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
  • 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 nonpareils-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 nonpareils 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.

  • 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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611 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 –

    (a lot of effort, but WORTH IT)


    (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?

    2. Justina

      Hi Sally,
      I too have been trying to find a confetti cake that rivals the boxed version. Did milk bar’s already. How did you like smitten kitchen’s versus the one you mentioned! And did you try Martha’s cake recipe too? Or just the frosting! Thank you

  4. 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!

        1. NBH

          I doubled the recipe like this comment suggested and my 2 6″ cakes came out terribly because there was way too much batter. I think the recipe as listed is probably fine, if anything, make it 1 1/2 times more–NOT DOUBLE!

          1. deb

            Sorry to only read this now. No need to double for a 2-layer 6-inch round cake. Just this amount of batter is fine. Each layer will have the thickness you see in this cake.

        1. Hope

          Hi Deb

          Could you replace cake flour for the AP & cornstarch. If so do you think 1 cup + 2 tablespoons would suffice?


      2. Jennifer

        I cupcaked these and they came out very nice! The cake texture was perfect ( cooking at elevation in Denver).

        9 cupcakes at 29 minutes. I think I’ll skimp the scooping next time and stretch to 10 , they puffed more than I wanted. Still just lovely little cakes!

    1. Tee

      I made cupcakes with this recipe – I did 14 cupcakes which were on the smaller side. You could definitely do 12 slightly more standard sized cupcakes. I cooked them for 18 minutes and they were perfect. I didn’t experience the problem someone else described about difficulty releasing them from liners – they came out perfectly for me!

  5. 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. :)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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’s always worked perfectly for me.. (this for those who don’t have cornstarch or other non gluten flours.)

      2. Gabe Whitbread

        So am I correct in assuming that just omitting the sprinkles will give me your best white cake recipe yet? I’m obsessed with the idea of tender home made white cake – funfetti is fun but I want to know if this will work plain.

        1. Penny

          So, instead of the all purpose flour and cornstarch can I just use cake flour? If so how much? And what about salted butter instead of salt and unsalted butter?


          1. rianda

            Please help! I am looking at both the cups and grams measurements but they are inconsistent.

            For example, it says:

            “2/3cup (130g) granulated sugar”
            “1 cup (130g) all purpose flour”

            So is it 2/3 cup or 130g sugar?


            “1/2 cup (115g) butter”
            Isn’t half a cup 65g?

            I’m so confused!

            1. rianda

              Sorry please ignore or delete my question. I am an idiot. I realise now, a cup of one thing will not weigh the same as a cup of something heavier 🙄

            2. deb

              No, because different ingredients have different weights for the same volume. 1 cup of butter weighs than 1 cup sugar; 1 cup of sugar weighs more than 1 cup flour, etc.

        2. Katie

          Did you ever get an answer on this? I would also like to know if this is the best white cake recipe even when omitting the fun ;-)

  9. 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!)

  10. 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 :)

  11. 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.

      1. Laura

        I made this cake tonight as a trial run for my daughters fifth birthday. Two nights ago I made your “best birthday cake” but with the chocolate buttercream from your “‘I want chocolate cake’ cake.” The frosting on the latter was perfect: not too sweet, light and fluffy. The frosting for the confetti cake came out with a consistency more like cream cheese frosting. Suggestions for how to get frosting like the chocolate buttercream without it being chocolate? I’m trying to make a cake that my won’t-touch-homemade-cake-but-happily-eats-any-technicolor-grocery-store-abomination child will eat, and the texture of the chocolate buttercream (pardon any unintended insult) is similar to that of a grocery store cake, while also being superior in tastiness.

    2. Jen

      I only ever use homemade buttermilk. I measure 1 cup of milk, add 1 Tbls of lemon juice, and then microwave it to warm it up and “activate” the acid. Works perfectly every time.

  12. 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.

    1. How does that saying go? “Never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to…” Making a mental note to not ask my 17 month old this question.

      She starts daycare tomorrow–I think I’ll set the timer for her Elmo discovery now. :)

  13. 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!

        1. KiKi

          How would you suggest if I wanted to bake this in a 9by13 dish instead? What would you do for the cake and frosting to accommodate the size difference? Thanks in advance.

      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 ;-)

      3. Rachel Smolen

        Deb!!! I had the exact same talk with myself over the Elmo fondant decorated birthday cake I made for my little cousin Kate 5 years ago. Had you been there with this post I would have surely felt better because to get that Elmo level of red you really have the push the limit of red food coloring and your personal tolerance of artificial coloring and how red the kids can (and will) get from eating it. But anything short of the real thing and you just aren’t doing Elmo justice! Though I will say that cake toppers were all I could handle for the next couple birthday cakes I made after Elmo. Then I got those Trader Joe’s sugar gumdrops for on top of a rockets ship cake paired with pastel colored icing for a change and felt better about life in general. :-) thanks for your honesty!!

    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)

        1. Jessica Brand

          Deb, I am looking to make a 4-layer cake with this recipe. Will the cake structure hold up at that height? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

      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 ( 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!

  14. 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*

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

      1. Corynne Orzech

        Planning to make this in 2-layer 9 inch form for my daughter’s 4th birthday next weekend! I have both your books and have made a few of the cakes in the party planner. Hoping to make this with your vanilla buttercream recipe (which is heavenly, by the way). I doubled it for frosting a 2 layer 8 inch square cake – would that work here as well or would you recommend tripling for a 2 layer 9 inch cake? Thanks for any suggestions!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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 …

  27. 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?

      1. Kelly

        Hi! I’d love to make a sheet cake of this recipe tomorrow. How do you recommend altering the recipe for a nice cake? Thank you!

  28. 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?

  29. 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!)

        1. Lisa

          They’re good. There are a lot of white but they work well for your confetti cookies. I usually don’t ever want to eat sprinkles but these are good and don’t have that weird taste that some of them have. Plus they soften up a bit on cookies so they’re not crunch. It really doesn’t take all that long to go through them either. I’m about halfway done and I didn’t bake much this winter. Got hit by a car which sort of cut into my plans quite a bit.

  30. 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!

  31. 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 :-)

              1. KristenD

                I’ve loved your site (and recipes, of course!) for years, but have never commented. I know you’re not ready to share the recipe, but could you share how you decorated it, even if it’s just a rough description? My son’s birthday is this weekend, and he loves rockets and all things space! Just a simple chocolate cake underneath and he’d be quite happy!

                1. deb

                  You mean the rocket? I think I just used a lot of blue food dye in frosting (I was using a swiss buttercream but do not recommend it, it doesn’t take colors well at all so you might need less blue in a quick buttercream). I think I just copied the rough outline of a rocket ship cartoon and piped in different colors, as I did above. I didn’t like the rough look of it so used an offfset spatula to smooth them together.

  32. 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!

  33. 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!

  34. 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!!!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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 :)

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

      1. Melinda

        Do you think an even bigger one (13×18) for a party of 40 would work, or would it bake unevenly? that should be 6x the batter, but should the baking time change?

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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. : )

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

            1. Rachel

              JP and SALLYT having read your fascinating and informative thread, I’m going to make Deb’s cake into cupcakes for my 5yo
              son’s birthday party next weekend. I think I’m going to try Martha’s frosting, though, given you both say it is less sweet. I’m curious: do you think Martha’s frosting is viscous enough to pipe onto a cupcake? (Deb, I do apologize for using your post to ask this question but also appreciate your generosity to allow it in this space!)

              1. SallyT

                Hi Rachel – I would think so – I would use a tip that didn’t require much refined design, if that makes sense. Please post back and let us know how it worked!

                Also, I’ve seen a number of comments that said that this cake was dense – it’s certainly not, in my experience, and had a lovely fluffy texture – but you really need to beat the butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes in a stand mixer, more with a hand mixer. If it’s not creamy enough, you could end up with a denser cake… HTH!

        2. Rachel

          JP and SALLYT, thanks to your informative discussion, I’m going to be making Deb’s cake as cupcakes for my son’s upcoming birthday party but am going to attempt Martha Stewart’s cooked-flour frosting as I would prefer something less sweet. Did you two think the frosting was thick enough to pipe onto cupcakes with a star tip? (Deb, I’m so sorry to hijack your post for this – but appreciate your generosity in allowing me to do so!)

  45. 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 💟

  46. V

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. 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?

  50. 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!

  51. 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!

  52. 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!

  53. 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!

  54. 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!

  55. 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).

  56. 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?

  57. 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!

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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!

    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.

          1. Shelly

            I agree about altitude, I need to cut down leavening by about 3/4, especially when buttermilk and/or sour cream are involved. And, thank you for sharing your faux pas as I stubbornly stick to a recipe the first time ;).

      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.

    2. Suzzanne

      Dark metal pans absorb heat in the oven. I think it would have baked more evenly in aluminum cake pan. When using dark pans, you might want to lower the temp by 25 degrees. Same with glass. Love, Betty Crocker.

  62. 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!

  63. 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!

  64. 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!

  65. 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!

  66. 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.

  67. 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!

    1. Amanda


      I made another batch with 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening, and while I have no idea why this would happen the texture became unpleasant. It was fluffier than the all butter batch, but it turned dry in your mouth. :/ Will stick to all butter next time!

  68. 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!

  69. 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.

  70. 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!!!

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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

  74. 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!!

  75. 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!

  76. 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.

  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. 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!)

  79. 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.

  80. 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!

  81. 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!

  82. 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.

      2. Jess

        I have made it with both baking powder, and with baking soda (I wasn’t paying close attention that second time I made it) and I couldn’t tell the difference between the finished cakes.

      3. Erica

        Had the same issues as Emily – used the ingredients exactly as listed and followed the creaming for 3 minutes / not mixing the flour for too long instructions. Curious why egg whites make for a denser cake than full eggs? Would have assumed the opposite since egg whites tend to make things light and bouncy but don’t know the science behind it.

  83. 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!

  84. 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!)

  85. 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!

  86. 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!

  87. 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?

  88. 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.

  89. 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!

  90. 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!!!

