Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes

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 cupcakes

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. Noelle turned 1 and 1/2 this past weekend (can you believe it?!) and she got her first little taste of sprinkle cupcakes. 🙂

This recipe is basically my funfetti cupcakes, but I’m posting this confetti cupcakes recipe as an excuse to share a SPRINKLE DISCOUNT with you! Plus, 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 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, 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 cupcakes with pink frosting


Sprinkles Discount

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I love Sweetapolita sprinkles. Rosie is a dear friend and a fellow business owning woman and mama. She is graciously offering Sally’s Baking Addiction readers a special discount on her sprinkles! Use code SALLYSBAKING15 for 15% off your Sweetapolita sprinkles purchase.

When using sprinkles in cakes and cupcakes, avoid nonpareils (the little balls). Nonpareils are wonderful for garnish, but quickly bleed their color in cake batter.


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.

Sprinkle cupcake batter

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

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

Sprinkle Discount

Use code SALLYSBAKING15 for 15% off your Sweetapolita sprinkles purchase.

Print
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
  • 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

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200g) 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

120 Comments

  1. I love this recipe! I’m making these for my daughter 6th Minnie mouse party. The sprinkles are so fun.

    1. Hi Sally!
      I so enjoy your site and recipes! Every recipe I have tried so far has come out great. I have a question. I’m planning on making ice cream cone cupcakes with my grandchildren for a fun project. Do you think this recipe would work?

  2. Hi Sally, I was wondering if I could sub the egg whites for pausterized egg whites or the ones from the carton? As i end up with too many yolks left over.
    Thanks in advanced.

    1. Hi Claudia, they will work as long as they are 100% egg whites – not Egg Beaters or any other brand with added ingredients.

  3. Hello! I am trying to decide between these cupcakes and your funfetti sheet cake for my son’s 4th birthday party. Can I use this recipe for the sheet cake or is it better to stick to the original recipe posted? Curious if the old recipe is still good or if you have found the cake flour/egg white/sour cream combo to be superior for all cakes/cupcakes.

    Thanks for any tips!! Jen

    1. I really love these cupcakes! However it’s not quite enough batter for a sheet cake (it makes a great 3 layer 6-inch cake though!). My White Cake recipe is almost double this recipe and the taste is identical. Simply fold in 3/4C sprinkles: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/new-favorite-white-layer-cake/

  4. Love this recipe as well as all of the variations. Have made several of them with their accompanying frostings very successfully. Thank you for your blog, research and suggestions. I love being able to cook by weight rather than cups! One thing I struggle with, with your and other recipes is whether to use convection or regular oven heat. Could you sometime do a piece on the differences, adjustments, benefits and drawbacks?

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoy this recipe, Jan! All of my recipes are written for conventional ovens. Convection is great for roasting and cooking things in shallow pans but I personally don’t find it’s best for baking cakes. This is a good article to explain it in more depth: https://www.thekitchn.com/5-important-things-to-know-about-baking-in-a-convection-oven-226272

  5. Hi Sally,
    Thanks for this recipe! If I have to make the frosted cupcakes 1 day in advance, how can I store them for the next day since they have already been frosted?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sanaz, You can store them covered at room temperature for one day. If I know mine will be sitting out I like to bring the frosting all the way to the edges of the cupcakes to that they are fully covered and don’t dry out. Enjoy!

  6. Hi Sally, I was looking for a funfetti cupcake recipe for my son’s upcoming birthday and first came across your recipe for funfetti cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting. I just now saw this recipe which differs quite a bit from your other recipe. Just curious which one you recommend? Thanks in advance!

  7. Made these for my son’s 3rd birthday this weekend. Found this recipe as I wanted to use the Greek style full fat yogurt I had! Wow! They turned out so beautifully moist and fluffy! Thank you! Will def come back to this recipe!

  8. Hi Sally! What if I only have self-raising flour? Can I use it instead of cake flour? Is there an effect in my cake if I use self-raising flour instead of cake flour or All-Purpose flour in the recipe?

    1. Hi Lina, no do not use self-rising flour for this recipe. Cake flour is ideal and I have a substitution using cornstarch/all-purpose (aka plain flour) in the recipe notes.

  9. Hi! So I made these last night but the cake turned out pretty dense. Not as fluffy as my cupcakes usually are. Still tastes great but a little heavy.

    Any idea what might have caused this?

  10. Hi Sally, I have family members with dairy allergies. Is it possible to sub mayonnaise for the sour cream? I’ve done it in chocolate cakes but wasnt sure if it would work in a vanilla cake.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebekah, I have never tried using mayonnaise as a substitute. I might try a non-dairy yogurt as an alternative but I haven’t tested it. Let me know if you do!

    1. Hi Jordana! If using buttermilk, I recommend replacing both the milk and the sour cream with it. Use 1 cup buttermilk total.

      1. I made the cupcakes this morning a few hours before your response came in. Not knowing what you would suggest, I took a chance and used buttermilk and sour cream and they taste fantastic!!! I can’t wait to try them with just buttermilk as suggested in your response as well as with sour cream and while milk as the recipe is written. I will definitely be making these cupcakes again!

