Rainbow Funfetti Cake Recipe

funfetti cake recipe from scratch

If you’d have asked me what my favorite kind of cake was as a kid, I would reply without hesitation that it was Funfetti (specifically the Pillsbury box mix) with the canned rainbow chip frosting to match. The frosting came with a little pouch of rainbow chips that you could mix in by hand, so it felt like a fun little project. To this day, Funfetti cake remains my most popular flavor request from people of all ages, and for all kinds of events (even weddings!). There’s something about the sprinkles baked right into the cake that gets people jazzed, and for good reason. It’s basically a party waiting to happen!

funfetti cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

funfetti cake by sugar and sparrow

Although I’ve swapped the canned Funfetti frosting for homemade, I’ve never been happier. This cake pairs so well with a variety of frostings since it’s a vanilla-based cake (specifically, my vanilla cake recipe with sprinkles folded in at the end!). In the past, I’ve topped it with buttercream flavors like vanilla, almond, cream cheese, raspberry and chocolate. Basically anything that pairs well with vanilla cake will go perfectly.

funfetti cake from scratch by sugar and sparrow

how to decorate cakes with fancy sprinkles

As far as sprinkles go, you’ll want to stick with very basic rainbow sprinkles called jimmies (the elongated kind, pictured below). I buy mine from the bulk section at the grocery store (such a great discovery!), and although you might be tempted to use fancier sprinkles or nonpareils I would not recommend it because many sprinkles tend to bleed their colors once they’re mixed into the batter. Trust me, I know from experience that some sprinkles can either tye dye your cake or turn it a weird green color. Your cheap-o rainbow jimmy sprinkles will be perfect for adding that pop of color without the colors bleeding, and with the inside of the cake looking so pretty, you can save the fancy ones for the outside. 

Another thing about the sprinkles: I recently learned that coating them with a little all purpose flour keeps them perfectly suspended in the cake batter! You’ll notice 1 1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour at the end of the recipe below, and that little bit of flour is every bit important for confetti-esque cake layers.

best sprinkles for homemade funfetti cake

funfetti cake from scratch recipe

As far as decorating goes, the sky is the limit! To keep with the funfetti theme, I’ve used some Fancy Sprinkles in the Roller Disco mix on the outside of the cake to give it a fun, celebratory look. I added a few buttercream swirls with my Wilton 1M tip to the top, sprinkled generously, and called it a funfetti masterpiece. However you decide to decorate, slicing into this cake is like getting the party started.

how to decorate a cake with sprinkles

5 from 1 vote

Funfetti Cake Recipe

The perfect party cake for all ages! Soft and fluffy vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles baked right in.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices


  • 3 3/4 cups (398g) cake flour, sifted before measuring*
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/8 cup (254g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cup (513g) granulated white sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (168g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup (360ml) whole milk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (142g) rainbow sprinkles (jimmies work best)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with a cooking spray (Baker's Joy is my favorite) and a wax paper circle fitted to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can grease and lightly flour the pans. 

  2. Sift the cake flour and then measure by spooning and leveling it in your measuring cup. Add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. 

  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer (a handheld mixer works fine too!), cream the butter for on high for two minutes until it's light and fluffy. Add in sugar and continue to mix on medium-high for another two minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix for one minute on high, scraping down the bowl and paddle once more. 

  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the milk slowly and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and give it a few stirs to make sure there are no lumps. 

  5. In a small bowl, coat the rainbow sprinkles with 1 1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour. Then, gently fold the flour-coated rainbow sprinkles into the cake batter by hand. The batter will be slightly thick, but pourable.

  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pans (no more than 2/3 of the way full) and bake for 35-40 minutes. They're done when they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for five minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack for an additional few hours of cooling. Make sure they're entirely room temperature before applying any frosting.

Recipe Notes

*DIY Cake Flour Recipe: To make your own cake flour, spoon and level one cup of all-purpose flour and remove 2 Tbsp. Add 2 Tbsp of cornstarch. Repeat per the amount of cake flour you need, then sift the flour and cornstarch mixture 4 times (don't skip that step!)After sifting, spoon and level to re-measure the amount of cake flour you need. 

Make ahead tip: These cakes can be baked, cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap, and left out at room temperature up to two days ahead of decorating. Unfrosted cake layers can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to two months before thawing and frosting. 


