Confetti Cake with Vanilla-Sour Cream Frosting

From birthday parties to weekend gatherings, this cake gives you a reason to celebrate.

Confetti Cake with Vanilla-Sour Cream Frosting
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones
Active Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
55 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins

Nothing says "it's time to party" quite like confetti cake. This rainbow-speckled cake was a staple of our childhood birthday celebrations, and this grown-up, layered version is made to celebrate any occasion, big or small.

Our Confetti Cake with Vanilla-Sour Cream Frosting puts a grown-up twist on the whimsical classic. This confetti layer cake boasts three layers of festive sponge cake—learn our top tip for upgrading your boxed cake mix here—sealed in with a sophisticated Vanilla-Sour Cream Frosting. Dress up your favorite confetti cake mix with an icing that's pleasantly tangy, thanks to the addition of sour cream. Salted butter also makes a difference here and balances out the sweetness of the cake.

Of course, it's practically a requirement to decorate this fun cake with rainbow sprinkles. Recruit the kids to help and let their imaginations run wild. You can even add sprinkles right into the frosting for a stained-glass effect.


  • 1 (15¼-oz.) pkg. confetti cake mix (plus ingredients listed on box for preparing cake)

  • Baking spray with flour

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened

  • 4 ½ cups unsifted powdered sugar

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup rainbow candy sprinkles, plus more for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare confetti cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter evenly among 3 (6-inch) round cake pans coated with baking spray.

  2. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks; cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  3. Beat softened butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Beat until fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. (You will have about 5 cups frosting.) Set aside about 1 cup of frosting in a separate bowl, and fold in rainbow candy sprinkles.

  4. Place a cake plate on a stand or a lazy Susan. Put 1 cake layer on plate; spread 1 cup plain frosting over top, smoothing top using a bench scraper or an offset spatula. Repeat with remaining 2 cake layers and 2 cups of the frosting. Using a bench scraper or large offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting (about ½ cup) over sides of cake. Chill until frosting has firmed and set, about 30 minutes.

  5. Spread a thicker layer of reserved sprinkle frosting (about 1 cup) on sides of cake, smoothing as you go. Spoon any remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe dollops around top edge of cake. Garnish with additional sprinkles in center of cake. See our step-by-step instructions for frosting a smooth-sided cake with sprinkles here.

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