  11. I’m going to bake these for my son’s birthday party in a week and I’m really excited! I am wondering why you don’t do the dry-wet-dry method in your cupcake recipes. Have you compared it with your method (kind of a dry-wet method) and found this works better? Or is it just simpler this way? I’m more familiar with dry-wet-dry for cakes but am nervous about make a modification to your recipe since the reviews are all so good.

    1. Hi Amanda, This is still a version of alternating ingredients as we are adding the dry ingredients to the mixer and then adding the milk. These cupcakes are a smaller amount of batter than a full cake so I don’t find it necessary to break it up into more steps then this. I hope you love then and that your son has a great birthday!

  12. Hi Sally, I am a devoted follower of your recipes!!! Everything always turns out amazing and I get a million compliments every time. I always give you credit!! Question: can I make a cake out of this recipe? Can I turn it into a Bundt cake? And can I do it with your chocolate buttercream frosting?

  13. Hey Sally,
    So I thought I’d like to share this story with you. I am a mom of 3 Children ; 5,3, &10 months old, I am a nurse and a definite average baker, nothing over the tops at all.
    If I have a birthday cake or any celebration dessert I always log into your website and find one of your recipes. It’s always a huge hit- always a success !
    All that to say is I made your confetti cupcakes before and now one of my friends is getting married and asked me to make her 100 cupcakes
    The most I’ve done was 50. I am up for the challenge. The bride requested these cupcakes specifically. So I Wanted to share this Positive note with you. I feel as though you should know
    And deserve the credit
    Thank you for your delicious recipes !
    Ps any tips ?!?
    Thanks kindly
    Jazzmin

    1. Hi Jazzmin, I’m thrilled to hear that this recipe is such a hit that your friend requested it for her wedding! They do freeze well so if you have room in your freezer you can make them ahead of time so you don’t have to make 100 all at once or be stressed out the day of the event 🙂

  14. Hi Sally
    Do you remember the name of the confetti you used ? So many to choose from I can’t quite pick this out from the photo
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Traci! In the cupcake batter, I used Sweetapolita plain rainbow sprinkles with some stars added too. I used “Flight of the Unicorn” for garnish on the cupcakes. Flight of the Unicorn is my favorite. I also love Birthday Party Sprinkle Medley and Fairy Tale Twinkle Sprinkle Medley!

  15. Hi Sally!

    I’m new to baking cupcakes and I made this recipe exactly as written, and it came out GREAT! I will be making these again! I’m so impressed with how moist and light they are! Thank you so much!

  16. Hi there! Do you mix any sprinkles in your frosting or just decorate the top? Also, thoughts on converting to mini bundt cakes? How many do you think it would yield? I am thinking I could just pipe frosting in the centers, but wasn’t sure of quantities and getting them out of the pans. Thank you and congrats on the bambino! 🙂

    1. Hi Carolyn, I don’t mix sprinkles into my frosting, just add them to the top for decoration. If you do, I recommend using a knife or spatula to apply the frosting as sprinkles can get caught in the piping tips. You can use this batter for mini bundt cakes but because the size of mini pans varies greatly I’m unsure of the yield you will get with yours.

      1. Hi! Thank you for the prompt response….my pan yields 5 cups…6 cakes it is the Nordic Ware Art Deco Bundt® Cakelet Plaque.

  17. Hey there Sally,
    Icing question : I’ve made my icing twice and it seems to be a bit grainy , wet. So the first time I thought it was because I over beat the butter, so I followed your recipe to the T. And it still came out a bit grainy. I added more icing sugar about 5 1/2 cups

    Question, why is this happening? I also used whole milk instead of cream (which was not at rom temp, does it need to be for the icing ?)
    I Am preparing to make them for my friends wedding so anything will help
    Thank you
    Jazz

    1. Hi Jazzmin, You can try sifting your powdered sugar before using to help with the texture. Using whole milk instead of cream is ok but your frosting won’t be quite as thick and creamy. But yes, it does need to be room temperature!

  18. Hi Sally. I wanted to make this as a 6″ cake for a neighbor’s birthday. The threat of has made buying milk quite a chore this weekend. Would it be possible to sub whipping cream or would it be too heavy for such a light cake?
    Thanks,
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, Any chance you have skim milk on hand? You can add 1 TBS of your heavy cream to your measuring cup and fill the rest with skim milk and that would be the equivalent to 1/2 cup of whole milk.

  19. Hi sally! I plan on making this for my oldest son on Monday who is turning the big 5! Since we are stuck inside I wanted to make it special. I have a question. For your vanilla buttercream recipe, will a full recipe be too much to frost the cupcakes? I know extras can be frozen but I’d prefer to just make what I need as I don’t make cakes very often. Will a half batch of it be enough? Please advise. Tonight I plan on making your homemade Oreos aloha from Maui and hope you are well!

    1. Hi Tehani! Happy to help. I recommend making the full batch of frosting to frost these cupcakes. Or you can make a half batch if you want to go a little lighter on the frosting.

  20. Hi Sally!
    I LOVE your recipes – always my go-to for baked goods.
    I was wondering if you have small-batch suggestions… theoretically, cutting the recipe in half would give the same ratios so should be fine, right?

  21. Hello Sally! I’m a first-time baker. Really excited to have found this recipe. Can I use this recipe for mini cupcakes (1.5-2” in diameter) and how long I should bake them for? Thanks!

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