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

      1. Emily

        Did you bake for the same amount of time? I want to do mini cupcakes as well but was concerned about getting the baking time correct. Thanks!

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.)

  97. 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.

  98. 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!

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. Huma

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

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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?

  105. 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…

  106. Katie H.

    Yes, I would like to confirm your theory, except in our household it was “Anna Elsas Anna Elsas” right at 18 months. But how!?!? I thought maybe Disney had high-powered, toddler-wavelength satellites, which I may not rule out but now know that PBS operates similarly. Seriously, how?! No screen time, yet irrational obsession…

    Also, to boot, this recipe will be great. Despite all the from-scratch baking I love to do, my husband’s favorite remains Funfetti from a box. I will try this.

  107. Sandy

    I baked this just as instructed this afternoon. I’ve made hundreds of homemade cakes and my family pronounced this one the best ever. IMO, there are a number of reasons for this that together, create a really delightful cake:

    1. The buttermilk and low amount of sugar make for a batter that’s not too sweet.
    2. The amount of batter bakes into a thinner, crispier cake especially around the edges, much like a brownie.
    3. The icing sugar-to-butter ratio is perfect in that you taste more of the butter and less of the sugar. Recipes I’ve used in the past call for 1 stick of butter and up to 2 cups of icing sugar, so all you taste is the sweetness.

    I will baking this caked again and again (which we’ve dubbed “Sugar Cookie Cake.” Thank you for posting recipe. Your blog is wonderful.

  108. Madeline

    Hurray, perfect timing for my daughter’s 2nd birthday which is coming right up!

    Deb, do you think it will work to triple the recipe but bake all that batter in a single 9×13 pan? I’d like to make a big cake but would prefer a single layer and a bit less frosting. Will it be too thick with a triple batch? Seems a double would be kinda thin. Thanks!!

  109. Okay I just made this for my son’s birthday tomorrow. Did one recipe in a 8 x 8 pan and it looks….really thin and kind of hard? I put it in the fridge to cool (not the freezer) so maybe it’s just that it was cold? Although we also have baking power that is on the new side but is that bob’s red mill brand and have this completely irrational feeling that the baking powder isn’t good? Roughly how thick should just one recipe be? I can’t tell exactly from the pictures? I have time to re-bake tomorrow, hence the trial run today (if this is the right size I might bake two for a layer cake.

    1. Tricia

      How did this turn out for you? I almost just posted the same exact comment. Mine looks thin and hard coming out of the freezer. Seems the the freezer cooling makes it more dense?

  110. Julie

    Deb, I am such a huge fan of you and all things Smitten Kitchen. You are my go to for all things delicious. I made this cake last night for my neice’s birthday today, and while it looked super cute, it left me a little underwhelmed in the flavor department. It was moist and sweet, but it really did not have any discernible flavor that left me wanting more. I am sorry to say that I won’t be making this one again, but no worry, because you have so many other AMAZING cakes to choose from. Thanks for doing what you do!

  111. Athena Barnjak

    Deb, I doubled this recipe and baked two 9 inch rounds. I let them cool completely on racks before I frosted them and stacked them. I didn’t refrigerate them; we ate the cake a few hours later. They tasted delicious, howsver, the cake itself was really dense. I don’t know what I did wrong 😑

  112. Rosita

    Nothing more than how lovely to have small children to make parties for. I loved that time. And mine still love the cakes I made for their parties – mainly a carrot cake.
    Such joy, and Anna is a honey bun.
    Sorry nothing really about the food.
    Other than food = love = family

  113. Nathalie

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My daughter is turning 3 in a few weeks, and wants a ‘princess sparkly glittery cake’. No need to look further for inspiration, your cake with a bit of glitter on the top will be perfect!

  114. Anne

    This cake is delicious and pretty. I made a 1/2 recipe in an 8×4 pan to test it before making for a crowd. I’d cut back on the frosting next time, didn’t think the cake needed that much.

  115. This is my birthday cake this year. Delightful whether you’re turning 2 or 32, as I am today. It tastes better than the box mix in my memory, a bit cleaner. I doubled everything and made one 9 inch round and 10 cupcakes. The only ingredient I did differently was the butter — used salted instead of unsalted because that’s what I had, and reduced the added salt a bit. (Though I will admit I like to use salted butter on purpose in my frosting.) The cake that went in the regular oven took a little longer than 20 minutes to bake; the 5 cupcakes that baked in my toaster oven were done in 20 minutes. I read earlier reviews where the cupcakes stuck to their paper liners but I did not have that issue. Also, I may have giggled gleefully when I dumped an entire half cup of sprinkles in the batter. Thanks for sharing!! <3

  116. meredith

    Hi, I’m a very new baker and wanted to make this for my daughter’s second birthday this week. I’ve tried this several times and mine came out very dense – i was using a 9 in round but it only measured 1 inch – did i do something wrong or do i overwork the flour or is the egg yolk issue possible. looking for something fluffy and yummy for my guests.

    1. deb

      The height sounds mostly correct (this is a thin cake, ideally for either snacking or stacking) but it shouldn’t be overly dense. Egg white cakes are more so but I think (hope) you can see from the photos that mine was quite tender and plush. You might find a little more baking powder, something like 1 1/4 teaspoons, helps. I went fairly low on it in this recipe but that’s because it had worked just fine for me. 1 teaspoon or slightly more per cup of flour (or cornstarch) is more common in layer cakes.

  117. Amanda



    I made another batch with 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening, and while I have no idea why this would happen the texture became unpleasant. It was fluffier than the all butter batch, but it turned dry in your mouth. :/ Will stick to all butter next time!

  118. Alana

    Maybe a silly question but if I wanted to make this into a small layered cake (two 8 inch rounds about 3.5 cm in height, how much would I need to adjust the recipe? Double or would 1.5 be okay? I can never get these volume things right. Thanks!

    1. deb

      For 2 8-inch rounds, I’d simply double this and divide the batter. As shown, it’s 1 8-inch square, which is more volume but it’s also quite thin. Your 2-layer 8-inch round will be slightly thicker per layer, which sounds like what you’re looking for.

  119. sgfoodclub

    Those are some great looking cake! I gonna make this for one of our upcoming party. and also shared this post on a singapore foods blog

  120. I just made the cake (decorating tomorrow) for a GBBO marathon, and it smells fantastic! I left out the sprinkles, and am instead going to put currant jam with the icing between the layers, and nasturtium blossoms on top. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  121. Donna

    This cake is so good!
    I’m not into fancy over sweet cakes and this one surprised me with its simple homey taste. It’s in my family’s repertoire:)

  122. Would this work well in a bundt cake pan? I’m looking to make a number 3 shaped cake and wonder if this cake would hold up through cutting and moving it to make the shape.

  123. Kristen

    Question for ya’ Deb – My ginger-haired baby is turning one this week and I want to make this cake… however my family is a fiend for cream cheese frosting. Your recipe for the frosting (from the Red Velvet cake in ’07) yields 3 cups; how many batches do you think I will need of that frosting for a 9×13 sheet cake? I think your icing for this cake yields half as much as the cream cheese frosting (I’m actually making a 3 layer 8×8 with a smash cake but am fairly certain the proportions will work… if you have misgivings please let me know!)

    Thanks for all you do to put out such an awesome blog! You’re the best!

    1. deb

      I’d probably use 8 ounces cream cheese, 4 ounces butter, 1 1/3 cups of powdered sugar and a pinch of salt to cover the top of a 9×13 sheet cake. Maybe 1x5x of that if you’d like to cover the sides too.

  124. Laurie

    My son’s 2nd birthday is tomorrow! I just made this into 9 cupcakes but wish I had followed Deb’s estimate and made 10. (The extra batter spilled over and made a bit of a mess…but on the plus side, the excess crisped up and tastes like the best sugar cookie I’ve had in a long time.) My cupcakes aren’t exactly pretty–I’ll know better for next time–but they taste fantastic!

  125. Allison

    I’m going to make this for my daughter’s 1st birthday. Would I need to double the recipe to make a single 9 by 13? Three times the amount of frosting?

  126. Suzzanne

    I plan to make this cake for Mom’s 88th birthday, so decided to do a test run today when the granddaughters were here. We made 12 cupcakes, which turned out great. Love the flavor and texture of the cake. We had fun decorating. Little kids can’t sprinkle with the bottle, but if you put a few sprinkles in a shallow bowl, then can pinch with their fingers and drop sprinkles on the frosting. For the dozen cupcakes, I used approximately 1/4 cup batter for each and baked 20 to 25 minutes at 350. Sometimes you can find sprinkles by the ice cream topping in the supermarket. Thanks for the another great recipe. BTY, served family your blueberry muffins when I had overnight company this summer. Love those muffins.

  127. Laura

    I made this today for my son’s graduation from preschool. I made a two layer 9 inch round cake. It was perfect! I think this will be the new celebration cake.

  128. Katie

    My husband and I made this cake for our son’s first birthday party – it was fun and delicious! Due to logistics, we made it the day before and refrigerated it over night. We let it sit out a few hours before serving and it tasted great. Thanks for the fun recipe, Deb!

  129. Tonya

    You are a goddess. My daughter is one month younger than your Anna. Last year I made your peaches and cream cake, only in owl shape instead of bunny. This year I shamelessly copied this cake, except when I printed the stencils I made them too big and didn’t realize it until I got them all cut out, so Oscar had to go. Thank you for always turning out such amazing birthday cake inspiration.

    1. Tonya

      I also made the pared down recipe and baked in mini muffin size for the kids at daycare. The recipe made 28 mini cupcakes and I baked them for 16 minutes. Perfection.

  130. Hilary

    Just made this yesterday with my 3 year old, and the whole family loved it! I used 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, and the cake turned out perfectly. I couldn’t believe how moist and flavorful it was! Oh, and I’m thankful that the recipe yields a smallish cake – a good thing for those of us who struggle with eating delicious cakes in moderation!

  131. Hello Deb,

    I’m comparing the ratios in this recipe against the ratios of your Best Birthday Cake recipe. I notice that in this recipe, the amount of flour and buttermilk are halved in proportion to everything else. Have you noticed any differences in the results of your bake? How would you compare the two recipes?

