Think back. Way back. What kind of cake did you request for your childhood birthday? If I was a betting kind of baker, I’d lay money that you asked for a funfetti layer cake at least once in your lifetime. Each fluffy cake layer is riddled with oodles and oodles of brightly colored sprinkles. It’s the ultimate celebration party cake. Seeing as I have three kids of my own and countless birthday cakes to make every year, it was time to create a gluten-free and dairy-free funfetti layer cake.
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What Is A Funfetti Cake?
Soft fluffy vanilla cake layers with the tiniest hint of almond dotted delightfully with brightly colored sprinkles. A funfetti cake is quite literally the most fun of cakes. Sometimes referred to as a confetti cake, or simply a birthday cake, it is a basic vanilla cake recipe loaded up with sprinkles.
Stacked and covered in a delicious whipped vanilla buttercream colored a light pink with extra sprinkles around the bottom and mile-high frosting swirls on top. This gluten-free funfetti layer cake is truly everything fun!
What Gluten-Free Flour Is Best To Make A Funfetti Cake With?
Since starting this whole celiac journey, I’ve experimented with quite a few different gluten-free baking flours. Some have been okay and some have been really really bad. By far, I have found the greatest gluten-free cake success with a blend containing rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and guar gum.
A quick note on gluten-free baking blends: check the ingredients and see if it contains xanthan gum. If not, I’ve included it in the recipe. Without the xanthan gum, you will end up with a flat dense cake. If the blend you have already contains it, simply omit it from the recipe below.
What Cake Sprinkles Are Gluten-Free?
Sprinkles are a must for funfetti cake and there are definitely some super cute gluten-free sprinkle options out there. As always, double-check all the ingredients and look for a certified gluten-free label. Katie, with Wheat By The Wayside, has an amazing blog post breaking down the most popular sprinkles brands and whether or not they are gluten-free. It’s definitely worth the read and bookmark for all your funfetti baking needs.
The best sprinkles for a funfetti cake will be a confetti-style sequin or a jimmie-only mix. Nonpareil sprinkles, the little tiny balls, while super cute will generally bleed out their color when mixed into the cake batter causing muddy-colored cake layers.
Can I Make This Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Funfetti Cake With Regular Ingredients?
Yes, you can absolutely make this funfetti cake with “regular” ingredients. I highly encourage you to use cake flour though as it creates a lighter fluffier crumb. Remember to omit the xanthan gum if using regular flour.
Not dairy-free? No problem, regular salted butter, and milk will do the job just fine. The yummiest results will be with full-fat homogenized milk or buttermilk.
The Most Perfect Sprinkled Funfetti Birthday Layer Cake
We do birthdays big here. And one cannot have a birthday without a funfetti layer cake. Soft fluffy gluten-free cake layers full of brightly colored sprinkles and covered in smooth whipped vanilla buttercream. It’s truly the perfect gluten-free and dairy-free funfetti layer cake fit for any birthday or fun celebration.
Baking With Sprinkles
Sprinkles are an automatic party-maker and I believe life is far too short not to celebrate with oodles and oodles of sprinkles. Here are a few fun sprinkle-laden recipes I bet you’ll love.
A fluffy gluten-free and dairy-free funfetti layer cake perfect for any and every special celebration. Full of fun brightly colored sprinkles and smooth whipped vanilla buttercream frosting, this cake is ready to party!
Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl combine the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk together and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum and give it a quick mix together for approximately 1 minute.
Add in the butter, each cube at a time, to the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like coarse sand.
Slowly pour in approximately half the liquid mixture from step 2 and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Pour in the remaining liquid mixture and mix on low for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the edges of the bowl. Turn the mixer to medium and allow to mix for another 2 minutes.
Add in the sprinkles and mix until just combined with a spatula.
Divide the cake batter into the three prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The edges will be a light gold and begin to pull away from the cake pan.
Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.
Add in the icing sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on low until combined. If using pink or any other food color, add it in now.
Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
Level each fully cooled funfetti cake layer with a cake leveler or knife if needed.
Place one layer of funfetti cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 1 ½ cups of vanilla buttercream.
Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother. Leave the top edge raw and unfinished or create sharp edges with an offset spatula. Level with the top of the cake, use the offset spatula to drag the buttercream top edge towards the center. Repeat this motion around the entire top edge of the cake.
Decorate the cake as you please. I used extra sprinkles to cover the bottom of the cake. Place the cake on a large cookie sheet to catch the extra sprinkles and gently, with the palm of your hand, press the sprinkles up against the bottom of the cake. I topped the cake with buttercream swirls using a Wilton 2D piping tip and placed a gluten-free cookie between each swirl. Enjoy!
Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.