Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes

All birthdays deserve fun and festive ultimate birthday cupcakes! My soft and fluffy confetti cupcakes are topped with homemade marshmallow meringue frosting and a chocolate shell. They’re decadent, loaded with sprinkles, and party ready.

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s ultimate birthday cupcakes are over the top and perfect for any celebration– not just birthdays. They’re bright and colorful, loaded with sprinkles, and have a wow factor thanks to hi-hat frosting dunked in chocolate (just like my peanut butter hi-hat cupcakes). It’s like marshmallow soft serve under a thick chocolate shell. Let’s get this party started!

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There Are 3 Parts to These Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes

  1. Confetti Cupcakes: They’re soft and fluffy with a buttery crumb. You can also use any of my other cupcake recipes.
  2. Marshmallow Meringue Frosting: Tastes exactly like homemade marshmallow creme.
  3. Chocolate Shell: Made from 2 simple ingredients.

Homemade funfetti cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

That cupcake batter up there? ↑↑ Yeah. It’s torture not tasting it.

How to make meringue frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

Marshmallow meringue frosting is nothing to fear. It’s basically Swiss meringue buttercream, just without the butter. But don’t let the word “meringue” frighten you. This is an astonishingly simple mixture– you only need 4 ingredients, a stovetop, and a mixer. In fact, we’ve made it multiple times before:

Here’s what you’ll do: Begin by whisking the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar together in a double boiler or heat-proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thinned out. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt if needed, then use your mixer and whip on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form. Whipping is where the magic happens. It’s fun to watch the mixture transform from a thin liquid to voluminous fluff– literally a big puffy cloud.

How to make meringue frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Chocolate Coating

After piping the marshmallow meringue frosting onto each cooled cupcake, it’s time to take a chocolate dive.

We’ll combine just 2 ingredients together for the chocolate shell: oil + pure chocolate. Melt the two together, then let it sit for about 10 minutes before dunking. The meringue frosting is pretty stable, but heat from melted chocolate will cause it to collapse– that’s why I recommend waiting a few minutes before dipping the cupcakes. Carefully and quickly dip each cupcake into the chocolate to coat the frosting. Add any additional sprinkles on top, then refrigerate the cupcakes for to set the chocolate, creating the chocolate shell.

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

More Birthday Recipes

Print

Ultimate Birthday Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

The ultimate birthday cupcakes start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell!


Ingredients

Frosting

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Chocolate Shell

  • 10 ounces (280g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • optional: sprinkles for topping

Instructions

  1. Set the eggs out that you’ll need for the frosting. By the time you bake and cool the cupcakes, the egg whites will be room temperature.
  2. Make the confetti cupcakes. Allow them to completely cool.
  3. Make the marshmallow meringue frosting: Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water. Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.) Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. You can use a candy thermometer to make sure they’re ready; it will register 160°F (71°C).*
  4. Transfer the mixing bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes until soft, glossy peaks form. (See photo above.) Taste. Add a pinch of salt if needed. I like to add 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Pipe frosting onto each cooled cupcake. I use a Wilton 1M tip. You may have an extra cupcake or 2 leftover if you use a lot of frosting on each cupcake. Chill cupcakes in the refrigerator or freezer until frosting is completely firm. I freeze mine for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the chocolate shell: melt the chopped chocolate and oil together in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. You can also melt in a double boiler if you have one. Let the chocolate cool down for 5-10 minutes before dipping.
  7. Holding the cupcake by its bottom, carefully and very quickly dip each into chocolate to coat the frosting. Place on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet in case any chocolate drips off. The perfect shape of the piped frosting may slightly deflate– that’s ok! Add any additional sprinkles on top. Refrigerate cupcakes for 30 minutes to set the chocolate.
  8. Cover and store cupcakes at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Finished cupcakes do not freeze well.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cupcakes and frosting separately 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate both overnight. Continue with step 5 the next day.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Saucepan, Piping Bags, Wilton #1M Tip, and Birthday Candles
  3. Eggs: Between the cupcakes and the frosting, this recipe does require 6 egg whites. If you want, you *could* use 2 whole eggs in the cupcake batter instead of 3 egg whites. They won’t be as stark white and will be a little less soft, but it works! Or try any of my other cupcake recipes.
  4. Chocolate: Chocolate bars are typically sold in 4 ounce bars. If it’s easier, you can use 3 bars (12 ounces) instead of 10 ounces. No need to add more oil. You will have leftover chocolate. I suggest Ghirardelli, Baker’s brand, or Lindt. They are found next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle.
  5. Concerned about the egg whites cooking in the frosting? The egg whites are gently cooked in step 3 to 160°F (71°C). Which is considered safe to eat. You can use a candy thermometer to determine their temperature. You can use pasteurized egg whites, though keep in mind they may never reach the volume of unpasteurized egg whites. You may need additional egg whites.

