Recipes

confetti party cake

There comes a time in every parent’s life when love must be expressed through buttercream, food dye, and sprinkles; I just didn’t know it would be so soon this time. For my daughter’s second birthday, I planned, as I had as had on her first and her brother’s 7 birthdays to date,* to do my best to heed the siren call of sugar and red dye 40 and then, you know, translate that into something that’s both tasty but not fully plastic. (This is all of parenting, by the way.) My plan had been to make a party-sized Swedish Princess Cake because have you had this buttery cake with custard, jam, whipped cream and a marzipan dome with a single pink rose in the middle? Nothing could be more fitting for our curly-haired wildling. But then Elmo happened.


don't fight itrunny sprinkles
instant partyconfetti within
a not-insignificant amount of buttercreamflat frosting for max sprinkle impact

A little sidebar: If you’ve thus spent most of your time free of toddlers, can I tell you something? It doesn’t matter whether you allow screen time, it doesn’t matter whether your precious clean slate of a human being has ever seen Sesame Street, whether you’ve bought the books or sung the songs, when children turn 18 months old, they all wake up one day obsessed with Elmo. It seems to come out of thin air. My daughter spotted this game of her brother’s out of the corner of her eye and cried EHLMA! EHMLA! until we let her walk around hugging and kissing the box. She sees a red splat of paint on the sidewalk and says “Ehlma?” My mother, witnessing this behavior in the wild, told me my daughter didn’t know or care the first thing about Swedish Princesses, but if I really wanted to put my efforts somewhere heroic, I’d make her an Elmo cake.

The problem is that I do not know how to draw Elmo. The problem is that Muppets are not splats of paint with eyes, and a line even a degree or two off goes instantly from the sweetest most heartwarming thing to Holy Creepsville. We’re talking Times Square Elmos, so close but also so unsettlingly off. In the end, though, I think things went much better than I’d expected.

confetti sheet cake, muppet-style

You might ask, by the way, why I didn’t just draw Elmo on top of a Swedish Princess Cake since I claim to be committed to happy mediums. But I just think once you’re piping Muppets on top of a cake, you might as well grind some extra up inside it. (Shh, don’t tell the children.) You might as well go full funfetti.

confetti party cake

So let’s talk confetti cakes. The best ones are white cakes — white cakes have no egg yolks to keep them as stark of a blank canvas as possible to show of their technicolor speckles of splendor within. They’re traditional for wedding cakes too. The problem with them is that they can be a little firm and dry. If I wanted a dry cake with a poorly drawn Elmo on top, well, I could outsource that to any grocery store bakery, right? So I began tweaking the white cake recipe I’d used previously and found that reducing the flour, the baking powder (I know!) and increasing the butter, I got a white cake as plush and perfect as the best yellow cake. I couldn’t believe it so I made it again, and then again, yielding what has to be the happiest cake I know how to make. It’s one-bowl, lit from within (with the help of some edible confetti) and basically pure joy — butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla.

confetti party cake

From here, today’s cake program bifurcates. If you’re looking for a one-bowl, easy frosting, buttery, joyous birthday cake you can put together in very little time, you should make the 8×8 or 9-inch round party cake. It’s one thin layer with frosting on top. It is never unwelcome; it makes everyone happy. [Oh and please forgive the shameless self-promotion but I’d be remiss to not mention that if you’re into these kind of dead-simple, never-fail party cakes, that little cookbook I wrote that comes out this fall? Party Cake Heaven.]

a lot of sprinklessheet cake thin layersconfetti sheet cake layerconfetti sheet cake, stacked and filled

But if you plan to celebrate with 2 to 3 dozen of your nearest and dearest, as we did this weekend, you will need a sheet cake. Mine was two thin layers with additional buttercream between them. It will make your dentist — and also everyone who is a kid on the inside or outside — very happy.

muppet consumption

* Kid birthdays, previously: There have been monkey cakes (banana layers, fudge filling and frosting), bunny cakes (peaches, cream, vanilla), s’more cakes (in the first smitten kitchen cookbook, a graham cracker cake with fudge filling and marshmallow frosting), subway cakes (roasted apple chunks in a spice cake, cream cheese frosting and filling), airplane cakes (chocolate, chocolate), a rocket ship oreo cake I’ve been keeping from you because it is still too much of a pain to make as written and I don’t want you to yell at me), and a Baked Alaska.

Confetti Party Cake

  • Servings: 16 small squares or 12 wedge-shaped slices
  • Time: About 1 hour
  • Print

This is written for the one-layer plus one-swoosh-of-frosting version of the confetti cake, the one you might make for someone’s birthday or party or just because you want cake and therefore you should have cake — the recipe is one bowl, bakes very quickly, and should you slide the cooling rack into the freezer, you’ll be able to frost it in 10 to 15 minutes, meaning that you could, once all of your butter softened and ready to go, have this done in just about an hour. Seriously.

For the sheet cake version of this, see notes at the end.

If you are fanatical about keeping this cake as white as possible, to best show off the sprinkles within, you might use clear imitation vanilla extract, but I couldn’t bring myself to because I love this stuff too much. Another option, and I did this in one version I tested, is to use the seeds scraped from an inch or two of a fresh vanilla bean, rubbed right into the sugar. Sure, you’ll have tiny black specks, but they’re barely noticeable and of course the vanilla flavor is exceptional. Or you can do as I did below, just use a little of the pure stuff, not enough that it will beige the cake in any significant way.

Finally, thanks to Molly Yeh’s tireless funfetti research — which helped set this cake off in the right direction, yay, even if I ultimately used my own recipe — we know that cakes like this work best with artificially colored sprinkles. I used a mix of 1/3 nonpariels-style (this bottle has great color range) and 2/3 long ones (the colors here look good but, um, do note the size of the jar) that two very nice readers given me. But, the nonpariels are actually not ideal here — they run very quickly, as soon as you mix them in — but I loved the dots of color throughout and used them anyway. Long rainbow sprinkles are best.


    Cake
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cups (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • Rainbow sprinkles for decoration

Preheat oven: To 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8×8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and coat the bottom and sides with nonstick spray or butter.

Make cake: Beat butter, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating until combined and slightly fluffy. Add vanilla and buttermilk and beat to combine. The mixture will instantly look like cottage cheese and you will be sure it’s ruined but I promise it is not. Add baking powder and cornstarch and beat very well to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat one second more. Add flour and mix just until it disappears. Use a rubber scraper to gently fold in sprinkles.

Bake cake: Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. Let cool in pan on cooling rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the side to loosen the cake, flip it out onto the cooling rack, and slide the cooling rack into the freezer until cake is cool, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Frost and serve: While the cake cools, beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy, then add milk or cream and beat until smooth. Once cake is fully cool, transfer it to a serving plate. Spread frosting on top — you’ll have more than enough, so if you need to set some aside for small decorations or tinting and writing on the cake, this won’t be a problem. Finish with sprinkles. Share with friends.