    1. deb

      They actually don’t have a lot in common, structurally. The classic birthday cake is a bit fluffier, this has a slightly tighter crumb. This one uses less eggs for a similar amount of flour and butter, and more sugar. It uses less liquid, as you noted.

  132. Jenna

    This was so good and so easy to make! The bake took a little longer for me because of my lame oven, but I was still able to have everything done in 1.5 hours (which was all I had) – including fixing my frosting (because I forgot and added all ingredients at once – oops) and time to pipe some decoration on the top! It was a hit with everyone at our friends home renovation party (finally got their permits!). It was a pretty warm day here; so the color of the sprinkles melted into the batter almost as soon as I dropped them in the bowl. My batter was multi colored instead of white. But I still thought it looked beautiful. And it tasted beautiful too. My sisters are coming into town next weekend. We’ll all be together after several years. So I’m of course making this cake again to celebrate! I have a feeling this will be a staple in my home for years to come. Thanks, Deb! Your recipes are such a joy to make, and you’re witty writing warms my heart every time.

  133. Hi, I want to triple this recipe to make a 3 layer 9″ cake. I want to use oil instead of butter, but 1.5 cups seems excessive. Is that right? Or should I reduce it to a cup or so? Thanks.

  134. Michelle

    Hello! I would like to make cupcakes instead of the full cake, would you change anything in the recipe for cupcakes? How long would you bake them? Thanks!!

  135. Rachel J

    Hi, I made these as cupcakes yesterday for my son’s birthday, and they are very yummy, but they came out very “wet” or humid. Not quite sure how to describe. Also, the sprinkles mixed into the cake mix turned the cake blue. Maybe I got unlucky with those sprinkles. Any recommendations? I am hoping to try the cake tomorrow. I did double the recipe, and we live on the northern coast of Peru (very humid climate, close to the ocean).

  136. Elizabeth

    Hi Deb! My 3 year old has requested a vanilla cake with blueberries (and seaplanes) for his birthday. Could I use this recipe and fold in some blueberries instead of sprinkles? Thought that might allow for the same effect while also including his beloved blueberries…any advice about whether or not this could work? And how many blueberries to include? Thank you for your help!

  137. jesse

    Great recipe! I ended up making a slightly larger batch and baking in two 6 inch pans to make a layer cake version of this for my girlfriend’s birthday. Turned out amazing!

  138. Leti

    This a fantastic & delicious cake! Have made it two times. Once doubled as a 2 layer 8in round with chocolate frosting and once in the 8×8 square w/ Deb’s frosting. Both times I did not use sprinkles only because I didn’t have them. I appreciate the small size and those of you looking for not a “big” cake will really like this- nice for small family, luncheon or even after school treat. Very easy to make and quick! Thank you!

    1. Bess

      Leti, what recipe for chocolate frosting did you use? I’m going to make this cake (two 8″ layers) for my son’s birthday but he asked for chocolate frosting. Thank you!

      1. Leti

        Sorry Bess- I wasn’t set up to get notifications and was just back here to get this recipe again ( I love it). Hope your cake came out well. Deb’s Fudge Frosting is good to use.

  139. Yael

    After making this, I read through the comments and have to chime in that like some other bakers, I wound up with a very dense cake that tasted like raw flour (the edges were golden and it passed the clean toothpick test). It also didn’t rise as much as I would have thought, esp. since I was using new Baking Powder and like others, I was confused re: the inclusion of baking powder instead of baking soda with an acid like buttermilk. I am a pretty good baker but this turned out to be a waste of good ingredients and one of the few things I’ve baked that wound up getting tossed out.:( Otherwise, am a big fan of this site and love your writing, Deb!

    1. Kate

      Putting this here for anyone else searching by “rise”: I used some sprinkles from Target and it was flat and the sprinkles bled a lot. I then tried again with Betty Crocker sprinkles from Kroger and it turned out great! It could be another variable but that is the primary thing I can identify.

  140. Kim in Silicon Valley

    I’ve already made this once and may need to head back into the kitchen again today. The cake is a great recipe with good structure, flavor, and crumb; your obsession with perfection is much appreciated. I cut the square cake into nine pieces and frosted each with chocolate buttercream (the sides too), then our little family of three partied the funfetti way for three days straight!!

  141. Anna

    I made this a few days ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday/engagement. They were a hit! I made them into cupcakes and baked in silicone cupcake liners. I kept the baking time the same. The texture was definitely different than other cakes (it was more firm than ones I usually make), but I loved the level of sweetness in both the cake and the frosting and I imagine that it would slice very cleanly as a sheet cake.
    My husband absolutely loved them and said that they were tied for his favorite cake recipe that I make.

    Oh and I used Betty Crocker’s star shaped sprinkles. Store was sold out of all of the normal ones?! Apparently here in Miami, rainbow sprinkles are on everyone’s hurricane shopping list.

    1. Lindsay

      Reporting back to day that I swapped the 1/2 cup sprinkles for 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips. It took about 25 minutes to bake in my oven. Topped it with 1/2 recipe of the instant fudge frosting and it was the perfect petite birthday cake. Thanks for a great recipe!

  142. Sara M

    Please make the Princess Cake at some point. My mom and I made one for my birthday last year and we spent the entire time talking about how awesome it would be to have a Smitten Kitchen version of the cake to make.

  143. Natalia

    I made this! It was great, I’ve tried confetti cakes before with much less success. The cake itself was great but my frosting didn’t work out too well, but I assume full responsibility.

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  145. Nicole

    What brand of flour do you use? I ask because I want to be sure I have the correct amount of flour. I use King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose. According to their website 1 cup=120 grams. On this recipe you list 1 cup as 130g. Other recipes you call for 1 cup as 125g. Is there a reason for this? Have you changed brands? When writing a recipe do you go by volume and just write in the weight conversion later or do you make it by the weights listed?
    Thanks so much for such amazing fool-proof recipes!!

  146. dz3881

    Deb- thank you. I’ve been following for years. Since I was single in nyc – many moons ago. yesterday I made this cake to celebrate my first baby’s first birthday. It was delicious – still is, an eyeing a slice for breakfast – but mostly wanted to thank you for what you do! I used the sprinkles you linked to from amazon and doubled the recipe to make 2 8 inch cakes I layered.

  147. Rachel

    Question! I have made this three times this week, and it seems to not rise basically at all. The first couple times I made it, i didn’t realize that my new oven SAYS 350 but MEANS 300, so it was a little…dense. BUT I have a shiny new oven thermometer, which I watched through the oven window pretty much the entire baking time, and its still not very high – about 1 inch. This one tastes good (but dense). I tested my baking power, creamed until fluffy and warmed butter and eggs to 65 degrees. Any advice for the next thing to troubleshoot?!

    1. Bumble

      Dense seems normal for this cake. When I had made it, mine came out a little dense as well. Other commenters also experienced the same.

  148. amy

    Hi, Hoping to make this cake this weekend. Is the sheet cake version (i.e. triple the bake recipe, bake in two 9×13 pans) enough to serve 28-30 (12 kids, 18 adults)? I see you say 2-3 dozen friends, so I assume so, but I just got the pans and it seems awfully small?

  149. Lauren

    I have made this twice now – doubled up for a layered 9inch round cake, and tripled for a layered sheet cake. Excellent every time! When you spread the batter into the pans it feels like it won’t be enough, but it bakes up just fine. Thank you Deb x

  150. bina

    I had the same problems with denseness as many of the readers. Has anyone tried this cake with cake flour instead of all purpose flour and cornstarch?

  151. Maggie

    Bakers Beware! I just made this cake using the organic “Sprinkelz” brand sprinkles. These sprinkles turn WHITE in the oven – very much taking the “fun” out of funfetti cake. At least I saved some to sprinkle on top…

  152. I am planning to make both a 2-layer 9×13 version and a 2-layer 6 in round smash cake for a friend’s kid’s first birthday in a few days. I’m concerned about it drying out if I make it in advance, any thoughts on whether a simple syrup shower on the layers would be advisable to make sure it stays moist? I’m concerned about it getting too dense if I do it.

  153. sharon

    This looks amazing! My 8 year old daughter wants to make this into a bunt cake. Do you think doubling will be enough?
    Thank you so much!

  154. Hi Deb! This looks amazing. I am gearing up to make it for my daughter’s first birthday (gulp: so hard to find sprinkles in Paris and the ovens are ELECTRIC) in a couple of weeks. Wondering if stacking two 9-inch rounds (by doubling the recipe) with frosting in between and on top will be enough cake for around 20 people? Or shall I try a triple 9-inch layer cake? Also, could I make the cakes and freeze them in advance?
    Thanks so much for your advice!

  155. Please make a Swedish Princess Cake! My kids have been clamoring for one ever since watching a certain British Baking show and our summer trip to Sweden. I really need the Smitten Kitchen deconstruction treatment. So many components! and MARZIPAN. Mmmm.

  156. Abigail Swenstein

    Hi Deb!
    My daughter will be turning three and I am looking to make my third SK cake for her. I have done the monkey cake, the perfect birthday cake, and now I am on to this. My question is how would you convert this to cupcakes? I would like to make 2 dozen cupcakes and a small cake. Do you have any advice on measurements and cooking times? Thank you so much.
    PS. I have a red head too :)

    1. deb

      It should make 10 standard-sized, 12 a little scantly filled, but probably just fine for little kids. So, I’d make 2x this for cupcakes and another 1x for a small cake. You can turn this 8-inch square into a 2-layer cute 6-inch round.

  157. Trudy

    Great cake – turned out perfect! As noted, it’s just one thin layer. Double the batch to have a great 8×8 layer cake! Didn’t double the frosting, though – just used a thin schmear with some raspberry jam between the layers with the rest of the frosting for the top only. It was pretty and delicious!

  158. haancar

    I just finished making this for my son’s second birthday. I feel like it’s too dense! But maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be? I will try the birthday cake next time. It’s looks much more fluffy.

