Love and Olive Oil

Frosted Funfetti Layer Cake

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

Did you make this recipe?


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)


  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.
All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. I made this cake for my daughter’s 4th birthday and it was amazing. I did the same colors and confetti- it was beautiful. Everyone raved about how gorgeous  it was and the taste was delicious. I love making my own cake- and I hate box cake. I look forward to making this again in the near future. Freezing the cakes before putting it together was a genius idea and worked fabulously. Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. This cake is so fun!  Absolutely love funfetti everything.  The more sprinkles, the better!

  3. Omg! This cake recipe is just perfect. I tried so many cake recipes but this one is just 100% perfection. Im gonna use it for my pastry???? thank you so much for sharing.
    Sweet greetings from the Netherlands

  4. Is what you have pictured above a 6-inch cake? Do you think you can halve this recipe to make a two-layer 8- or 9-inch cake instead?

    • Yes, the cake in the picture is a 6-inch cake made from a half recipe. If you’re trying to convert, try calculating the volumes of various size pans to determine how much batter you’ll need (google cake pan volume and there are numerous charts out there to help).

  5. Looks amazing, I bet it tastes great – I’m going to bake this for my little daughter’s birthday. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Hi! This cake looks amazing! I want to make one for my little sister but  I was wondering if I could substitute the cake flour with self-rising flour and just omit the baking powder? Thank you! :) 

    • I’ve never tried this cake with self-rising flour and honestly I would not make such a substitution. Cake flour gives the cake a very lovely, delicate texture, and the higher protein in all-purpose and self-rising would be tougher. You also can’t be sure the proportions of flour to baking powder would be as needed. Honestly, I only use self-rising flour for biscuits.

  7. Fun cake to make. I had never done the butter into the flour before. It makes it like a pound cake, I loved adding the confetti sprinkles into the batter. That being said if you make the 9″ cake the layers…because of the density of the batter the layers finish baking at approximately 1″, not an adequate thickness to “level” with a serrated knife.
    I just made sure to pull my batter up the sides with a slight indentation in the middle of the batter and they baked very level. The icing in my view with the whipping cream is way toooooo buttery, I would adjust it the next time, by cutting back at least a half a cup of butter and adding more icing sugar.
    The consistency though was very nice to work with. Not enough to make smooth sides though, I would make another half a batch if you want no see through spots in your icing and enough to pipe the shells top and bottom.  I used a parfait spoon to “sprinkle” the confetti around the piping. We also used some for the table centre piece 
    with lots of sparkly stemware and gerberas and pink ribbons, as the icing colour we chose was pink. My adult daughter loved it, because she wanted a real birthday cake, and had sent me the recipe. It is definitely that. Very beautiful. I served it with pink champagne to cut the overly buttery taste in the icing, no complaints about that…but one piece is definitely the max.

  8. How did you get this color of blue!?! it is gorgeous. Also in what stage do you move it to the cake stand? Thank you!!

  9. I made this for my best friends birthday and it was such a hit ! I was iffy about adding butter and part of the buttermilk to the flour / sugar combination but followed your steps exactly and it turned out amazingly moist and so tasty! I didn’t have cake flour so I substituted for every one 1 cup of all purpose I’d remove two tablespoons and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, sifted the mixture together 5 times and didn’t notice a difference ! Thank you for the recipe :D

    • Sprinkles were consistently spread throughout each layer as well. Follow her steps and you’ll have a beautiful and tasty cake 

  10. I made this for my daughter’s birthday party. It was beautiful but I found the cake to be quite dry. A lot of the kids didn’t eat much of their piece. Also, I found the confetti very hard to find in any retail store. I didn’t have time to order online so I ended up having to buy 6 jars of Funfetti frosting and just use the sprinkles that came with those.   The frosting was gorgeous – used Wilton Teal and it looked just like the picture. 

  11. This cake looks amazing, however, I tried to make it today and all of the sprinkles sunk to the bottom of the pan :-(  I might try to make some cake pops out of the cake, but had to make another for a birthday party tomorrow.  Any suggestions for next time?  Thanks!

  12. For the frosting, is there a specific type of vanilla bean that should be used? Such as Madagascar, Tahitian or Mexican? Thanks :)

  13. I’ve made this cake four times now. It’s always a huge hit with everybody. Finally have a stand-up mixer, too, which has helped! Thank you for helping me make other people happy. :)

  14. Can u email me. At [email protected]. I was wondering how u exactly got thsi color. It’s the exact color I want to use on my daughters giant cupcake for her bday. I’m doing a funfetti white cake. My own recipe though, with a 8 inch base cake with fondant circle cutouts and number one in center etc etc. But I really want this exact color. Can u help me please 

  15. Hi!  I was wondering if you could tell me what color you used for the frosting.  Beautiful, btw!

  16. I’m making the frosting from the recipe for a 9 inch layer cake and will use cut-out fondant for flower decoration.  Thanks for the recipe!

