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 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. 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 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, 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


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.

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

Sprinkle Discount

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

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
  • 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 (210g) 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

153 Comments

  1. These cupcakes look perfect for birthdays!

    1. SO perfect for birthdays!!

  2. Awwww…..I had to smile as I opened up your website and saw these gorgeous cupcakes staring out at me!!! That perfectly-tinted buttercream looks so soft and dainty and delicious and (APU) your photographs are amazing Sally!

    1. Thank you so much Gemma! I’m happy these cupcakes made you smile 🙂

  3. 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!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for your positive review 🙂

      1. Dottie LeCompte says:

        What sprinkle collection are you using. I want to make a order of several and wanted to know your favorites.

      2. Hi Dottie! In the cupcakes, 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!

  4. Stephie Scat says:

    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!

  5. Susan Miller says:

    I’ve read this article three times, but I can’t find the link for the video to piping the frosting. It looks delicious! Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan! If you temporarily pause ad blocker, the video shows underneath the header Video Tutorial: Confetti Cupcakes.

  6. So pretty! But as much as I love a good frosted cupcake, I tend to scrape off 80% of the frosting (sometimes the frosting is as big as the cupcake itself!). Any tips for pretty piping that result in waaaay less frosting on the cupcake?

    1. Hi Meagan! How about a piped rose? Very little frosting in comparison to this look. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/how-to-pipe-a-two-toned-frosting-rose/

    2. I use a simple Swiss meringue buttercream recipe that is not as sweet or heavy as American buttercream. Try experimenting with some of your tips to see if like the look they create.

  7. These cupcakes are beautiful, Sally! As always, your photography is stunning! I love your vanilla cupcakes recipe, as it produces incredibly soft and fluffy cupcakes, and I’ve used it for funfetti cupcakes, too, which are very fun and festive! Love the shade of the frosting; so soft and pretty! The deal on sprinkles is also very alluring! Though I have never purchased them (as I live in Canada, where they are not found in stores), I love the look of Sweetapolita sprinkles! The sprinkle medleys are gorgeous; the blend of colors and different sprinkles is so pretty! I especially love these ones:

    https://sweetapolitashop.ca/collections/sprinkle-medleys/products/buried-treasure-twinkle-sprinkle-medley

  8. 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.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback, Lulu! Thrilled you enjoy so many of my recipes and I’m so happy you ordered some fun sprinkles! Happy baking 🙂

  9. Marilyn Murray says:

    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. 🙂

  10. 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!

    Thoughts?

    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! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/10-tips-for-baking-cupcakes/

      1. Regardless of the reason your batch didn’t come out like you wanted, I bet you can “upcycle” them into cake pops or use them as a base for a strawberry shortcake-type dessert. Or put them in a homemade custard shake/ concrete? 🙂

  11. These are the prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen! <3

  12. I just watched the video. I think that is the cutest egg separator I have ever seen! I have made your vanilla cupcakes before, and they are delish(!), so I think it’s time to try funfetti 🙂

    1. It always makes me happy to use! It’s this one: https://www.amazon.com/MSC-International-Yolky-96035-Separator/dp/B000GLRF2O/

  13. Naveen Sohail says:

    I really like and enjoy making cup cakes and always try new new recipes I love your posts so much and look forward to them each month.

    1. Thanks so much, Naveen!

      1. Naveen Sohail says:

        Welcome dear.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. I baked these cupcakes for my husband’s birthday – the first batch turned out fine (although with cracked tops so I must’ve over mixed), but in the second batch the sprinkles near the surface seemed to explode (saw some bubbling in the oven) and the cupcakes looked like volcanos (or scabs/wounds)….. Would you know why that happens and what I can do to fix it?

    1. Oh my – I’ve never heard of sprinkles exploding in the oven! Were you using the same brand as the first time?

      1. yes, they were from the same bag even. I tried tapping the pan before popping it into the oven to get the sprinkles to settle but that didn’t work too. I followed the same steps, except instead of using my hand mixer, i did the mixing by hand instead because i was concerned about overmixing. Wonder if that could’ve changed something?

  17. Heather M. Whipple says:

    These look really cute.
    Looks like I mist the sprinkles discount
    due to it being the end of April.
    When are you going to have another sweetapolita sprinkles discount going on your website again? Please let me know.

    1. Hi Heather! The discount doesn’t expire. 🙂

  18. Erin Marsh says:

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

  19. Jarrett G. says:

    Made a batch of these a couple weeks ago, delicious and beautiful! I need to make like 45 cupcakes now — is it okay to double/triple the recipe to make a giant batch of batter, or should I do it smaller batches?? Thanks, Sally!

    1. Hi Jarrett! For best taste and texture, I recommend making the cupcakes one batch at a time instead of doubling and tripling. Sometimes working with more volume risks under or over-mixing.

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

    1. Hi Amanda! Sure could, but here is my funfetti cake recipe. And here is my white cake recipe (which is adapted from these cupcakes). You can add sprinkles to that batter if desired.

  21. I just discovered that Wilton sprinkles run as soon as you gently whisk them into the batter.

  22. I’ve got these cupcakes in the oven right now, but I needed to make 2 dozen, so I doubled the recipe.. doubled every ingredient, but it looks like I’m going to yield about 4 dozen! Where did I go wrong? The consistency of the batter looks correct. Thanks!

  23. 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.

      1. Awesome – thank you!

  24. Sarah Anne says:

    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

  25. 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. 🙂

  26. 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.

      1. Thank you! 🙂

  27. 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!

    1. Hi Jess! I’m so happy you made these cupcakes- what a delicious addition to your daughter’s birthday party! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  28. 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!

    1. Hi Michelle! LOVE reading this 🙂 I’m thrilled these cupcakes were a hit!

  29. Kristin Bell says:

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

  30. 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.

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