    1. Abby

      Just made it for my sons 2nd birthday and it was so dense both my husband and I couldn’t finish our pieces. Kids seemed to like it but something went wrong along the way

  159. Sarah

    This is a dense cake but it is delicious and not too sweet. I made it as a 2 layer 9×13 with icing in between the layers and on top. I left the sides bare so you could see the sprinkles (I only doubled the icing recipe). This cake was perfect! Thank you for another great recipe.

  160. Natalie

    I made this for myself — sans Elmo — because I wanted it and my adult friends gobbled it up. I now have another cake in the oven for the 5th birthday of my niece’s twins. Their grandmother devoured a good part of the batter before I could get the cake in the oven. Great recipe. It’s flavorful and not too sweet and the suspended sprinkles in the white cake look wonderful.

  161. Sarah R V

    I LOVE this cake, and have made it several times. If you want a real “kids party” effect, use artifical vanilla (trick from C. Tosi). However, I always wonder about the beating instructions. Should the sugar and butter be creamed (usually 5 mins on Kitchen Aid stand mixer speed 6) or something short of that? I also am curious about correct length of time to beat the eggs and mix in flour. My cakes have always come out fine, but I am always dicey on the beating instructions.

    1. deb

      I don’t think it’s essential to be technical about minutes and speeds with beating, but you want the butter and sugar good and fluffy; I definitely do it for a few minutes. I usually just beat eggs for 1 minute. I’m glad you’re enjoying the cake.

  162. JP

    I baked this today for my wife’s 49th birthday tomorrow! She’s not into sweets but loves sprinkles and jimmies, so I thought this thin layer would be just the ticket. While mixing, it was extremely liquidy but thankfully I realized I’d used only 1/3 cup sugar, not 2/3; I added the rest and hopefully I caught it in time. It did mix up but I had to mix it longer than recommended after the flour was added to fully incorporate everything, so…I’m hoping I didn’t make it too tough! We shall see.

  163. Emily

    Hi Deb:) I made this cake in an 8 inch square pan and absolutely loved it! It has got to be the easiest cake I’ve ever made! I’m looking to make the sheet cake version to bring to work but question – is it possible to make the sheet cake in a single layer without the layer of frosting in the middle (using one 9×13 pan to bake the cake as one thick layer, not two thin ones)? I feel like that would probably mess with the baking time, but I figured I’d ask to see if you might have any ideas!

    1. deb

      If you’re looking for the same thickness, or thereabout, you can double it and bake it in a 9×13. If you’d like that cake layer to be a bit thicker, you could try tripling (or quadrupling) this recipe in a 9×13. Same temperature. Longer baking time; not sure how long offhand but check in at the regular time and every few minutes after to be safe.

  164. Morag

    Would you have any idea how I could make this egg-free? My daughter would adore this cake, and it’s nearly her birthday, but she has an egg allergy.

    1. deb

      I don’t see any comments here from someone who has used a flax egg, but I have seen it suggested on almost every other cake post on this site, so I suspect it wouldn’t be a problem here either.

  165. Melissa

    Just made this… realized I only put 2 tsp of cornstarch not tbsp. Also, used pure cane sugar and coarse kosher salt. Messed it all up. Didn’t rise and tastes kind of funny. Trying again for round 2 right now.

    1. Rosie

      Made this party cake today for my granddaughters baby naming. WoW! It was gobbled up by friends and family. Best cake ever. Will make it for her smash cake when she turns 1. Only issue was sprinkles I used (as recommended by Molly Yeh) contained sugar sand and it bled resulting in not such a white cake. Still delish!!!!

  166. Meredith

    I want to make this for my daughter’s first birthday party. But I want to make 24 cupcakes. Is this enough to do so or do I need to double the recipe?

  167. Trushna

    Hi Deb,
    My little girl turns two tomorrow, and I’m making a rainbow layer cake for her using (double) this cake recipe, the method from your Dobos Torte, and cream cheese frosting & filling from the apple spice cake. So far the cake layers look amazing (you are the best!) – just waiting for the frosting to chill a bit on this unusually warm spring day. It was much easier and quicker than I ever imagined! Thank you for all the detailed instructions, inspirational photos and obsessive need for perfection – you make me think I could never fail!

  168. Amanda

    Hi!! I am planning on making this cake for my son & daughter this weekend. We are throwing them a joint birthday. My plan is to make (2) 6” round cakes for them- two layers for each cake. Do you think I can get away with a single batch or should I follow your instructions for a sheet pan?

      1. drewambrose2

        Thank you Deb! I am so excited to make this cake for them. Every one of your recipes that I have made has been fantastic!

  169. Bridget

    Hello! If i made this as cupcakes, how long-ish would I bake them do you think? Also, do you think foil cupcake liners would pevent sticking?

  170. Laura

    I have an almost-5-year old who requested LOTS of sprinkles. “But make the dots closer together, please.” Should I be okay to double the amount of sprinkles?

  171. Miriam Looney

    Really liked this recipe! In order to get a 3 layered 9-inch cake I tripled the recipe and it was the perfect amount. Definitely agree that the batter looks like it is completely broken until you add the flour. I had to beat the flour in a little more than I normally do to get the curdling out but it turned out perfect.

  172. chickpea

    I made this yesterday, by request, for a 38-year old’s birthday. :) I doubled the recipe and made a 9″ round 2-layer cake. Based on others’ reviews and Deb’s input, I upped the baking powder to 2.5 tsp (for the double recipe). The cake was still quite dense, even though I was careful to cream the sugar butter for at least 3 minutes, and an equal amount of time once the egg whites were added. It was satisfactory, but I won’t make it again. The frosting on the other hand was so buttery and sickly sweet that it ruined the cake for me – this might just be personal preference though (?). The children at the party loved the cake, but I noticed most adults didn’t finish their slices, which was disappointing (though the birthday ‘girl’ did like it, or so she said). So – my advice is it’s fine for kids, not so much for adults.

  173. Jamie

    Hi Deb!
    I want to make the sheet cake version of this, but only doing one layer and frosting only on top. Would I still need to triple the batter as recommended? Or would doubling it be sufficient?

  174. I’m wandering around the site looking for recipes to make for a soup kitchen that accepts homemade birthday cakes from volunteers, and then freezes them whole to use as needed.

    Any idea which cakes/frostings might hold up best together in the freezer, while also being relatively simple to make? I was considering this one but wonder if the lack of egg yolks would dry it out in freezing. The fudgy chocolate cake maybe? Best birthday cake?

    1. deb

      Any of the above. I also have a whole bunch of simple birthday cakes in Smitten Kitchen Every Day and I mention this because they’re all one bowl and optimized for speed and stacking.

  175. Sally

    I made this for my daughter’s 7th birthday party and it had great density etc. but the kids hated it! All the pieces were left uneaten. It wasn’t a chemical flavour as some mentioned – my daughter described it as too eggy which is a fair description. Aside from the taste, the sprinkles which were a mix of strands and circles, (I’m in the UK so would have different brands available) bled completely and the cake looked green. What a mum fail!

  176. Keri

    I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday party and it was great. I did three 9″ round layers (three “batches” of cake batter) and it was the perfect height to be something special. It took 4 batches of the frosting the frost the whole cake (though no fancy piping, just a simple, “flat” finish with sprinkles around the outside of the top). I made the layers early in the week and froze. Then, to frost the day before the party, I let the layers partially thaw on the counter before frosting. The layers thawed the rest of the way in the refrigerator overnight and were perfect when I served the next mid-morning after removing the cake from the refrigerator around 7am. Frosting the partially frozen layers worked very well for my (extremely) novice frosting skills. I think almond extract instead of vanilla would put this cake over-the-top but, for a bunch of 3-5 year olds, I figured vanilla was the safer bet. On another note, my daughter received a Play-do bake set for her birthday and when she played with the first time, she kept calling it “my Smitten Kitchen”. Ha, Deb… you are a part of my family! Thank you.

  177. Leah

    This is the best from-scratch recipe ever! Cake was light but moist and toddler loved the colors! So good even hubby and grandma/grandpa loved it!

  178. Sophia F.

    This cake tastes lovely but I followed the recipe to a tee and I too had density problems – the cake fluffed nicely and as expected in the oven, and then cooled and deflated to more of a pound cake texture (I doubled and put it in two 9″ round pans and each layer was less than an inch thick). Almost the only time I’ve had a performance problem with a Deb recipe, and I’m a fairly experienced cake baker. Could it have been that I used schmancy full-fat buttermilk as opposed the the standard, much thinner grocery store variety?

  179. Kathryn

    I had a craving for cake, but did not have time, energy, or air conditioning for a big endeavor. I also did not have sprinkles. And after I mixed in the flour, I saw the little bowl of egg whites on the counter. So make that time, energy, air conditioning-or attention span, apparently. So I beat in the egg whites. Baked in an 8×8 USA Pan Bakeware pan for about 25 to 30 minutes. I froze after cooling slightly, and frosted with white buttercream frosting sprinkled with just a couple pinches of silver shimmer sugar and purple sanding sugar, then cut into 16 squares. It was so pretty and glittery, but most importantly it tasted really good, despite my major error. I’ll make it again.

  180. Kelly Crawford

    This cake is so buttery and delicious. It is on the dense/moist side, but I don’t mind that at all, especially with layered cakes. I needed a white cake recipe in order to make a small Matcha Layer Cake. I followed all of the directions (by weight) and sifted 2 teaspoons of Matcha powder into the flour mixture and omitted the vanilla extract from the recipe (And sadly I had to omit the sprinkles too). The rich buttery flavor of the cake complimented the “grassy” tea flavor of the Matcha so nicely! And even produced an appetizing avocado colored cake. I did bump up the baking powder to 1.25 teaspoons as Deb had suggested to other readers, just to be on the safe side. If you double this recipe it will yield three average 6″ round cakes OR I made four 6″ rounds that were one inch thick and they took 20-22 minutes to bake. Thanks Deb for another successful recipe! You are the Queen of my baking world :)

  181. Amber Rodriguez

    I love your cake! I just made this for my daughters 3rd birthday, except I did a bus because she is obsessed with “The wheels on the bus go round and round.” It was delicious and the buttercream was perfect for decorating. My cake was a little dry though. I know this is my fault because every cake I ever make is a little dry, but I dont know what I do wrong! I get them out at the minimum amount of the recommended time and it doesn’t seem overbaked? I suspect it’s how I’m measuring the flour maybe?? Any advice in troubleshooting? Thanks !

