Birthday Cake {Funfetti Cake}

August 18, 2019

The best Birthday Cake recipe! You get a pillowy soft and tender, perfectly light and fluffy funfetti style cake that’s generously dotted with rainbow sprinkles and it’s swirled with a classic birthday cake and vanilla flavor.

Then of course it’s finished with the most luscious buttercream frosting. Everyone will instantly fall in love!

Slice of birthday cake with multi color dots in cake and topped with buttercream frosting and a birthday. candle.

Homemade Birthday Cake

Isn’t funfetti what we all think of when we think childhood favorite birthday cake? Even to this day it’s still one of my favorites and always will be. But trust me, now making it from scratch you’ll love it so much more!

It’s fun and easy to make. Yes it  may require the extra step of whipping up the egg whites but the fluffy end result is so worth it!

This homemade recipe far outdoes a box cake mix. The flavor is a thousand times better plus it’s naturally flavored with real vanilla and almond extract, and made with real butter.

It also includes a little bit of oil to ensure the cake stays moist.

After many years of testing cakes I’d have to say this is the ultimate birthday cake!

Whole birthday cake on a cake stand garnished with sprinkles and topped with lit birthday candles.

Ingredients for Funfetti Birthday Cake:

  • Cake flour – this makes for a more soft and tender cake.
  • Baking powder – a crucial ingredient to ensure the cake rises. Use aluminum free for best flavor.
  • Salt – this will bring out the flavors of the cake and keep it from tasting bland.
  • Unsalted butter – never use margarine or shortening. Only real butter in this recipe.
  • Granulated sugar – this makes the cake sweet and tender, I don’t recommend adjusting the amount.
  • Vegetable oil – canola oil will work fine too. Adding just 1/4 cup helps ensure the cake is moist.
  • Whole eggs and egg whites – these bind ingredients and actually help the cake rise too. I like to use more whites here for less yellow color and a fluffier cake.
  • Vanilla and almond extract – use real flavor, not imitation or it will taste artificial.
  • Whole milk – I don’t recommend non-dairy milks here. Real cow’s milk will make a difference in flavor.
  • Sprinkles – use rainbow jimmies, nonpareils will bleed into the batter. If preferred you can make your own blend of colors with the jimmies.
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – for this you’ll need butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream.

Funfetti Birthday Cake ingredients including cake flour, butter, sugar, eggs, egg whites, vanilla, almond extract, milk, sprinkles, vegetable oil, cream, salt, baking powder and powdered sugar.

How to Make a Birthday Cake from Scratch:

  • Preheat oven and prepare cake pans: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, butter parchment, dust with flour and shake out excess. Wrap pans with cake strips****.
  • Whisk dry ingredients: sift cake flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add baking powder and salt and whisk together.
  • Whip butter and sugar: in the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixer bowl with a rubber spatula.

Showing the steps of how to make a birthday cake in an electric stand mixer. Including sifting cake, cream butter and adding egg yolks.

  • Mix in oil, egg yolks and flavoring: mix in vegetable oil. Then mix in the 2 egg yolks, scrape down mixer bowl. Blend in vanilla and almond extract. Set aside.
  •  Separately, whip egg whites: in a separate clean medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip 6 egg whites (2 from the whole eggs listed, 4 from egg whites listed) on high speed until medium-stiff peaks form (tips of peaks should just droop slightly).
  • Add flour alternating with additions of milk (to butter mixture): add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture in stand mixer, mix just until combined. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix just until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture mix just until combined, followed by remaining 1/2 milk mixture mixing just until combined. Add in last 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Showing more steps to make the best birthday cake including adding vanilla, whipping egg whites, adding flour mixture, milk mixture, egg whites and sprinkles to batter.

  • Fold in egg whites and sprinkles: remove bowl from stand mixer. Add egg whites and sprinkles and gently fold batter with a rubber spatula just until combined.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake: divide mixture among prepared pans, pour and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 – 35 minutes.
  • Cool completely: cool in pan about 20 minutes, then run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
  • Frost cake: once cool frost with buttercream frosting. If adding sprinkles over frosting add right away before it starts to develop a lightly dry outer crust. Store cake in an airtight container in a cool temperature (or chill for longer shelf life).

Close up image of a whole funfetti birthday cake

How to Store Cake?

Store cake in an airtight container. I like to use a cake carrier to store cake.

Does Cake Need to Be Refrigerated?

Most cakes including this one can be kept at room temperature but the frosting will hold up better in the fridge if the room is too warm. Note that it will keep longer refrigerated.

How Long Is it Good For?

This cake (and just about any cake) is best eaten within a day of preparing it but it should keep well for about 4 -5 days refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.

Can I Freeze Cake?

This cake (and most other cakes) should freeze well. I recommend baking the cake layers and letting cool completely then wrap with parchment paper and plastic wrap and placing in an airtight container and freezing up to two months. Then let thaw overnight in the refrigerator and frost.

