Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Because all birthdays deserve them!

My birthday is this weekend and besides a hike with the dogs, a mega fortress of birthday cupcakes, and a trip to the spa for some “me time” — I’ll be catching up on my zzz’s. Sleeping in has never sounded so blissful. Life the past couple weeks has kicked my nearly 6 month pregnant behind. And I’m welcoming a mountain of pillows with open arms! And, like I said, a hefty amount of funfetti on the side.

I hope you have super fun Memorial Day weekend plans! But before we get to the long weekend ahead, join me for my next Facebook LIVE video today at 1pm ET. I know I talk about these all the time, but I’m just so happy to be baking and cooking with you *almost* in real life. Today we’ll be making strawberry shortcake.

🙂

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now let’s discuss a couple very important birthday treats. Not only did I create these craaaazy funfetti cupcakes topped with meringue frosting and a chocolate shell (yes A CHOCOLATE SHELL), I also created the most colorful cake in my recipe repertoire. If today’s cupcakes are the ultimate birthday cupcakes, that cake is the ultimate birthday cake! If you hop on over to Allrecipes, you can find it there. It’s piñata style and completely ridiculous in the best way ever.

As are these cupcakes. Basically what we’re doing to create these cupcakes is combining soft and fluffy homemade funfetti cupcakes with hi-hat frosting. Remember when we chatted about how to make peanut butter hi-hat frosting in the beginning of this year? We’re doing the same thing today only we’re not adding butter + peanut butter. We’re keeping that silky sweet meringue plain. It tastes like marshmallow fluff.

And it’s awesome.

Homemade funfetti cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There are 3 parts to the ultimate birthday cupcakes.

  1. Funfetti cupcakes
  2. Meringue frosting
  3. Chocolate shell
  4. bonus: extra sprinkles!

Funfetti cupcakes… you know the deal. We just made them the other week. I didn’t change the recipe at all because I want to focus on the meringue frosting today. But real quick if you missed that recipe post: they’re soft and fluffy with a buttery crumb and light-as-air texture. Moist, cakey, and loaded with rainbow sprinkles. That cupcake batter up there? ↑↑ Yeah. It’s torture not tasting it.

How to make meringue frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make meringue frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Meringue frosting is nothing to fear. In fact, we made something like it a couple years ago with our s’more tartlets. How fun were those?!

Here’s the 411 on the frosting: you’ll whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together constantly over a pot of simmering water. The egg whites will gently heat and the sugar will dissolve. (In case you’re curious, the cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites. It also helps the egg whites whip into stiff peaks!) When gently cooking these ingredients together, you can use a double boiler or the contraption I set up in the picture above. A large pot and the stainless steel bowl that comes with your stand mixer. You’ll need your stand mixer in the next step anyway!

Once the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar are gently heated, begin whipping until stiff peaks form. That’s your meringue frosting! See how stable it is in the photos above? It’s perfect. By the way, are you nervous that the egg whites are not cooked? I have you covered. See my recipe note below.

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now let’s take a serious dive into chocolate. The chocolate shell is 2 ingredients: oil and pure chocolate. Melt the two together, then let it sit for about 10 minutes before dunking. The meringue frosting is pretty stable, but heat from melted chocolate will cause it to collapse. So that’s why we’ll wait a few minutes before the dip.

Ahhhh!! Look at this!!

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s like marshmallow soft serve under a thick chocolate shell. On top of a soft funfetti cupcake. That you made from scratch. Without a box mix. Blow out your candles, birthday babe, because you freaking DESERVE these cupcakes! (Though does it really even need to be a birthday to enjoy funfetti? NOPE.)

Have fun baking and see you on Facebook today!

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Calphalon Nonstick 3.5qt Sauce Pan | Frosting Bags | Wilton #1M Open Star Frosting Tip | Birthday Candles

Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Frosting

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature1
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Chocolate Shell

  • 10 ounces (280g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped2
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • optional: sprinkles for topping

Directions:

  1. Set the eggs out that you'll need for the frosting. By the time you bake and cool the cupcakes, the egg whites will be room temperature.
  2. Make the funfetti cupcakes. Allow them to completely cool.
  3. Make the meringue frosting: Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water. Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.) Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. You can use a candy thermometer to make sure they're ready; it will register 160°F (71°C).2
  4. Transfer the mixing bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes until soft, glossy peaks form. (See photo above.) Taste. Add a pinch of salt if needed. I like to add 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Pipe frosting onto each cooled cupcake. I use a Wilton 1M tip. You may have an extra cupcake or 2 leftover if you use a lot of frosting on each cupcake. Chill cupcakes in the refrigerator or freezer until frosting is completely firm. I freeze mine for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the chocolate shell: melt the chopped chocolate and oil together in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. You can also melt in a double boiler if you have one. Let the chocolate cool down for 5-10 minutes before dipping.
  7. Holding the cupcake by its bottom, carefully and very quickly dip each into chocolate to coat the frosting. Place on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet in case any chocolate drips off. The perfect shape of the piped frosting may slightly deflate-- that's ok! Add any additional sprinkles on top. Refrigerate cupcakes for 30 minutes to set the chocolate.
  8. Cover and store cupcakes at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Finished cupcakes do not freeze well.

