just made this cake for my 1yr old’s smash cake pictures, and it was so delicious, that I had to make another for his birthday party, so we could all have some! LOVE this recipe. So thankful I somehow found it in my google search, as I love your site now as well!

    • Hi Amanda,
      I was wondering if you happened to weigh your ingredients. I use metric measurements to weigh ingredients. Thanks!

  8. Man, this is the 2nd recipe of yours that I’ve tried that has been an absolute disaster. Brown/starting to burn on the edges, raw in the middle. What a waste of nice ingredients. And it was supposed to be my birthday cake. So disappointed. I watched it closely, have an oven thermometer to make sure the temp is right, etc. etc. So upset and frustrated.

    • Sorry this didn’t turn out for you, I’ve definitely had nothing but success with this recipe and others have as well.

      My first thought based on what you describe is maybe your choice of cake pans affected the baking. Were they dark colored pans? Because that would definitely cause the outside to brown quicker than the inside could cook. If that’s the case I’d recommend lowering the oven temp by 25º which should help immensely.

  9. This cake looks amazing! I plan on making it on Sunday for a birthday dessert! I was wondering though how long this cake can last sitting out at room temperature for? Thanks!

    • At cool room temperature your probably good for a decent chunk of time, but I’d refrigerate it any longer than a day. If it’s warm and humid though, probably best to not let it sit out more than a few hours.

  10. what a beauty! which tip(s) did you use for the borders?

  11. I just removed my funfetti cakes from the oven and it smells heavenly! I actually used the full recipe and filled four 6-inch pans (2 cups batter each) because I want to make a tall cake. Then, I had just enough left for a dozen mini cupcakes. I ate 6 of those right away… OOPS. 

    Only thing I did differently was adding 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. I just like the way vanilla cake tastes with it.

    As for the sprinkles, only thing I found were star sprinkles from Stop&Shop because I didn’t have time to shop online. I was surprised even Michael’s didn’t have this kind.

    Anyway… I highly recommend this recipe! 

  12. Can I make the same recipe using a square cake tin?

    • You can, but you’ll want to check the volume equivalents and adjust accordingly. An 8-inch square pan will hold more batter than an 8-inch round pan.

  13. How many people will this feed?

  14. What food coloring did you use?

  15. Do you have any tips on how to get that color of frosting?? :)

  16. I tried to make this cake but my sequin sprinkles settled at the bottom of each cake pan and didn’t spread throughout. Any tips or advice on getting them to spread throughout the cake? Was hoping to make again for my son’s 1st birthday party next weekend. Thanks so much!

    • Did you use the same quin sprinkles that I did? If so, the batter should be thick enough to suspend them. If your batter was too thin, that would cause the sprinkles to sink. Did you substitute whole milk or low-fat buttermilk in place of the full-fat buttermilk, or perhaps mis-measure the amount of flour?

    • Thanks for the quick reply. Yes I used the correct buttermilk and I’m pretty sure I measured correctly. I used similar looking sequin sprinkles found at Hobby Lobby. I just emailed the owner of the place that sells the ones you used to see if I might could get them delivered in time to make his cake for his party Saturday. Keeping my fingers crossed… :) Thanks!

    • What was the consistency of the batter? You can kind of see it is on the thick side in the images above. If it is looser, more like a pancake batter, you could try adding a bit more flour and see if that helps! Definitely let me know how it turns out!

      Happy baking!

  17. Hi, will the chocolate beans work as I cant find the sprinklers

  18. How much vanilla extract would you suggest using if I use that instead of vanilla bean in the frosting?

  19. This looks absolutely stunning and sounds DELICIOUS!
    My little one is turning One this Thursday and we’re throwing a party for her.
    I’m making a small cupcake sized, 3 layer cake just for her to smash and all that messy stuff with but I’m also making a regular sized cake for our guests.
    Should I increase the recipes for both the cake batter and cake frosting to be sure there is enough or would you say there is enough with this recipe to get by?
    The regular cake will be 9″ but will only be baked in two pans and later, sliced/layered into a 4 layer cake.
    Looking forward to future beautiful recipes!

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