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Desserts | July 12, 2018

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

It’s 3 pm on the day of your child’s birthday and you don’t have a cake. Nothing ordered or baked, and you still need to finish up a work project, pull off a birthday party and make dinner. HELP! What to do? ABK’s Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe to the rescue. This simple recipe is a tasty doctored-up version of a box cake mix, and a homemade buttercream you can make in minutes!

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe to the rescue!

When my kids were young, we didn’t have the money to spend a lot on birthday cakes. Occasionally, I’d purchase a round cake from the local grocery or bakery, but most of the time, I’d  make a cake from scratch or throw together a boxed cake mix and add a few ingredients to dress it up. My oldest daughter Corrine  was recently faced with the scenario mentioned above and told me she made a cake using one of ABK’s  dressed up cake mix recipes and the kids LOVED IT.  She pointed out I don’t have a cake recipe on ABK for kid birthday celebrations and it was a future must-post item. After months of trying different combos of ingredients I finally have the perfect Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe ready to share!

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe


The price is right

This cake costs about $4-$7 (including the frosting) to make. I picked up a Beauty and the Beast themed topper for about $7 at my local grocery store in the bakery. They had several Disney-themed cake toppers available for under $10, which isn’t necessary, but an easy way to decorate a child’s birthday cake! You can also order a cake topper (if you think ahead) for a few dollars as well. ABK’s easy Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe is meant to be simple. No piping on decorations, no fancy frills, just a straight forward dressed-up cake mix for your next birthday celebration! Seriously, it’s the most simple kid’s birthday cake made in just a few minutes…what’s not to love about this cake?

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

ABK’s Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe is way less expensive than a store bought cake and tastes about 100 times better. Funfetti Birthday Cake is so easy to whip up. In a matter of minutes (less than 5) you can have this cake mixed up and poured into pans. The ingredients are probably  in your pantry and fridge as we speak.

make your kid happy cake

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautifully decorated cake.  This cake is in a whole different league. Or maybe I should say a league of it’s own.  This cake is not going to impress the in-law’s or be the most beautiful cake you’ve ever Pinned.  ABK’s Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe is a quick and easy make your kid happy cake!  Throw on a few sprinkles, candles and something on top to decorate (or not) and call it good! Remember…simplify. This is a child’s birthday celebration! I promise they will love anything you make.

Homemake frosting for the win!

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

Homemade buttercream frosting and a few added ingredients take this cake from boring to brilliant! If you do nothing but frost a box mix cake with homemade frosting, you will improve the cake by 10 times. So many people purchase frosting in a can when in fact, homemade frosting is so simple to make and makes a world of difference in your dessert!  I frosted this cake with a buttercream colored with a bit of yellow food coloring. The possibilities are endless when coloring and decorating this cake.  Give this recipe a try next time you need a simple and great tasting cake. Funfetti Birthday Cake is so moist and delicious even a critic will love it!

5 from 10 votes

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 serving
Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 1  15-16 oz Funfetti or other sprinkle box cake mix 
  • 1  3.4 oz box Instant Vanilla Pudding mix dry, not mixed up
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

for frosting:

  • 1   cup softened unsalted butter cut into tablespoons 
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt about ⅛ teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk cream or half and half


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set rack in middle of oven. Grease, line with parchment and lightly flour two-9 inch cake pans, set aside. 
  2. Place eggs, oil, water, sour cream and vanilla in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for about 1 minute on medium speed. 
  3. Add cake mix and dry pudding mix to the wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds, scraping down sides once.  Make sure all wet and dry ingredients are mixed well. Do not over mix. 
  4. Pour batter into each cake pan, distributing evenly.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then loosen sides of cake from pan with butter knife and let cool on a rack. I set the top of the cake so it is resting on the rack to help eliminate the domed top. 
  7. Set cake in refrigerator or freezer to cool. 

While cake is cooling, prepare frosting:

  1. Place butter in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Turn on medium speed and start mixing butter until the tablespoons of butter are broken down and smooth. 
  3. Turn mixer off, add 2 cups of powdered sugar to bowl. Mix on low until sugar is no longer visible. Turn mixer off again, scrape down sides. 
  4. Add remaining powdered sugar, salt, vanilla (and food coloring if using)  to bowl. Mix on low until sugar is incorporated and no longer visible.
  5. Add milk or cream while mixing on low.
  6. When all ingredients are in bowl, turn mixer to high and mix for about 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down sides a couple of times and then resume beating frosting. 
  7. Add more milk if needed to spreading consistency.
  8. When cake is completely cooled, place on stand or plate. Frost bottom layer with about 1 cup of frosting, then add top layer of cake (I usually turn this layer upside down) so the top of the cake is facing the base layer, or dome side down. I rarely cut my cake to make it even! 
  9. Frost the sides then top of the cake. Immediately top with any sprinkles or cake topper and refrigerate to set or serve immediately. 