Make ahead tip: You can make the cupcakes and frosting separately 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate both overnight. Continue with step 5 the next day.

Recipe Notes:

Concerned about the egg whites cooking in the frosting? The egg whites are gently cooked in step 3 to 160°F (71°C). Which is considered safe to eat. You can use a candy thermometer to determine their temperature. You can use pasteurized egg whites, though keep in mind they may never reach the volume of unpasteurized egg whites. You may need additional egg whites.

  1. Between the cupcakes and the frosting, this recipe does require 6 egg whites. If you want, you *could* use 2 whole eggs in the cupcake batter instead of 3 egg whites. They won't be as stark white and will be a little less soft, but it works! Or try another cupcake recipe.
  2. Chocolate bars are typically sold in 4 ounce bars. If it's easier, you can use 3 bars (12 ounces) instead of 10 ounces. No need to add more oil. You will have leftover chocolate. I suggest Ghirardelli, Baker's brand, or Lindt. They are found next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle.

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

And here is the rainbow piñata cake I mentioned above! I’ll also be taking over Allrecipes Instagram account today if you want to head over to follow along.

Rainbow piñata cake recipe! Super fun! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

121 comments

  1. Happy Birthday Sally! I hope you have a wonderfully pampered day! (Get a pregnancy message– I hear they are awesome!)
    Do you think this meringue frosting would work for a pie? I’ve been wanting to make a meringue topping that tastes more “marshmallow-y” than “egg white-ish”! I’m thinking this might work — what do you think?

    • Thank you, Lisa! Yes, this would be delish on a pie! I’v used it on s’mores tartlets (mini pies) and it was wonderful!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sally!!! Another year better. You always bake the best & most beautiful “everything”. You work so hard, but it is evident you love what you do & this is a labor of love. You go the extra mile with pictues & every detail in your instructions…thank you…I so need & appreciate. I am excited for you & Kevin…a baby…how marvelous & what an adventure.

    Could & would you share your Grandmother’s Hot Milk Cake recipe again. I thought I had printed it after I made it 3 times, but evidently not & cannot find it in your recipe index. Girl, whether eaten alone or with strawberries & whip cream…ice cream….apple pie filling & ice cream…only to mention a few, this cake is “the bomb”.

    Have a marvelous Birthday & enjoy your “me” time & sleep…..Lynne

    • Hi Lynne! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes and the very sweet compliment to my work, I sincerely appreciate what you wrote!!
      I believe you have my blog confused with another. I’ve never made hot milk cake and neither did my grandmother 🙂 But it sounds delicious!

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL! I hope it’s every bit as dreamy, relaxing, and fun-fetti packed as you dream. You deserve it <3

  4. Can you provide links/names of the sprinkles you used?

  5. Sally, this photography is GORGEOUS! I am loving the dark backdrops and contrast – so refreshing!! I would buy a coffee table book of your food pictures!

  6. Happy Birthday!

    (These cupcakes look amazing). I was wondering if I could use wheat flour for these, but would it affect the texture?

  7. When does the vanilla go into the frosting mixture? 

  8. Hey girl- Happy Birthday! These cupcakes look so good! My Birthday is in a couple of weeks! The big 40 ! Oh my how time flies by! ha ha Have a great day!

  9. Happy Birthday! And OH MY GOSH my kids would die over these cupcakes and that cake! I love dipped cones, and this is that in cupcake form – love it!

  10. Happy Birthday Sally! I’m new to your blog and I must say these look amazingly creative. Definitely will be using the frosting recipe soon! Thank you 🙂 

  11. Happy Birthday Sally! You owe it to yourself to buy the cutest pin I’ve ever seen…it’s a tiny jar of sprinkles! So cute.
    http://shopharveys.com/sprinkles-lapel-pin/
    I am not affiliated, I just saw it and you sprang to mind. 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday Sally! These cupcakes look amazing. What a great idea. Have a great and restful weekend.

  13. LUV IT BOO. Happy birthday and shall rainbow unicorn sprinkles be scattered upon the ground as you walk on your special day (make that week!)

  14. Wow, that picture with the candles having just been blown out! Amazing photography! Happy birthday!

  15. Yum! These cupcakes look so delicious!

  16. Happy Happy Birthday!
    Hope you have an amazingly restful weekend!
    These cupcakes are gorgeous, can hardly wait to try them out.

