Confetti Cake Tray Bake

You can probably guess what I was trying to achieve with this Confetti Cake. If not I’d suggest you search for “Confetti Cake”, or “Funfetti Cake” as they like to call them in the USA. That’s right – I wanted to make a cake that was bursting with colour in every slice. The decoration on the outside a mere suggestion of what was to be found within. Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.

It all boils down to my choice of sprinkle. Well, more the availability of heat-resistant, brightly coloured sprinkles in the UK. The major retailers don’t seem to sell bright, rainbow coloured cake decorations any more. At least certainly not like the ones we had when I was a child. I mean, yes, they were linked to hyperactivity in children and some people questioned their safety. But you can’t argue that those hundreds and thousands looked amazing on a birthday cake!

And they would have looked amazing in this Confetti Cake too, if I’d managed to get hold of some. Of course they’re readily available online and I did consider ordering some. Though when I read the ingredients list I quickly changed my mind. I’ve seen first hand the effect that some of them like E110 (Sunset Yellow, for reference) had on my brother, so stuck to the natural route.

My fingers were crossed that the colour would survive the oven. It didn’t. Yes, if you look closely you can see some little flecks of orange, pink and yellow in the cake mix. But most of the Confetti Cake action is taking place on the outside here. Not that it matters once you start to eat it, of course.

Speaking of eating it… This cake feels quite dense but has a light eating texture, thanks to the buttermilk used in the cake batter. Normally I stick to a standard “pound cake” recipe when baking at home, but wanted to do something a little different here. As it’s an American-inspired cake I though I should use an American-inspired recipe. Indeed, it’s not unlike a Red Velvet Cake without the cocoa (and circus clown make-up colour scheme).

Due to the sprinkles in the batter this Confetti Cake is also very sweet. Not a problem for me but something I feel I should mention. That being said, all tray bakes sit at the very sweet end of the spectrum in my opinion, so it’s not alone in that regard. The one upside of that sweetness is that you don’t need a big piece to feel satisfied. This recipe will easily make 24 good sized portions and could probably stretch to 30 or more without too much fuss.

Even at that size it would be enough of a sugar rush for even the sweetest of teeth!

Confetti Cake Tray Bake

This Confetti Cake is bright and colourful thanks to sprinkles on the top and even more mixed through the cake itself. Prepared as a tray bake, it’s ideal for parties and other events where you want to give everyone a bit of a sugar rush.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: Baking, Cakes, Sweets
Servings: 24
Calories: 333kcal


For the Cake

  • 400 g Plain Flour
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 300 g Caster Sugar
  • 300 g Butter softened
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 300 ml Buttermilk
  • 75 g Coloured Sprinkles

For the Frosting

  • 150 g Butter softened
  • 350 g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 25 g Coloured Sprinkles


Make the Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Line a 30cm by 23cm tray bake pan with greaseproof paper.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and put to one side.
  • Put the caster sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth. This will take about 5 minutes, so stick with it.
  • When smooth add in the vanilla extract and stir to mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined. Repeat with the buttermilk until you have a smooth batter.
  • Add around a quarter of the flour mixture and fold into the batter. Don’t overwork it – you’re making a cake not bread. Repeat this process with the remaining flour until everything is fully combined.
  • Pour in the sprinkles and fold through the batter until well distributed.
  • Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and carefully spread to the edges.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden on top and set in the middle. Start checking after 30 minutes with a skewer – when it comes out clean the cake will be cooked.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the tin and leave on the rack until fully cooled.

Make the Frosting

  • Put the butter into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and milk, then mix through the butter until smooth.
  • Sift in a third of the icing sugar and beat again until combined with the butter. Repeat with the rest of the sugar until you have a light and fluffy frosting.

Decorate the Cake

  • Spread the frosting over the top of the cake with a palette knife. Smooth it out to the edges.
  • Decorate with the remaining sprinkles.
  • Allow the frosting to slightly harden before cutting the cake into equally sized squares.


Estimated Values per Serving
of which Saturates11g
of which Sugars22g
Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

Scott Silverthorn

Hi, I’m Scott. I love cooking food and I love eating it - both useful credentials for writing a food blog! I get a lot of joy from sharing my passion with my friends and family, so here's hoping you enjoy it too.

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