Funfetti Cake

September 4, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Flour: I often make my own cake flour, using the measurements here: http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2012/1/10/tuesday-tip-how-to-make-cake-flour.html. Also, if you like a denser cake, you can substitute out 1 cup of cake flour and replace with 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Vanilla: McCormick's clear imitation vanilla will give you that nostalgic flavor, reminiscent of a boxed cake.

Sprinkles: Use bright ones! I have found that naturally-dyed sprinkles can lose their color when baked.
molly yeh

Serves: 10 to 14

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons clear imitation vanilla (I use McCormick's --see headnote)
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (see headnote)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sprinkles (see headnote)

Frosting

  • 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
In This Recipe

Directions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Cut out circles of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pans. Lightly spray the parchment.
  2. With an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Mix in the vanilla and oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With your mixer running on low, add this to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Once you have a smooth batter, fold in the 2/3 cup of sprinkles.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sprinkles over the top and bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at around 25 minutes.
  5. Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pans and then flip them onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the colorful bunting, knead food coloring (liquid or gel) into marzipan, cut out triangles, and stick them onto the cake.

Frosting

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
  2. Frost your cake and enjoy!

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Reviews (78) Questions (3)

78 Reviews

Lauren D. August 7, 2018
This is childhood summed up in one perfectly sweet bite! The cake is spot on for funfetti "flavor" with the use of the imitation vanilla extract. The buttercream is good too, but I'm personally not a huge fan of American buttercream. A go-to party cake for sure and it's so easy to make.
 
Crystal R. May 31, 2018
I’m baking challenged. Made this recipe and it was perfect. Also, check out her website for an updated version of the recipe. <br />
 
SPark0101 April 8, 2018
Does anyone have a recipe that uses the 4 egg yolks generated from this cake recipe?
 
Kasey C. April 9, 2018
Not a recipe, really, but sometimes I add an egg yolk to cooked pudding. Mostly, depending how many, I add them to scrambled eggs - makes them a bit richer. I have been known to do a "cheater's poach" of a couple of egg yolks so they are cooked but soft enough to dip toast into. Sometimes I indulge myself... ;-)
 
gabby November 15, 2017
I doubled the recipe to make enough for a class of fourth graders. Didn't need to double -- 41 cupcakes and and 8-inch round. I changed the vanilla from 2T to 2t and then added after mixing because 2t wasn't enough.
 
Kasey C. November 15, 2017
I have to agree about the additional vanilla. It's a rule of thumb with me to double the amount of vanilla called for in most recipes, whether it's the traditional extract or the more upscale paste. I've been doing that for years and never run into a situation where it was "too much vanilla." (Though perhaps I should specify that I'm talking primarily baked goods.)
 
Robyn G. April 22, 2017
are any alterations necessary to make this into cupcakes? thank you!
 
saramarsh March 9, 2017
Would there be an adjustment to making these cupcakes or one 8" cake (there's only two of us) and the rest into cupcakes? Can someone give an assist here? Thank you in advance!
 
gabby November 15, 2017
Easier to make the full amount and freeze a round. If you want to make cupcakes, make it the same, cook about half to two-thirds the time.
 
Sara November 7, 2016
I made this cake for my 3 year old daughter's birthday party. It was a big hit! Not only did it look great, but it tasted even better! I ignored the comments about the frosting being too sweet as the ratios seemed fine to me, and I'm really glad I did! It was delicious and was easy to frost. The marzipan bunting sat very nicely on it. I didn't have white vanilla extract, so just used regular, and the sparkles still stood out nicely.
 
Sara November 7, 2016
I mean sprinkles! I did not use sparkles ;)
 
Emily September 29, 2016
You mention all purpose flour on your original blog but the recipe here doesn't call for it. What gives?
 
Erica T. October 6, 2016
If you click more under "Author's Notes" in the beginning, she explains that you can substitute some of the cake flour with AP flour if you want a denser cake.
 
Shelby R. September 26, 2016
absolutely fantastic cake! Everyone loved it. So rich and filling
 
Cookie M. August 23, 2016
How would I adjust the recipe for cupcakes?
 
Grace July 26, 2016
Yum! I love super moist cake, and I find that buttermilk/sour cream make moister cakes than whole milk. Could I use one of those instead of whole milk?
 
