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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 Sprinkle 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

Use These 4 *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

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.

If you love baking cupcakes, here are more tested & loved recipes:

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, & Pumpkin Cupcakes

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
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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


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.


  • 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


  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.


  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. I made these for my son’s school bake sale and they were awesome! Beyond cake box cupcakes! Thanks for the recipe and the discount!

  2. Sally-Love your recipes and have purchased Sweetapolita Sprinkles, which are really nice. I also own your books and her book as well. Honestly, it’s a bit disappointing that you’re promoting her as she has never answered ANY blog/recipe questions…specifically, issues with her recipes in her book. I appreciate that you’re very thorough and respond to your readers/followers as there are times when people have questions or issues with a posted recipe, etc., and she should do the same at some point in time.

    1. Hi Stephie! Thank you so much for the comment, purchasing my books, and trusting my recipes! It’s very difficult to keep up with comments and questions, especially on the site AND emails! If I ran a large ecommerce business, I’d have difficulty keeping up too. 🙂 I love her sprinkles!

  3. Thanks so much for the Sprinkles coupon…. and of course your recipes!! I have been baking so many of your cupcake recipes including this one, with rave reviews, and was looking for pretty sprinkles to really make them look professional! This did it for me and I ordered 6 bottles!! Your website is without a doubt the best! Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. Hi Sally,

    Thanks so much for your amazing recipes….always my go to!!. Please let me know which variety of sprinkles were used in your batch?. I bought some awhile back but must have used the wrong ones:(

    Happy Baking!!

    1. Thanks Marilyn!! In the cupcakes, I used Sweetapolita plain rainbow sprinkles with some stars added as well. I used “Flight of the Unicorn” for garnish on the cupcakes. 🙂

  5. Wondering where I went wrong with this recipe? I followed it to a “T” except used wisk attachment. I ended up with batter to make 18 cupcakes (so I knew something was off right then). Baked in 15 minutes (touch and toothpick test) and looked great so thought I was good. However, the cakes have a tough texture and I find them to be inedible. But they sure look great!


    1. This recipe should yield 14 cupcakes so I’m guessing you added too much of a large ingredient such as flour. See this post to trouble shoot if you are 100% sure you measured everything correctly!

  6. These cupcakes are the best ever. So is your frosting. My middle son, 17, is not a fan of frosting, but he really likes this kind. One issue through, i cant get my sprinkles to stick! Any tips?

    1. Debbie, if you add a *little* more milk/cream to the frosting, the sprinkles will stick. Sometimes it’s so thick that they won’t easily adhere!

  7. Hi Sally,

    Do you think non-dairy creamer would work in place of the milk? I’d rather not have milk in the house.

    1. Hi Stephanie! Creamer isn’t the best choice for the cupcake batter. Nondairy milk would be fine.

  8. Absolute heaven! Bakery-style perfection. I followed exactly as written, doubled. Thank you for the amazing recipe.

  9. This recipe looks amazing. Would it work to make a round layered cake as well?

  10. Hi Sally! What would the baking time be on these for mini cupcakes? Thanks!

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

  11. Hi Sally. I made these cupcakes for my son’s second birthday today, except I used blue sprinkles and I colored the frosting blue. They turned out super cute and tasted great, but I do have a question for you. The cupcakes were a lot denser than I expected them to be, especially because I used cake flour and tried my best to follow your recipe to the T. I’m wondering if they are supposed to be dense, or if I did something wrong? The only thing I can think of is that my hand mixer didn’t have a paddle attachment. Is it possible that I overmixed the batter? Or maybe I overfilled the cupcake liners? I don’t usually bake cakes from scratch, so any advice you can give would be helpful. I did really like the taste of the cupcakes as they were not overly sweet, and I thought they paired very well with your vanilla buttercream frosting which is very sweet. They balanced each other out nicely.

    1. Hi Sarah Anne! I’m so happy to help. First, thank you so much for trying this cupcake recipe. It’s definitely one of my favorites and I use it as the base for many other flavors. If the cupcakes taste dense, the following will help– first, spoon and level the cake flour into the measuring cup. Do not PACK it into the cup. Second, make sure the butter is room temperature and not melted in the slightest. I actually have a helpful Room Temperature Butter guide that will help you with that. Third, only fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full. They’ll look a little empty– that’s ok. Fourth, bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. What’s better, however, is to lightly poke the cupcake with your finger. If the cupcake bounced right back, they’re done. They could have tasted dense because they were under-baked. And finally, use room temperature ingredients, especially the eggs.

      Hope all of this helps for next time! Thank you again.

      1. Hi Sally. I wanted to follow up and let you know that I used this recipe again for my daughter’s fifth birthday yesterday, and it turned out fabulous! I made sure to spoon and level the cake flour, use room-temperature ingredients, fill the cupcake liners two-thirds full, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean. That did the trick! These were not too dense and were sooo delicious! They were also super cute as my daughter requested rainbow sprinkles, purple frosting, and cherries on top. Everyone loved them! Thanks again for all your help! My family and I are huge fans

  12. Hi Sally! I plan on making this as a 9×13 cake for my daughter’s fourth birthday!
    Two questions…what was the name of the sprinkles you used in these pictures, from Sweetapolita? And for a 9×13 cake (not layered), would you add extra batter, or as is will work? Thanks!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Use this white cake batter for the 9×13 inch sheet cake. It’s essentially the same recipe as these cupcakes, only doubled. See notes for the 9×13 inch cake size. I used Sweetapolita sprinkles Flight of the Unicorn sprinkles. 🙂

  13. Hi! I am making cupcakes and a small smash cake for my daughters 1st birthday party this weekend. I was going to make the batter from your “Best Vanilla Cake I’ve ever had” recipe and just add sprinkles to the batter. BUt then I saw this recipe. Which would you recommend for best cupcakes? 🙂 Thank you!

    1. These! Perfect cupcakes. If you need a smash cake idea, I have this fun zebra cake I made for my daughter’s 1st birthday.

  14. I made a triple batch of these cupcakes for my daughter’s unicorn-themed birthday. I used standard sized cupcake tins and had a yield of 40, or about 14 per batch. They came out perfectly. Moist and delicious and picture perfect. I was anxious as I was unfamiliar with your website, but I’m very happy with how they came out. Thanks!

  15. Fantastic recipe!!! I followed exactly and weighed ingredients on a oxo scale. Everyone thought I ordered cupcakes from the bakery! I made minis and was able to make 48 from one batch (with a little extra). And baked for 11 mins to perfection! I wish I could share a picture! Thank you for always having the best recipes that always turn out delicious!

  16. These turned out perfectly fluffy and the batter was exactly right for 14 perfect cupcakes!

  17. Great recipe!! Soft and fluffy. I cut the sprinkles by half in the batter as I find them too sweet. Also topped half with strawberry frosting and the rest with chocolate. So delicious.

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

  19. Can this recipe be doubled? Or is it better to make two separate batches? Thank you!

    1. I always recommend making two batches so that you don’t over or under-mix the batter for the best texture!

  20. 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.

  21. Would this recipe work for a cake? Thinking of doing three 9” for a naked cake.

  22. 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:

  23. 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:

  24. 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?

    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!

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. If I am going to make 3, 6″ mini cakes with recipe, how long should I bake for? Thanks so much!!

  28. Hi Sally!!
    Can I use buttermilk instead of whole milk or would that be too intense with the sour cream??

    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!

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