How to Make a Confetti Sheet Cake: For the sheet cake version of this, triple the cake recipe and divide the batter between two 9×13-inch cake pans (mine were 935 grams of batter each). They bake for 18 to 20 minutes and yield two skinny cake layers that once frosted and filled make a 2-inch tall cake. I don’t know how to tell you this, I almost want to warn you to cover your ears, but if you want to fill and frost them the way I did, you’ll need to make five times the amount of frosting written. I actually made a 6x batch (1-pound boxes of powdered sugar hold 3 3/4 cups, so I used two in full), but it was too much (thank goodness). If your design is more elaborate, however, and you want more room for frosting error, just do the 6x. It feels a little late in this recipe for butter/sugar austerity, don’t you think?

How to “Elmo” Your Sheet Cake: My method was to copy some Muppet pictures from the web (I found looking for coloring pages yielded more linear pics), resize them, print them, and cut them out into stencils. Once the cake’s white frosting was set (in the fridge so it gets cold and firm), I briefly laid them over the cake and used a toothpick to make a light outline. I then cut the stencils further into eyes, noses, etc. and traced these on too. From there, it was just tinting tiny amounts of frosting the right colors and piping them on, like you were coloring in with a crayon. I used a Wilton #5 round tip for every part of the Muppets and the dots around the edges of the cake, and then a Wilton #2 for the corners of the mouths and eyeballs, but if you only had the #5, or even a #4, you’ll be just fine.

confetti sheet cake, muppet-style

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226 comments on confetti party cake

  1. Adorable! And my son, at about 18 months, also became SO INTO ELMO. And this was without even seeing Sesame Street ever! I’m sure he’d love this cake as well! :)

  2. Happy birthday, little Anna! Although Bea is squarely into princesses, and as of last week, Trolls, she brushes her teeth with Elmo every night. That youtube clip is a godsend, although it does haunt me in my sleep at this point. Still, clean teeth are clutch.

  3. SallyT

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting this post! I’ve developed a fascination with funfetti cakes – they’re a total crowd pleaser, and my girls (5.5 and 11) love them. These are the two best that I’ve made –

    http://bakedsundaymornings.com/2016/12/21/oven-baked-ultimate-birthday-cake/

    (a lot of effort, but WORTH IT)

    and

    http://www.marthastewart.com/1514922/confetti-cake-vanilla-frosting

    (minimal effort, except for the homemade sprinkles, which were SO fun to make, and I thought that it was beyond delicious – much better than the famed Momofoku Milk Bar birthday cake, which I made the next week…)

    Now onto make yours! Super impressed with your decorations, by the way…

    and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Anna – and you!

    1. Chamila

      Hi Sally. I just saw and knew we could do our own sprinkles. I want to try badly for my daughter’s bday. It’s a multicolorful theme. Can you tell me how easy it was? Did it set firm or you need to keep it in the fridge? And when u mix3d into the cake, what was the effect? Can’t waitto hear from you.

      1. SallyT

        It was very easy – if you have a piping tip, you just make long stripes across parchment paper. They definitely
        need to set at least overnight. The effect on the cake was fabulous, but it was more muted in the cake. They taste delicious! I can post a picture, but I’m not sure how?

  4. mcoldiron

    My birthday is Monday and I always bake myself a special, just-for-me cake and funfetti is my ALL TIME FAVORITE. You have such perfect timing!

  5. Caroline L.

    It’s adorable! I made a princessa torte for my daughter’s Frozen-themed party two years ago. It was the prefect amalgamation of her — let’s be honest, our– obsession with the Great British Bake Off and Frozen. It took forever to make, but it was totally worth it. Last year I did your s’mores cake for her Ghostbusters party. We let her use the culinary torch to toast the frosting and pretend she was fighting off the Stay Puft marshmallow man. I think we’ll be firing up the oven today to try making this sprinkle cake. That’s what A/C is for, right? :)

      1. Angela

        I doubled the recipe to make two 6″ rounds and made the leftovers into cupcakes. I loved the recipe and taste, but cupcakes did not release easily from the paper liners that I used. It wasn’t really a problem for me, as the cake itself was for a present, and the cupcakes for home use ( really just me and my husband) but I’m not sure the presentation would be that nice for cupcakes at a party. Just my two cents!

  6. Emily

    Anna is SUCH a doll, and the cake turned out fantastic. I love following a like-minded mom who thinks birthday cakes deserve to be nothing short of amazing. :)

  7. Katie

    Where were you (and this recipe) a year and a half ago for my kid’s first birthday, when I was dead-set on funfetti?? I ended up making one that was… fine, if a bit dry. Now I kind of want to run home and try again tonight.

  8. Jane M

    I baked a funfetti cake last spring but my cake was yellow. I’m feeling a bit ashamed – but my cake was tasty and a huge hit! Next time I’m using this recipe.

  9. Bev Morris

    I am confused. You state that not using egg yolks make a cake dry. Your recipe uses only whites. Is this correct? Does the buttermilk help?

    1. deb

      It can usually be a problem. So, I tweaked and tweaked a white cake recipe I’ve used before until I got one that’s as plush and awesome as a yellow cake. What worked was a lot more butter (white cakes usually use half this amount), strangely enough, less baking powder than would be the norm for a cake like this, buttermilk, and “making” your own cake flour with a little cornstarch.

      1. kim

        This looks amazing! Have you tried arrowroot instead of cornstarch to “make” your own cake flour? It’s what I have on hand and this cake NEEDS to be made now ;)

          1. Meena

            If I happen to have cake flour on hand, how should I adjust the recipe? Swap 1 for 1 with the AP flour, or do I need to change the baking powder and/or cornstarch?

          2. Grace

            fwiw – Older cookbooks just had you reduce a cup of AP flour by 2 tbsps. and add nothing to it to equal the 1 cup of cake flour..it’s always worked perfectly for me.. (this for those who don’t have cornstarch or other non gluten flours.)

  10. Rachel

    This is what you posted on Instagram!! I am so glad that you have a funfetti cake recipe now. In May for my twin sisters and my birthday, I made your Twinkie cake and mixed sprinkles into the marshmallow filling for extra birthday fun, but I will definitely have to make this cake in the bundt shape to do it again next year. Yay!! (Also, well done on piping the Muppets!)

  11. Leigh

    This is in my oven as we speak. I used nonpareils since that’s all I had (and yes they did run) but I expect it will still taste delicious! I have some left over Swiss and French meringue buttercream that I am going to mix up and use for the frosting. Can’t wait for it to come out of the oven.

      1. Leigh

        It is SO GOOD. My leftover frosting was almond flavored and it goes so well with this cake. Definitely going in my recipe box.

        I saw it posted and immediately needed to have this in my life. It was just what I needed today. Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes! You are my go-to site when I have an ingredient I don’t know what to do with or just need inspiration! Your Swiss Meringue buttercream, tomato/butter/onion sauce, and salted chocolate chip cookies are my most used recipes hands down – but there are so many others that I use regularly too. Thanks for all you do to make the world a tastier place :)

  12. Tawni

    If I wanted to make this a few days in advance, would it be best to store the cake in the freezer, fridge, or on the counter?

