Confetti Birthday Cake

Confetti Birthday Cake is made with three layers of moist vanilla sprinkle cake surrounded by silky, rich chocolate cream cheese frosting. This cake calls for a celebration!

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I celebrated my birthday last weekend and decided to make myself one of my very favorite cake combos – confetti cake with chocolate frosting! This cake is has 3 layers of super moist and tender confetti cake. It’s filled and coated with the most decadent and delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting. 

Confetti Cake

This sprinkle-filled confetti cake (also known as funfetti cake) is a scratch-made vanilla cake with rainbow sprinkles mixed in the batter. There is a little bit of vegetable oil along with the butter in the cake batter to keep these cake layers extra soft and moist without compromising any flavor. The batter also has a touch of cake batter extract to bump up that birthday cake flavor – totally optional but it’s the perfect compliment to the chocolate frosting. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This frosting is rich, tangy, and super chocolatey and it also happens to be my absolute favorite frosting of all time. It’s similar to my classic Cream Cheese Frosting but the addition of cocoa powder and a little bit of heavy cream transforms it into this fluffy, silky, and ultra-decadent chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Decorating

I wanted to keep the decorating simple and not too over-the-top. I created a random wavey/swirl texture, using a small offset spatula and then I threw on more of the rainbow jimmies I used in the cake layers, as well as some nonpareil sprinkles to the top and sides of the cake.

The top is finished with a few piped rosettes using a large star tip (Ateco 846) but you can get creative by decorating it any way you like!

FAQs

What kind of sprinkles are best to use?

For the cake batter, you’ll only want to use the sprinkles known as jimmies. These won’t bleed into your batter like other varieties. I would also avoid natural-colored sprinkles as those may tend to lose their color when baked. You can decorate the cake with any type of sprinkles you like. I used some bright nonpareil sprinkles in addition to rainbow jimmies.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour?

I highly recommend using cake flour for this recipe. Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, giving the cake a more tender, delicate crumb. I only tested this recipe with cake flour so I can’t vouch for how different the texture will be with all-purpose flour. 

What is the best way to store the cake?

Store the whole cake or slices of the cake in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Cover any cut sides of the cake in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. I recommend pulling the cake out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving, as the cake is best served at room temperature.

Can the cake layers be made ahead of time?

Yes, I actually prefer to make the cake layers ahead of time. If you plan to make the cake layers the day before assembling the cake, wrap the layers tightly in plastic wrap and store them at room temperature. You can also make these further in advance and store the cake layers in the freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Defrost the cake layers for a couple of hours a room temperature – it’s fine if they are still slightly chilled when you assemble the cake.

Does the frosting need to stay refrigerated?

Since the frosting is made with cream cheese, it should be stored in the fridge. I like to make the frosting right before assembling and frosting the cake so it’s soft and fluffy. Once chilled, the frosting will solidify and will not be easily pipeable or spreadable right out of the fridge. If you want to make the frosting ahead of time, give the frosting several hours to sit at room temperature and stir the frosting well before using. You could also carefully warm the frosting in the microwave on the defrost setting, stirring every 15-20 seconds, if you’re short on time.

Can I make this cake in a 9-inch pan?

Yes, this recipe can be made into three 9-inch round layers or three 8-inch round layers. The 9-inch size won’t need to bake as long and keep in mind that the layers won’t be quite as thick so your cake will end up shorter than the one pictured.

Baking Tip: Weigh Your Ingredients!

I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients rather than using measuring cups because it is the most accurate way to bake. Weighing your ingredients will give you more consistent results with your recipes and a better success rate, every time. Using a scale also saves you dishes which means easier cleanup! I provide gram measurements in all my recipes and this is the scale I love to use.

Tips for the Best Scratch-Made Confetti Cake

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Allow the butter, eggs, sour cream, and buttermilk to sit out ahead of time so they can come to room temperature which will help the ingredients in the cake batter blend better. For the frosting, you’ll also want the cream cheese, butter, and heavy cream at room temperature.

  • Scrape the bowl. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the mixing bowl while making the cake batter, as well as the frosting, to help all the ingredients incorporate properly. It’s a small detail but can make all the difference in how your cakes bake and to achieve a silky smooth frosting.

  • Weigh your batter. For perfectly even cake layers, I recommend using a scale to weigh your cake batter in the cake pans. First, weigh all of your finished batter then divide that number by 3, and fill each of the 3 cake pans with that amount. This is the best way to ensure that each cake layer is equal.

  • Freeze your layers. I find that freezing the cake layers for about 30 minutes once they are completely cool, makes the assembly process a whole lot easier. A firm, chilled cake will be easier to work with and will also help keep crumbs out of your frosting as you’re icing the layers.

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

If you make this recipe and love it, be sure to leave a comment below. Happy baking!

Confetti Birthday Cake

Confetti Birthday Cake is made with three layers of moist vanilla sprinkle cake surrounded by silky, rich chocolate cream cheese frosting. This cake calls for a celebration!
Author: Rachel
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Yield 14 servings

Ingredients

For the Confetti Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups (310g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon (15mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cake batter extract, optional
  • 3 cups (370g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240mL) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (140g) rainbow sprinkles*, plus more for decorating

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz (2 blocks or 452g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups (680g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (86g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup (60mL) heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
SHOP INGREDIENTS

Instructions
 

  • Confetti Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper circles.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy and light in color, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low, slowly stream in the oil. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for one additional minute.
  • Add in the eggs and egg whites one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and cake batter extract, combining well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture and the sour cream to the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly stream in about half the buttermilk. Mix just until combined then scrape the bow. Add the remaining flour and slowly stream in the remaining buttermilk with the mixer running on low speed until combined. Fold in the sprinkles until fully incorporated.
  • Evenly divide the batter among the prepared cake pans (I like to use a scale to weigh the batter into each pan). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center of the cakes spring back to the touch (or a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for at least 30 minutes then run a small spatula around the sides of the pan to help release the cakes. Flip the cakes onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Using a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add half the powdered sugar and cocoa, followed by the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until mostly incorporated then add the remaining half of powdered sugar and cocoa. Scrape the bowl again then mix until the frosting is combined and smooth.
  • Assemble & Decorate: Once the cakes are completely cool, use a large serrated knife to slice off the tops of each cake layer to create a flat surface.
  • Place the first cake layer, cut side up, on a cake board or stand. Add about ½ cup of frosting and spread it out to the edges. Place your next cake layer cut side down on top and gently press down. Repeat the same process with another ½ cup frosting and for the the final cake layer, place it cut side down.
  • Coat the top and sides of the cake with a thin even crumb coat of frosting using an offset metal spatula and a straight-sided icing comb. Chill the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Spread a final layer of frosting all over the cake and decorate with sprinkles. Fit a piping bag with a star tip and fill it with the leftover frosting and pipe rosettes on the top of the cake. Slice up and enjoy!

Notes

*I recommend using rainbow jimmies in the cake batter because they won’t bleed as much when baked. You can use any sprinkle variety to decorate the outside of the cake with.
Did you make this recipe?Be sure to tag @sweetkitchencravings on Instagram!

HI THERE!

I’m Rachel

I’m the dessert lover, recipe developer, and content creator behind Sweet Kitchen Cravings. Here you’ll find classic yet special recipes that are sure to impress your loved ones!

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