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
For whatever reason I have a ton of buttermilk and no regular milk. How bad would it be to use buttermilk in this recipe?
Hi Andy, it would be best to use buttermilk to replace both the milk AND sour cream. (1 cup/240ml total) Enjoy!
Can I use egg whites in a carton instead of separating out the white from the whole egg? I hate wasting the yolk!
i love this recipe so much that i’m bookmarking it and using it for all our future birthday cakes!! i EVEN subbed the flour for Pamela’s GF flour because i was baking for a crowd with some celiac folks. these cupcakes turned out so good that i didn’t remember until about 10 minutes after i ate one that they were gluten free! i think that speaks volumes to how well written this recipe is. i got so many compliments on these cupcakes and people were so surprised that they were GF. i frosted them with your buttercream frosting (left it white) and i was almost more thrilled about the frosting. i’m baking your white cake this afternoon for my daughter’s 3rd birthday tomorrow (with gluten this time, HA) and i cannot wait to see how it turns out! thank you for this recipe!!!
This recipe made the best cupcakes, love it . Would it work just the same for a round cake? Am wanting to use this recipe to make 2 rounds.
Hi Debbie, this batter makes the perfect amount for a 3 layer, 6 inch cake. Or for a larger cake, you can use our confetti cake recipe. This cake pan sizes and conversions guide will be a helpful resource, too.
I was so looking forward to this recipe, because this site has the absolute best to-die-for-pumpkin spice cupcakes (ah-mazing!). I substituted cake flour for regular flour and cornstarch (all carefully measured/weighed), but unfortunately these cupcakes were awful. I may have done something completely wrong (All of my ingredients were at room temperature), because these turned out heavy, and pasty, and inedible. I had such faith that I baked 36 of them before trying any, and ended up throwing out every last one and baking an emergency set of batches from box mix. For using only egg whites, I felt like the directions didn’t include enough whipping of the egg whites. It just seemed like mixing them in, and then what is the point if you’re not getting them lightened and whipped up? Again, given the very high rating of other users, could just be my mistake. Go try the pumpkin spice cupcakes, turns out every time.
Hi Janet, thank you for trying these! You are right that you do not whip up the egg whites separately, you add them into the wet ingredients as if you were using whole eggs. Removing the egg yolks keeps them lighter, even if you don’t whip them separately. Whenever I have a failed batch of cupcakes, I like to crumble them up for parfaits or cake pops. Certainly not something you were planning, but just if it ever happens again with another recipe. I love those pumpkin cupcakes too. Thanks for the feedback!
Hi Sally! Just want to say thank you for all your fabulous recipes! This page is my go to whenever I want to bake 🙂 I have used this particular recipe any times, for nearly all our birthdays, and it never fails! Thanks again from Australia 🙂
One thing i forgot to ask: is italian buttercream is stable enough to pipe on these cupcakes?
Should be, yes!
Hi!! i was just wondering what frosting you used for these. Thank you!
Our vanilla buttercream is pictured here!
Hello! Have you tried this with birthday cake/cake batter flavoring? Just curious if it’ll make it better or not
Hi Rebecca, I haven’t used that in this particular recipe but have used it in similar cupcake recipes. It works nicely. You can add 1 teaspoon of it when you add the vanilla, and reduce the vanilla down to 1 teaspoon.