This homemade version of confetti cake has one of the tenderest crumbs I’ve ever tasted, but the buttercream frosting with colorful sprinkles takes it over the top.
Perusing through Shelly Jaronsky’s blog Cookies and Cups is like touring Willy Wonka’s magical Chocolate Factory. It’s full of tantalizing sweets and treats that are a feast for any sugar-lover’s eye—and palate.
It’s especially a goldmine for all of you self-proclaimed cookie monsters out there, with so many cookie recipes your sweet tooth won’t know what hit it.
Shelly knows her desserts and is a woman after our own hearts.
Shelly recently released her first book, The Cookies & Cups Cookbook: 125+ Sweet & Savory Recipes Reminding You to Always Eat Dessert First, and we’re elated to have a copy to pillage when our sugar bug strikes.
Today we’re sharing Shelly’s recipe for Confetti Cake, a recipe that has been made no less than four times by my 12-year-old daughter. It’s already become her signature baked good and once you make it, I’m betting it will become part of your go-to arsenal too.
Baking is a pastime Shelly’s enjoyed since she was little. She fondly recalls baking Monkey Bread with her grandmother, and you can find a version of the recipe in her book.
Shelly’s come a long way from grandma’s kitchen after recently being featured on The Today Show, where she made her Banana Blondie-Bottomed Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce (and we can vouch that yes, it is amazing as it looks).
“This might seem super boring, but my favorite thing to bake is chocolate chip cookies,” says Shelly.
“They are my kids’ favorite, they’re simple to make, everyone loves them and I’ve made them so many times I haven’t followed a recipe in years. Plus who doesn’t love a warm, melty chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven?” We totally agree.
“I do really love to cook, though,” Shelly notes. “That’s why I was so excited to be able to include a few chapters at the end of my book with some dinner ideas. The savory chapters are a pretty proud moment for me. They aren’t what I am most associated with, and sharing a different side of myself with savory dishes was a lot of fun.”
And now, my List of 10 Q’s for Shelly’s A’s
1. Describe your blog in 3 words:
Sweet, fun, and umm…calories?
2. If you could be one blogger other than yourself, who would you be?
Does Chrissy Teigen count? Because, obviously.
3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
I have a full blog list that I follow pretty much everyday, so picking 3 is tough! Confessions of a Cookbook Queen is my best friend Kristan’s site, and while we both share the sugar gene she is ridiculously hilarious and honest on her site. Lately I’ve been reading the cute fashion site called Sheaffer Told Me To. My Nordstrom account has never been the same. And lastly is Cupcakes and Cashmere. Her site is just life goals.
4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
Probably my KitchenAid mixer. I know it’s the easy answer, but it’s the truth. I use it everyday.
5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
Right now I am in a love-hate relationship with puff pastry. I love to eat it but making it, not so much. I will say I probably haven’t given it enough of a try…but that will be my next tackle.
6. What did you have for dinner last night?
Lasagna. It’s not something I make very often, but oh it’s good.
7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you?
Don’t tell anyone but I am a fairly good rapper. Put a karaoke mic in front of me and I will Run DMC you right out of the building.
8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:
Cooking for sure. But I will say that I am most happy when I am just cooking for my family on a random night with no intention of “writing a recipe” or photographing the finished product. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do that too…but now that it’s become my job I really enjoy the relaxed side of cooking strictly for my own enjoyment.
9. The one secret to your success is?
If I told you that I’d have to kill you. But really there is never strictly one ingredient to success, is there? I mean besides hustling. So yeah, hustle.
10. What’s next for you? Do you see another cookbook in your future?
There is no second book on the horizon as of now. I feel like I need to breathe a bit and get back to the joy of blogging. My book has taken over my life the past few years and has been a fantastic challenge, so I wouldn’t change that, but having more of a singular work focus for a little while will be great. But then again, talk to me in a few months and I might be ready for the next challenge!
Let’s Chat Confetti Cake
As I mentioned at the top of this post, this confetti cake recipe has become a bona fide favorite at our house. When I received Shelly’s cookbook, I handed it over to Smudge to choose which recipe we should feature. This is the recipe she chose and we have yet to waver. Smudge has made this recipe three times as a cake and once as cupcakes. Each time we’ve have raging success.
This homemade funfetti cake is tender and very much similar in taste and feel to boxed cake mixes. Except it’s homemade. Now that’s a feat.
The reason for this tender crumb is likely attributed to shortening as one of its ingredients. I so rarely use shortening that when we checked the expiration date on the can it was 2011. In this recipe, it is totally worth going back to the store to get a fresh batch, like I did.
What’s in This Confetti Cake?
For this confetti cake recipe, you’ll need most of the usual suspects. All-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt comprise the dry ingredients, and for the wet you need shortening, milk, vanilla extract, egg whites, and sprinkles.