    1. deb

      I kept mine in the freezer. It gives you the best chance of it staying fresh. However, he cake that I made on Saturday (only Cookie Monster is left!) is actually still really moist in the fridge. But I wouldn’t wing it.

    1. deb

      Shouldn’t be a problem. I actually had this cake down as milk or buttermilk but realized I haven’t made it with just milk since a few tweaks ago and didn’t want any compromised cakes if it’s a problem.

  13. Erica B

    re: 18 months + Elmo… this is real life. “Who do you love more, mama or Elmo? “ELMAH! ELMAH!” I never stood a chance.

  14. Kelly

    Is there a secret I’m missing to get such vibrant icing colors? Last time I tried to tint an icing red, the more food coloring I added, it just became a more intense version of neon pink but never went darker into red.

    1. deb

      I have a set that’s kind of like this but I bought it at Williams-Sonoma years ago and it just has red, yellow, green, blue, and black. using these. I know real bakers swear by gel colors but I find it stressful that a toothpick tip of something can sometimes overtint. I like the control of droplets, but these are much more intense than the grocery aisle ones I grew up with. Still, I did have to use a bunch of drops just to get the red right. I kind of cringed and then had this talk with myself “Deb, you’re not going to go this far just to make a pink Elmo so do what needs to be done.” Yes, I really talk to myself this way.

      1. Nicole Andrews

        This was my exact thought process as I cringed my way through coloring icing for my little one’s farm cake last year “you know you can’t have a pink barn!” Glad other people talk to themselves like that….

        I know it’s not a birthday cake, but your raspberry buttermilk cake has been our favorite everyday treat for years now!

      2. Randi

        Plus if it’s for a birthday cake they (and you!) are only eating an ungodly amount of food coloring once or twice a year. Just don’t think about it! Think about her happy little face ;-)

    1. deb

      Yes. Although my husband jokes about wanting a Russian Prince Cake that’s like chocolate and hazelnut and raspberry and coffee. I might have to make that first. And perhaps rename it. ;)

      1. Ooh that sounds so good as well — would love to see more coffee desserts in general too!

        And I forgot to mention the first time, but happy birthday to Anna! (also literally every time you post a photo of her I think about how jealous I am of those red curls <3)

      2. Pam

        A second YES PLEASE to a Princess (and sure, Prince!) cake recipes… I would love to have your well thought out guidance on such an undertaking. Marzipan for the win :D

        1. Kathryn

          Third for the Princess cake recipe! My Grandma always had one for us when we visited her in Chicago. I’ve been wanting to make one but did not know what they were called or where to start. It’s been over 30 years since I last had one and I can still remember the flavor and texture.

      3. Heather

        I’ve made using the recipe they used in gbbo (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prinsesstrta_17336) and although time consuming it basically just involved making a sponge/yellow cake, custard and marzipan (bought the jam). And these were mostly fairly easy to make. Although putting together a bit messier than I’d hoped :-). There’s no way I could have done it in the bake off time frame though!

    2. Abby

      Molly Yeh’s website has a (or maybe several? can’t remember) princess cake recipe that looks awesome, give it a try!

  15. So cute! If you are ever feeling so motivated, I’m sure there are people who would love to see your interpretation of a princess cake for the blog. People who may have made trips to IKEA specifically to buy a frozen one for themselves … *cough*

  16. AWads

    You are speaking the truth about the Elmo-addiction! We tried to keep screen time limited, but somehow, our then-18-month old learned about Elmo, whom he referred to as “Elbow”. He was smitten for a few years! We outsourced his 2nd birthday Elmo cupcakes because I know my limits. Cheers!

  17. Bridget Hennessy

    Hello. If I make this cake one day in advance, should I frost it and keep it in the fridge overnight? Or on the counter? Or should I frost it day of? Thank you! It is beautiful!

    1. deb

      Frosting it right away is fine. Keep it in the fridge and take it out an hour or so before or the butter frosting is hard. Btw, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated but it’s hot and sticky here, it feels safer.

      1. Bridget Hennessy

        Thank you so much! I really enjoy your cookbook, blog, and instagram account! I make things all the time. Enjoy the summer days!

  18. Mee

    I think this was absolutely best. I made a Swedish Princess Cake for my youngest’s 1st birthday and it was a disaster. Thanks Great British Bake Off. It tasted wonderful but I couldn’t even take a picture of it.

  19. dayneandgabby

    Deb, our little girls are 2 months apart and seem to have the same interests. I made your apple bunny cake last year and now know what to make my Elmo-obsessed 2-year old next month. I sense a tradition emerging.

  20. Laurel

    Our kiddos are in the same birthday range and this will be perfect. Thanks by the way for your website. You are my go-to for elevated, doable recipes of all kinds! Brown butter breakfast puffs are a mainstay.

    1. Laurel

      Oops, not an adept commenter. my question is: Wondering your thoughts on subbing sour cream for the buttermilk, only because I have sour cream already in the fridge?

  21. Ana

    Hi Deb! You seriously outdo any normal at home baking mom! I’m guessing there’s no way to know what will happen with this cake if it’s made with dairy free substitutes, right?

    1. deb

      I think it will be fine. I’d go with a neutral oil. I made one version with 25% coconut oil (i.e. 2T) and every person who tried it said, “Ooo! Coconut cake!” It really amplifies here.

  22. Christina

    Dear Deb, it looks just perfect. Do you think it will still taste good will when using whole eggs? I don’t mind a bit yellow and I don’t want to waste the yolks.

  23. Isabel

    I broke down and bought my son an Ernie doll after hearing that he was carrying around one of those diapers with Sesame Street characters on them, calling it Ernie. Sigh.

    1. Charlotte in Toronto

      This cake is so much fun. I’ll be trying it out soon. I love the density of the colors in the batter (although I think I’ll skip the Elmos and Oscars on the top😉) I’ll rim the top of the cake in additional sprinkles. By he way, Anna is so pretty and Alex sounds like such a great guy 💟

    2. deb

      This hilarious and basically what happened with Anna and that game that doesn’t even look like Elmo at all. The funny thing is, she’s so much more into her baby doll (always naked, of course) she doesn’t even play with the Elmo we got her that much. She likes the Cookie Monster someone got her for her birthday more, probably because it’s like 30″, so almost her size.

  24. Brittany W.

    My two year old has never seen a second of Sesame Street or Elmo, but has an “Elmo Takes a Bath” book and totally loves him. No idea how just the appearance of the Muppet can be so enticing.

  25. Cat

    Please still make the princess cake at some point. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I saw it on the great British baking show and have wanted to make one ever since.

    But it seems like so much work… However, I would trust your recipe over any other, and I’m sure you could make it seem not so unreachable or impossible… So please, please, I hope you still make one someday soon!