    1. deb

      I like to give flour a little fluff before scooping and leveling it, to make sure it’s not too tightly packed. If it’s baked at the minimum time listed, you could probably check in even a few minutes sooner to make sure you get it out the moment it’s done.

  182. Beth

    Hi Deb and others! My sister and I made this cake and it’s absolutely perfect. *HOWEVER* alert alert! *The grams measurement on this recipe is off.*

    We double checked before we weighed it out based on the King Arthur Flour conversion guide, and we made it based on those measurements and it worked out perfectly.

    Here’s our math if you want to weigh in grams:
    * 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    * 2/3 cups (135 grams) granulated sugar
    * 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    * 2 large egg whites
    * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1/2 cup buttermilk
    * 1 teaspoon baking powder
    * 2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch
    * 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
    * 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

    Thanks for the great recipe, the grams were just off on this one! Maybe that’s why some people had trouble

    1. deb

      King Arthur says that cups of flour weigh 120 grams. (I never get this. It’s really low.) Cook’s Illustrated says 140 to 145 grams. (I never get this either.) I get 130 grams pretty consistently, so I call for that. Glad the cake was a hit.

  183. SG

    I have 50 people coming to a party so I’m going to do a 3-layer sheet cake. Based on my math, I need to make 5.5x the amount of cake and 7.5-8x the amount of frosting? Am I asking for trouble?

  184. Frances K

    I doubled it and it came out beautifully. I also used the whole egg because I didn’t feel like wasting the yolks, having a super white cake didn’t matter to me. Also, omitted the sprinkles. I did it in 2 x 8″ pans and they were about an inch, maybe an inch and a half tall. Icing it shortly but it smells amazing! Thanks for another great recipe.

  185. Sharmane

    I made this as a sheet cake last night for my son’s third birthday party . You are a genius. I made the apple subway cake last year and it was good but the confetti cake will be the official house birthday cake.

  186. I doubled this recipe to make two 9 inch rounds and stacked them, with a bit of icing in between. Rich and tasty and festive, thanks for a great recipe! This cake was sweet enough that just a small slice was perfect.

  187. hilsbells

    Weird question – i’ve been trying to calculate for an 11×7 pan, with two layers. I figure maybe the tripling of the recipe split in two ending with a slightly thicker slice? Is that right? I’m looking at various conversion charts and find them confusing. Thanks for any advice – hoping to make this for a three year old unicorn theme party.

    1. deb

      That sounds about right. I always scale by the bottom area of a pan. So, this recipe, for 1 8×8 = 64. The 11×7 = 77, and would make an even thinner layer (too thin) with the same amount of cake batter. So you’ve got the right idea. Good luck.

      1. hilsbells

        I ended up doing a 9×13, quadrupling the recipe for a two layer cake. Glad I did as there was none left. I realize there was about 2 lbs of butter in that cake. But it was a hit! The next day we had box confetti cake at yet another birthday party and it wasn’t even close.

  188. Hi Deb. I’m planning to make an ice cream cake for my son’s birthday — layer of cake, layer of ice cream, layer of cake. Do you think this recipe would be a good one for this purpose. Or is there another recipe on your site or in either of your books you works recommend instead? I will be doing 2- 9” round cakes and will be using black rasberry ice cream for the middle. He wants yellow or white cake and I plan to do a simple whip cream frosting. Thanks!!

    1. deb

      I think it should work well. Now, I haven’t tested this specifically here but my hunch is that cakes with oil freeze less solid than cakes with butter. Because oil doesn’t really harden in the freezer, you know? So, I might not make this with butter but with an oil, it might have a more enjoyable mouthfeel/texture when you slice it with ice cream. Seven-minute/meringue-like frostings freeze softly; whipped cream does not.

      1. Deb, thanks so much for your response. I swapped oil for the butter and the result was perfect for an ice cream cake. The kids (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed! I went with a whipped cream frosting and found it was just what I was looking for in this case.

  189. Dayna

    We love your recipes. Any ideas on how to make this gluten free? We tried it substituting Pamela’s GF flour but after 25 mins it was a liquified mess. Not sure if it was a reaction from the cornstarch or buttermilk? Any ideas?

    1. deb

      Did it eventually bake up? I have heard that sometimes gluten-free baked goods benefit from another egg (in this case, white) but cannot say for sure without testing it. Don’t see any comments yet (surprisingly!) from anyone who has made it gluten-free.

  190. Julie

    My 10 year old daughter and I made this cake for her birthday last weekend. It was the best tasting birthday cake I’ve ever had and there were many compliments from the whole family. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  191. Ana

    I made this tonight, a two layer ten inch square cake doubling the original recipe for each layer. I used cake flour, and simply combined the weights of the AP flour and cornstarch, and it worked well. I did run into a hiccup with the mixing; because I’ve only got one 10″ tin, I made two batches of batter. For the first batch I followed the instructions to the letter, but the batter never recovered after adding all the liquids in one go. It might’ve worked if I’d been able to mix it on a high enough speed without splattering my kitchen in cake batter, but things only came together again when I added the flour. For the second batch I alternated the buttermilk and flour in thirds, and it worked much better. The second layer came out a full half-inch taller than the first, with a lighter texture. It also baked about 5 minutes faster. Maybe adding all the liquid at once works better with a single recipe instead of a doubled or quadrupled one, or with a hand rather than stand mixer.

  192. Slightly off topic, but would this white cake recipe work for a rainbow cake? (I.E., different layers of cake tinted different colors?) I did a traditional yellow butter cake for my oldest daughter’s birthday cake rainbow-fied last year, but the batter got really overmixed when I added the color. Now my youngest wants one, and I’m not sure how to make it both look and taste good. Help!

  193. Janet Perles

    Help! I tripled this and divided into three 9 inch rounds. They look pretty but boy are they flat- like maybe two inches high. I worry they are too dense because I did not beat the egg whites long enough. That part of the recipe is pretty vague. Can I still serve this with a filling and buttercream on the outside or should I just start over because it will be dense and gross?

    1. deb

      The cake layers, as written, are very thin, designed for snacking or stacking, so this might be correct. The egg whites are just added and beaten “until combined and slightly fluffy” — they’re not beaten until stiff or anything (I promise I would tell you if that was necessary). Did you end up filling the cake?

  194. Allie

    Loved this recipe! I haven’t been in the kitchen to bake in a while so I was a little nervous about it, but everyone said it turned out amazing! I liked not having to buy even more pans to make a sheet cake and to use just 9×13 ones. I doubled the two layer sheet cake recipe (x6 in total) and managed to only need the frosting recipe (x7) to have the 2 9×13 pans butt up to each other for carving. This cake was great for carving I did not put in the freezer to make it more firm, I put my stencil right on after putting the pieces together with tooth picks and carved away. I did do a dirty ice around it and a quick freeze in case I wasn’t a fan of the piping work I was going to do as I’ve never piped before, but my little monster turned out as a adorable as it tasted and I can’t wait to use the recipe again!

  195. Tracy Fitz

    I made two of these this weekend. The goal was a nice fall-themed cake using orange and yellow sprinkles. However, my sprinkles melted in the cake – it looked like a pumpkin bled out – and then they re-solidified leaving a bizarre textural nightmare. Lesson learned: be choosy about the sprinkles you use. Because I didn’t have any better-quality sprinkles in the house, I remade the cake without sprinkles inside, frosted it simply, and added sprinkles to the top. While it lacked the overall festiveness of a confetti cake, it was simple to whip up and very easy to snack on.

  196. Cammy

    I made this this weekend for my daughter’s first birthday. I was looking for a thin, small cake recipe that I could cut two little rectangles from and stack for a smash cake. It was beautiful and I ate all the scraps as the baker’s treat. The extra batter was some of the most delicious cake batter I’ve ever eaten.

  197. Mariana Schuller

    Do you think this would work for cupcakes? I’m making unicorn birthday cupcakes for my daughters party this weekend.

  198. Victoria

    Thanks for the recipe! Just used it to make a 4 tier unicorn cake for my daughter’s third birthday. I made 4 times the quantity of batter and probably 10 times the quantity of frosting (6 colours plus frosting layers together and icing the outside). I love that the inside tastes as amazing as the outside looks.

  199. Beth L.

    Hello! Do you think this cake would freeze well for about 3 weeks? Thinking of making ahead and frosting night-before for a 3yo birthday brunch party. Thanks!

  200. Sandy

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts! You are my go-to for recipes and I have always had success with them! I just finished a picture perfect layered confetti cake and an ‘I want chocolate cake’ for a joint birthday event. The chocolate cake baked beautifully in a loaf pan (temp lowered a bit and baked ~50min) and carved into a racecar with no problems :-D thank you again!

  201. Sheri

    Hi Deb, I absolutely adore your work and almost exclusively make Smitten Kitchen cakes for all birthday celebrations. I’d love to turn the sheet cake into a three tiered round cake. Can you advise on any portion changes and bake time amendments. Want to ensure i don’t compromise anything with the format swap.

  202. Anjali

    Hi! This looks beautiful. I want to bake this for my aunt’s mother’s birthday. However, my family only eats eggless cakes. Would you be able to tell me how I can modify this recipe to make it eggless? From what I’ve seen, usually eggless cakes use condensed milk instead of eggs – would you be able to help me with the proportion? Thank you!

  203. Jennifer

    Thank you for the Confetti Cake recipe! Imagine my surprise when my child asked for confetti cake for her 18th birthday. I immediately went to your site to search. I use your recipes a lot, and knew you could be trusted:) Thanks again.

  204. I made this yesterday and I think I screwed it up! The batter did look like cottage cheese and the solids would not emulsify with the liquids.. And even when I added the flour, it remained lumpy. Long story short the result was a very oily cake because the butter wasn’t blended. Was my butter just too cold? Am I fired from using your recipes?

