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This confetti cake with rainbow chip frosting is jam-packed with birthday cake nostalgia! It’s a rich and fluffy vanilla layer cake brimming with colorful sprinkles and finished with the best creamy homemade rainbow chip frosting.
Homemade Confetti Cake with Rainbow Chip Frosting
When you close your eyes and picture the quintessential birthday cake, chances are good that you picture a confetti cake! Back in the day, we made ours from a boxed Funfetti cake mix.
If you also grew up eating and loving classic funfetti birthday cake, you’re going to love this homemade version. This is a soft and sweet white cake loaded with rainbow sprinkles, covered with the creamiest copycat rainbow chip frosting. It’s extra delicious and extra colorful!
Making this cake from scratch means that the texture is richer, the flavor is better, and you can customize your frosting and add-ins any way that you’d like.
Why You’ll Love This Confetti Cake Recipe
- From-scratch. You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to recreate a classic confetti cake from scratch using basic pantry ingredients plus a special ingredient or two.
- Funfetti cake just like you remember it. This cake and frosting combo brings back so many memories of childhood birthdays. Like a boxed Funfetti cake, only better.
- Rich and fluffy cake crumb. The texture of the cake is fluffy and moist thanks to oil and buttermilk.
What Is Funfetti?
Funfetti cake is just another name for a confetti cake. In fact, the only difference is that “Funfetti” is a name trademarked by Pillsbury. Confetti cake is traditionally a white or vanilla cake filled with rainbow sprinkles that look a lot like a shower of confetti.
I outline the key ingredients you’ll need to make a homemade confetti cake below. Don’t forget to refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post with the full recipe amounts and details.
- Granulated Sugar
- Oil and Butter – Using vegetable oil in place of butter in cake recipes makes the crumb ultra-moist and tender. I still include a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter to richen up the flavor.
- Eggs – Two whole eggs bring structure to the cake, plus 2 egg yolks for extra richness.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Sour Cream – Adding sour cream to cakes makes the texture super soft and moist. If you don’t have sour cream, use plain Greek yogurt instead.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk adds a subtle tanginess and even more richness to this funfetti cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, it’s easy enough to make a buttermilk substitute using regular milk and something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar.
- Sprinkles – You can’t have a funfetti cake without rainbow sprinkles! You can use any color combination you’d like, just make sure they’re the type of sprinkles that won’t bleed color into the cake. See below for details.
- Unsalted butter and full-fat cream cheese– For the frosting, make sure these are at room temperature
- Powdered Sugar
- White Chocolate Bar – For the homemade rainbow chips, I recommend using a white chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips!
What Type of Sprinkles Are Best for Funfetti Cake?
The best sprinkles for confetti cakes and cupcakes are the “rods”, also called rainbow jimmies. Avoid using nonpareils (the tiny round balls), as they tend to bleed their color into the batter as you fold them in. American-style jimmies won’t melt or leak color into the batter. If you can’t find jimmies, confetti quins (the small discs) are another good option.
How to Make a Confetti Layer Cake
Let’s get started on your cake layers since they’ll need to cool completely before you can assemble and frost your cake. Here’s how to have your confetti cake ready and baked in a few easy steps:
- Combine the wet ingredients. First, cream together the sugar, oil, butter, eggs (and yolks), and vanilla until the mixture is lighter in color. Then, beat in the sour cream.
- Add the remianing dry ingredients. Mix the remaining dry ingredients separately, sift, then slowly add them to the wet batter, alternating with the buttermilk until combined. Finally, fold in the sprinkles.
- Bake. Divide the batter between two greased and floured 8” cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake the cakes at 350ºF for 25-32 minutes, until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Release the cakes from the pan. Leave the cakes to cool for 15 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edges. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, as they’ll need to cool completely before you assemble and frost the layers.
Make the Frosting
This homemade confetti frosting is a variation of my vanilla buttercream frosting, with the addition of cream cheese and homemade rainbow chips to mimic the look and taste of Betty Crocker’s Rainbow Chip Frosting! For the full tutorial, you’ll want to read through the details in my Rainbow Chip Frosting post, so here is a quick overview.
Prepare the rainbow chips. Slowly melt white chocolate in the microwave until smooth, divide it into 4 bowls and dye it four different colors using gel food dyes.
Next, spread the colored chocolate in a thin layer onto a piece of parchment paper and allow it to set. Once solid, chop the colored chocolate into small pieces. These will be your rainbow chips!
Make the frosting. Now, you’ll whip the butter for the frosting until it’s creamy, and add the cream cheese, beating to combine. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. When the frosting has reached the desired consistency, fold in the chopped colored chips.
Assembling and Frosting the Cake
Before assembling the cake, it’s a good idea to level the cake layers. You can do this using a serrated knife or a cake leveler to trim the domes as needed. Afterward, here’s how to finish your confetti layer cake:
- Stack the cake layers. Place a dollop of frosting onto a plate, followed by the first cake layer. Spread this with a generous layer of frosting, and place the second cake layer on top.
- Add a crumb coat. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. This crumb coat picks up any loose pieces so that the final frosting layer goes on smoothly. The Rainbow Chip Frosting can be difficult to spread due to the chocolate pieces.
- Frost the cake. Use an offset spatula to frost the outside of your confetti cake. After, you can add more sprinkles, and decorate the cake however you’d like! See below for ideas.