  26. mlucette

    The Elmo cake is great! But I hope you do make the princess cake some time – I saw it on the Great British Baking Show, and would love to see your take on it.

  27. Vicki

    This is the selfless love of a mother. Elmo cakes, Star Wars quilts, Tinkerbell-green bedrooms that will have to be repainted before she outgrows two pairs of shoes …

  28. Ahren

    I am going to make this over the weekend for my soon to be 2 year old. Can I just double the recipe and put it in a 9×13?

  29. Jean

    This is awesome for something I have coming up in a few weeks. I’ll have to make it two 6-inch layers. The conversion charts I’ve seen suggest the smaller recipe should work. Has anyone had any luck doing that with similarly sized cakes?

  30. waywardbloggers

    omg at the seven pounds of sprinkles… I wonder if they taste any good…

    I hope you do get to make a Swedish Princess Cake! I keep saying I will attempt one, since having them both at IKEA and in real-Sweden, but I haven’t yet. One day *sigh*

    1. Lisa

      I don’t love sprinkles but I have that 7 lb jug and they are really good. I use them for confetti cookies (from the recipe on this site) and they are great when baked. It really doesn’t take as long as you’d think to go through that many sprinkles. At least at my house!

      1. deb

        How are the colors? They look good in the pic but I don’t want to return a 7-pound jug of sprinkles if they’re missing greens or blues or too heavy on the pinks. (I have a lot of opinions about Ideal Rainbow Sprinkle Color Distribution!)

  31. Christine

    These pictures just make me happy. Maybe this is the kind of art I need on my wall. Then again, I’d just be hungry for cake all the time. Thanks for being you and sharing it with us! Way to go being an amazing mom too!

  32. Oh my goodness! I vividly remember my Elmo phase. Thanks to my father who sat me in front of Sesame Street daily while he watched me, I became obsessed. We even went to Sesame Street Live.

    I love the confetti cake. (So much so that I pinned this to make for my husband’s birthday this year because you’re never too old for sprinkles!)

      1. deb

        I uploaded some images for you guys (they’ve been sitting on my computer for years!); I made it two or three years in a row, matching the cake layers to his age. The issue is that I like to bake all of the layers separately. They bake in 10 minutes, but they all have to be removed, quick-cooled in the freezer, etc. It’s a process. It’s also insanely delicious.

        1. Heather

          PLEASE tell us how to make this!!! Love ores and it looks amazing. And celebrate cakes are supposed to be a little bit of a labour of love anyway :-)

  33. I would really like to see you make a Princess since my Swedish in laws would love one and I could try to do it. We ate them in Stockholm whenever we could!

  34. Lisa

    Please, please do a Princess cake at some point. It is my very favorite cake (my wedding cake was a nod to it, and I had a huge one for a milestone birthday party). The Ikea ones just don’t hit the spot. I have visions of it as a 9×13 with a “domed-rectangle” top, if you know what I mean, rather than a round. Seems like it would be simpler that way and feed more of a crowd. Love your blog so much – a big happy birthday to Anna and happy birth-day to you!

  35. Jess

    I started reading this thinking, “This will be fun, but I’m really not into sprinkle cakes….” and it’s now in the oven. Turns out I have leftover sprinkles and my kids will be thrilled, but mostly your writing persuaded me into the kitchen. Scaling this down is genius!!!

  36. andreakgorman

    Would this recipe work for cupcakes? I don’t bake much so I am not sure if they is a difference in cake and cup cake recipes.

    1. deb

      They’re basically the same. I’d estimate this to make 10 to 11 but wouldn’t expect any toddler to complain if you wanted to stretch the batter to 12 scantly filled cakes.

  37. Laura J

    Happy Birthday Anna! Little girls are all about bling. I would say get ready but really there’s nothing to prepare you for all the sparkles coming your way.

  38. Sow

    But but, I want to read about the rocket ship oreo cake! Am slightly ashamed to say I’ve never attempted to make even one of your celebration cakes, (I mostly stick to the everyday cakes).. but I love reading about them.. the process, the details etc. So for the small percentage of readers like me who are here for your writing than for the recipes, please write about your oreo cake :)

  39. Lisa

    This could not come at a better time. I’m always on the lookout for a good white cake recipe that doesn’t come from a box. My vanilla loving 2nd is turning 17 on Monday and I need a vanilla layer for his cake.

    Also, I must add that my 19 year old had an Elmo and a Big Bird cake for his first. Sesame Street is impossible to avoid.

  40. I’m trying not to sound nitpicky-when you say “sheet cake” you are referring to a shape, and more specifically a height, right? Because a traditional sheet cake is 18″ x 24″, and two 9″ x 13″ cakes don’t yield that if my math is correct.

    We are having a large party for my daughter’s 17th (how did we get there?!) birthday, and I’m just trying to get quantities right, so forgive the nitpicky question.

    A big happy birthday to your sweet girl. Ah, 2..what an incredibly sweet time. Enjoy every second!

    And it’s a rainy cool night here in the Rockies, so I think that sounds like a good time for a trial run of the 8″ version :)

    1. deb

      A baking sheet is 18×24, but cakes are rarely that big. What we generally call sheet cakes 9x13s (quarter-sheets) or 13×18 (half-sheets). A recipe like this can be scaled up as needed. They’re not always layered but I wanted mine to be. I cut cakes wedding-style for big parties, i.e. 1-inch by 2-ish-inch slices, quite slim but nobody seems to notice. So, cut like that, you can get 36 slices from a 9×13. The taller it is, the less skimpy the slice will seem.

  41. Well done!! Your Muppets are anything but Times Square-ish. (Those guys are SO creepy!) May all your parenting endeavors work out as nicely as the Elmo cake.

  42. Your daughter is pretty much the most precious and adorable creature in the world. I have two red-headed nieces, and I thought they were the most precious and adorable creatures in the world, but red hair and curls is even more amazing.

  43. A big happy birthday to Anna! You did a fabulous job with this cake – every way you look at it. I just love it and I love how you said the confetti cake is “lit from within”…so true, so festive, and so fitting for a child’s birthday. : )

  44. Jessica

    I adore this. I have no children, am not interested in anything precious, lack a sweet tooth and am an overall food curmudgeon. But I may actually have to bake this for myself. Your one-bowl promise is a siren song. And the story and images have me tickled pink. Congratulations on a beautiful family.

  45. JP

    Well, this does beat all! I have read many of your comments in the past say that the person had been looking for a recipe and then amazingly it came up next. That is just what happened with me and this cake. I just got Martha Stewart Living May 2017 and it has a Confetti Cake with Cooked Milk Frosting and homemade sprinkles (as mentioned in your comments here earlier on). I thought I had seen a confetti cake (funfetti) in your recipes and wanted to see how you did it but could find nothing. Then here it is like magic! The thing that really intrigues me about Martha’s recipe is the homemade sprinkles which she says “taste like sugar and vanilla and not wax”. I am anxious to try them. I realize getting lots of colors might be a bit tedious, but in the recipe, there are three colors- peach, pink and fuschia and her cake looks yellow and does use 4 large eggs. Still, don’t homemade sprinkles sound grand? They are just made of confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla, plus gel coloring. She calls them “shards” because they are long and thin. You use the shorter ones in the cake and save the longer ones for the topping. Now I have no reason to hold back and funfetti here we come! Thank you, Deb!