Kasey C. July 27, 2016
I've not tried that myself, Grace, but you've certainly given me an idea. The next time I make a cake I will use this recipe but sub buttermilk for the whole milk and see how it compares. (I'm willing to try the sour cream, too, but I think it could alter the texture more and I'd rather try the buttermilk first.)
 
Nessa J. May 18, 2016
I must be the only one ever who had their funfetti cake fall flat. Have not dug in yet as its for a birthday tomorrow. I'm compensating the volume with extra frosting and hoping it tastes good. Anyone else had theirs fall flat? I know my baking powder is good, I just used it a couple of days ago, and I had a light and fluffy batter.
 
Kasey C. May 18, 2016
A couple of questions, Nessa - what's the texture of the cake like? Dry, coarse, fine, dense--? Are you sure you added the amount of baking powder called for? Is it possible your oven calibration has gone off? Those are the first things that came to mind...
 
Jessica February 22, 2017
I've made this recipe twice and had the same issue. Ingredients were all fresh, and oven properly calibrated.
 
Jess April 6, 2016
This recipe ruled. Baked it for a dinner potluck and it got demolished in 5 minutes. I tried it, and was obsessed with the density, fine crumb, and flavor. You're the queen.
 
Holly F. October 24, 2015
What is the gorgeous brown sprinkled topping on this GORGEOUS funfetti cake?? Please do tell!
 
Holly F. October 24, 2015
Wilton's gold sanding sugar from Michaels for anybody wondering:) j found the answer with a bit more digging.
 
cschaefer October 7, 2015
How would I adjust the measurements for two 9" cake pans? The 8" is just slightly smaller than what I need.
 
kenzie August 31, 2015
I have made this cake four times for friends/family birthdays. It has been a huge hit. I have substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil every time and it has been amazing. Does anyone know how far ahead you can make the cake? Is two days too long? Could I freeze it? Thanks!
 
Abby September 4, 2015
I am going to freeze mine... I've made before and loved it- so I will let you know how the frozen version turns out!
 
Sara October 23, 2015
I always freeze cakes before baking to make them easier to frost. You could definitely make this a week in advance without issue and frost before serving.
 
Katie August 18, 2015
I've made this a few times now and it's been great. Only comment is to check the ingredients on your sprinkles. I like the sprinkles to melt in the cake for bright colored spots. If the sprinkles have too much wax, they don't melt. I didn't like the texture with crunchy sprinkles. I switched to bright colored nonpareils instead and it was so much better. Also I skipped the frosting recipe entirely and used my grandmothers chocolate icing recipe instead. I just prefer chocolate frosting to vanilla. :-)
 
vivian July 22, 2015
I've made this cake twice in day now and both times turned out rather undone. the first time at 30 minutes mark the center still jiggle like a pudding and I left it in the oven for a total of 50 minute and the base was still soggy... the second time looked more promising but at 35 minutes mark the toothpick still came out with lumps. I used 2 standard 8" rings baked at 180 degree celsius and I've tried using granulated sugar the first time and then caster sugar the second. Am I missing something? :(
 
Kasey C. July 22, 2015
Vivian - there may be several factors at work. Are you in the UK? I'm American but live in Britain. Flours can be different here, as the textures and blends often differ. And of course the measuring systems can be different. If you're determined to make this cake, it may take several trial-and-error attempts. Before I tinkered with the ingredients or measurements, the first thing I'd try is using 9" pans instead of 8" pans. That may be sufficient to enable the batter to cook / dry out without having to change anything else. :-)
 
Babuji P. June 8, 2015
I made this for some friends with kids and it turned out very sweet, but delicious & so pretty!
 
Jamie C. May 21, 2015
I made this for a baby shower...I went with a different frosting recipe because this one is just too much butter and not enough powdered sugar, which I thought resulted in a weird taste/texture. The cake was good but the cake flour makes the texture almost like powder and a little dry in my opinion. I made it twice and had the same results. Beautiful looking though.
 
nutcakes August 14, 2016
In this case a soaking syrup make be a good call. Most use simple syrup with a flavoring, but Christina Tosi uses whole milk and vanilla in her funfetti cake.