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!
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!
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.
- Creamed Butter: Make sure you use the correct room temperature butter.
- Egg Whites (no yolks): Egg whites lift up the crumb instead of weighing it down.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream leaves all the moisture.
- 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. 🙂
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.
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
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.
For a naturally pink option, try my strawberry buttercream frosting! Chocolate buttercream or white chocolate buttercream frosting would be great, too.
If you are looking for the same great taste and texture in a towering sprinkle loaded cake, try this confetti cake!Print
Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 14 cupcakes
- 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 (spooned & 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
- 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.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | 12-Cup Muffin Pan | Cupcake Liners | Piping Bags (Disposable or Reusable) | Ateco 849 Piping Tip | Dusty Rose Gel Food Coloring (for tinted frosting in pictured cupcakes)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkles: Do not use nonpareils (the little balls) as they quickly bleed their color.
- 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.
- 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.
Keywords: cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hi Sally, can I use all purpose flour instead of cake?
Hi Emiko, When a recipe calls for cake flour, it’s best to use cake flour. In a pinch, however, you can make your own cake flour substitute.
Where has this recipe been my whole baking career life! I typically make my sprinkle cupcakes using buttermilk however I wanted to give this recipe that uses sour cream a try. I was nervous that the sour cream would make these too dense but it turned out so light and fluffy, so moist and delicious that this is my new go-to recipe! I was able to make a double batch (makes up to 32 cupcakes) comfortably without over mixing in my kitchen aid! Thanks so much Sally!
Why is this recipe different from your yellow birthday cupcake recipe w/o the sprinkles?
Hi Beth, these cupcakes are based on our vanilla cupcakes recipe!
Hi dear Sally ❤️It’s me again one of your biggest fan
I have two questions if I could make these changes in your recipe?
1.Can I whipped the egg whites and fold them at the end (like your red velvet cake)?to have fluffier cup cakes or cakes?
2.Can I replace half of the butter with oil?if yes should I reduce the amount of wet ingredients (milk and sour cream)?
Hi Sara, During recipe testing we didn’t find it necessary to whip the egg whites separately – though you could if you’d like. We recommend sticking with all butter here – you need an ingredient that’s solid at room temperature to properly cream with the sugar.
I don’t have words for ur recipes, they all r superb.
Today I m stuck in measuring eggs I have medium sized eggs and recipe is asking for 3 large eggs now can you tell me how much egg white in weight or its ok if I used 3 medium sized egg white.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Sabra, thank you so much for your kind feedback! A large whole egg weighs about 57g (or 50g out of the shell) and a large egg white weighs about 30g.
Is there a good gluten-free substitute for the cake flour? Maybe tapioca flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free flour? Or would you recommend a different cupcake recipe instead?
Hi Patti, we haven’t tested these cupcakes with any gluten free flours. Many readers have reported success using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour in many of our recipes. Let us know if you give anything a try!
Thanks Lexi, I tried the 2012 recipe instead of this one, since it called for all-purpose flour rather than cake flour. I thought the 1-for-1 organic gluten free flour would be a closer match to all purpose. I found the Simple Truth brand from Ralphs/Kroger, but not Bob’s Red Mill. I’ll let you know the results over on the other recipe page.
If making these cupcakes with the suggested vanilla frosting for an 11 am birthday party, could I make them the day before and leave on the counter overnight? Or do I need to store frosted cupcakes in the fridge? Hoping to not need to frost cupcakes the morning of as I’m preparing cupcakes for 40+.
Hi Larissa, After decorating anything with buttercream or cream cheese frosting, it’s fine for 1 day at room temperature. After that, it’s best to refrigerate it. As always, use your best judgment and whatever you are comfortable with!
THESE ARE AWESOME!!!! They’re really good without it. Really, really, good. I have a minor obsession with the crumb of these things. It’s unbelievably light but still structurally sound. I can’t believe it. Thanks so much for your recipes!
I love confetti sprinkle cupcakes, there so colorful and yummy I love making them for my family and friends they alway come out perfect. Thank for this wonderful dessert!!❤️
I made this recipe because I was bored and they turned out so GOOD!!!!! I followed the recipe exactly, vanilla buttercream with red food dye and all and it turned out very close to perfect. The only thing I would suggest is to use 1/4 cup butter and a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil instead of just all butter to make it more moist. They were fine as they were, but I feel like they would have been truly perfect if they had a tad bit more moisture.
Absolutely delicious! This was my first time making cupcakes so I wanted to choose something relatively easy and this one was definitely the right choice. Simple and clear instruction made them turn out so soft and fluffy and not overly sweet which I loved. I made a strawberry frosting to go with them from sally as well and it was so good!
If I want to make more cupcakes, is it better to double or triple this recipe or use your funfetti layer cake recipe? What is the difference between the two recipes?
Hi Angie, you can use either — the results are very similar. If using this cupcake recipe, we recommend making each batch separately for best results and so as not to over mix. Enjoy!
I love to fill my cupcakes when I make them. What would be a good filling to put inside this cupcake?
Hi Cait! How about a cookie dough or strawberry buttercream filling? Let us know what you try!
I always have a big party for my youngest kiddo’s birthday coming up next week and I am so torn on which cupcakes to make for the kids. I would love to know whether you prefer your confetti or your funfetti or the soft, fluffy funfetti ones? Or the yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream? Too many choices! I would LOVE your input for which of those you think is most crowd-pleasing. Thanks! Also, I thought nothing could taste better than your banana cake with brown butter icing until I made Hummingbird cupcakes for the adults- oh my gosh! Unreal. Thank you so much for helping to make all my special events extra special with homemade delicious treats!
