Funfetti Birthday Cake

Nothing says a celebration like a funfetti cake! This from scratch Funfetti Birthday Cake bakes in a 9×13 pan for a quick and easy dessert.

Funfetti cake has become the iconic birthday cake over the past 30 years. It’s best known as a white cake with sprinkles, but it has found its way into other desserts and foods such as angel food cake and pancakes.

And although funfetti truffle bars and ice cream sandwiches are fun, what you really need in your recipe box is a homemade funfetti cake that will be the perfect addition to all of your celebrations. This is the best cake for a birthday!

a piece of birthday cake on a plate with a candle

Why you’ll love this cake:

  • 100% homemade cake and frosting.
  • Moist, rich texture and amazing flavor in this white sprinkle cake.
  • Creamy vanilla buttercream that spreads nicely and has good flavor.
  • Showcased as a sheet cake, but make cupcakes or a layer cake if you’d like.

Is funfetti cake just vanilla cake with sprinkles?

Yes, it sure is! Pillsbury introduced the Funfetti Cake to use back in 1989 and the world has been in love ever since. There’s just something about colorful sprinkles that make us smile.

Key Ingredients:

  • Cake flour. You can use all purpose flour if you’d like, but cake flour gives a lighter texture and crumb. The most important thing is to measure the flour, lightly spoon it into a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. Don’t pack the flour in or the cake will be dry.
  • Baking powder. Buy aluminum free baking powder. If you ever have a metallic taste to your baked goods that have baking powder, it is most likely the aluminum in the baking powder causing it. Check your labels!
  • Butter. You can use salted or unsalted butter. We’ve found it doesn’t make too much difference. But we generally use salted.
  • Eggs. Room temperature eggs blend in more easily than cold eggs. Large eggs are standard.
  • 2% milk. Whole milk works as well. I wouldn’t recommend using skim milk.
  • Heavy cream. Use heavy cream when making buttercream frostings. It adds richness and makes the frosting smooth and delicious.
a half eaten piece of birthday cake on a plate

How to Make Funfetti Birthday Cake

This cake is best served within 24 hours of making it. Frost the cake as soon as it has cooled so that it seals in the freshness of the cake.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13×9 baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy (1-2 minutes).
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  • Add vanilla. Then, with mixer running on low, alternately add milk and dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. The batter will be thick as you can see in the pictures below.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 35-45 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2 minutes until it is almost white in color. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, but not melted.
  • Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 tablespoons cream. Beat on low speed for 3-5 minutes, adding in the last tablespoon or two of milk if the buttercream needs to be thinner.
  • Fold in the sprinkles, then spread on the cooled cake.
vanilla frosting dolloped on a cake

Recipe Variations:

  • Use any color sprinkles you’d like. Red, white and blue, Christmas, pastels for spring…anything!
  • Use buttermilk instead of milk in the cake for additional flavor.
  • Try almond flavoring instead of vanilla. Or use a little of both!
  • Get creative with the frosting. Try cream cheese frosting or strawberry frosting for a twist.
a closeup of a piece of funfetti birthday cake on a plate
a closeup of a piece of funfetti birthday cake on a plate

Funfetti Birthday Cake

5 from 6 votes
Nothing says a celebration like a funfetti cake! This from scratch Funfetti Birthday Cake bakes in a 9×13 pan for a quick and easy dessert.
Servings 15
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Cake:

  • 3 cups cake flour lightly spooned into cup and leveled
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder aluminum free
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup colorful sprinkles

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup salted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Instructions
 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13×9 baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy (1-2 minutes).
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  • Add vanilla. Then, with mixer running on low, alternately add milk and dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 35-45 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2 minutes until it is almost white in color. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, but not melted.
  • Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 tablespoons cream. Beat on low speed for 3-5 minutes, adding in the last tablespoon or two of milk if the buttercream needs to be thinner.
  • Fold in the sprinkles.
  • Spread on cooled cake and sprinkle with additional sprinkles if desired.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 904IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 602
Keyword 9×13 cake, birthday, sheet cake

About Julie Clark

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5 stars
Made this cake yesterday and it’s absolutely divine!everyone in the house loved it. I put less sugar than stated and it was sweet enough. Definitely using this recipe again!