    1. SallyT

      see my comment above – I made that confetti cake and LOVED it – one of my favorite cakes of all time (and i make a LOT of cakes)

      1. JP

        Thanks, Sally T. Yours was the comment I was referring to. I would be interested in knowing if you prefer Deb’s cake or Martha’s. The reverse creaming method intrigues me and, after all, the recipe is really Rose Levy Beranbaum’s who after all, wrote the Cake Bible! Either way, it is so nice not to have to use a boxed mix anymore!

        1. SallyT

          JP – now I feel compelled to make Deb’s cake this weekend… I’m easily impressionable I guess! I will post back and reply to your comment after I make it. I will say that the cooked flour frosting on the Martha cake was really exceptional – creamy and not too sweet

            1. SallyT

              JP – I made the cake yesterday – one of the easiest I’ve made. Mine baked for 22 minutes and was perfectly tender and had a great crumb. In that way, it was similar to the MS recipe – both cakes were so good. This frosting was sweeter, which makes sense as it’s a traditional American buttercream. I preferred the less sweet MS cooked flour frosting. BUT – this cake was a HUGE hit. My 5 yo ate 2 pieces and I’m pretty sure she’s never even finished a piece of one of my cakes before. Adults loved it too. Your turn to test both!

    2. deb

      I think I saw that recipe and I admit I’ve been curious to make my own sprinkles, mostly if I’m going for a color scheme that’s not easily purchased. (i.e. wouldn’t those mauves and greens look gorgeous among buttercream roses on a wedding cake?) But Molly Yeh says artificailly dyed work best here (she tried all types) so I might save the effort. You really want it to be bright and confetti-ish most of all. I’d save homemade for decorations.

      1. SallyT

        @DEB – the homemade sprinkles were GORGEOUS on top, but were more muted in the cake. They were incredibly tasty, and better than purchased sprinkles. And, they were really, really fun to make – you pipe them on parchment paper, and I used various hues of purple/pink. The cake itself (texture, taste) and frosting (same) were divine. Try it!

      2. JP

        Okay, so here is the verdict after making Martha’s confetti cake, frosting and homemade sprinkles. The cake was more like pound cake (it used reverse creaming, (something that I had never done before) and the homemade sprinkles disappeared after baked (sob!). Perhaps that is why waxed store bought sprinkles work better in a cake like this. They were pretty on the top of the cake, but not like Martha’s. Mine were thicker and more blobby (could it be because I used a condiment bottle to squeeze them out, or was it because Martha has a crew of workers tossing out bad looking sprinkles?). The frosting which is called cooked milk, boiled milk or at Cook’s Illustrated miracle frosting is really worth trying. It is light and airy and really tastes of butter…could it be because there is a cup, yes a cup of butter in the frosting that frosts one 9×13″ cake? Still well worth trying. I will use your recipe the next time because, although I am loath to admit it, Martha has disappointed me more times than this with her recipes. sigh. Thanks for motivating me to try something new, Deb!

        1. SallyT

          That’s interesting about the cake – mine was very light and fluffy and not at all like a pound cake. My sprinkles didn’t disappear and weren’t thick (I used the recommended pastry tip – I would think the opening of a condiment bottles would be too thick). It really was one of my favorites this year… sorry it didn’t work out for you!

          1. JP

            Did your sprinkles look just like Martha’s? Hers looked sort of like toothpicks, broken. My sprinkles looked dull after they dried, that is the color. They were, for a better word, crunchy. It was fun to try, but I think I will do Deb’s if I have a second chance.

  46. Charlotte in Toronto

    This cake is so much fun. I’ll be trying it out soon. I love the density of the colors in the batter (although I think I’ll skip the Elmos and Oscars on the top😉) I’ll rim the top of the cake in additional sprinkles. By he way, Anna is so pretty and Alex sounds like such a great guy 💟

  47. V

    Multiple studies have shown that children who watch Sesame Street have higher IQs than children who did not have access to Sesame Street.

  48. Abby

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl! My curly haired daughter is turning 6 and I’d love to make a layered round cake using this recipe. Would I just double the recipe and divide it between two 9 inch round pans? Thanks!!

        1. deb

          Double. If you’re just filling and topping the cake (i.e. bare sides, “naked” cake) it will be generous. If you want to coat the whole thing and sides, it will be thin/regular but fine. If you’re hoping for big billows of frosting or additional buttercream designs, I’d 2.5x it.

  49. Cathy

    Brilliant!! Your muppets are not creepy at all! I made a Peppa Pig cake for my grandaughter at the weekend – only recognisable as a pig, but she loved it anyway!! So I appreciate your artistic talent and will continue sewing rather than taking up cake decorating as career! Thanks to your lovely recipe I shall be making this fabulous confetti cake for the joint Bridal shower I am holding for both my daughters in a month’s time. Such fun!! and thank you again. xx

  50. 2tattered

    Well, your wee darling might not need a Princess Cake, but I need one and Right Now. Into the kitchen I go. What have you done?

  51. Beth Linnetz

    Your confetti cookies are my kids’ favorite cookies EVER. And now this? You’re killing us! I guess I know what we’ll be doing tomorrow.

    We now go through more sprinkles than anyone I know. Thanks for that!

  52. I know nothing about raising children, but I took a look at that Princess Cake and I think it’s way too subtle for a little red-haired girl.

    Elmo Rocks!

  53. This. Cake. Is. GORGEOUS.
    I am so impressed with your ingenuity in creating the design and your perfect execution. As a veteran of ambitiously-conceived but undewhelmingly-executed kid birthday cakes, I salute you!

  54. Mahtab Katz

    Can’t wait to make this cake…sprinkles always make everything better! I grew up in Sweden and fondly remember the princess cake. My mom used to make it for my birthday! There is a classic Swedish cookbook called “Sju sorter kakor” (7 types of cakes) that I believe my mom used to make her cake from. There are also a bunch of other goodies in there that I think you would love!

  55. This cake looks incredible and so moist! I too never tire of reading Molly Yeh’s funfetti research. I’m definitely going to make this sheet cake for my 8 (almost 9)-year old’s birthday this weekend!

  56. Cute, and looks delicious! As a mostly vegan, I don’t like to bake with eggs. How would aquafaba work in place of the egg whites here? (For those unfamiliar, aquafaba is the liquid drained from a can of beans, preferably chickpeas, and beaten until fluffy).

  57. Nancy

    Hi Deb, love your recipes, have your first cookbook and can’t wait for number two! Question…so if I want to make a one layer 13×9, would I just triple the ingredients and pour all the batter into the pan and adjust the baking time? Or do you think it would be better to just double the ingredients?

