Recipe Review

I Tried Pillsbury’s Beloved Funfetti Cake Mix and Did Not Expect These Results

published Oct 4, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

In 1989, Pillsbury introduced a cake mix called Funfetti: a simple white cake base with flecks of colorful sprinkles. The festive mix has become a popular birthday choice for kids and adults alike, and has spawned countless homemade “Funfetti” recipes, from cakes to fudge to Rice Krispies treats.

When it came time to select recipes to include in our Funfetti recipe showdown, it was only fair that we include the original Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix in the lineup. I loved this cake as a kid, so I had high hopes for it. Here’s what happened when I mixed it up at home.

Get the recipe: Pillsbury Funfetti Layer Cake

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Pillsbury’s Funfetti Layer Cake

Making this cake is exactly what it sounds like: preparing a boxed cake mix as directed on the package and frosting it with pre-made frosting. I used Pillsbury’s Premium Funfetti Cake and Cupcake Mix that I found in the baking section of my grocery store, and although the online recipe uses a combination of whipped cream and frosting, I skipped the whipped cream and just used two tubs of frosting.

Overall it took me just under 30 minutes to mix up the batter and bake the cakes, and even less time to assemble and frost them. It was definitely the easiest cake of the bunch.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Pillsbury’s Funfetti Layer Cake

I had high hopes for this cake, but was ultimately a bit disappointed by it. The cake was marshy and damp, almost to the point of having a slightly undercooked texture (even though I baked it longer than the directions instructed). It was also very sweet, with an overwhelming fake vanilla taste (although I do know some people who love and prefer that flavor!).

This cake did come together far faster than any of the homemade versions, so it deserves points for that. The frosting spread on nicely and it turned out to be a very pretty cake. Next time, I’ll try baking it longer and would maybe opt for a less-sweet homemade frosting.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Pillsbury’s Funfetti Layer Cake, a Few Tips

  • Generously grease your pans. Because this cake is so wet, it has a tendency to stick to the sides and bottom of the pans. Make sure to generously spray your cake pan in nonstick spray before baking.
  • Use the toothpick test. Rather than rely on the bake time on the box (which was too short for me), insert a toothpick into the center of your cake to test for doneness. It should come out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached to it.
  • Buy two containers of frosting. Although the recipe calls for just one tub of frosting, I needed two to fully cover my cake. If you’re going for a naked layer cake look (as is pictured on their website), you could probably get away with one (or if you’re mixing it with whipped cream), but if you want to fully cover your cake with frosting (like in the pictures here), buy two.

Rating: 7/10

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Headshots: Getty Images

Have you ever made Pillsbury’s funfetti cake recipe? Let us know in the comments!