  17. Chocolate shell?! Yes, please! These look absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to try them. Happy birthday!!!!

  18. I loved Funfetti as a kid and still love it. These looked so good, I’m actually making them right now.

  19. Happy Birthday Sally! Those cupcakes look crazy good, I actually don’t even like cupcakes but I’m pretty sure I would happily eat one of those! That chocolate covered meringue just looks fantastic. Also, I just pre-ordered your new cookbook yesterday and I’m SO excited! I hope you have a lovely birthday!

  20. Hi Sally, Happy birthday! 
    One question; can I use this chocolate shell mixture to pour over a buttercream frost cake? 
    I have tried with ganache, but am not happy with it. 

    • Yes, absolutely! Make sure the frosted cake is very cold– and let this chocolate cool down a little too before you pour.

  21. I hope your birthday was fabulous, Sally! These cupcakes are just gorgeous and the perfect way to celebrate! 🙂

  22. Hi Sally!
    I’m a big fan/student of yours and made many of the yummies you post, all wonderful and delicious as promised! I’m often tempted to make all the colorful sprinkly deliciousness that you post photos of, all looking amazing, yet still I have not been able to bring myself to buy the types of sprinkles you use. I try to avoid using artificial food coloring in food, especially for my kids, as tempting as it is to make it look as beautiful as yours (sad about the pinata cake especially, since it would actually be perfect for my daughter’s unicorn birthday). You may soon find that many of the moms nowadays are more aware and knowledgeable about the dangers of chemicals in baby products and foods, and prefer organic or healthier alternatives when it comes to their children. Artificial food coloring has a bad reputation and if you google it, you’ll find that it’s rightfully so. I’m hoping to motivate you to post more recipies and photos using organic sprinkles (with real sugar and natural food coloring!) when it comes to decorations 🙂 Amazon has more options now and I just received a container of beautiful unicorn sparkles by Bakery Bling, made in USA! India Tree also makes pretty sparkles using vegetable dyes. Check it out! 

    • Hi Ksenia! Thank you for your opinion on the matter of artificial food dyes. I agree, they certainly are not healthful but then again– what dessert is? Everything in moderation is how I view it. Thankfully there are options for anyone who wants to avoid them completely 🙂

      • Sally, so I made your pinata cake for my daughter’s birthday party today! How do I post a pic of it? It took me all day, whew, but so worth it!! Followed your recipe exactly, except used pink whipped cream frosting on the outside, cotton candy on top (special request by daughter to incorporate cotton candy and make cake pink) and it was a huge hit at the party! The cake was devored immediately, lol, with last bits of candy and frosting scraped off the plate. All sprinkles, food coloring and even this m&m candy have safe vegetable dyes. Meant to have organic cotton candy but it did not get delivered in time. Also made your pinata cupcakes with buttercream frosting, except in all the preparation chaos I forgot to actually stuff the sprinkles into them. Oops. Still well received! Thank you for your amazing recipes and hoping for many more 🙂 

      • That sounds like the most fun cake EVER!! And yes, I’d love to see a picture. You can post one on my Facebook page, tag me on Insta (if you have a public profile) or email it to me 🙂 info(at)sallysbakingaddiction.com Can’t wait to see it!

  23. Would I be able to frost and dip these the day before?  Birthday party after soccer 🙁

  24. Even without a candy thermometer can I be assured the egg whites are safe to eat!

  25. Sally, what if the cupcakes used were your lemon cupcakes? Would that be a strange combination to have meringue frosting and the chocolate shell? Lemon meringue is common, but adding the chocolate seems maybe a bit off-putting.

  26. So so stinkin cute!!!! Doing these this weekend for birthday party!
    Can you substitute Coconut oil in the chocolate shell?

  27. Hi Sally! I tried making these last week and they looked and tasted awesome!
    I just encountered problems with the frosting though. My frosting did not hold up well outside the refrigerator. Well, I live in the Philippines and weather here is around 30-32 degrees Celsius. Is it normal whenever I take it out of the refrigerator for a long period of time, the frosting melts into a sticky liquid. I was thinking that something is not right with the way I melted the sugar over the pan or the way I whipped it up in with my mixer. Thank you. You are awesome. 🙂

    • Hi clarizza I can relate to you as being from Mauritius with similar humid hot temperatures as Philippines, results aren’t the same. Did your chocolate shell set?

      • Yes it did. It actually stayed hard even if I get it out of the fridge. My only prob was the marshmallow frosting. 🙁

  28. Hi Sally,

    I absolutely love your recipes!! I made your blueberry lemon scones this week and your Oreo cake batter cookies – both were amazing! I was wondering where you purchased the adorable cupcake plate that is photographed with your cupcakes?!

  29. First off, this recipe looks fantastic! Secondly, you really need to add some of your photos to stock photo websites! The first picture is beautiful!

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