    *Don’t let this discourage anyone from trying the recipe!

  205. Nancy

    Hi! My daughter has requested Funfetti Cupcakes for her birthday cake. Oh…did I mention she’s turning 30? I love that my “kids” are still kids at heart. Anywho…can this recipe be modified for cupcakes? I really don’t want to go the box mix route and your recipes NEVER disappoint. Big fan, have both your cookbooks and can’t wait for the third. Thanks!!

  206. Julie

    Maybe a dumb question(s).. but I want to practice this cake and my frosting skills (currently non-existent, I can make my own cake wreck site out of my previous “failed” cake attempts.. in quotes because it’s not really a total failure when it still tastes good and can be patched with frosting.. I digress..) Can I leave out the sprinkles for my attempts? I guess I’m just wondering how much it would affect the final product.

    Also, I’m having a hard time determining how much batter this makes.. If I just do a regular 9×13, no layers, possibly leave in pan and frost, would tripling it be OK? Most of my cake wrecks are directly related to trying to excavate the cake from the pan, so maybe I should just avoid that whole mess.

    I’d like to make a 4″ cake for my soon to be 1 year old and a 9×13″ for the adults.

    1. Julie

      After another look, I found the answer to the 2nd question in the comments. Triple the batter for a more “standard” 9×13 unfilled cake.

    2. Leti

      Julie- Congrats! That is a big and special milestone.
      My “baby boy” turned 16 today! I am here at this recipe as well. It is a great cake!! Triple it and bake it in two (2) 9x 13 pans if you want layers. If you want no layers, then I would suggest doubling it and baking it in one (1) 9 x 13. Perhaps for your bday boy make the cake as is? I make it a 8 x8 square pan. You could always make it smaller by cutting a smaller square, shape etc.
      I make this cake all the time- really, like 6/8 times a year. Make sure you cream the butter and sugar until it is fluffy. That is usually at least 3 minutes in a stand mixer for me. I have a feeling that may be why some comments are saying their cake is dense. Mine is never dense- a light crumb and guessing Deb P’s is too or she would not have the recipe even here!
      Many times I never use sprinkles so it will not cause any changes to your cake.
      Best of luck and have fun with your one year old on his special day!

      1. Julie

        Thank you! He’s my first and he turned 11 months yesterday. It is so special watching them grow up! Happy birthday to your boy! The time sure does seem to go by quickly. Thank you for your suggestions. I think I’ll make a test cake this weekend sans sprinkles and work on my piping skills. Maybe I’ll even try to remove it from the pan in one piece, ha!

        1. Leti

          Thank you and yes it is special watching them grow. The good news is 16 is just as awesome, if not more awesome, than 1.
          Remember to use parchment paper on the bottom of your pan and grease the sides- I use butter. Good for you to do a trial run with a 11 month old around but that is really how to learn how to bake. And using this site helps one learn too:)

    3. Julie

      So I did bake this for my kiddo’s 1st birthday. It was somewhat of a fail, but reading the above comments it seems it was my fault. I quadrupled the recipe (to make a 13×9 and some cupcakes) and I’m thinking that much batter prevented me from mixing it that well. It was REALLY dense. Still tasty, though! And decorated nicely. Didn’t Julia Child say, never admit your cooking/baking failures?

      1. Leti

        Yes she did! Sure your guests were impressed with your homemade cake and that the most important guest- the birthday boy didn’t mind one bit or bite! So think you were on track- you just needed one more 9 x 13 pan as it is tripled and then divided into *two separate* 9 x 13 pans. And then your fourth batter could have been used for cupcakes etc. And guessing you are right that all that batter in one pan made for a denser cake but I don’t know enough to answer that. I do know that other comments talk about this being a dense cake and I never have that. But I also always really beat that butter and sugar for a long long time so maybe that helps.

  207. Andrea Kim

    This cake was delicious – even though I can’t follow a recipe and accidentally doubled the butter. (Surprise – pound cake!) I baked in little pans and put a layer of strawberry jam between and it was awesome!

  208. Erica

    I love this cake! If I frost the night before is it ok at room temp or do I need to refrigerate? I never understand with buttercream….. thank you! (Ps my 18 month old daughter just discovered Elmo…)

  209. I made this recipe and got compliments like “this is the best cake I’ve eaten in my life” (from a 60 year old) and “THIS is how a cake SHOULD be” (from a sweet-tooth). It’s light-ish and moist and has a great flavour from the buttermilk – people thought I put cream cheese frosting on it but it was the regular butter icing.
    One suggestion I would make is if you are making a round cake for a birthday party, triple the recipe and make a three layer cake (will need more frosting to sandwich), otherwise the cake will be very short and small and not feed enough people (they will definitely want seconds, and the one layer is very flat).
    Thank you so much Deb

  210. Alyssa

    I made this today for my husband’s birthday (and only 11 days late! we have an infant at home…). It was delightful! I used 1.25 tsps baking soda and it was not at all dense. And easy to make, even with a baby who has decided not to nap. I ended up having very little leftover frosting but I’m probably better off that way anyway.

  211. Emily Livingston

    I made this cake yesterday and we ate it today. I followed Deb’s recipe exactly, down to the sprinkle brands, and measured in grams. I doubled the quantity for two 9″ rounds which I cut in half for 4 layers. For icing I made a triple batch and had maybe a cup left over, but I am sparing with my icing. Like everyone else, I agree that this cake was dense, and it tasted a bit like raw flour, but was very well received. The floury taste reminded everyone of Lofthouse sugar cookies actually, so it wasn’t a negative for us. We liked the density, and the icing wasn’t too sweet. I used maybe a 1/8″ to 1/4″ layer of icing & then covered it in sprinkles.

  212. Skye Greenfield Cohen

    I have made this cake to rave reviews. I decided to cupcake it for an upcoming birthday, and based on other comments I multiplied the recipe by 2.5 to make sure I got at least 24 cupcakes and baked them for 25 minutes. They came out perfectly. If you are looking for a flat topped cupcake, doubling the recipe for 24 cupcakes might get you there – mine turned out with a fluffier, domed topped which is exactly what I was hoping for.

  213. Alice

    This is another great recipe Deb, was amazing for my dad’s b-day party. The sprinkles were very runny though, they turned my cake a gray-blue color, but it tasted so much better than it looked. Delicious!

  214. Haley Brown

    Hoping to use your confetti recipe for my daughters second birthday cake. We are doing an ice cream shape cake. How can your recipe be adapted for two 8 inch round cakes ?

      1. Jess

        DEB, my daughter’s 3rd bday party is this sun 2/2 and I want to make this cake recipe into 2 8 or 9” rounds I’m guessing double it. Will it be enough batter I want the cake assembled to be about 4”. Do you know if it will all fit in my kitchen aid 5qt artisan mixer bowl? Also wish me luck it is a rumble leaf party and I’m going to try and decorate the cake with characters.

  215. Sandra McDonald

    I live in New Zealand and am certainly going to try this recipe. In the 60’s my mum would make a packet mix Confetti cake which my friend Alison and I loved. I have a class reunion (1953) in April and will make this cake and share it with Alison. Summer is almost done over there, Autumn starts on Sunday.

  216. Laura

    I had to laugh outloud about your comment on putting Elmo on the Swedish Princess Cake. I once made the Princess cake (Martha Stewart recipe) with my sister (who does not like to bake whatsoever). We were completely unprepared and did not realize what I was getting us into (who reads through the whole recipe before they start anyway?). It turned out to be the most delicious, beautiful cake I ever made, but whoa, it is a commitment! Now my sister always references anything that we are unknowingly/stupidly/regrettably getting ourselves involved in, as a “Swedish Princess Cake” :)

    About to make this confetti cake recipe for my 3yo daughter’s birthday, except I’ll be decorating with horses. And I’ll likely never make a Swedish Princess cake again, because who has that kind of time when you could be making an equally delicious, easy cake like confetti cake? ;)

    Thanks for always making such reliable recipes!!

        1. Laura Smith

          Ok, not just an afternoon. Probably more time. Lots of chill steps involved, which I completely didn’t account for the first time around.

          1. Emily

            Deb, will you make the Swedish princess cake?! All this quarantine time has me dying for a challenge! This was my wedding cake, and the one from the Vete-Katten cafe in Stockholm ( is actually the best cake I have ever had. My friend and I have a Swedish midsummer party every summer and would love to make it, hopefully to debut a new skill post-quarantine!

            1. deb

              I’d still like to this year, although the princess is requesting a rainbow cake (sigh). Perhaps I’ll tackle it for my own birthday, in my spare time, heheh.

  217. Amy

    Do you think I could triple the cake recipe as suggested in the sheet cake approach, but divide in two between two 9 inch rounds? I’d like somewhat of a thicker cake layer because I’m thinking of doing a homemade strawberry filling between the two layers covered with the icing recipe you have here… I just thought thicker layers would be more conducive structurally to the fruit filling. It is for my son’s 4th birthday cake. :-) Hope you are staying safe and healthy.

  218. Just preparing for my daughter’s 2nd birthday and you are absolutely right about the Elmo thing. Your Sesame Street characters above are incredibly impressive- from a mom who will do the best she can to please, even in the midst of a global pandemic!

  219. Kate B

    My son is having a quarantine birthday on Wednesday and is asking for an oreo cake. Do you think this batter would work with crushed oreos mixed in instead of the sprinkles? We’re trying to limit trips to the store and working with what we have in the pantry. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Yes! And oof, I’m working on an Oreo-ish cake for us — but I need another week or so to get it right. Wish my timing were better!

      1. Beth

        …came to the comments to see if anyone had already successfully replaced w Oreo – so validated that I’m not the only one with this idea! Will try it tomorrow – will try to come back and report. (btw – I’ve made the confetti version for at least two kids’ birthdays with great success)

  220. We loved this recipe! I made twelve smallish cupcakes for my son’s seventh birthday; with just the four of us (no party – at least not yet! – until life looks different than it does right now), it was just right. Ours turned out a little bit like muffins: a little crispy on the edges, soft and fluffy and dense on the inside. We loved them! They were just as good two days later when we polished off the rest. Thank you for a great recipe!

