Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake or Cupcakes
Don't let the sprinkles fool you. This moist and tender all-butter Funfetti Cake is more than just a pretty face with a party attitude. For all it's lighthearted whimsy, this is one of the most seriously delicious cakes I've ever eaten.
Very slowly, put down the Funfetti Cake mix box and no one will get hurt.
I have a couple of friends who shall remain nameless who really love those boxes of Funfetti Cake. You know who you are, and right now, I'm speaking to YOU.
I know you've got a lot going on and that baking a cake from scratch seems like a lot to ask. But you've got to trust me on this. THIS cake is just so much better than those boxes you've been buying AND it's seriously easy to make. Put down the mix and we can still be friends. 😁
In truth, this Funfetti Cake Recipe is basically the same recipe I use to make these super simple 1-hour Buttermilk Caramel Cupcakes. I started there because, well, those cupcakes rock. They are dead simple to make and so delicious they've become my go-to cupcake recipe.
The secret to the irresistible deliciousness of those cupcakes and this Funfetti Cake is buttermilk and butter.
Wanna make a really, really good cake? Two words: Buttermilk and Butter.
Buttermilk is one of those magical ingredients I have in my refrigerator at all times. Not only is it the secret behind the best roast chicken you will every have, it makes cakes, cornbread, pancakes, and waffles dreamily fluffy, tender, and moist.
Perhaps most importantly, buttermilk adds flavor.
You know what else adds flavor to cake? Butter.
There are those that feel Funfetti Cake must be perfectly white. I just can't climb onboard that train. I also don't subscribe to the idea that vanilla cake must be perfectly white, so this is not a surprise. If you want a cake to be super white, the batter must contain all white ingredients. In other words, butter and egg yolks and plenty of vanilla are not allowed.
I really love egg yolks and butter and lots of vanilla in my cake because those ingredients add flavor. And, I care about the flavor of my cake more than the color. Also, I think the off-white pale yellow color of this Funfetti Cake is lovely.
Let's talk sprinkles.
Recently, while talking with my mom, one of my daughters casually mentioned the giant box of sprinkles we have sitting on a book shelf, a true fact that my mom found hilarious. I think it struck her funny bone largely because of the casual way my daughter referenced it. Kinda like...
"What??? You don't have a giant box full of bottles of sprinkle on the top of your bookshelf? You don't regularly have to pry multi-colored sprinkles out of the tread of your tennis shoes? Weird."
But honestly. Having a box of about 50 different kinds of sprinkles available to me at all times is kind of awesome. I feel like, since you are reading a post about funfetti cake, you probably get it.
I mean, if I want to (and I do), I can make a big tray of cupcakes and top each one with a different mix of sprinkles.
Life is good.
What kind of sprinkles are the right kind of sprinkles for Funfetti Cake?
We need to distinguish between the sprinkles you want to use inside your Funfetti Cake and the sprinkles you want to use on the outside of your Funfetti Cake to decorate it.
Inside the cake: Even though I have a super awesome sprinkle collection, most of the bottles are the decorating kind of sprinkles rather than the kind that work well in cake batter. Do NOT use those little balls (also called nonpareils) in Funfetti Cake batter.
When you mix nonpareils into Funfetti Cake batter, the color bleeds and gives the batter a kind of grey-ish color. What you want to use inside the cake batter is rainbow sprinkles (also called jimmies).
Also, there's a whole cup of sprinkles in there. If you're buying your sprinkles in little bottles, that means you're going to need several. OR - Amazon has this awesome giant jar of rainbow sprinkles that works perfectly in the batter. You'll have plenty for this cake PLUS plenty left, giving you the perfect excuse to make Funfetti Cake again and again. And again. 🙌
Outside the cake: This is easy. Use whatever kind of sprinkles you like to decorate your Funfetti Cake. In fact, if you like (and I do), use aaaaaalllll the sprinkles. 🎉
Used in this Funfetti Cake recipe:
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- Rainbow Sprinkles (Jimmies)
- Three 8-inch round cake pans
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer
- Sprinkle Mix! <-- this is just one sprinkle mix I love on Amazon. There are many other mixes available.
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If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
Don't let the sprinkles fool you. This moist and tender all-butter Funfetti Cake is one of the most delicious cakes I've ever eaten.
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature (Here's how to separate eggs.)
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 cup rainbow sprinkles (also called jimmies)
Frost Funfetti Cake or Cupcakes with:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper that is also slathered with a bit of butter or shortening. (Step-by-step instructions for preparing cake pans.) If making cupcakes, line cupcake pans with paper liners. (This recipe makes 30 cupcakes. *See note.)
- Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until completely combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 2 of the eggs. Beat on high until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the other 2 eggs plus the egg yolk. Beat on high until the eggs are fully incorporate and the batter is perfectly smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour and buttermilk in alternating additions: ¼ of the flour, ⅓ of the buttermilk, ¼ of the flour, ⅓ of the buttermilk, ¼ of the flour, the last of the buttermilk, and the last of the flour. After each addition, mix on low speed just long enough to barely incorporate. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl a time or two.
- Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to gently stir the sprinkles into the batter, stirring just long enough to evenly distribute them.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or cupcake cups. (*See note.)
- Bake cake layers for 33 - 38 minutes. Bake cupcakes for 23 - 26 minutes. To check for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of one of the cake layers or cupcakes. Remove the toothpick and look for signs of raw batter. If only cake crumbs stick to the toothpick, the cake is done.
- Remove from the oven and place the pans on wire racks. Let cool for 5 minutes, then gently turn them out of the pans onto the wire racks to cool completely. Or, gently lift the cupcakes from the pan, setting them on the wire racks. If you don’t plan on frosting the cake or cupcakes soon after they cool, wrap each layer tightly with plastic wrap, or put the cupcakes in zip top bags. The cake or cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months.
- If you only have one or two cupcake pans, bake the cupcakes in shifts. It can be useful to fill the cupcakes all at once so that you know you’re filling them evenly – just set extra paper liners on the counter top and distribute the batter evenly amongst all 30 cupcakes.
Keywords: Funfetti Cake, funfetti cupcakes, birthday cake, layer cake, cake from scratch