The funfetti cake is the most awesome birthday cake you can bake for someone you love. Not only does it scream fun and happiness inside and out, it’s also a really delicious cake that’s bursting with the vanilla flavour everyone loves.
(Is your birthday celebrant a chocolate lover? They will love this chocolate explosion cake!)
I live away from my family. They are, quite literally, on the other side of the world and it takes about 20 hours for me to get home by plane. Yeah, they are that far.
So I’ve missed a lot of Christmases and weddings and birthdays. I have a new niece that I haven’t even met yet. Luckily, I was home a few months after my nephew was born.
And he turns 3 in a few days (my theory is time flies much faster for an absentee aunt). He’s such an awesome little guy.
He likes cars and dinosaurs and puzzles. He likes to sing and to dance. He makes me smile and laugh out loud.
He’s my favourite little man in the whole world.
I won’t be there for his birthday (again) but I thought I’d make a day of it by baking a birthday cake for him. I wanted a fun one, appropriate for someone like him. And I think this is the funnest one out there.
I mean, there are sprinkles in it and all over it. So if you ever need a cake for the special little fellas (or ladies) in your life that screams HAVE AN AWESOME BIRTHDAY, this is it.
The funfetti cake
The funfetti cake is at its core a buttermilk vanilla cake…just funner.
You make the cake as usual then at the end you gently fold the sprinkles.
And did you know there are actually different kinds of sprinkles? And if you plan on doing a funfetti cake, you better use the right ones – jimmies is what they are called – if you don’t want the colours to get all mushed up.
Sprinkles, sprinkles everywhere
And this cake is not only fun for the birthday celebrant, it’s fun for the baker too.
I’ve worked with sprinkles before but not at this magnitude and let me tell you – there were sprinkles everywhere.
Just when you thought you got it together, that you’re all organized, there will be a sprinkle explosion and sprinkles will be in your hair, under your nails, in every crevice of your kitchen.
But it’s fun! Red was my assistant on bake day and driving her crazy was fun in and of itself.
The best birthday cake ever
Another great thing about a funfetti cake is it’s very forgiving, decorating-wise.
Since you’re covering it up with sprinkles anyway, your frosting does not need to be perfect (it just needs to be even). It will look awesome in the end. And it will make any 3-year old (or anyone, really) feel like the most special person in the world.
Happy birthday my sweet Georgie! I’ll see you soon!
(Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.)
Did you make this funfetti cake? Tell me about it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear about how it went. What’s your all time favourite birthday cake?
Check this out if cupcakes are more your style.
Funfetti Cake: A Very Special Birthday Cake
For the Cake:
- 4 cups sifted cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 4 pieces large eggs room temperature
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk room temperature
- 2 pieces egg whites from large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup sprinkles
For the Frosting:
- 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- Sprinkles for decoration
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F and prep 3 9-inch round baking pans by greasing the bottom and sides. Additionally (and this is optional), you can line the bottom with parchment paper to ensure easy release.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth, light and creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Add sugar and beat on medium-high speed for another 5-7 minutes until very creamy (almost like whipped cream – you cannot see grains of sugar anymore). Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time until each one is well incorporated. Then add vanilla.
- Switch to low speed and add a third of your flour mixture. Then half of your buttermilk. Another third of your flour. The last of your buttermilk then finally the last third of your flour. Make sure each addition is mixed just until incorporated before the next one is added (do not over mix). You will notice the batter will be thick but still smooth and creamy.
- Turn to your egg whites and beat until thick and foamy. Gently fold into your batter. Then gently fold sprinkles.
- Transfer your batter into your prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Switch to low speed and add heavy cream, vanilla, salt and confectioner's sugar (don't add the sugar all at once though; do it gradually, about ½ cup at a time).
- Once everything is incorporated switch to medium-high speed and beat the frosting until you get the consistency you desire. You might need to add more sugar if the frosting is too watery, more cream if the frosting is too thick or more salt if the frosting is too sweet.