  221. Caroline

    Hi Deb! So my current quarantine pastime is deciding on my husband’s birthday cake. Would it be odd to fill this cake with a grapefruit curd? Do you think I should then flavor either the cake or frosting differently? He also loves coconut… so I could also a lime curd/coconut combo?

    1. Caroline

      I wanted to report back that I made this into an almond joy cake! Baked it in an 8 inch square with a little more than a 1/4 tsp of almond extract, froze it, cut in half (width-wise, much less scary), filled it with your coconut pastry cream (from the triple coconut pie), and covered it with bittersweet chocolate ganache (4 oz choc, 4 TBs heavy cream, 1-2 TB butter). Thank you for the fantastic recipes that make me try new things!

  222. Molly M.

    Hi! Does this recipe also work for a two layer round cake? How long would it bake and at what temperature? In the quarantine I’ve started a local version of the “Great British Baking Show” and I’m convinced that a funfetti cake will surely win star baker!

  223. Carie Lyn

    I made the cake for my daughter’s 4th birthday today. I took some suggestions and ideas from the party cake section of Deb’s cook book and decided I could triple this and bake it in 8 in round pans for a 3 layer cake. I only had extra large eggs (because: quarantine, and no other choice at the store), so I only used 5 whites instead of 6. I made a strawberry filling and cream cheese frosting. The cake is perfect! So moist I could hardly believe it. I was almost tempted to make the SK Every Day yellow cake with confetti mixed in because its amazing every time, but I am so glad I tried this instead. Thank you, Deb, for another amazing recipe, and for encouraging experimentation with pan sizes, mixing and matching frostings and fillings, and just generally playing around with good recipes!

  224. Dina

    I’ve made this cake no less than four times and each time the texture turns out terrible. I’m a decent baker and have made lots of different cake recipes but I cannot get this one to come out right! My batter is ALWAYS curdled, the cake is dense, and the layers don’t rise as they should (it’s not my baking powder bc other recipes rise just fine). The flavor of this cake is really great, and I want to make this work because I love all the Smitten Kitchen recipes; but I’m at a loss as to why they are turning out so badly. Looking at the comments it seems I’m the only one with this issue. What could I be doing wrong??

  225. Emma

    Hi there! If I want to use this recipe for 3 8 inch rounds, should I double the recipe? I’m going to make just plain white cake, no confetti.

    Thanks so much!

  226. N

    I made this cake twice today. The first time, the batter was lumpy even after adding the flour, exactly as you describe, and the cake had a little pool of melted butter on top after baking. The second time, the batter was less lumpy and no pools of butter after baking. I think the difference was beating the butter + sugar at a higher speed at the beginning, which made the egg whites more incorporated. I noticed the first time (lumpy batter) that the egg whites kind of floated on top of the butter + sugar mixture, rather than mixing in completely. I hope this helps anyone in future!

  227. Jane Herriot

    I can’t tell if I’m going crazy or what, but didn’t you make your own sprinkles once? I cannot find the recipe on your site! I did see an oblique reference to the event in one of the comments on this recipe so I’m posting in the hopes of finding out I’m not as crazy as I feel right now.

  228. Cathy

    This looks fantastic! I was wondering, could this batter be split between two smaller square pans? If so, would the cooking time/temperature need to be adjusted?

  229. Monica

    If I wanted to do a 3 layer round cake (using an 8 or 9 inch round pan) would I just triple the recipe and bake 3 layers? Or double the recipe and do 3 slightly thinner layers? And how much frosting would you then recommend? To cover both the sides + top or if I just frosted between layers and the top?

    1. deb

      The layers here are already thin; you should triple everything for a three-layer cake. The frosting is generous enough to coat the sizes, but not too thickly.

  230. Ann

    Hi Deb! I am just a bit confused on what ratio of the frosting I would need if I wanted to make a three layer 8″ round cake…

  231. Allison Austin

    Hey Deb, any suggestions for baking confetti cake in high altitude? I have made it normally but now I’m Colorado for birthday celebration – from Erin’s best boss ever!

  232. Kristen F

    If I wanted to make this as mini cupcakes, how long would I bake them for? I love this cake. It is so delicious!

  233. Jane D Ehrenfeld

    I’ve made this twice, but only because I forgot the second time how bad it is! Heed the warnings from a lot of the commenters – this cake is dense, dry, unpleasant- tasting, and barely rises. Even my kids couldn’t stand it, and they LOVE cake. There are so many great cakes on this website – but this one is a huge fail, and I’m surprised the majority of commenters panning it hasn’t led to revisions. Seriously, you’d do much better with a box of Funfetti mix.

  234. Leslie

    Hello – need to make this in a pinch and realized I don’t have cornstarch or cake flour. Ugh. Birthday tomorrow and no time to run to the store today. Will this be a disaster? Any other thoughts for substitutes? Help! Thanks :)

  235. Jenna

    I have had great successes with every other recipe I tried on here but this one. First time I I didn’t line my 9 in round pan ( I sprayed it with nonstick)& used 1c +2TB of cake flour and it came out so greasy I could soak up grease with paper towel and tasted like flour ; 2nd time I followed recipe exactly including lining pan and less greasy but spongy and strongest flavor was flour… what am I doing wrong????

  236. Sara

    Do you know if I could sub something for the egg whites? My husband has an egg allergy and finding a good cake is a challenge. Would vinegar work?

  237. Liz

    This cake is superb. The key seems to be the eggs whites for a light cake with incredible flavor. I made one recipe as two 6″ layers for a tiny layer cake with the buttercream in between and on the sides, and extra sprinkles on top (of course). It comes together quickly for an instant joyous treat. Thanks again, Deb!

  238. Christine Kelly

    OMG this cake is so bad. I followed the recipe exactly and it was dense as a brick! Wonder if it was my sprinkles? Just dollar store variety. But I could even taste the cornstarch or flour. Just awful and embarrassing.

  239. Jessica O’Conor

    Suggestions for making this gluten free? Can I simply substitute 1:1 with gluten free flour? I love this cake but want to make for a gf friend!

  240. happy-birthday-girl

    My boyfriend baked this for me for my birthday. It’s probably the first thing he’s baked in the last decade. I’m a very enthusiastic, frequent baker, and I’ve tried my hand at homemade party cakes many times before. But to be honest? They were never worth the effort! They were fine and good but just as good as the box mixes. Why bother? But this cake is AMAZING, it tastes a million times better than anything from Betty Crocker. It just tastes so, so, so good and I think it’s now our standard house cake. He made zero variations and it turned out perfectly in a sheet pan. Thank you for helping him make me this delicious birthday cake <3

  241. Eva

    I was very hesitant to make this because about half the comments were from people who had problems with the recipe. Well, I made the cake and I’m adding my comment to the group of people who had success with this cake and it tastes great! I made 1 batch of cake mix and 1 batch of icing, and it was the perfect amount for a 2 layer 6 inch cake. Each layer is about 1.25 inches tall, total height iced is 2.75-3 inches tall, which seems proportionate for the 6 inch diameter (like it doesn’t feel like a flat cake). I probably trimmed 1/8 to 1/4 off the tops of each cake for a little leveling so that I didn’t have a huge icing gap at the edges (still a bit of a gap, but I had enough icing to cover). The single batch of icing is enough to ice the middle and top with about 1/8-1/4 inch icing, to fill in the gap between the 2 layers on the edge, and to do a skim crumb coat on the outside for a naked cake kind of icing job. I was worried about the cake being too dense, so I followed Deb’s suggestion to use 1.25 tsp baking powder. The cake does kind of have a flour flavor that others have commented on, but I think that’s the buttermilk maybe….it’s the flavor of cake batter to me. For this type of confetti cake, I think the flavor works. Maybe plain milk wouldn’t have the flour flavor as much? The buttercream is delicious – I like that it’s more buttery and salty (I used salted butter and added a generous pinch of salt), so it seems less sweet. Anyway, I’m glad I wasn’t scared off by some of the reviews because this cake worked very well for us!

  242. Kat

    Made these into cupcakes and they were really good! Even though I overbaked them for 1-2 minutes. I agree with another comment left here that they tasted too buttery to me. Imagine! I swear this is something I’ve never said before lol. I think next time I’d swap some of the butter for oil and try that. Thanks Deb!

  243. Anna

    I made this recipe before as a round cake and really liked it! Now I’m testing another cake pan size.

    I have a random heart shaped cake pan from Wilton that I bought at a garage sale years ago, so I decided to see how this recipe would work- it’s a good fit! I’m not sure of the exact dimensions but the pan is less than 9 inches on its longest side, so it will be a bit thicker, but I’m okay with that. I’m going to add pink color to the frosting and pink, red, and white sprinkles on top since it’s my Valentine’s cake.

    I do also add a little almond flavor to the filling, and extra vanilla. Just personal preference.

  244. Ruthie

    Hi Deb,
    Thank you for another recipe! We eat a lot of SK in our house ☺️
    I made the sheet cake size for my daughter’s first birthday and I creamed the butter and sugar until fluffy. When I added the egg whites I tried to add them a little at the time but the mixture seemed to deflate quite a lot and started to look curdled (before I added the buttermilk). I managed to fluff it up a bit again by the end of the egg white additions but I think it affected the texture – the end result was great but a little dense and the edges very chewy. I’ve noticed the deflating/curdling while adding the eggs when baking other cakes too. Is there a trick to it? I’m using a kitchen aid mixer on med-high (6-8) and usually try to beat the eggs separately first and trickle them in to avoid it. Grateful for any tips, thank you

  245. Ann Mallen

    Dear Deb,
    For those of us still in the throes of toddler whims and fancies, would you research and give us a solid recipe for a pinata cake?
    Most of the recipes online have cute pictures but cake quality seems to vary and the cake composition has some serious pitfalls (I speak from experience).

    So sincerely,
    Exhausted parent

      1. Juka

        Hi! Can I make the cupcakes 2 days before I frost? If yes, Should I keep the cupcakes in fridge?

