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, 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

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 (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

192 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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).

  3. Hello, I do not have whole milk at the moment. What can I substitute it with?

  4. 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!

  5. 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)

  6. 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. I was very excited to make this cupcake for my son’s birthday. I’ve done as recipe was gram per gram it became terribly bad in the biging it was rising then went total flat and very crispy on the sides. Never had such bad experience to make a cupcakes. I wish i could post the picture. I

  7. Hi Sally – I’m wondering if I can make this using GF 1:1 flour? Would there need to be any other modifications to the recipe? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Taylor, I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour but let me know if you try!

  8. Hi Sally! Thanks so much for the recipe! Just wondering, would it be alright to use aged egg whites in this instead of fresh ones? (I have some leftover from making macarons and didn’t want to throw them out)

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cat! That should be just fine.

      1. Hi Sally,
        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 🙁

      2. 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.)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

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

  12. Hi!! When you whisk in the egg whites, how does that work ? Do you just whisk it in the butter-sugar mixture? Does it have to froth or reach stiff peaks? Or should you beat it in a separate bowl? How does that part work exactly?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi G, No need to whip the egg whites separately. After you seperate the eggs they get mixed right into the butter and sugar. You can watch Sally do this step in the video above.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. 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!

  20. 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!!

  21. 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!

  22. Hi, I am gonna try for my son’s birthday. Can I double the recipe? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Catherine, for best results, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling. Hope it’s a hit for your son’s birthday!

  23. 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?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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!

  24. Hi Sally,
    Which Sweetapolita sprinkles did you use for this recipe? The rainbow jimmies?
    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lynne! We used the rainbow jimmies with some stars mixed in. Jimmies are perfect!

  25. Hi Sally,
    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?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Catherine! Does the batter come together after the dry ingredients are added? Some separation is to be expected but usually comes together.

  26. Can you make these dairy free? What substitutes would you recommend?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, We haven’t tested this recipe with any diary-free substitutes, but let us know what you try!

  27. Hi Sally,

    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?

    Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can certainly do that, Jodi! What a fun idea.

  28. Hi Sally,

    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?

    Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Adriana, that’s a great idea! We did something similar with this lemon layer cake. Let us know how it goes for you!

  29. Can this be made with regular floor? I do not have cake flour and I don’t have cornstarch to make my own cake flour.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Felicia! The cupcakes will turn out more dense with all purpose flour.

  30. 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!

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