  58. Jan Duguid

    Deb: Just a quick clarification needed.. I could use and would use one whole egg instead of the two egg whites… ? Your little one is an absolute sweetie cake!

  59. Meena

    Hi Deb! I would like to use this recipe to make a smash cake using round 1-qt Pyrex dishes (roughly 5.5″ diameter x 2.5″ depth). What recommendations do you have for the volume of batter I should prepare, how high to fill each glass dish, and bake time/temperature? Thank you!

    1. deb

      Half this batter will make a 1-layer 6-inch round cake of equivalent height, 5.5-inch is close enough that I’d just use that volume and scale as you need.

  60. Years ago, I made a 3-D Elmo cake for a similarly obsessed 2 year old niece. Alas, it was TOO realistic. She cried, “Elmo bite me?” over and over until we took it back to the kitchen to cut into serving pieces (and minus the head!) Your cake looks much more toddler-friendly and also delicious. Happy birthday to Anna!

      1. deb

        Aww. My husband wanted me to do an Animal muppet cake because we jokingly call her Anna-mal (she’s wild and has red hair, basically) but I was 100% sure it would terrify her. I mean, look at him.

  61. Laura

    Oh man. Long time reader but rare commenter. I must say three things:
    1) It’s my birthday this weekend! Perfect timing. As I enjoy baking, I think I will make this as a treat for myself (and, of course, my family).
    2) How did you pipe such accurate Muppets? Amazing!
    3) I didn’t know curls like that existed in real life.

    Thanks for the special and timely post! Yum yum yum.

  62. CharmBakes

    Help! I’ve managed to mess this up pretty spectacularly. I only made the cake part, and I omitted the sprinkles. I used ‘just whites’ from the carton. Could any of that have been the culprit? My cake tastes chemical-ly. The baking powder and corn starch have expiry dates more than a year away. I measured by weight rather than volume. I baked in an 8×8 dark metal pan. The cake also almost exploded over the sides of the pan, then deflated and sank in the middle when I took it out of the oven. Any thoughts? All of your other recipes I’ve made (particularly cakes) have turned out deliciously!
    Thanks.

    1. deb

      Yikes, I am not sure at all. It sounds like a chemical thing — too much leavener but I don’t know how it happened. No chance you accidentally used self-rising flour, right?

      1. CharmBakes

        Hi, Deb!
        I wish it were such a simple fix. Regular, AP White Lily. (I actually have to ‘make’ my own self-rising flour if a recipe calls for it, since I don’t keep it as a matter of course.) I didn’t mix the corn starch and the baking powder either because they come in easily distinguishable containers (and I had to search for the corn starch waaaay back in the pantry).
        I, too, thought it was a leavening problem and re-made the cake yesterday afternoon. Everything the same except I cut back the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon. Voila! Tasty, soft, level topped white cake. No almost-explosions o’ batter!
        Thanks, Deb. Nice, easy recipe.

      2. AnnieN

        @Charmbakes, I know that you weighed everything and most of the time that is how you get consistently good results. One thing that most bakers and blogs fail to mention (no dig at you, Deb) is that you can put in too much leavener if its a small amount like, say, a teaspoon. Unless you have a scale that is accurate to 1-2 decimal places (for the gram units, especially), you are most likely going to add too much. Baking powder is a light and fluffy powder which can make this problem even worse. The majority of baking scales do not have that kind of precision. If they do, they cost $$$$ (I’m not joking, I use to work in R&D lab which had scales going out 4 decimal places and cost around $10k EACH).

        So for those really small amounts, best to stick to the volume measurement (the teaspoon). You’ll be less likely to use too much of whatever (in this case, baking powder).

        1. deb

          I don’t give weights of baking powders and baking sodas for this reason, or really anything that clocks in under 10 grams. Scales are too variable. For other ingredients, I round to the nearest 5 but specifically didn’t on the cornstarch so it would be more accurate. Anyway, this doesn’t help the cake disaster but it shouldn’t have been because of a leavener weight here. Glad the second round was a success.

  63. I have no kiddo birthday parties for kiddos anytime soon. However, I think we’ll be having a confetti cake for dessert this weekend because… well.. why not?

    This recipe looks gorgeous and delicious! Thanks!

  64. Laura B

    My son was born five days after Anna. I remember having the same due date as you. Last year, I made him the peaches and cream cake. Guess we’ll officially make it a tradition and follow it up with this delicious confetti cake! Side note: I also have plenty of sprinkles because every time I go somewhere, people request your confetti cookies.

    In another weird internet coincidence, my wedding cake was a Swedish princess cake. We’ve moved 3000 miles away from the bakery where we ordered it (and every year would pick up another for our anniversary), and no one in our new town had every heard of it. Guess that means I’ll have to take matters into my own hands. Hopefully, you’ll make it first. I need Smitten Kitchen’s guidance!

  65. At First Thank You For Sharing This Great Cake. I’m From Croatia Small Country In Europe. I Love Your Blog And Your Content. Happy Birthday To Your Anna!

  66. chiefflare

    I love how you make me feel like I can really master this! This funfetti cake is going to be the perfect birthday cake for a certain soon to be 9 year old!

  67. Lauren

    Elmo, Elmo, Elmo. Or “Melo” as my just turned 17 months granddaughter calls him, does have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that kids with no screen time and only one book with him in it ( and a tiny baby teething ring) seem to love. I just think…it could be so much worse, “Melo” is a happy guy, and sweet and innocent. I think I will give this one a try before birthday # 2, it will be her first real “cake”, and the sugar shock will be intense. I may try to de- sweeten it a bit. Any ideas on how to do this without risking the integrity? I have 6 months to perfect it!

    1. deb

      I’d already reduced the sugar so I’m not sure I’d go much lower. You probably can, but sugar contributes to moisture and it would be a shame to lose it. For the frosting, I actually use one-third of what the back-of-box powdered sugar recipe recommends. It’s still quite sweet, but any less and it’s basically only whipped butter.

  68. I don’t really like white cake (give me all the chocolate!), but for some reason I adore confetti cakes! My daughter’s birthday is next week, so I just made these as a tester. The texture is perfect, and the flavor is so much better than a lifeless box cake mix! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is almost too buttery for my tastes, so I might try 1/2 shortening next time.

    Here are the modifications I did in case anyone was wondering about the same ones:

    – I used the batter for cupcakes, and it nicely filled 12 lined cups (not overflowing, but will be fine when frosting is piped on I think)
    – I used milk and vinegar instead of buttermilk (1T vinegar + milk). Still incredibly moist.
    – I didn’t have rainbow sprinkles on hand, so I used nonpariels and sequins (small wafer-like sprinkles). The sequins bled just a little in the batter, but when baked were so bright and pretty and tasted good too.
    – I enjoy a little almond flavor in white cake, so I used the 1/2 tsp. vanilla as written (regular, not clear) plus added 1/4 tsp. almond extract.

    I didn’t even get to the frosting, because the cupcakes were so good we’ve been eating them plain! Thanks for a great recipe, Deb!

