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Maintaining all the flavor from my favorite vanilla cupcakes, these confetti cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and extra moist. Creamy vanilla buttercream and extra sprinkles are the perfect finishing touch. I guarantee you’ll use this birthday cupcakes recipe time and time again!

Sprinkle cupcake with pink buttercream frosting

There’s nothing sweeter than a batch of vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles. Unless, of course, those cupcakes include a tall swirl of pink buttercream. Confetti sprinkle cupcakes are the quintessential birthday treat that never goes out of style. I’ve used this cupcake recipe for years and decided it’s time for a helpful video tutorial.

If you’re searching for the most perfect confetti cupcakes, I’ve got you covered!

Vanilla cupcakes with pink frosting on white cake stand

Confetti Cupcakes Texture

These confetti cupcakes are my vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles in the batter. The cupcakes are above standard; taking everything you love about professional bakery cupcakes and converting them into a homemade recipe. This cupcake recipe is proven successful time and time again. I use it as the base for chai latte cupcakes, Baileys coffee cupcakes, pistachio cupcakes, coconut cupcakes and more. Here’s why it’s loved:

  • Bakery-style softness
  • Extra fluffy
  • Buttery vanilla flavor
  • Super moist texture

Magic Ingredients!

The perfect cupcake texture is the result of 4 magic ingredients.

  1. Creamed Butter: Make sure you use the correct room temperature butter.
  2. Egg Whites (no yolks): Egg whites lift up the crumb instead of weighing it down.
  3. Sour Cream: Sour cream leaves all the moisture.
  4. Cake Flour: Cake flour, instead of all-purpose flour, promises an extra soft texture. If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, use this cake flour substitute.

Without each, the cupcakes taste heavy, dense, and dry. You also need granulated sugar, vanilla extract, whole milk, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sprinkles. 🙂

Sprinkle cupcake cut in half showing sprinkles with pink frosting

Overhead picture of rainbow sprinkles


Video Tutorial: Confetti Cupcakes


Don’t Make This Mistake

Did you know that the amount of cupcake batter you use will MAKE or BREAK your results? The more cupcake batter, the more likely the cupcakes will overflow, sink, and/or burn. And the less cupcake batter, the more likely the cupcakes will quickly over-bake.

  • Here’s the magic amount: Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 full, which is about 3/4 inch from the top of any basic cupcake liner. For a visual, see my vanilla cupcakes.

The amount of batter depends on the recipe. For example, when making my chocolate cupcakes, only fill the liner halfway. Most of my cupcake recipes include the amount in the recipe instructions, but when in doubt, fill about 2/3 full.

2 images of sprinkle cupcake batter in glass bowls

Bounce Back Test

You can determine if a batch of cupcakes is done in the oven by testing with a toothpick. Stick a toothpick into the center of the cupcake and if it comes out clean, they’re done.

But here’s what I do instead. Remove the cupcakes from the oven or leave them in, your choice. Gently press down on the center of the cupcake. If the cupcake bounces back completely, they are done. If your finger left a dent in the cupcake, they need more time. This bounce back test works for muffins, quick breads, and cakes too!

Here are even more cupcake success tips. 🙂

Ateco 849 piping tip with pink buttercream frosting inside piping bag

Decorated Confetti Cupcakes

Let’s share how I decorated these confetti cupcakes for the photos and video tutorial. I used my vanilla buttercream and tinted the frosting with 1 small drop of pink gel food coloring. I use the big Ateco 849 tip. It makes a GORGEOUS design. You can watch me pipe the frosting in the video tutorial above. I love this piping tip and used it for my peanut butter cupcakes too. Start in the center of the cupcake and swirl upward.

Chocolate buttercream would be great too!

Cupcakes with sprinkles topped with pink buttercream

Print
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Sprinkle cupcakes with pink vanilla buttercream

Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft and fluffy confetti cupcakes are above standard; taking everything you love about professional bakery cupcakes and converting them into a homemade recipe. For successful results, follow this recipe closely including using cake flour, only egg whites (no yolks), and sour cream. If desired, use chocolate frosting instead.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (207g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (80g) rainbow sprinkles* (plus extra for garnish)
  • vanilla buttercream or your choice of frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined. Do not over-mix. Gently and slowly whisk in the sprinkles. The batter will be slightly thick.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. I tinted it with 1 drop Dusty Rose Gel Food Coloring and used Ateco 849 piping tip. You can watch me decorate the cupcakes in the video above.
  6. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Cake Flour: If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, you can make a cake flour substitute. I suggest doing this twice, mixing it all up in 1 bowl then removing 1/4 cup since you need 1 and 3/4 cups in this recipe.
  3. Egg Whites: Using all egg whites is KEY to their soft and fluffy texture. Here is the egg separator I use and love! Here are some recipe ideas for leftover egg yolks.
  4. Whole Milk & Sour Cream: Whole milk and sour cream are strongly recommended for the best taste and texture. A full fat plain yogurt would work instead, though the cupcakes may not be as light. Same goes with a lower fat milk.
  5. Sprinkles: Do not use nonpareils (the little balls) as they quickly bleed their color.
  6. Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
  7. Confetti Cake: I suggest following my white cake recipe as the base, which is almost double this cupcake recipe. I also have a taller vanilla cake recipe as well. Fold 3/4 cup (120g) of rainbow sprinkles into either batter.
  8. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Egg Separator, Cupcake Pan, Cupcake Liners, Pink Gel Food Coloring, Piping Tip, Piping Bags

