The last thing you want to give someone for their birthday is a dry, lackluster cake. Luckily, with this recipe, that won’t be the case. This Homemade Funfetti Cake is not only delightfully cheery thanks to an abundance of sprinkles, but it is the moistest, tenderest, most flavorful vanilla cake you (or anyone else in the room) has ever laid tastebuds on.
This easy vanilla cake batter comes together in one pan, and bakes up pillowy soft thanks to a foolproof combination of ingredients! Top it with a fluffy white frosting dotted with rainbow sprinkles, and you’ve got a cake worthy of any celebration!
Now, you can give your loved ones the gift of fun in edible form, and it won’t take you all day in the kitchen either. Forget the fussy layers and a counter full of pans. With this easy Funfetti Sheet Cake Recipe, one pan and one layer of icing is all you need.
HOW DO YOU MAKE HOMEMADE FUNFETTI CAKE?
First things first, preheat the oven to 350°F and have a 9×13″ pan greased and ready to rock. Nonstick metal pans and glass baking dishes will work best for this cake recipe.
1. SIFT THE DRY INGREDIENTS
You can get by with a whisk, but taking the time to sift the dry ingredients actually makes a difference in how light and tender your cake turns out. If you have time, it’s worth the extra minute or two! Sift the dry ingredients over a medium-sized mixing bowl, set it aside, and move on to the wet ingredients.
2. CREAM THE BUTTER AND SUGAR
Here is another important step! Make sure your butter is room temperature before you add the sugar so you can get some nice volume going on in the bowl!
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl, and using a handheld mixer, mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color, about 3-5 minutes. If you have a stand mixer, it will make a total breeze of this task. If ever there were a time to use it, it’s now!
3. ADD OIL, EGGS, SOUR CREAM, AND VANILLA
Add the oil and mix it in until well-blended. Then, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Make sure those eggs are fully incorporated before adding the next one in! Then, add the sour cream and the vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl using a silicone spatula and mix once more. Scraping down the sides of the bowl ensures your Funfetti Cake Batter is evenly mixed and perfectly smooth!
4. ALTERNATE ADDING DRY INGREDIENTS WITH BUTTERMILK
With the mixer now on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 rounds, alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl, and mix once more.
5. ADD THE SPRINKLES, BAKE, AND COOL
Fold in the Jimmie sprinkles and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth over the top and bake for 28-32 minutes. Be sure to check the cake at the 28-minute mark so you do not risk overcooking it! Then, set the cake aside to cool completely on a wire rack before icing it.
DON’T FORGET THE FROSTING
Funfetti Frosting can really be any flavor you want it to be, but vanilla is by far the most popular. The sprinkles will show better in white frosting, and it was, for this reason, I’m all about the vanilla too.
To make a full-flavored, fluffy vanilla frosting for Funfetti Cake, you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand:
- Unsalted Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Jimmie Sprinkles
The most important note on making Funfetti Frosting from scratch is that the butter really, truly must be at room temperature. You cannot make a fluffy frosting with cold, nor melted butter.
ROOM TEMPERATURE BUTTER HACK
If you forgot to set out the butter, all is not lost. Often times, to reheat butter in a pinch, I’ll place the stick (or sticks) on a plate and microwave it at 10-second intervals, turning the stick after each go-round.
You’ll know the butter is room temperature when it is soft, pliable to the touch, but not melted.
Usually, after about 30 seconds or so, I’ve got room temperature butter, perfect for making frosting or cake batter.
HOW TO MAKE FLUFFY FUNFETTI FROSTING
The more air you whip into butter, the fluffier the frosting for your Funfetti Cake will be. So, to kick things off, you’ll first beat the butter.
1. BEAT THE BUTTER
You can use either a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task. Then, add the room temperature butter to the bowl and mix it on medium-high speed for 2-4 minutes, until it is smooth and almost doubled in volume.
2. ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS
Once your butter is nice and fluffed up, it’s time to add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Begin mixing on low so you don’t end up covered in sugar. Once the sugar is mostly incorporated, you can increase the speed to medium-high. Mix for about 2 minutes more, until the whole shebang is light and fluffy.
Now, time to turn vanilla frosting into Funfetti Frosting. Add the Jimmie sprinkles! Do this with the mixer on low and stop as soon as the sprinkles are evenly distributed.
The last step in creating your Funfetti Cake masterpiece is to spread that dreamy homemade icing across the top of the cake. I know it’s tough, but you must wait until the cake is completely cool to the touch to add the frosting!
I’ve found the easiest way to ice a sheet cake is to add mounds of icing down the center of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges. Then, finish it off with another handful of colorful Jimmie sprinkles, cut it into 16 slices, serve, and thoroughly enjoy!
WHAT FLAVOR IS FUNFETTI CAKE?