  69. realfoodiefamily

    The Elmo phenomenon is SO true. I don’t get it, but it’s a thing. Your funfetti cake is everything think that funfetti should be without the unfortunate box flavor ;). I really want to make this!

  70. Debby Nelson

    The recipe looks great, but really, I couldn’t care less about the cake. It’s the two-year old honoree that has my heart. She and her brother get cuter with every photo, and it has been a pure joy to watch them grow. Keep them coming, and oh yes, keep the great recipes coming, too.

  71. HAHAHA!!!! The love of Elmo does come out of thin air!! my 22 month old daughter has never ever seen Elmo on a screen, we have one Sesame Street book in the house that I have read to her perhaps ONCE before (months ago! in which Elmo is not a particularly important character!) and yet last week she started saying “Elmo! Elmo!” and when we happened upon that one book again yesterday, she knew it was her friend ELMO!!!!

    Great looking cake!! I loooove sprinkles!!!

  72. Chamila

    Hi there. Your cake is falling right on time for the Multicolor theme which my soon 4yr old want. As You,I wanted to host an arty party where the toddlers would get to mess up paint and all the fun but when my daughter mentioned she wanted a multi color theme (she worked on rainbows at school), I thought i should let her dream come first than my wish.

    So before asking u for anything else cake-related, I wanted to ask you a personal query. Did you modify the photos of the cake or are they natural because the colors are so vivid and pretty? I am not challenging you by asking u this. I just experienced with a similar recipe(a bright cookie cake with sprinkles) which I tried on another blog and the color wasn’t the same. And then I used a photoshop package and my cookie cake pic looked so so so nice! But it wasn’t in real life.

    1. deb

      I always edit photos but try not to fuss with the saturation much because it always looks unnatural. The color is accurate, but you’ll need to use enough food dye to get it there.

  73. CarolJ

    Deb, in the ingredients list there are a couple of singular-plural disconnects: “1 teaspoons baking powder” and “1 cups (130 grams) all-purpose flour.” I’m not worried about the flour measurement because of the grams equivalent, but could you please confirm that a fractional measurement didn’t get left off the baking powder? Thank you.

    1. deb

      Just typos that came from me rewriting the recipe scaled differently for different cakes. 1 teaspoon baking powder. 1 cup flour. Now fixed.

  74. Emma

    Vanilla flavour for a white cake? Keep a few whole vanilla pods in the sugar jar. After quite a short time the sugar will be fragrant and delicately flavoured with pure vanilla. And the pods will last forever: just keep topping up the sugar level. You can even rinse and dry pods that have been heated with milk to make custard and put those in the jar.
    Happy Birthday Anna

  75. Elysa

    Oh this is perfect. My little girl is turning 5 next week, and she’s going to LOVE this!

    Confetti cakes were my favorite growing up, but I had no idea how to make a homemade one that actually tastes good. Thank you!!

  76. Naomi

    Deb, as a lover of all things sprinkles, I’ve been waiting for this recipe from this site for what seems like my whole life. I knew we’d see it eventually back when you forayed into homemade sprinkles. Thank you! Can’t wait to make this!

  77. Liz

    Your pink lady cake makes an amazing confetti cake. 3 towering layers of pink and sprinkles, then frosted and the sides completely coated in sprinkles with a smooth white top. This looks delicious too though.

  78. Liz

    Your pink lady cake makes an amazing confetti cake. 3 towering layers of pink and sprinkles, then frosted and the sides completely coated in sprinkles with a smooth white top. This looks delicious too though.

  79. J Woessner

    I’d say you nailed it! (Did a Big Bird cake for daughter’s second bday nearly 39 years ago -man, that was a LOT of yellow icing!)

  80. Julie

    How do they learn this stuff?? My daughter has never watched Paw Patrol and somehow she came home from preschool having learned all the characters.

  81. Pamela

    Such a cute cake. Texture is nice, but mine tastes like butter. I noticed no one has mentioned this. So am pondering, rather than the extra amount of butter, do you think it could be because I used Kerrygold butter. I love it, but don’t often use for baking. My cake also had a very slight yellow color and I even went out and bought the imitation vanilla! Just like to get your expert opinion. Keep the better butter for bread!

  82. Thanks for another great recipe, Deb! I love your opening statement, “There comes a time in every parent’s life when love must be expressed through buttercream, food dye and sprinkles.” Even when one’s child is a 9-year-old boy returning home from summer camp tomorrow!

    I made two 9″ round cakes, one at a time, scientist baker that I am. ;-) I used tapioca flour in the same amount to replace the cornstarch because that is what I have on hand. Also, after seeing how the 2/3-1/3 mix of long sprinkles and non-pareils made the first cake rainbow rich and darker, I waited to add the colored items to the second cake after spreading the batter in the pan. Then I gently folded them in until they looked nice. The finished second cake is much neater and whiter, though both look and taste scrumptious!

  83. Pattytattat

    This is a delicious cake – and fun – my husband (our cake-baker) made this for our daughter-in-law’s 30th birthday (never too old to like sprinkles). The icing is spectacular. The cake came out very dense – is baking powder correct or should it have been baking soda (with buttermilk). No matter – we loved it, it was fun for a grown-up birthday, and we will mess with it again. It did look just like the picture.

    1. SallyT

      Did you cream your butter and sugar for around 3 minutes? You need that time to aerate… also, make sure not to mix in the flour for too long. I made it yesterday, and my cake was tender and fluffy.

    2. Emily

      I, too, wondered about the baking soda/baking powder distinction. We followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a lovely looking cake (looked just like the pictures) that was quite dense and flour-y tasting. Wondering if there was maybe a typo? In any case, I didn’t care much for the cake, especially since there are such a plethora of delicious cakes already on this blog. Maybe next time I would stick with the smitten yellow cake and just add sprinkles to that. or, make the smitten one bowl chocolate cake instead because THAT is a winner. :)

      1. deb

        I’m sorry to hear that there were problems with the cake (and that I am late to respond). As I mentioned up top, cakes with egg whites only do tend to be more dense, however, I was very pleased with how fluffy mine came out — more so than any egg white only cake I’ve ever made.

        But, possibly relevant here, I used less baking powder than I normally would for this volume of flour, mostly because it worked very well for me. A more common rule is for each cup of flour (or the equivalent, such as the cornstarch here), you’d use 1 teaspoon baking powder (or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda), but it’s usually more in layer cakes. Instead, I used slightly less. It is possibly you might be happier with the results from 1 1/4 teaspoons here.

  84. Liz

    We made this with some pink and purple sprinkles we brought home from the Netherlands and it was amazing!! The sprinkles are faintly berry flavored and I find them disgusting – but in this cake they are a miracle! They added beautiful color and my father in law actually thought we put fruit in the cake! They were the same brand as the chocolate sprinkles that you one linked to at some point, maybe in the past few months or so. (My kids love Dutch toast!) Plan to make this again, so easy and so good. Awesome job! And happy birthday to Anna!