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe can be made to accommodate any flavor of box cake mix. You may also use chocolate pudding when making a chocolate cake or lemon pudding when making lemon cake. 
  • I use 9 inch cake pans for this recipe, you may also use three 8 inch rounds and split the batter evenly. the bake time will be less, usually around 15-18 minutes for three 8 inch rounds. 
  • If you’d like to pipe on the frosting, I suggest increasing the amount of frosting by another 1/2 to double the amount in this recipe so you will have plenty for piping. 

28 thoughts on “Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

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Recipe Rating

  1. Have you ever turned these into cupcakes? Just wondering I’m baking times really. I love love love all your cake recipes! So easy for even someone like me to make 🙂

    1. Hi Morgan,
      I have not yet made these into cupcakes! I am guessing about 18-20 minutes will cook the cupcakes perfectly. Every oven is different, and if you are cooking in a dark muffin tin, the cake will cook faster than if in a light colored pan. Let us know!

  2. 5 stars
    We made it in a Bundt pan, frosted it and used sprinkles so it looked like a donut. It was delicious! Usually kids at birthday parties eat only a few bites of birthday cake, but not so with this one! They cleaned their plates!

  3. I’m trying to save some of your recipes , where is the icon to save them on Pinterest ? I see lots of other options but not that one ..

  4. Can this recipe be used in a Wilton Character cake pan? Will it come out with the details? Thoughts?

    1. Hi Lisa, I haven’t tried to make it in something like that before. But I think it would turn out great, just make sure to grease the pan well before baking. Thanks for asking and for reading ABK!

  5. I am so glad that you shared this! I used to buy cakes from the bakery but no more! This has become a favorite at our house! Thank you!

  6. How far in advance could I make this cake? Wondering if I could make it at home and take it to the beach for a bday party ( 2 hour drive). Frost at home, or there? Make day of, or is day before okay?

  7. Trying to make this for my sons birthday! How would you suggest altering the frosting recipe to be a chocolate frosting?

  8. 5 stars
    We absolutely love this cake at our house! We make it for every birthday. I used to fear cake making but this recipe is easy to follow and we get great results every time! Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Katy, I LOVE how easy and cute this cake is too. Thank you for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious – thank you for sharing this. Stays moist even as mini cupcakes. (In a dark tin, 1 tbsp batter per paper mini cupcake liner, 10-12 min at 350 degrees).

  10. 5 stars
    I recently made this for a birthday party and everyone loved it. Wasn’t hard to make and it had a new twist on German Chocolate cake. I took a picture and would like to show you but don’t know where to post it. Thanks for another great recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    This cake is amazing and the recipe is so simple. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Absolutely a hit with family and friends.

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe makes baking with kids sooooo easy! I had to help a group of young women bake and it was fewer steps for them to have to follow, and fewer ingredients for me to have to have ready for everyone than a “from scratch” recipe. Also, we needed 150 mini cupcakes so we made a triple batch and about 200 so we had plenty left over!

    1. Corinne-
      It’s great to know 3 batches makes 200 mini cupcakes. Now THAT’S a party! It’s great to have a go-to cake that’s easy to make with younger bakers.
      What a fun baking activity!

      Love you Corriney!

  13. Hello 🙂 I have now made this cake 4 times in 3 months for different celebrations!! Oh wow! Love it. I was wondering if pudding cakes / doctored cakes can freeze well? Or how many days in advance I could make the cake portion and have at room temp or in fridge waiting for me to frost? Preparing a bday cake to have on TDAY!! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah!
      Yes, you can freeze wrapped, unfrosted cake for up to three months. You can also wrap and refrigerate an unfrosted cake for about 4 days. Take cake out ahead of time, frost and let completely thaw before serving. Cake is actually easier to frost when cooled or frozen.

  14. 5 stars
    This is hands down my families very favorite cake recipe! I’ve taken it to a number of parties and made it for so many birthdays. The reaction is always the same! Everyone raves about how moist and delicious it is! It’s incredibly easy and so fast!

  15. 5 stars
    We love this recipe! My children always look forward to their Funfetti birthday cake— it’s become somewhat of a tradition in our home! I look forward to how straightforward this recipe is, knowing it will turn out wonderfully every time. I’ve tried many variations of a doctored up Funfetti mix over the years, and this one takes the cake! 😉 Plus, the adults always enjoy it as much as (if not more than) the children!

  16. 5 stars
    I made this for my sons first birthday and I’ll never make another kid cake recipe again! We are going on 5 years! So good thank you

  17. Always a crowd pleaser! My family requests this every birthday. I’ve used the buttercream frosting and also the cream cheese frosting, depending on the person.