Soft, light, and fluffy, these sweet confetti cupcakes are modified from my popular funfetti cake recipe! These cupcakes are packed full of colorful sprinkles and made with a simple white cake base, then topped off with a sweet vanilla buttercream (and, of course, sprinkles!).
Taking a quick break from all of the Christmas Cookie recipes I’ve been sharing recently to share these fun confetti cupcakes!
Tomorrow is my birthday (I’ll be 28!) and while I’m definitely not making my own birthday cake (Zach’s making me a cake completely from scratch, I can’t wait to see how it turns out and tell you about it), I still thought celebrating a little bit early with some cupcakes and sprinkles wouldn’t be a bad idea.
I really don’t share nearly as many cake/cupcake recipes on this page as I do cookies, because cakes take me so, so much time to get right (but when they’re right, they’re perfect — have you tried my favorite chocolate cake or my pineapple upside-down cake?)
This recipe is a slightly modified, scaled-down version of my very popular funfetti cake, and the recipe makes about 15 cupcakes. Since traditional muffin tins only have room for 12 cupcakes, I like to make 12 regular-sized cupcakes and then use the remaining batter to make adorable mini cupcakes — you’ll be able to get about 8-10 mini cupcakes out of the leftovers, and I included baking instructions in the recipe notes.
This confetti cupcake recipe requires an extra step of whipping your egg whites to stiff peaks before folding them into your cupcake batter. This step is so important, and it is going to give you the lightest and fluffiest cupcakes possible.
Whipping egg whites isn’t hard, just make sure that you have a completely grease-free bowl (don’t use a plastic one) and beaters before you begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. If you’ve made my whipped cream recipe before, you’re already familiar with stiff peaks, but if not, it just means that when you pull the beater out of the egg white mixture, the egg whites hold a stiff “peak” and don’t fold or recede back into themselves.
I’m typically not a huge fan of vanilla buttercream frosting because I find it to be a little too sweet for me, so I just topped off these cupcakes with a short, simple rosette decoration (I used my Wilton 2D tip for these). Usually I prefer to pile the frosting on (ahem, like with these chocolate cupcakes) but for these confetti cupcakes, this seemed to be the perfect amount to complement the cupcake without making it too sweet.
Oh, and don’t forget to top everything off with sprinkles!
I just used a mix of quins and nonpareils that I had on hand, as well as some edible gold stars (affiliate). Since Colt got into my stash of traditional sprinkles and ruined all of them (while managing to eat approximately 3 lbs of them… a story for a different day 😫) I had to improvise, but I actually loved how these decorations looked on top!
Just look at those soft, colorful, centers!!
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup canola oil or vegetable oil (43g)
- 1 cup sugar (200g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (172g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature preferred (118ml)
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- ⅓ cup sprinkles Use jimmies or quins, do not use nonpareils as they will bleed through the batter
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (226g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar (375g)
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sprinkles, for decorating optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and prepare a 12 count muffin tin* (see recipe note) with paper liners. Set aside.
- Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you may use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add sugar and oil and beat again until ingredients are very well-combined, smooth, and creamy.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and your buttermilk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that all ingredients are combined.
- In separate, completely clean and grease-free bowl, combine your egg whites and, with a hand-mixer on high-speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
- Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites and sprinkles into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
- Divide batter into prepared cupcake tin, filling each liner ¾ of the way full.
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs (not wet batter). For mini cupcakes, bake 14-15 minutes.
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Sprinkle salt over butter and stir again to combine.
- Gradually, about ½ cup at a time, add powdered sugar, waiting until each cup is completely mixed before adding more.
- With mixer on medium-low speed, add the heavy cream one Tablespoon at a time. Once ingredients are well incorporated, gradually increase speed to high and beat for about 30 seconds.
- Add vanilla extract and stir well.
- Pipe or spread frosting over cooled cupcakes (I used a Wilton 2D tip for the rosette decorations). Top with sprinkles, if desired. Cupcakes keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, or refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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Hi. I made these but they didn’t come out quite looking like yours. They were brown and had kinda shriveled up. Is this something I did wrong or maybe an issue with the oven?
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Oh no! It sounds like the the cupcakes may have been a bit over-baked 🙁 Your oven might be running hotter than it lets on (most ovens do!).
This is the best confetti cake recipe I’ve tried and I’ve tried many. Delicious!!
How many mini cupcakes will this make?
Hi Autumn! I haven’t done it, but it should make 40-50. 🙂
My sprinkles all fell to the bottom of the cupcakes while baking. Does this mean the egg whites weren’t stiff enough when I folded them in?
Hi Valerie! I’ve never actually had this happen. Was your batter really thin? That could be a sign that the egg whites weren’t quite to the consistency they needed to be. Did you use a particularly heavy sprinkle in the batter that could have caused them to sink?
Delicious! I love how soft the cake is—perfect flavor! I filled and frosted these with vanilla buttercream. Easy to make as well. Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so glad you like them, Marcy! Enjoy 🙂
Hi Sam!! Will cake flour work well in this recipe, or should I stick to all-purpose flour?
I prefer all purpose flour here, but cake flour should work. Make sure to substitute it properly though. In this recipe it will really be easier to use weights when substituting, in that case it is the same amount. 🙂