The flavor of Funfetti Cake is distinctly vanilla. If you were using a boxed cake mix to whip one up in a pinch, you could get by with using either white or yellow cake mix.
CAN YOU ADD SPRINKLES TO CAKE MIX?
Yes! You can add sprinkles to cake mix. For one standard-sized cake, you can add anywhere from a 1/3 cup to a 1/2 cup of Jimmie sprinkles.
The more sprinkles you use, the closer all of those little colorful dots will be once the cake is cut into. If you have too many, there won’t be as much contrast and the colors won’t show as well.
CAN I USE NONPAREILS IN FUNFETTI CAKE?
Can you? Yes. Should you? Definitely not. You should use Jimmie sprinkles (the plump, elongated sprinkles) for making Funfetti Cake. These sprinkles will disperse more evenly throughout the batter and show more vividly when the cake is cut into slices.
However, you can certainly use nonpareil sprinkles on top of the icing if you’d like!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
It’s best to avoid any surprises when it comes to baking a cake. Have your tools and ingredients out and ready for use! The tools you will need for making this cake are as follows:
- 9×13″ baking or casserole dish (preferably metal or glass)
- Mesh sieve or flour sifter
- Handheld or stand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring pitcher
- Silicone spatula
- Offset icing spatula or knife
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED FOR BAKING FROM SCRATCH
This Homemade Funfetti Cake Recipe was tested over and over again. It is extremely versatile, and can be used in any recipe that calls for a yellow cake mix! You’ll find it not only yields an irresistibly soft and delicate crumb, but it also stays moist for days!
Cake flour makes for a softer and more delicate crumb and is better structured for baked goods with a high sugar-to-flour ratio (like a cake) because of a special bleaching process.
This recipe calls for both baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda is much stronger than baking powder and if the two quantities are mixed up, it could cause your cake to sink in the middle so be careful when you’re taking your measurements!
Unsalted butter is supreme for adding flavor to cakes and oil ensures the cake bakes up perfectly moist! You can use any type of flavorless oil — canola, avocado, or vegetable oil would all work fine. However, be sure you use only unsalted butter!
BUTTERMILK AND SOUR CREAM
Sour cream and buttermilk also help to keep the cake tender. The acid in each of these ingredients has an amazing tenderizing effect on baked goods. Not to mention, they add a ton of flavor!
Sugar is good for more than just sweetness; it too is a tenderizer in baked goods! You will need granulated sugar for the base of your Funfetti Cake batter!
Make sure you have 3 large eggs on hand for this recipe. They serve as structure builders, binders, tenderizers, and even add richness to the cake thanks to those creamy yolks! It’s best if they’re at room temperature when added to the batter, but to be quite honest, it’s not the end of the world if they aren’t.
VANILLA AND SALT
Although added in small quantities, pure vanilla extract and salt actually make a huge difference when it comes to the flavor of your cake.
This recipe calls for fine sea salt and it’s what I always use in my baked goods. If you only have standard iodized table salt, cut the quantity back to 1 teaspoon and proceed with the recipe.
Last but not least, we’ve come to the best part — the sprinkles! For the batter, you want to use Jimmie sprinkles. Jimmies are those elongated, soft sprinkles that look like a party in a bottle and there’s no doubt they put the fun in Funfetti Cake!
You will need almost an entire cup of Jimmies for this cake, so be sure you’ll have enough on hand when you go to make your purchase. You will likely need 2 bottles to fill the quota.
5 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Homemade Funfetti Cake has never been easier. One pan and one layer of frosting is all you need for an unforgettably festive and delicious birthday cake!
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup rainbow-colored Jimmie sprinkles
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup rainbow-colored Jimmie sprinkles, separated
Preheat the oven to 350°F and have ready a greased 9x13" baking dish, preferably metal or glass.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and using a handheld mixer, mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color (about 3-5 minutes). You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task.
Add the oil and mix until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream and the vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl using a silicone spatula and mix once more.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 rounds, alternating with the buttermilk (adding it in 2 rounds). Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl, and mix once more.
Fold in 1/3 cup Jimmie sprinkles and transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth over the top. Bake for 28-32 minutes (checking at the 28-minute mark). Set the cake aside to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the frosting, you will need a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter to the bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 2-4 minutes, smooth and almost doubled in volume.
Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and begin mixing on low. Once the sugar is mostly incorporated, you can begin mixing on medium-high. Mix for 2 minutes more, until light and fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of Jimmie sprinkles and mix on low until evenly distributed.
Spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake and finish it off with the remaining 1/4 cup of Jimmie sprinkles. Cut into 16 slices, serve, and enjoy!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE CAKE IS DONE:
The cake is ready when the center of it springs back ever so slightly after a gentle poke or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it.