        My going to be 4 yr old has requested cupcakes, vanilla and chocolate with sprinkles. Thinking of making these for vanilla and the I want chocolate cake for chocolate. So I was thinking of making this two days before his birthday and the chocolate one just a day before and then frosting both on his birthday.

  246. Emily Richey

    I made this for my son’s first birthday yesterday and it was SO good! I doubled the recipes and and made two 8 inch round cakes. My only note is that doubling the sprinkles made it slightly too sprinkle dense–I probably would do 1/3 cup sprinkles, vs a full half cup.

    So so SO yummy, will definitely make again!

  247. AGD

    I made this and it didn’t work out :( The cake didn’t rise at all and it tasted kind of like a less salty play doh. I checked my baking powder to make sure it wasn’t expired and read the comments to try to avoid this outcome. My pan is a 9×9 dark metal pan, I reduced the baking temp by 25 degrees to account for the dark metal.

  248. Amanda

    Tried this for the first time today as a trial run for a kids’ birthday cake The batter was easy to pull together (I let butter, buttermilk, and eggs sit out about an hour before baking). Beat the batter for a long time between each liquid step. Once I baked it, the top edges almost looked like they were fried in butter and the cake was very soft (to the point of almost breaking when pulled out of pan and did not hold up to being moved from rack to tray well). Just seemed off. I used Bake Even strips (for the first time) and maybe that was my problem (using the strips, the 9 inch pan took around 30-35 min to bake and almost overflowed the pan as well).
    It definitely had a sugar cookie type taste that I’m not sure I love for a cake? But this was also my first time making Funfetti cake from scratch so wasn’t sure what to expect. I almost feel like I needed to add a dash of lemon juice. Will probably try again and play with temperature (drop to 325 for my dark coated pan).

  249. Alison

    Beautiful cake! Wondering what you would recommend in terms of texture/flavor — this or the golden vanilla cake in your cookbook (with some sprinkles added in!)? Thank you!

  250. Julie Large

    I’ve made this several times. Half the time it’s amazing. Half the time the texture is all wrong and it comes out lumpy. I thought I didn’t shake the buttermilk enough one time, but I make sure to do that now and it still happens. Any advice.

  251. Myra

    So I was concerned this would be one of those recipes that I wouldn’t like given how the comments were going. Since a lot of people loved it, I decided to give it a go for my daughter’s birthday since it was just us anyway. I made this into a 4 layer 9” cake since the two layers were too thin. I just doubled it again instead of adding a 3rd layer. So the first batch I followed the recipe and for the second batch I did it with the egg yolk (so 1 egg instead of 2 whites). Honestly, you could only tell the slight difference when they were next to each other. There wasn’t a difference in flavor.
    Now to the bad news, even my 6 year old said the cake was too sweet. It wasn’t the best cake. It looked great but it wasn’t my finest cake. I have made and loved many of the cakes on this site but unfortunately this was a miss. I think the sprinkles also added a bit of an aftertaste.

  252. Holly

    This is the best cake I have ever made! And I have tried alot. Made this for my mom today and it was a hit with everyone!
    Thank you! Can’t wait to try more recipes.

  253. Emily

    My daughter turns two next week and I’d like to make this cake for her and her three little friends coming (I’m ordering an adult cake for the parents – just to have a back up if I screw this one up!). I’m wondering – if I baked the cake in an 8 x 8 in square pan, and after the cake cooled, dividing it in two to make two layers – would that work? Or I can make my life easier and just serve it as is!

    1. deb

      You shouldn’t plan to divide this one; it’s already thin. You can make two for a two-layer cake. Or if you have smaller pans, you can use one layer’s volume to make 2 6-inch rounds for a small layer cake.

      1. Emily

        Thank you Deb for responding! I agree with you and am thinking I’ll just do cupcakes since I don’t have a 6” pan and little toddler hands might appreciate. I read here the baking time should be 18 minutes and they make 10ish ? I’m a little nervous I haven’t made this cake before but your recipes are so great and I so appreciate the id friendly ones now that I have a little one. Thank you!

        1. deb

          I’d check at 18 and then every 2 minutes thereafter until they’re done. It makes 10 regular or 12 slightly more squat ones (honestly better for toddlers). Enjoy!

  254. Birdie

    Dear Deb … I am making this cake next weekend for a birthday party. I noticed that you basted your vanilla wedding cake with a simple syrup to keep it from drying out. I wonder if you recommend that for this cake? And if you think your perfect Swiss buttercream would be a nice complement for this cake? Thank you for your wit and wisdom and wonderful books. You and Ina have taught me how to bake and cook.

    1. deb

      Thank you! And yes to both of your questions. I don’t usually use a syrup here but you can for extra insurance. I think a swiss buttercream would be lovely contrast — more rich and less sweet than the cake.

  255. Marne

    I have made this cake gluten-free a few times. I use Cup4cup flour; it’s pretty reliable with cakes and cookies. I was hesitant to add cornstarch because there’s so much cornstarch already in the Cup4cup blend, so the first time I subbed the flour + cornstarch all with gluten-free flour. That made the cake too dense and heavy. The next time I made it, I subbed the two tablespoons of cornstarch for superfine almond flour, and I swapped out 1/4 cup of the gf flour for almond flour, too. The results are light and moist and the best gf funfetti cake I could ask for!

  256. Joanna

    Hi there,
    I would like to make this cake for my son’s first birthday but he is allergic to eggs. What would you recommend as a substitute for the egg whites? Thank you!

  257. Tara

    Thank you so much for this site. I was hooked with pickled grapes and broccoli slaw, but keep coming back for the baked goods. I finally bought your cookbook today after making this for the little’s birthday, and got a “YUMMM.” He loved pouring the sprinkles into the batter too. (Obligatory alteration note– I baked a 7″ round cake plus two pre-party snack cupcakes)

  258. Joanne Sy

    I just baked this recipe today as cupcakes and the crumb is perfect! It’s moist and not overly sweet. I’m loving the Smitten Kitchen recipes!! Thank you! For reference, the recipe as written made 11 cupcakes (I baked for 15 minutes). Thank you!

  259. Peggy Dispenza

    Every single recipe I’ve made of yours has been amazing! You are officially my go-to when I need a recipe. I made this for my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday, layer cake style, with a cream cheese based frosting. Incredibly delicious and impressively fun covered in a bazillion sprinkles!

  260. Juka

    This is THE best vanilla cupcake I have eaten. My toddler requested cupcakes with lots of sprinkles so this one was used. I doubled the batter, using a mix of rainbow sprinkles and nonpareils. I too love the streaks the nonpareils leave. Was able to make 18 decently sized cupcakes (not a very high dome). Scaled frosting to 1.5 and was able to frost 16 cupcakes decently. These are going to made every year for my toddler’s birthday I am thinking. They were simply scrumptious.

    1. Juka

      And note for future me: I baked for about 18-22 minutes IIRC, one batch was 18, the other about 22. so definitely start checking in at 18 mins.

  261. Claire

    I made this for my 5 year old to celebrate his vaccine. I doubled the frosting because I wanted to do a decoration, I overdid it! But the extra is in my fridge in baggies so I can pipe it on my next cake!

  262. Elizabeth

    The cake looked so fun, and I thought my kids would love it, so I gave it a try. Not sure what went wrong, though, because it tasted like flour in the end. I used non-pareils because I couldn’t get my hand on regular rainbow sprinkles. Could it be that? I used an oven thermometer to make sure the temp was correct, I checked for doneness using a toothpick in the center after 20 min, and it came out clean, so I thought it was fine. Guessing it was undercooked but not sure if it was that or just too much flour? I use a digital scale, though, to keep my measurements accurate…. Ended up tossing the rest of the cake after we each tried some. :(

  263. amy

    can you use this recipe for cupcakes? I made this cake last year for my daughters birthday and it was delicious. I was wondering if I could make cupcakes with it?

  264. Amanda

    Deb! This cake is the cake I want to make for my three year olds’ birthday next weekend. But one has requested a Jupiter cake and the other a baby turtle. So- I’ve bought two Fat Daddio 8” half- sphere pans to try to make this happen. Do you know how I can adjust baking time / proportions? I’ve never baked with a sphere pan before. You are a Queen and thank you for any advice you may have to offer. Wish me luck!

  265. Sweet Potato the Cat

    Delicious. I had to change a few things, though;
    – I was out of sprinkles, so I marbled in some food dye. It turned out beautiful! I would share a picture but I’m not sure how…
    – I’m not sure why, but I had to bake it about 7 minutes longer than the recipe said. I was using a circle pan, not sure if that would change anything…

  266. Emily Carman

    I made cupcakes a day ahead of my daughters party. Should I refrigerate over night in cake keeper or keep at room temp ?

  267. Belen

    Hi Deb,

    The frosting is a bit too sweet for me. Do you have any recommendations on how to lessen the sweetness? Or maybe a different frosting recommendation.

    Thank you

  268. Julie

    This was my first failed Smitten recipe! I have no clue what happened but the texture and taste was that of a gluey pancake? It went right into the trash:(

  269. Jenny

    Hi Deb, thanks for this wonderful recipe! I recently made it for a party and it got lots of love. Question on frosting / I let the cold butter sit out for an hour then made the frosting using a KitchenAid mixer. I think I mixed it for about 25-30 min total but I could still taste grains of sugar. For a smoother result, should I whip/mix it further until I don’t taste the sugar grains? Thank you! Love all of your recipes!

  270. Molly Goren

    If I want to make a 9×13 sheet cake but not add a layer of frosting in between, can I still triple the batter recipe but just make it all in one pan? And for the frosting, would tripling be a safe bet for just one thick layer on top rather than in between?

  271. RebPar

    I made this cake (two layer 9×13″ cake) for my son’s HS graduation party. It was plenty to feed 20, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious!

  272. Jeanne Edison

    Hi Deb, I LOVE your tried and true recipes and your wonderfully worded descriptions! Thank you!!
    I’m wondering if I could add almond extract to this cake or frosting ? What do u think?