You can also freeze a frosted cake it’s just harder to do (takes up more space, frosting gets smashed and doesn’t thaw out as fluffy). I’d recommend freezing separate slices if you have leftover.

Lifting a single slice with a serving spatula from a whole cake.

How to Bake Even Cake Layers?

Have you tried cake strips yet? I’ve been hooked on them lately. All you do is saturate them with water, wrap around cake pans and bake.

They make cakes turn out fluffier and more even on top with little or no trimming domes required. Plus the edges don’t brown as much. Worth the cheap investment in my opinion and they’re so easy to use.

Tips for the Best Birthday Cake:

  • Use a kitchen scale to measure (vs. cups) if you have one for the most consistent and accurate results.
  • Stick with cake flour for a light and fluffy, tender cake.
  • Add room temperature ingredients. Using room temperature butter, milk and eggs helps ingredients blend better and cake rises better.
  • Scape the bowl throughout mixing. I’ve forgotten to do this myself sometimes and cake doesn’t turn out as well. Even though I have a paddle the scapes the bowl there’s still patches of butter or mixture that sticks and doesn’t mix at the bottom.
  • Don’t skip whipping egg whites for the fluffiest cake.
  • Careful not to over-mix the batter or cake may come out dense.
  • Don’t over-bake the cake or it will start to dry out.
  • Let cake cool completely through before frosting or frosting will melt. You can speed up cooling in the refrigerator.

Birthday cake topped with candles and sparklers to the side.

More Delicious Birthday Cake Recipes You’ll Love:

Birthday Cake {Funfetti Cake}

5 from 1 vote

The best Birthday Cake recipe! You get a pillowy soft and tender, perfectly light and fluffy funfetti style cake that's generously dotted with rainbow sprinkles and it's swirled with a classic birthday cake and vanilla flavor. Then of course it's finished with the most luscious buttercream frosting. Everyone will instantly fall in love!

Servings: 16
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (300g) cake flour (preferably use a kitchen scale to measure or use scoop and level method to measure)
  • 1 Tbsp (12g) aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature*
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated, at room temperature**
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract***
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp (250ml) whole milk, at room temperature***
  • 1/2 cup (92g) rainbow jimmies sprinkles
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, 1 full recipe found HERE (or make more for decorating)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, butter parchment, dust with flour and shake out excess. Wrap pans with cake strips****.

  2. Sift cake flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add baking powder and salt and whisk together.

  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixer bowl with a rubber spatula.

  4. Mix in vegetable oil. Then mix in the 2 egg yolks, scrape down mixer bowl. Blend in vanilla and almond extract. Set aside.

  5. In a separate clean medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip 6 egg whites (2 from the whole eggs listed, 4 from egg whites listed) on high speed until medium-stiff peaks form (tips of peaks should just droop slightly).

  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture in stand mixer, mix just until combined. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix just until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture mix just until combined, followed by remaining 1/2 milk mixture mixing just until combined. Add in last 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

  7. Remove bowl from stand mixer. Add egg whites and sprinkles and gently fold batter with a rubber spatula just until combined.

  8. Divide mixture among prepared pans, pour and spread into an even layer.

  9. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 - 35 minutes.

  10. Cool in pan about 20 minutes, then run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

  11. Once cool frost with buttercream frosting. If adding sprinkles over frosting add right away before it starts to develop a lightly dry outer crust. Store cake in an airtight container in a cool temperature (or chill for longer shelf life).

Recipe Notes

  • *To soften butter faster I usually microwave in 4 second intervals then rotate between each interval until just soft with a bit of firmness, do not melt!
  • **This will take about 60 minutes of resting at room temperature, unless you're in a warmer climate.
  • To bring eggs to room temperature faster place in a bowl, cover with warm water, rest 5 minutes. For egg whites place in a sealed container and place in a bowl of very warm water rest 5 minutes.
  • ***To bring milk to room temperature quickly warm in microwave until it reaches 70 degrees on an instant read thermometer. It should only take about 30 seconds.
  • ****I use THESE cake strips, but you can also make your own with layers of wet paper towels wrapped in a long sheet of foil or using a DIY wet cloth. I recommend using these because cakes come out taller and perfectly level (no trimming and waisting top) and edges aren't browned.
  • If there is a nut allergy almond extract can be omitted, increase vanilla to 1 Tbsp total.
  • For decorating cake I used 1m Wilton tip. You'll want about 1/3 more frosting than the recipe lists.
Nutrition Facts
Birthday Cake {Funfetti Cake}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 653 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Cholesterol 95mg32%
Sodium 143mg6%
Potassium 175mg5%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 61g68%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 895IU18%
Calcium 76mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birthday cake
Author: Jaclyn
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