- Trim the tops of your cakes if they are uneven using a serrated knife or a cake leveller. The important thing is all three cakes are of equal height.
- Take one and place on a platter or cake turntable, smooth side down (trimmed side up). Evenly cover the top with frosting. Repeat with the 2nd and 3rd layers. For your 3rd layer, remember to place it smooth side up (trimmed side down) so that you’ll have an even top.
- Finish the cake by also covering the sides of your cake with frosting. To help even out the frosting on top and the sides, use a bench scraper and gently scrape away excess frosting.
- Decorate with sprinkles as desired.
- For those of you who have little mixers like me – note that this is a lot of batter. My mixer almost overflowed and I had a few flour explosions so watch out.
- I beat my 2 egg whites by hand and it was the most painful 5 minutes of my life (I have a brand new respect for bakers who whisk eggs by hand all the time). I haven’t whisked eggs by hand again after this. I always turn to my trusty electric hand mixer.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
This looks yummy for my tummy. My daughter is also a baker. She just made some beautiful cakes this weekend as well. Thanks for sharing
Hello! This looks amazing and I am looking to make one just like it for my son’s upcoming birthday! My question is–how did you get the sprinkles on the side of the cake? Thanks!!
Hi Abby! After you’ve put the final coat of frosting on the cake, just take a handful of sprinkles and carefully press onto the cake. Majority should stick 🙂 Then just turn the cake around and do all sides and the top. It takes a bit patience and sprinkles do have a mind of its own sometimes so expect to spend about half an hour just making sure everything is covered. Happy birthday to your son!!
What a delicious and festive looking cake. It would make the perfect complement to a holiday gathering and special birthdays. Yum!
This cake looks so pretty!!! I don’t think I could EVER get the sprinkles to look so nice! haha Great job!
Thanks Tiffany! Sprinkles are actually great to work with, covers all my mistakes 🙂 Have a great day!
This would make my daughter’s life if I baked this for her. She is CRAZY about funfetti. Thank you!
Nice! Hope she likes it!
That is so awesome and pretty and cool looking! I have never heard of or seen a funfetti cake! It looks like a present! It almost looks to good to eat…almost
Hi Taria! Almost. But we must 🙂 LOL! It’s really a wonderful way to treat the birthday celebrant in your life!
This is the perfect cake for any occasion as it brightens everyone’s day.
Oh that’s the way I’d describe it too 🙂 It will really bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Thanks Anita!
This looks delicious and the perfect colourful birthday cake for kids! I’ve never made a cake like this so now I want to try your recipe!
Hi Nellwyn! It’s really not that hard. Just get ready for sprinkles EVERYWHERE lol
It is so happy! Perfect cake for any birthday celebration, especially a three-year-old. Hope he had a great birthday on the other side of the world.
Thanks Crystal! He sure did 🙂
Ana De- Jesus
Wow 20 hours away that is insane still you make so much effort. This little man is going to love his cake.
That is the most gorgeous funfetti cake I have ever seen! I love funfetti and this seems like something I could actualy make!
Hi Neely! Thanks! It’s so fun to make TBH 🙂 I might have enjoyed that better than eating it haha (only just slightly tho). Hope you get to make it soon!
What a bright and cheerful birthday cake that is. I know my little grand niece would just love it.
Thanks Michele! Kids (everyone really!) will love it. Hope your grand niece does.
AMAZING. My husband always jokes that I’m a 5-year old on the inside because I can’t get enough rainbow sprinkles in my life! I love them so so much. I think I love them more now as an adult than I did as a tot!
Hi Divya! Sprinkles are fun at any age! And this cake is full of it, hope you can make it. So much fun!
Cakes seems to be very yummy and pretty. I am fond of trying new recipes and i will sure try this cake shortly. Thanks for sharing this ultimate Funfetti Cake 🙂