Keywords: ultimate birthday cupcakes

These are the ultimate birthday cupcakes! They start with a funfetti cupcake and are topped with marshmallow frosting and a chocolate shell! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

151 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,
    I am hoping to make these for my sons birthday on Saturday. I don’t have canola or vegetable oil and don’t want to buy a whole container just for cupcakes. Is there another oil I could use? Coconut, sunflower, grapeseed?
    Thanks
    Rebekah

    1. Hi Rebekah! Use melted coconut oil instead.

  2. So far these are amazing! But my meringue didn’t fluff up. I used an electric mixer but followed everything else exactly. Any suggestions for the meringue? I also live in humid and hot New Orleans which may have impacted it.

    1. Hi Ken, the humidity may be the culprit. Is it still quite liquid-y?

      1. Yea it was liquid-y for awhile. I was able to use it more as a frosting and it tasted amazing! It just didn’t have those peaks that could be covered in chocolate. Is there a way to take some moisture out when i whisk?

  3. Sally, could I use white chocolate instead? I’m thinking about my Aunt Jeannie’s ninetyith birthday and she adores lemon cake, so I’m thinkin’ lemon cake, meringue frosting and white hocolate cupcakes with silver and gold glittery stuff would be a winner.

    1. I’ve actually never made a white chocolate magic shell! It sounds like it would be a beautiful dessert! If you try it I would advise using a high quality white chocolate and not white chocolate chips. Have fun!

  4. Hi Sally,
    I tried making the topping and the egg whites would not form peaks at all! I was so sad given I’ve never had a problem with any of your recipes. Is it possible to overcook the egg whites? I’m wondering if that’s what happened because I would like to try again!

    1. Hi Shelvy! Egg whites won’t whip into peaks if there is ANY trace of grease in the bowl, on the spoon, your fingers, the whisk, anything they touch. So make sure everything is completely squeaky clean. That’s usually the culprit. I don’t think the egg whites were over-heated.

  5. These cupcakes look so fun and festive! I may have to try them for my birthday in May 😉 I was wondering if I could pair this meringue topping with your lemon cupcakes and fill the cupcakes with lemon curd for lemon meringue pie cupcakes? Thanks, Sally!

    1. Yes, that would be delicious!

  6. Hey Sally! I absolutely adore your meringue frosting recipe but everytime i make it it smells funny, a little eggy. Am i doing something wrong? Is there anything I can do to cover the smell?

    1. Hi Anishka! If the meringue smells egg-y, it is over-cooked. Reduce the stove time a little next time.

  7. Can the marshmallow topping be browned?

    1. You can toast it, yes!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I love all of your recipes but this is hands down THE BEST RECIPE!!! These get an amazing response every time I make them. They’re not that hard to make, and they are DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Birthday cupcakes! how cute. You have the best recipes, Sally! Love the photographs too. They look awesome. Gotta make these ><

  10. Sally the cupcakes look lovely but my kids are not meringue eaters. Is there another more kid friendly icing that would work with the melted chocolate for dipping?

    1. Hi Mary! A vanilla buttercream would work, but be very quick with the dunk in chocolate. And make sure the chocolate isn’t TOO hot or it will melt the buttercream.

  11. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mary Hi Sally

      I was exactly wondering the same thing for my daughters birthday next weekend! I was wondering how you went with the buttercream Mary? Frosting is not my forte!

      Elin

  12. Any suggestions on cream of tartar substitute? After seeing the amazing photos, my daughter requested these cupcakes for her 4th birthday but we are currently living in Norway and I cannot find cream of tartar. I have read you can substitute lemon juice 1:1. Do you have any experience with this or any other advice? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Beth! If you can’t get your hands on cream of tartar at all, try a small squeeze of lemon juice. That should help keep the egg whites sturdy enough.

  13. I’m looking to make a 4 inch birthday cake… Do you think it would be possible to transform this into a cake recipe? If it is, any suggestions would be appreciated. I know I wouldn’t be able to dunk it into the chocolate, but I don’t know if pouring would work? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lauren, you can bake this batter in cake pans. I recommend using my 6 inch cakes as a guide (I always use cupcake batter for those!). I’ve never tried this as a small 4 inch cake. For the chocolate, I recommend drizzling with chocolate ganache.

  14. Thank you for the recipe. Can’t wait to try this!

  15. I made these yesterday and my family absolutely loved them! I am now frantically searching through your other recipes that are made with marshmallow meringue so I can try them all! Thank you for introducing me to something SO yummy and luckily easy to make!

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×