    • Hi Aya! I have never substituted anything for the sour cream before. My hunch is that buttercream will be too much liquid since sour cream is more the consistency of yogurt. If you don’t have access to sour cream, I’d recommend substituting it for a full fat yogurt or omitting the sour cream and using buttermilk in place of the whole milk instead. Let me know if that helps!

  1. Hi Whitney! I am making a 4 layer 8″ cake for halloween and I wanted to ask if this recipe is ok for 2 8″ pans? Or should I stick with the basic recipe that you have for your vanilla cake? Thank you!

    • Hi Jasmine! This funfetti recipe will make enough for two 8″ layers (plus a little left over). If you want to be more exact, you could double the basic vanilla cake recipe to make four 8 inch layers and fold in 1 cup of rainbow sprinkles total at the end. The funfetti cake is my basic vanilla cake recipe with added sprinkles 🙂 I hope your Halloween cake turns out amazing!

  2. Hi
    Just wondering if you can tell me what 1 cup is equalavent to in grams?
    Would appreciate this very much

    • Hi Diana! Knowing the weight of 1 cup in grams depends on the ingredient (1 cup of cake flour will weigh less in grams than sugar, for instance). I just bought my first kitchen scale and am currently working on converting all of my recipes to grams this week! I’ll make an announcement as soon as they’ve all been converted. Sorry for any inconvenience and make sure you’re signed up for my email list to catch the announcement first thing!

  3. Julianna Macari

    I tried to make this cake twice and had the same problem each time…it is hard to describe. The cake has a good rise, is completely cooked on the outside, but from the middle bubbles out cake batter that is raw and seeps onto the top of the cake without cooking. I’m sure I’ve done something wrong, but I have no idea what it is. I thought I followed the directions exactly!

    • Hi Julianna! I’m so sorry that’s happening! Usually when the cake is raw or gummy on the inside, it can mean two things: you need to bake it a few minutes longer (until a toothpick inserted comes out completely clean), or something went wrong while creaming the butter and sugar together. Make sure your butter is room temp and soft before starting the creaming process, and try creaming the butter and sugar on medium-high (instead of full blast) for only two minutes. I hear that creaming for too long can lead to too much air incorporation, leading to gummy streaks inside the cake even though its baked.

  4. I’m making a three layer 10 inch cake for a birthday. Should I just double the recipe or do you have another suggestion?

  5. What’s the best grocery store cake flour to buy? I have found unbleached cake flour..so many options.

    • Hi Cindy! I have only ever used Softasilk and Swans Down, which are both enriched bleached cake flours, but I am sure that unbleached is great! Sounds healthier 🙂

  6. Hi Whitney

    So glad I stumbled across your blog, it’s amazing! I’m planning to make a 3 layer 6 inch cake using this recipe (minus the jimmies) and I’m wondering since I only have 2 tins if the third lot of batter can sit while the first 2 cakes are baking? If so, do I leave it at room temp or refrigerate it?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Kirsten! Thanks so much for the kind words! The batter can definitely sit at room temperature while the first two layers are baking. Just cover the top of the mixing bowl with saran wrap and then when you’re ready to bake the third layer, give the batter a stir before pouring it into the tin.

  7. How did you get the sprinkles to attach to the sides of the cake in such a perfect pattern? Especially the upper part where they are sparse…did you toss them onto the frosting one at a time? And the bottom part where they are thicker…?

    • Hi Donna! To add sprinkles to the cake finish, I make sure the buttercream is still slightly wet for the sprinkles to adhere. I place them by the handful around the base of the cake, then place them one by one on the upper part of the cake by pressing the sprinkle onto my finger and touching it to the cake finish. Here’s a video of the process with a different cake, but the same technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hWwaFvcYHY

  8. Adriane Potilechio

    Do you have a go to butter cream recipe? I usually make either a whipped cream frosting, or a cream cheese frosting. But I think these would be too soft and the sprinkles would just get absorbed into them…..thoughts?

  9. Mackenzie

    I made this cake in two 8in round pans and at the end I found that all my jimmies went to the bottom of my cake! How can I prevent that?

    • Hi Mackenzie! Sorry to hear your jimmies sunk to the bottom of the cake. That doesn’t usually happen with the jimmies I use, but I did read a tip recently about preventing the sprinkles from sinking in a funfetti cake: add the sprinkles to a bowl and coat them with 1.5 tbsp of flour before gently folding them into the batter. You can use cake flour or all purpose flour for that part. Apparently it keeps them from sinking!

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