Rainbow Chip Funfetti Layer Cake! 1980s Rainbow Chip frosting and 1990s Funfetti cake fuse into this sprinkle injected cake. Colorful jimmies freckle the perfect white cake, while Rainbow Chip frosting gets elevated with homemade rainbow chips. To finish off a perfect sprinkle experience, the Rainbow Chip Funfetti Layer Cake gets topped with confetti sprinkles.
At little history is needed! Baked goods with sprinkle in the batter, is sort of a new-ish thing. And by new I mean within the past thirty years. Isn’t it crazy to think sprinkle cakes haven’t been around since the 90s? I mean Rainbow Chip dates back to the 1980s, but funfetti is traced only to the 90s.
Rainbow Chip was a flavor of Betty Crocker’s frosting line. Introduced in the 1980s, Rainbow Chip was produced, then discontinued, and then put back into production.
Funfetti was launched by Pillsbury in the 1990s. Funfetti was their classic white cake mix with primary colored jimmies.
The 1990s. What was that decade? Is it too close to comfort to reflect upon?
It was a decade fixated upon its closure. Y2K—the FUTURE lay heavily upon us. Elastic black chokers were a thing, and clothes were fifty shades of beige.
The internet was in an era akin to the Wild West. Legalities had to catch up with the constantly shifting landscape of copy rights, interactions, and sharing. You had to choose between surfing the web and talking on the phone. Better yet, you could buy Russian military submarines on eBay.
Gone were the sharp angular car lines of the past, and here were the smooth rounded curves of MODERNITY. It was in this era—when cars that looked like used bars of soap—that the colorful cake flavor, Funfetti, emerged onto the scene.
By now cake mixes had been fully accepted by home cooks. Funfetti as a flavor was quickly integrated by consumers. Vanilla is an easy flavor to modify.
Not that sprinkles altered the taste of the Funfetti cake. It’s like the placebo effect. The visual appearance of bright primary colored sprinkles makes the cake taste better. Funfetti was the flavor of birthday party cupcakes and school time bake sales.
There are three different types of sprinkle laden cakes. Funfetti, confetti, and rainbow chip.
Funfetti uses simple jimmies. Jimmies stripe the cake batter with colorful streaks. Confetti uses circular confetti sprinkles, that produce polka a dots of color. Rainbow chips are Funfetti’s chunky cousin and are dyed white chocolate chip chunks.
As much as I wanted to do a Rainbow Chip cake, I could not keep the rainbow chips suspended in the cake batter. In theory Rainbow chip sounds great. Rainbow chips would sink to the bottom of the cake pans, melt, and then burn. Think a crispy white chocolate cracker.
These colorful white chocolate chips were pesky. The only cake batter that would properly suspend the rainbow chips would be a thick pound cake. I didn’t want to compromise the cake’s textural levity. After much trials, I opted to change the add-in from Rainbow Chips to jimmies.
I used the Rainbow Chips in the frosting—talk about delicious! I was inspired by the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. Like Sally, I disliked the filmy cling-to-your-teeth effect the canned frosting left. Using butter and cream cheese with a small amount of powdered sugar elevates this classic nostalgic frosting. The ratio of fats to powdered sugar is the perfect amount to keep the frosting spreadable but sturdy for layer cakes.
To frost the cake I did a reverse drip. The ganache is a little thicker than usual and makes chubby cartoon like drips.
Sprinkles are the piece de resistance—the finishing salt over sliced steak—for this Rainbow Chip Funfetti Layer Cake. Sprinkles in the cake, sprinkles in the frosting, and sprinkles on the top make for an all time sprinkle hit!
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup jimmie sprinkles
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter room temperature and cut into small cubes
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 food gel coloring of your choice
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 to 7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Confetti sprinkles
- Rainbow Chips
- 6 ounces white chocolate
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 table spoon vegetable oil
- food gel coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In small bowl toss the jimmie sprinkles with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dry ingredients, set aside.
- With a paddle attachment mix the dry ingredients on a low speed. Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, followed by the buttermilk. Raise speed to medium-high and beat until evenly moist and the batter looks like a fluffy. About 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In another small bowl whisk together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer's speed on low (stir), add the egg-mixture to the batter in 3 batches, beating well after each addition.
- Add in the jimmies and let the mixer stir them into the batter for 5 to 10 seconds. Fold the batter by hand a few times to evenly distribute the sprinkles and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down.
- Divide the batter evenly into the cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cakes rest in the cake for 5 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack. Cool completely before assembly or storage.
- Prep a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper, set aside.
- Use a double boiler to melt the white chocolate and heavy cream. Once melted add the oil and divide the melted chocolate into four small bowls. Adding the vegetable oil prevents the white chocolate from seizing when you add the food gel. Add the food gel, mixing to combine.
- Pour the colored chocolates onto the prepared baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread each color into a rectangular shape. Refrigerate the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge and chop the rainbow chips into tiny pieces. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attach, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the cream cheese, and beat until lump free and creamy, another 2 minutes.
- With the mixer's speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating on medium-high after each addition. Add the vanilla and salt. Scrape the bowl as needed. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of the frosting. Add half of the rainbow chips to the remaining frosting.
- Cover a large piece of cardboard with parchment paper. Spread some of the plain frosting ½ inch thick 1-inch wider than the circumference of the cake. Add the first layer one. Spread the rainbow chip frosting onto the cake layer, followed by the second layer. Spread more rainbow chip frosting and top with the final layer. Use a bench scraper to scrape off the excess frosting on the base. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up the cake. Do a crumb coating with the reserved plain frosting. Chill for 10 minutes. Frost with the rainbow chip frosting and chill a final 10 minutes. While the cake is chilling, make the drippy ganache.
- Melt the white chocolate and heavy cream. Add the oil followed by the desired food gel coloring. Fill into a piping bag and drip onto the top portion of the cake. Pipe a ring of ganache on the top of the cake, press a cake board onto the top of the cake. Press to secure the ganache to the cake. Invert the cake and peel the parchment paper, creating a smooth smooth top.
- Finish the cake with more sprinkles.