Keywords: cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Baked these for a birthday party…first round I had to toss bc we forgot the salt! Second round I got to bake without the toddlers haha and turned out beautiful! I also weighed the ingredients the second time which just seems way more accurate—-they turned out so much better than the first batch! Smooth, creamy batter, sweet and recognizable smell of the boxed version! I topped them with the suggested buttercream recipe and unicorn sprinkles…Apparently one of the little girls at the party asked, “did she make these with fairy dust because they are AMAZING!” As always, another great recipe with great results from Sally! Thank you!

  2. I am excited to try this recipe! Do you think I Could use egg white meringue powder in place of regular egg whites in this recipe?

    1. Hi JD, We don’t suggest it. Meringue powder is best used for making meringues, royal icing, etc. and not as a substitute for eggs in a recipe.

  3. I made these cupcakes for my granddaughter’s birthday. I always appreciate your exact measurements and weights, and baked these accordingly. I baked them for the minimum 19 minutes. However, my cupcakes were very dry. So dry, in fact, most everyone just ate the top part with the frosting, and I ended up dumping the uneaten ones. Any idea of what went wrong? Thank you! I do love your website and recipes!

    1. Hi Donna, it sounds like your cupcakes were simply over-baked. We always suggest using an in-oven thermometer as most ovens aren’t accurate with temperature – your oven may run a bit hot which caused the cupcakes to bake faster. Here’s more tips for baking the best cupcakes!

  4. The recipe sounded amazing and I followed it exactly, even looking up how to measure and what constitutes room temp butter. Epic fail!!!!! I know it was partly that I overfilled the cupcake papers and the tops fused to the pan and I couldn’t get them out without destroying the cupcakes*. But, they were also mushy inside even though the touch test indicated they were done and they were also brown on top. In the garbage they went. Lesson learned – I guess I’m not the baker I hoped I would be – so back to my boxed cake mix.

  5. These look delicious! I would like to make these into mini cupcakes using this recipe. Any suggestions on bake time?

    1. Hi Grace, For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature.

    1. Hi Jane! These Confetti Sprinkle cupcakes are a bit softer than our older recipe for Funfetti cupcakes. Both are delicious!

  6. Can you use light sour cream, or should I make the trip for full-fat? If I can use light, does the amount change?

    1. Hi Madi, light sour cream should work in a pinch!

  7. My son has asked me to make this recipe in ice cream cones for his birthday. Have you tried this method before? Or have any advice/suggestions?

    1. Hi Sara, We have never tried baking these in ice cream cones but let us know if you do!

      1. The ice cream cones worked well! I used a box of 18 standard size cups(4g per serving, small but not mini), filled 2/3-3/4 full. Baked for the same time as your standard cupcake size in the recipe. I cut out holes in a disposal foil pan turned upside down to hold them while baking on a cookie sheet, but an upside down mini cupcake pan would work well as well! Definitely worth trying!

  8. Hello I’m hoping to triple or quadruple the recipe as your recipe makes 14 and I have a big party coming up! Is this doable with this batter or should I make the batches separately?

    1. Hi Melissa, we recommend making each batch separately for best results and so as not to over mix. Enjoy!

  9. Hi Sally-this is THE. BEST. cupcake recipe I’ve ever made (and eaten!), including the vanilla buttercream icing!! My daughter and I love trying new recipes ever week on your website. Thank you!!

  10. Hello, I followed this and your recipe for swiss meringue buttercream to make a layer cake! I had failed this kind of frosting years ago but with your instructions I finally nailed it! The cake overall came out beautifully and tasted great, but the sponge itself came out a little dense. I had made sure to not overmix the batter and everything, so I’m not sure what may have been the cause. Since this is technically a recipe for cupcakes, do you think it would come out differently if I follow the one specifically for layer cake? Any tips? Also, I had used sour cream this time, but can it be substituted with mayonnaise or yogurt? Thanks!

    1. Hi HK, so glad you loved our Swiss meringue frosting recipe! Did you multiply the recipe to make a larger batch for a layer cake? Larger batches can be difficult to mix perfectly. Here’s more tips for preventing dry or dense cakes. Yogurt can be a great substitute, though you may lose a bit of the tenderness from the fatty sour cream.

  11. Can I sub milk for buttermilk in these I want to test them out but have no regular milk here.

    1. Hi Gabbie, it would be best to use buttermilk to replace both the milk AND sour cream. (1 cup/240ml total) Enjoy!

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