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. 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
  • 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 (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

167 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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?

    1. Hi Nadia, you are so kind, thank you! You can use this cupcake batter to make a 3 layer 6 inch cake– see my 6 inch cake recipe for instruction. Or you can make my white cake recipe, which is essentially this recipe doubled, and add 1/2 – 2/3 cup sprinkles. Chocolate buttercream would be excellent with either.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. Hello! What kind of cake flour did you use? trying to find the best brand 🙂
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Juliana! I love Swans Down brand cake flour.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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!

    1. Hi Vivi! Sure can. See step 4. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature.

  12. Was wondering if I could make 6 jumbo cupcakes instead of the standard size?

    1. I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but I fear they won’t bake evenly. Let me know if you try it!

  13. Hi Sally,

    I am drooling over here thinking about how this recipe will taste. I have never baked anything without my sisters’ supervision but, being in quarantine, I am gearing up to give this recipe a go for my husband’s birthday. Being a complete novice, I have a few questions…

    (1) I was directed here from your 9-inch funfetti cake page and noticed some differences in the recipe: one calls for buttercream, the other for sour. Is one better than the other in achieving a light, moist texture?
    (2) Wanting to make a slightly taller cake, I have order four 6-inch pans. Any advice on modifications to the recipe? Do I increase everything by 25%?
    (3) Does your advice about filling the tin to 2/3 apply to cakes as well?
    (4) Would it spell doom to use flour and baking powder (well) beyond their best before dates?

    Many thanks! Nervous and excited to let you know how this turns out 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah! Happy to help. (1) Buttermilk and sour cream + milk can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Both produce a lovely moist texture. (2) You can use this exact batter for a 6 inch cake. I do so in my 6 inch birthday cake and 6 inch cake. (3) Usually about 1/2 – 2/3 full. (4) I don’t recommend using ingredients past their expiration dates, but use your best judgement there!

  14. Would I be able to just add lemon juice and lemon zest to make a Lemon Confetti cupcake? Or would you suggest using your other lemon cupcake recipe and just adding sprinkles to it? 😀

    1. Hi Marianne, You can use my Lemon Cupcake recipe and add sprinkles to that.

  15. Just made these and they came out phenomenal! I used your vanilla buttercream and dyed it pink and they look great! I love the way the sprinkles look once you’ve cut into the cupcakes! Will definitely make them again!

  16. I loved this recipe as cupcakes, but I am making a cake for a friend in a couple of weeks and I would like to do a 3 or 4 layer cake with this recipe. Would that work? Tripling the recipe? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Allie! I recommend my white cake recipe, which is from where this cupcake recipe is adapted. You can add about 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of sprinkles to the batter. For a 3 layer cake, try my vanilla cake (see note about turning it into a sprinkle cake).

  17. Hey Sally! I’ve been making your recipes every weekend for the past few months 🙂 I’ve been having so much fun! Sometimes I half the recipe because it’s just my husband and I. Would it be ok to half this and do 1.5 egg whites? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Shelton, I’m so happy you both have been enjoying my recipes! Yes, you can cut this recipe in half. Enjoy!

  18. Hi Sally! Can I use buttermilk instead of whole milk? Thanks!

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

  19. While delicious I am still having technical difficulties. I filled them all pretty much with the same amount of batter but some ballooned out over the sides and some looked perfect.
    Is there a another trick beside filling 2/3 full I’m missing? Oven issue?
    I made a total of 14 cupcakes per recipe.
    Maybe you could include an actual measurement as to how much batter in each cup?

    1. Hi Carolyn, If you have a large size cookie scoop you can use that to fill the cupcake pan so you are sure they are all the same size. If you notice that it’s one side of the pan that gets higher than the other then your oven may have hot spots (most ovens do!) so rotating your pan half way through the bake time should help.

      1. Update. I just made these again and I used 1/4 cup of batter per liner. I had 16 instead of 14 but they turned out picture perfect.

  20. Stephanie Scatie says:

    Excellent cupcakes. Fluffy. Moist. Perfect!! I did use 1 cup of whole buttermilk in place of sour cream/milk. I will be making these again. Thank you.

  21. Hello! My daughter has requested a funfetti cake (using your piñata cake directions for the center). Would you recommend using your funfetti layer cake or using the white cake and adding sprinkles? What are the differences between the two?

    1. Hi Jenn, you’ll want a nice tall cake for the pinata style. I recommend simply adding sprinkles to the pinata cake batter, about 2/3 cup. It’s a little denser than my funfetti cake and white cake recipes and holds its shape nicely when the holes are cut in the center. (See recipe note in the pinata cake if you’d like to use vanilla buttercream instead of chocolate.)

  22. I’ve just made them I think my son is gonna finish the whole tray so delicious and fluffy, thanks so much

  23. Just perfect! I ended up with 16 cupcakes , and they were so scrumptious.. thanks sally!!!

  24. Hi Sally! I love your recipes and they work out pretty good for me. But I wanted to ask hoe I should make the buttermilk. And also I wanted to ask whether there is a substitute for cream of tartar because it is not locally available in our area.

  25. Which sprinkles from that website do you use? There are so many!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Averie, We have SO MANY bottles of Sweetapolita sprinkles and the website offerings change often. We can’t remember exactly which mix was used here but have fun shopping for your favorite!

      1. My sprinkles melted as soon as they touched the batter. Is it the sprinkles? Or was the batter too wet?
        Thank you!

      2. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Julie, Did you use nonpareils (the little balls)? Nonpareils are wonderful for garnish, but quickly bleed their color in cake batter.

  26. Fantastic recipe, thank you! Can this be made in mini cupcake tin size? If so, How might you adjust baking temp or time?

    1. Absolutely. See step 4.

  27. I love your website but I keep seeming to have trouble with your cupcakes.
    Every time I make them they form a hard shell and taste like sweet corn bread. Do you have any idea of what I’m doing wrong?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Twinkie, For the best taste and texture be sure you are using cake flour. If your cupcakes are hard on top it’s likely the temperature of your oven. We strongly suggest using an oven thermometer (see #7 in our top 10 baking tips). Your oven may also be hotter on the top so you can try lowering your oven rack. And be sure you are baking on conventional oven setting, not convection. I hope this helps!

  28. Hi Sally, I don’t have a stand mixer or hand mixer so I’m creaming butter and sugar together with a wire whisk (and also for beating butter itself). However, the butter always gets stuck inside the whisk and I have to get it out every time. Any suggestions, Sally?
    Thank you.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Samantha, When creaming butter and sugar by hand it can be helpful to start off using a wooden spoon and then switch to a fork instead of a whisk. This is a helpful article if you are interested: https://food52.com/blog/9923-how-to-cream-butter-and-sugar-without-a-mixer

  29. Hi Sally,

    Can I use this recipe for a six inch cake?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ashley, absolutely. All of our cupcake recipes can easily be used for a three layer, 6-inch cake. Happy baking!

      1. Hi! I am planning on making this recipe for cupcakes as well as a 6” layered cake for my son’s birthday. Do you make the same amount of frosting for the 6” layered cake as you would for one batch of the cupcakes, or do I need more frosting to have enough to layer and cover the outside? Thanks!!

      2. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Lynne, You need about 2.5-3 cups of frosting for a 3 layer 6 inch cake, which is usually the amount used for 1 dozen cupcakes. Hope it’s a hit!

  30. I’ve baked a ton, and even ran a cake and cookie business in my time. Hands down this is the best cupcake recipe ever!!

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