How is this recipe different from the Easy Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes recipe? This seems similar to a Funfetti cupcake. I am trying to decide which to bake for a birthday celebration!
Hi Jennifer! We prefer these Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes over our older recipe for Funfetti Cupcakes. They’re softer and one of our favorites. We hope they’re a hit for your birthday celebration!
Hi Sally! Would this recipe work if I cut it in half? I only have half the amount of sprinkles on hand. Or would you recommend just making it all with less sprinkles in the batter?
Hi Ashley, you can certainly try halving this recipe, or simply using the sprinkles you have with no other changes to the recipe. They’ll still be delicious!
Hey Sally! Could i use buttermilk or almond milk? If i dont have whole?
Thank you! Love your website
Hi Brandi, it would be best to use buttermilk to replace both the milk AND sour cream. (1 cup/240ml total) Enjoy!
Hi Sally + Team, Can I add an Oreo (whole) to the bottom of the cupcakes?
We can’t see why not — let us know if you try it!
Hello what sprinkles did you use for this recipe? Or is there other sprinkles could we usr that are high quality and would also work, that you would know of? Thank you!
Hi Karla! In the cupcakes, we used Sweetapolita plain rainbow sprinkles with some stars added as well. We used “Flight of the Unicorn” for garnish on the cupcakes. We love Sweetapolita sprinkles, but you can use any quality brand you like. Just be sure not to use nonpariels, as they can bleed their colors in the batter.
are they the rainbow CRUNCHY sprinkles?
Hi Sally can you use the egg whites in a carton?
Hi Barbara, they will work as long as they are 100% egg whites – not Egg Beaters or any other brand with added ingredients. Hope this helps!
Hi Sally, these look amazing!
Um, but quick question. What would happen if I didn’t use cake flour? Is it necessary?
Hi MJ, cake flour is crucial for the soft texture of these cupcakes. If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, you can make a cake flour substitute. See recipe notes for more details. Enjoy!
Can I replace sour cream with whole milk yogurt?
Hi Amy, you can replace the sour cream with whole fat plain yogurt, but the cupcakes may not taste as light. Still delicious, though!
I am so excited to make these. For larger quantities of your cupcakes and buttercream, can I just double and triple the recipes or do you recommend doing them separately? Also, sprinkles do you recommend?
Hi Christine, for best results, we recommend making separate batches (especially for the cupcake batter, so you don’t accidentally over mix which results in dense cupcakes). You can more easily double the frosting recipes, but be sure not to overwhelm your mixer with the added volume. We love Sweetapolita sprinkles, but any quality sprinkles you love will work great. Just be sure not to use nonpariels, as they tend to bleed their colors. Hope you enjoy these cupcakes!
Absolutely amazing recipe – like all the recipes I have tried so far from your blog. Thanks so much for sharing! If I want to make the cupcakes in advance and freeze them, what container would be the best? Just a bag? Would I have to wrap them in anything else before I put them in the bag? Thank you so much!
I want to make these on Sunday, and was considering adding a little bit of cream cheese to the frosting (I don’t want an overly “cream cheese frosting” or too sweet “American buttercream”). Do you think that would work? And if so, would 4 oz be enough?
Hi Adriana, that’s a great idea! We did something similar with this lemon layer cake. Let us know how it goes for you!
My daughter wants the confetti sprinkle cupcakes but wants the party pinata filling as well, will that be an issue with the consistency of these cupcakes?
You can certainly do that, Jodi! What a fun idea.
Can you make these dairy free? What substitutes would you recommend?
Hi Sarah, We haven’t tested this recipe with any diary-free substitutes, but let us know what you try!
I love all of your recipes and have been practicing for my daughter’s one year birthday. I don’t know why but every time I add the egg whites to the creamed butter and sugar it curdles. I always ensure that everything is at room temperature waiting at least two hours. I read above that it happens when the sour cream is added as result of adding the different textures, but mine is happening earlier. I’ve been using packaged egg whites instead of separating actual eggs. Could this cause the curdling?
Hi Catherine! Does the batter come together after the dry ingredients are added? Some separation is to be expected but usually comes together.
Hey sally! I always come back to your recipes they are the best! And with perfect instructions ( thank you)!
I have noticed that you don’t sift your flour for all of the cupcakes. Like you do for most cakes that call for cake flour like the white or strawberry. Is that to make a sturdier crumb for cupcakes?
Hi Kenzie, thank you so much for your positive feedback – we really appreciate it! Correct — sifting helps aerate the flour, which is ideal for lighter, fluffier cakes like red velvet, white cake, etc. We want a tighter crumb for these cupcakes, so we don’t sift the flour. The cake flour itself, not sifted, gives us the texture we’re looking for. Hope this helps!
Hi, I am gonna try for my son’s birthday. Can I double the recipe? Thanks!
Hi Catherine, for best results, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling. Hope it’s a hit for your son’s birthday!
This is the second recipe I’ve tried from you. Everything is going great until I add the dairy. It complete curdles my batter. I made your banana cupcakes yesterday it curdled once I added the sour cream. Same with these sprinkles ones, it curdled once I added the milk at the end. I always follow everything to the T! My ingredients were all room temperature. Please help 🙁
Hi Sonia, the curdled appearance is a result from varying textures trying to combine– no matter if they are all room temperature or not. Creamy butter, thick sour cream, liquid in the eggs. I wouldn’t worry because once you add the dry ingredients, it all comes together. (For these sprinkle cupcakes– make sure the milk is at room temperature when you add it.)
These are amazing!!! The icing is very sweet so next time I will cut down up the sugar, but all in all I highly recommend for you to make these. Thanks so much for the recipe!