If you’re new to making layer cakes, I have a handy guide on how to make a layer cake that offers lots of tips and details, in addition to the tips below:
- Grease and line the pans. I like to coat my pans with a layer of Crisco shortening and flour, plus a layer of parchment paper in the bottom to really ensure that the cakes don’t stick.
- Don’t overmix the cake batter. Make sure to only mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they’re just combined. Too much mixing will yield a tough, dense cake instead of a light and fluffy one.
- Use bake-even strips. These wrap around the outside of the cake pan to help produce a cake with less of a dome. Otherwise, remember to trim the domes off of the cakes before stacking them, so it’s nice and evenly layered.
- Chill the cake layers. Spreading the rainbow chip frosting can be difficult due to the chopped chocolate pieces. To make it easier, chill the cake layers in the fridge for about 30 minutes, then add a thin crumb coating to the cake before adding the final layer of frosting.
Can I Make This Cake In Another Pan?
Yes! This recipe makes enough confetti cake batter for a two-tier 8” layer cake, or you can make this cake with three 8” cake pans (the cake layers will just be a little thinner). You can also use the same amount of batter to make this cake in another size pan:
- 6” Round Cake Pan – You can make three or four 6” cake layers.
- 9×13” Cake Pan – You can also make this recipe as a funfetti sheet cake (less effort than a layer cake!)
- Cupcakes – There’s enough batter to make 24 funfetti cupcakes,
The frosting recipe yields enough for an 8” layer cake, 24 cupcakes, and more than enough for a 9×13” cake. If you plan to alter the number of layers, consider scaling the frosting recipe up or down accordingly.
How to Prepare and Store
- Prepare ahead: The cake layers can be made up to 2 days prior to serving. Once cooled, they are best stored in an airtight container or very tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. The frosting can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and rewhip prior to decorating the cake.
- To Store. Store the frosted confetti cake covered airtight at room temperature for up to 1-2 days, or in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. If your kitchen is particularly warm, I recommend storing the cake in the fridge from the start. This cake is best served at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge well ahead of serving.
- Freeze. Whenever possible, freeze your cake before it’s been frosted. Wrap the cake layers tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a second layer of foil, or store them in an airtight freezer-safe container. Freeze the cake layers for up to 2 months, and thaw prior to frosting. The frosting can also be frozen separately, thawed and rewhipped before applying to the cake.
More Funfetti Recipes
- Funfetti Ice Cream Cake
- Mini Funfetti Cheesecakes
- No-Bake Funfetti Cheesecake
- Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
This from-scratch confetti cake is a rich and fluffy vanilla layer cake brimming with rainbow sprinkles and finished with the best homemade rainbow chip frosting.
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups (285g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (118ml) sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
- 2 ¾ cups (330g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (4g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
- 1 1/3 cup (315ml) buttermilk
- ½ cup sprinkles
For the Frosting
- 4-ounce (113g) white chocolate bar
- 1 1/2 cup (339 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces (113g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 5–6 cups (650-780g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Gel colors
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with Crisco and dust with flour to help easily release the cake after it is baked. I also line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper to ensure they don’t stick.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, butter, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl as needed. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Alternate adding half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk at a time and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk and beat until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed. Mix in the sprinkles by hand.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the two 8-inch pans. Bake at 350° F for 25 to 32 minutes. Check the cakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Then gently run a knife around the edges of the cake and flip them out of the pan and onto a rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting
- In a microwave-safe bowl, break up the white chocolate into small pieces. Slowly melt in the microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring each time until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Divide the chocolate between 4 bowls, one ounce of melted chocolate per bowl. Use a toothpick to add the gel colors to the chocolate, just a touch is needed, stir until incorporated, but don’t overmix (this can cause the chocolate to seize).
- Spread the chocolate in a thin layer on a piece of parchment paper and allow the chocolate to set firm, either on the counter or place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes until it’s firm. Once firm, remove the chocolate dice it into very small pieces, and set aside.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter is whipped to the same consistency as the cream cheese. Then add the cream cheese and combine it with the butter, beating until smooth.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar with the vanilla extract, mix at low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated, then increase the speed to high, beating for about 1 minute to ensure it’s well combined. Then add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and salt, beat at low speed until incorporated then increase the speed until it’s light and fluffy. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar to add if the frosting seems too thin, add ½ cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Once the frosting is whipped, add the chopped white chocolate, and incorporate it with a spatula, mixing to combine.
- Use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
- Gently spread an even layer of frosting on top of the cake and place the next layer on top.
- Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting to create a crumb coat. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb-coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it. Then, frost the top and sides of the cake using your offset spatula. Once frosted, use a spoon or the spatula to create the swirls around the cake. Garnish with additional sprinkles if desired.
- Storing: Store the frosted confetti cake covered airtight at room temperature for up to 1-2 days, or in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. If your kitchen is particularly warm, I recommend storing the cake in the fridge from the start. This cake is best served at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge well ahead of serving.
- Freezing: I recommend freezing unfrosted cake layers, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and foil for up to 1 month. Thaw prior to frosting. The frosting can be frozen separately. Bring to room temperature and rewhip prior to frosting the cake.
- The best sprinkles to use are the jimmies or rod kind. Avoid using the nonpareils as they bleed into the cake batter.
- A chocolate bar is recommended over chocolate chips.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, try this homemade substitute.
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: confetti cake, confetti cake recipe, funfetti cake