  85. Melodee

    I’m not sure how to do this kind of conversion, but would the recipe as written make enough batter for 12 cupcakes? My daughter’s second birthday is next wedo and I want to make her a “clock” cake, which is a round cake surrounded by 12 numbered cupcakes with the clock hands pointing at the age. (I had these growing up and was so sad when I turned 12 and knew it was my last clock cake!)

  86. What a beautiful photo of Anna, how much she has grown. I love her hair! I ruefully state that no scary foodcolouring will go into my kid’s cakes either – but there are just those times in life when nothing but artificial tints will do and as parents we have to just scrape the icing off our slice and hope (or insist) that the kids do too….. Wishing Anna a wonderful 3rd year!

  87. Emily Powell

    Smitten kitchen,

    I have been following this blog since I was in college (now a doctor in New Orleans) and I just want to let you know how much i ADORE your blog, cooking, style and lifestyle. I am from Oklahoma originally so when y’all made the move out there a few years ago, I continued to follow you blog and now find MYSELF in a new state in home (moved to louisiana over a year ago). This blog has been a “go-to” for me for years and i just wanted to leave a sweet little note telling you how much your handwork has meant to me! I will be making this confetti cake for my fiancé and I this evening as we get ready to watch our favorite show, Game of Thrones. I hope you had a fabulous weekend and enjoyed your daughter’s birthday party!

  88. Laurelle

    I love how this cake comes together quickly and looks pretty, however, my finished product was only about one inch high. Any idea why this might be?

  89. chamila

    Tried and tested and loved! Is definitely going to be kept in my recipe files. This was a tester for my daughter’s bday soon. I am going to try the handmade sprinkles to topple on top. Hope it will be nice too.

  90. Stephanie Kilian

    I love your unabashedly embrace of sugar, and artificial colors. It is a welcome breeze, after the discussions of Paleo Birthday cakes…it is a BIRTHDAY CAKE, give the Whole30, Paleo diet a day off!

    Your daughter is a cutie, hope she enjoyed her wonderful, non Paleo cake!

  91. This looks awesome, though!!!I am going to make this weekend for my brother’s birthday day surprise and I am sure that he will like this one. Thanks for sharing!!!

  92. atteoj

    Just made this over the weekend…for myself to celebrate my upcoming birthday. :)

    I love it, and had a blast making it, but for adults I think I’d make it with a higher cake-to-frosting ratio–that frosting is intensely sweet! I also found that because it’s a very small batch of cake batter, my stand mixer didn’t manage to mix everything as completely as I’d hoped so I had a few spots of sugar clumps that didn’t get mixed out…more scraping of the bowl required.

    I used sprinkles for the interior and sugars for the top…which may have made the icing seem even sweeter, though I didn’t cover the cake too densely with the colored sugars.

  93. Heather E.

    My husband, son and daughter are all July birthdays. We have one party with three cakes so 8×8 is the perfect size! I was incredibly pressed for time this year and your promise of “have this done in just about an hour” sold me. I started making this cake at 1pm for a 4pm party. We transported everything to my in-laws house (they have a pool but no AC) so I waited to frost. I took the icing out of the fridge a half hour before I wanted to use it. I went on smoothly and it was a delicious cake! I did not experience any of chemical taste or density issues.

  94. Any tips on translating this into cupcakes? Any changes to be aware of? Thanks so much– we can’t wait to use this recipe for our daughters #2 this week!

    1. Meg

      I ussed the small version of the recipe to make 24 mini cupcakes. I did not change the recipe, just kept an eye on them in the oven.

  95. Joanna

    I would love to make this for my son’s birthday, but have you found any rainbow sprinkles without hydrogenated oil in them? I would like to avoid trans fat.

  96. Meg

    Made the small version of the recipe in a 24-mini muffin tin to make cupcakes. They were delicious and kid-approved. My local cake supply store has a mix-ur-own sprinkles system:) with lots of colors, so we will be using this recipe a lot.

  97. Carmen Evans

    If there is one thing I could do over in my wedding would be to replace my too expensive and exceedingly ugly cake with a Publix grocery store wedding cake. Never dry, always perfect. No one ever complains :)
    (that being said… I always make my sons birthday cakes. Because I hope he remembers that I do.)

  98. Kaite

    This cake is delicious! And adorable.
    I made this in cupcake form. I got 9 cupcakes. I used a fresh strawberry icing as they were for a friend who requested strawberry.

  99. My daughter and I only had Halloween sprinkles, and we didn’t want a black and orange cake– so we added a tablespoon of matcha to half the batter. It tastes like green tea Pocky sticks!

  100. I made this today and it turned out great! My husband who is not a fan of cake nor sprinkles gave this his stamp of approval. He ate 1/3 of the cake in one sitting. I didn’t change a thing and it turned out amazing. It’s so beautiful and festive. I love how the recipe is pared down to make a smaller cake.

  101. Andrea

    I had been searching for something simple (but delicious) that I could make with my 3 year old for my own birthday. We recently made the peach bunny cake for my one year olds first birthday, and have made many of the chocolate cakes from SK for various birthdays over the years, all to delicious result. This cake (the small version) took me all of 12 minutes to go from ingredients to oven and it was so, so good. It took about 5 more minutes to bake than called for, but I chalk that up to my weird oven. Can’t wait to make again and again.

  102. Huma

    This was delicious!! I may have eaten the leftovers in my pantry in the dark while hiding from my husband and toddler.

  103. This cake looks very delicious. This looks mouth watering. I am definitely gonna try this in my kitchen. I am a profession baker in India. Thanks for this recipe.

  104. Jmbc

    These turned out really well. I doubled the recipe for 18 cupcakes baked for 25 minutes. They were light and fluffy but I did cream the butter and sugar (then with eggs) for quite a while. I also used buttermilk powder with milk and whole eggs instead of egg whites. My fave frosting for this kind of cake is from the website Not without salt and it’s a cream cheese frosting used with her rainbow chip cake.

    1. Jmbc

      Just a note for others- the cupcakes were actually rather dense after cooling. Not the light fluffy “boxed cake” texture if that’s what you’re after. Still delicious though.

  105. pdub

    Congratulations on your little one’s birthday and another awesome epic birthday cake!! Love the pics, so much that I was told I was being a stalker. I wanted to mention that when viewing your site from a phone, there isn’t an easy way to jump to the home page with the latest entry. Maybe clicking the SK logo could link to home?

  106. Karen

    So true about Elmo! My daughter at 18 months discovered Elmo stuffed toys at a homewares store where they had one to amuse children with while their parents were shopping and was inconsolable when we left the store without it. That was the first I knew of the Elmo love affair but it was intense once she received her own Elmo toy and she would only watch sesame street DVDs for the Elmo segments… Elmo was taken everywhere and was so loved that his pupils kept rubbing off on his eyeballs and had to be re-inked in by mummy every so often… However she did move on – Upsy Daisy from in the night garden was her next obsession at 2.5 years of age…