  17. I cannot wait to make this cake, it is so gosh darn hard to find confetti sprinkles.
    Let’s see I went to:
    Target, party city, joann’s, Michaels, Safeway, Fred Meyers, trader joes, bed bath and beyond ( I was getting desperate), then finally 30 min away at Walmart, I found two one was a mix and the other was primary colors…..I got 5 tubes and plan to mix the colors, but I can not find cute colored ones.

    Does any one in the Pacific Northwest know where to find sprinkles in a variety of colors like above???

    All the feedback appreciated, thanks….

    -lost cake maker

  18. Made this cake yesterday for my son’s first birthday party. Followed the recipe but changed up the color scheme to make it red white and blue. Was my first time making a layer cake and was a great success. Thanks!

  19. Love the recipe and colors you used, however i found that this recipe barely covered my two 9-inch layers let alone the 3 you show here at that thickness. Is this the recipe you used for the 3- layer cake pictured or did you double the recipe?

  20. Hi I noticed how the sides of your cake isn’t brown at all. Do you trim the sides and the top of the cake? I would love to be able to achieve that. 

    • I do trim off some of the top, however I also use very light aluminum cake pans, which probably contributes to the lighter color as well.

  21. Really want to make this for my daughters birthday but I’m in the uk and have never heard of confetti quin sprinkles, do you know if there’s an alternative?

    • You can see in the picture what they look like, the flat wafer-like sprinkles. They may go by a different name where you are. They often come in novelty shapes too other than round. Jimmies will work in a pinch although the colors might bleed a bit more.

  22. Omg!!!! I was having a Dinner Sale and needed a vanilla cake for one of my desserts and really didn’t want to use a box cake.  Let me tell you!!! I’m a Pastry Chef and I know cakes! This cake was so moist and light! I Loved it!!!! I will be using this recipe again. Thanks again for sharing it! 

  23. Hi! Thanks you for sharing your recipe. Your cake is just beautiful and the colors are so vibrant. Will this cake hold up under fondant? I tried a funfetti recipe that used  AP flour and it turned out too dense for my taste. Thank you for your reply. =)

  24. Hi! I am making this beautiful cake right now and noticed that the instructions say 1 and ¼ cup of buttermilk but the instructions only have 1 cup of buttermilk used. Should I add the extra ¼ cup or not? Thanks!

  25. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, divided. 3/4 cup is mixed in with the butter and 1/4 cup is mixed in with the eggs and vanilla. Where does the last 1/4 cup of buttermilk go? Or was the 1 1/4 cups total a typo?

    • 1 1/4 cups is the correct measurement. Not too big a deal how you divide it, so long as some goes in with the flour and some gets whisked with the eggs and vanilla. :) I’ve updated the recipe in any case.

  26. gorgeous cake…. How do you get the frosting so smooth?

    • I’ve found a large offset spatula or even a bench scraper works well, paired with a turntable cake stand you can spin the cake around while keeping your tool in the same spot. Oh, and lots of practice! haha. :)

  27. Simply in love with this dreamy cake. Have you ever made the frosting, refrigerated and frosted the following day? Wasn’t sure if that would mess with the consistency. 

    • I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not! You may need to re-whip it before frosting to bring it back to a fluffy consistency, and maybe add a bit more cream if necessary.

  28. Lyndsay,  can this also be made in cupcakes? If so how long to bake? 

    • I haven’t made it as cupcakes myself but I don’t see why not. I’d guess 15-18 minutes bake time but keep an eye on them, they should pass the same toothpick test as the cake. Let me know how they turn out!

  29. Gorgeous cake! I am making it this weekend. How many people will it serve?

    • We probably got 12 servings out of a 6-inch cake, so 20-24 for a larger 8-inch one, depending (of course) how large you cut the slices. :)

  30. This looks amazing! I’m going to make it to celebrate the end of finals week!

    Just a friendly piece of advice though, your cell phone is one of the dirtiest objects in your house. It’s been studied and cell phones are are many times dirtier than toilet seats. They often contain E. coli and S. aureus which are common causes of foodborne illness and food poisoning. It might be a good idea to use a piece of plastic wrap to cover your phone next time you want to use it to level off something. It wouldn’t change the level but it could really go far in keeping you safe from potentially getting sick.

  31. This cake looks perfect for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party.  How do you recommend storing the cake if I make it the night before the party?