Make sure to use 2% or whole milk for this funfetti cake. The extra fat in the milk adds moisture to the cake and keeps it from drying out in the oven.
For the homemade vanilla buttercream, you’ll need salted butter, more shortening, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. If possible, get your hands on some real vanilla extract for the best flavor. Because when you take the time to make a confetti cake, you want it to be fabulous.
How to Make Confetti Cake From Scratch
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients. Mix in the shortening, followed by the rest of the wet ingredients. You’ll likely need to turn off the mixer to scrape down the sides a few times to make sure everything gets incorporated.
Divide the batter between two greased 8-inch round cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once out of the oven, let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the homemade buttercream frosting, simply beat the shortening and butter together until smooth, then add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix until creamy and fluffy, then frost the cake once it’s completely cool.
Can I Make This in a 9×13-Inch Pan?
Yes, if you don’t want to deal with frosting a layer cake you’re more than welcome to bake this cake in a larger pan. Just keep in mind that the bake time may differ, so keep an eye on your cake. To test its doneness, stick a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean.
Can You Freeze Confetti Cake?
Yep! I don’t recommend freezing the cake frosted, but you can definitely freeze each cake layer. Wrap them in a few layers of plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag to keep them from drying out. When you’re ready to eat the cake layers, set them on the counter to thaw, then make a batch of frosting and assemble!
What Type of Sprinkles Should I Use?
Any sprinkle you like! To make this confetti cake recipe a seasonal treat, use green and red sprinkles, orange and yellow sprinkles, or another color combo for whatever it is you’re celebrating.
Do I Have to Use Shortening in the Cake?
Shelly notes if you don’t like the idea of shortening in your cake then go ahead and use butter instead. Just keep in mind that your cake will be a bit denser and the texture not as tender.
Tips for Making Confetti Cake
One of my tricks when baking cakes is to use pre-cut rounds of parchment paper to line the cake pans with. I have parchment to line 9-inch pans, but cutting them down to an 8-inch round was simple enough to do.
I also add a few strips of parchment paper under my cake when I frost it. Then after frosting the cake, I can simply pull out the parchment and I have a clean cake stand to show for it.
This cake stand is perfect for both frosting the cake because it rotates easily, and for presentation because it’s gorgeous. Here is the link to get one for yourself.
This time around I had really big jimmies in the cake batter because I had misplaced my favorite jimmies that are a touch smaller, so the cakes had big splashes of color for this batch. I ended up finding them right at the front of the cupboard, of course. I used the smaller jimmies to top the frosting.
If you are baking at high altitude, raise the baking temperature to 375 degrees F, reduce the sugar to 1 cup + 1 tablespoon and reduce the baking powder amount to 2 ½ teaspoons.
More Homemade Cake Recipes to Make
- Devil’s Food Bundt Cake with Chocolate Espresso Ganache
- German Chocolate Cake
- Blueberry Buckle with Lemon Glaze
- Vanilla and Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
- Birthday Cake Pie with Chocolate Mousse
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Confetti Cake with Buttercream Frosting
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup vegetable shortening*
- 1 ¼ cups 2% or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- ½ cup jimmies or rainbow sprinkles
- 1 cup 2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup solid vegetable shortening
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ to ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Confetti Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper rounds and coat again.
- In the bol of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and mix on medium speed until the mixture is combined. Add the milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides as you mix.
- Add the egg whites and continue mixing 1 to 2 more minutes, until very smooth. Stir in the sprinkles.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the edges of the cake begin to pull away from the pans.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack to continue cooling completely before frosting with the Buttercream Frosting. Decorate with more jimmies or rainbow sprinkles.
For the Buttercream Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until smooth. Turn the blender to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until it's mixed in.
- Slowly add in ¼ cup of the cream and the vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for 1 minute until creamy. Add more cream if you prefer a creamier frosting.
- *Shelly notes if you don't like the idea of shortening in your cake then go ahead and use butter instead. Your cake will be a bit denser and the texture not as tender.
- High altitude baking tips: If you are baking at high altitude, raise the baking temperature to 375 degrees F, reduce the sugar to 1 cup + 1 tablespoon and reduce the baking powder amount to 2 ½ teaspoons.
- Recipe reprinted from The Cookies & Cups Cookbook.
More Classic Desserts to Master
- The Best Cinnamon Rolls
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Loaded Monster Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Brownies
- The BEST Carrot Cake
- Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thank you Shelly for being one of our favorite foodie crushes and giving us the recipe to bake this amazingly colorful cake. Visit Shelly and her blog at Cookies & Cups.
Purchase her book The Cookies & Cups Cookbook: 125+ Sweet & Savory Recipes Reminding You to Always Eat Dessert First here.
As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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