  32. Lindsay my girls who are 28 and 24, loved this cake and so did the family!    Thank you again for your help.   Next time I make this cake since I used 6 in pans and halved everything I would use more than a half a cup of quins.   Also, for me the frosting seemed soft and did not keep its shape when I used the tube,  seemed a little soft.  Perhaps more sugar was needed. :-)

    • So glad to hear it turned out! And yes, the consistency of frosting depends a lot on the weather. In the warmer summer months I always use a lot more sugar and no cream at all. I’ve also found it helpful to use 25% shortening in place of the butter, the shortening is a bit more stable and helps it hold up. Darn heat, haha. :)

  33. Looks delicious! Using your phone as a leveler is genius : )

  34. this looks amazing! i want to eat a slice (or 4) for breakfast right now!

  35. This cake is beautiful. It would almost be worth having one of my relatives visit just to have an excuse to make it.

  36. This cake is gorgeous and the absolute perfect inspiration for my sister’s upcoming birthday. Thank you for sharing!

  37. This cake looks absolutely gorgeous!! I want a huge slice please :)

  38. Lindsay, I used the 6 in pans, halved the recipe, and baked the cake for approx. 24 minutes.  I did turn them in the oven half way through the baking process.    I did line the bottom of pans with parchment paper also.  I let them cool and I had a thick coating of crust around the edge of the cakes and noticed the bottom appeared to be more brown.  The crust on the edge does come off.  Is this normal, did I over bake?  I am using Wilton pans.  Also, instead of freezing cakes, can I wrap and place in refrigerator to cool for awhile before I level and frosting?  Thank you.

    • Are they dark pans? If so that might explain the crust. The pans I used were light aluminum. Darker non-stick pans do tend to cook quicker. Other than checking to make sure the temp of your oven is accurate that’s the only thing I can think of.

      And yes, fine to just refrigerate. I find frozen cakes are easier to work with but it won’t affect the final product.

  39. Lindsay, I can’t wait to make this cake for a baby shower. Can you please let me know what color of food coloring you used for the frosting?

  40. What an adorable cake! Love that blue frosting!

  41. What a gorgeous, happiness-inducing cake, and such a fun write up about your sister! I just love the little phone level, too funny :)  One of my 4 sisters needs to come over and demand funfetti cake.

  42. What brand and color of food coloring did you use? 

  43. Lindsay!  This cake is like WHOA!!!!!

  44. Beautiful! I love funfetti. I also love that you used cake flour! 

  45. Hello! I made this cake yesterday, with retro peach coloured frosting and star-shaped confetti. It was a good cake, indeed. Because I don’t have a stand-up mixer, I might not have beaten the stuff enough to lighten it properly (I have egg beaters and elbow grease), so it was denser than your cake looks like. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Yes, it can be hard to get a truly “light and fluffy” mixture with just egg beaters. haha. Glad it turned out regardless!

    • Lindsay — I am making the cake again, but using actual cake flour this time. I used all-purpose for the first cake. I think this time, based on what I can see of the batter as I am (again) hand-mixing it (no stand-up mixer) that it’s fluffier than I remember from the first cake. So there! Lesson learned. My son wants it in bold red, this time — we’re making it for his First Communion. Red!!

  46. Lindsay this cake is very cute and looks delicious!  I would like to use 3 6 in. pans.   Your notes say to halve, I assume you mean the ingredients?  Also you use cake flour, will all purpose flour give different results?   As you can tell by my questions,  I am not very experienced with baking cakes but would love to give this a try.  Thank you.

    • Yes, halve all the ingredients and you’ll have the perfect amount of batter for 6″ pans. A bit tricky halving the eggs, but just whisk one egg and then measure out about half of what’s there.

      Cake flour gives cakes a much more delicate crumb, since it is lower protein than AP. I have not personally tried it with AP but I imagine it would work just fine, just maybe a bit coarser.

  47. Oh, now this is just TOO cute! What a fun project to undertake with your sister… especially since you get to reap the delicious rewards of all your hard work! Such a beauty of a cake you created, girls!

  48. Blue is not an appetizing color to eat.  There is nothing in nature that is actually edible that is blue.  There are varieties of purples, not blue.  Even blueberries.  This cake would have been amazing with a drop of red added to the color.  That said, I will try it  :)

  49. I love this cake and how cute it is! I want slices and slices! Wait. I’ll just take a whole darn cake.

  50. How do you make the layers so even? can you share?  I am making a cake for the little one for his birthday and i want it to be tall and small (4-6 inches) but i cant shake that rounded top. I need help!

    • I level each layer before I assemble it, basically cutting off any ‘dome’ on top. This recipe does bake up pretty evenly to begin with, in my experience, but still nice to trim it to make it perfectly (or almost) level.

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