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.

birthday cupcake with chocolate coating and a lit candle

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!

ultimate birthday cupcakes on a cupcake shaped plate with one cupcake cut in half showing meringue frosting under chocolate coating

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.

sprinkle cupcake batter in a glass bowl

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

2 images of a pot on the stove with a metal bowl on top and egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a metal stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment

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.

2 images of meringue frosting on a whisk attachment and piped onto sprinkle cupcake

hands dunking cupcake with meringue frosting into chocolate coating

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.

birthday cupcake dipped in chocolate coating and topped with sprinkles

birthday cupcakes with chocolate coating and candles

birthday cupcakes with chocolate coating, sprinkles, and candles

More Birthday Recipes

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
birthday cupcake with chocolate coating and a lit candle

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


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



  • 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


  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.


  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


  1. Happy birthday, Sally! You are the best and I hope your day is fantastic. Thank you for your wonderful recipes and tips. Blessings to you and your sweet family ❤

    1. Thank you so much Kelly 🙂

  2. These look amazing, Sally! For Memorial Day, I think I’ll make these cupcakes but have the batter be red/white/blue tie dye. I’ve always been intimidated by meringue frosting but you make it look so easy. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Oh, whoops! I forgot to say happy birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day!

      1. Thank you Emy!

  3. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    These Birthday cupcakes look so gorgeous. All the sprinkles, the chocolate, the frosting. Seriously, how can anyone resist these? I can’t wait to try these. Happy early Birthday, Sally! I hope you get to catch up on your zzz’s and your “you” time!

    1. Thank you so much my friend! <3

  4. Wishing you a very happy upcoming birthday, dear Sally! Celebrate big – you deserve it xx

    1. Thanks Liz, I appreciate it!!

  5. OMG Sally, these photographs are something else!! You’ve outdone yourself!! The cupcakes look amaaaaazing. A very very happy birthday to you, this year is going to be so exciting <3

    1. Thank you so much for the bday wishes and photography compliment!!

  6. Jenny from jennyisbaking.com says:

    Sally, first of all a very happy birthday. I hope you can sleep, and then sleep some more, you deserve it. May all the wishes you wished when blowing out those little candles come true.

    I have never made meringue covered with chocolate, I love the idea! Thank you so much for it.

    1. Thank you so much Jenny! And I’m excited for you to give these a try 🙂

  7. Renae Vallas says:

    These look just amazing, Sally….plus my birthday is tomorrow, so nice timing! 😉 And a happy early birthday to you! I hope you have an amazing day/weekend. I have been loving your FB live videos, btw – thank you for doing them!

    1. Thank you so much for the bday wishes, for tuning into my FB videos, and also– a very happy birthday to YOU!

  8. Wow, these look amazing! The chocolate shell…
    Have a very happy birthday, Sally! I hope someone makes you these – and some good old cinnamon rolls for a late breakfast after sleeping in 🙂
    And it’s so funny, another baker has her birthday these days too: Joy the baker – Happy birthday, bakers!

    1. Ok yes, cinnamon rolls sound pretty unbelievable right now. They might need to happen this weekend! OR a giant stack of pancakes 🙂 Thank you!

  9. Happy birthday, Sally! I hope your day is fantastic and your year the best yet! I bet it’s crazy to think that on your next birthday, you’ll have a little baby out in the world 🙂 <3

    1. I KNOW!! So weird to think about. I am so grateful. 🙂

  10. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays this year Sally! These look like the perfect cupcakes to celebrate with, followed by a nap of course. The trip to the spa sounds amazing. Followed by another cupcake and another nap? LOL. Enjoy your long weekend. Happy Memorial Day & more importantly Happy Birthday!

    1. Thank you so much Courtney!!

  11. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Happy Birthday Week!  And these really are the ultimate Birthday Cupcake.  Geniussssss idea to put magic shell on top!

    1. Yay! And thank you so much sweet friend!

  12. Mama V @ Snowflakes & Coffeecakes says:

    Happy Birthday Sally! Have a wonderful celebration of YOU with all your favorites! Our new favorite is going to be these cupcakes! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

  13. Happy birthday to one of the world’s creative and talented baker/artist in the USA. Thank you for allowing us all into the your home sharing your recipes and self taught tutorials of your many fabulous creation. May God continue to be bless you and may you have many more Birthdays doing what you enjoy. Happy birth-day Sally!

    1. Thank you so much for the sweet message!

  14. Happy Birthday Sally! I hope you have a fantastic day! These cupcakes are gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Theresa!

  15. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    Perfect way to celebrate Sally! I can’t wait to try your recipe. Hope you have a much deserved relaxing weekend!!

    1. Thanks so much Mary Ann!

  16. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says:

    Happy almost birthday, Sally! I couldn’t think of a better dessert to have for celebrating than these cupcakes. That chocolate shell is BEAUTIFUL and I can’t get enough of those adorable candles. Time to stock up for the next upcoming birthday 🙂

    1. Thanks Jessica!

  17. jess larson | plays well with butter says:

    confession, i’ve never ever made a meringue frosting!!! i love this simple tutorial…now i have no reason not to take a stab at this! (stunning cupcakes as always…seriously so hard to read about at 8:30 am because all i want is cupcakes now!)

    1. I really hope you try it 🙂

  18. Happy early Birthday! These cupcakes look delicious and so festive! Glad to know I’m not the only one who bakes her own birthday cake! 🙂

    1. I actually really enjoy baking my own bday cake each year!!

      1. Oops! Meant to say “Glad to know I’m not the only one who WANTs to bakes her own birthday cake because she wants to!” Enjoy your day!

  19. These cupcakes are so adorable!! I especially love the pinata cake surprise <3

    1. isn’t that cake so fun? I enjoyed creating/decorating it!

  20. Tracy Groot says:

    Oh my word! Never saw anything like that! How wonderfully creative. Happy birthday to ME! Cannot wait to try these. 

    By the way–to my DELIGHT, my kids gave me your recipe book for Mother’s Day. I made a few recipes already, but have to say I am in star-struck love with the Mixed Berry Fruit Crisp. What a perfect recipe. I changed NOTHING, very rare for me. Served it with homemade vanilla ice cream. Cried. Went back for more. Cried again. Had it for breakfast next day. Cried.

    Thanks, Sally!!

    1. Hahaha!! We’re two peas in a pod– great desserts bring me to tears as well. I’m so glad you’re loving the book, thank you!

  21. Happy, Happy Birthday to you young lady!! In honor I will be making these this weekend and enjoying with friends. Can not wait to whip these up and I’m sure I may eat the chocolate and meringue off all the cupcakes!!! Get your rest!!

    1. I hope you all LOVE them!! And thank you 🙂

  22. These recipes are perfectly timed! My daughter’s party is in early June so I can test out the cupcakes before that. She has been so excited for a piñata cake ( she chose that cake I think in December… 🙂 ), but now I can surprise even her by making it rainbow colours! I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating your own birthday, and thank you so much for all your recipes and tips. I’ll be using the two toned roses for on her cake and am going to attempted the rolled cake next week! All techniques I never would have done before! 

    1. I’m so excited for all the recipes you’re trying soon! Let me know how the cake rolls goes. And the rainbow piñata cake is SO FUN for a kid’s birthday party. I hope the bday girl loves it!

  23. Love so much funfetti cupcakes. I hope, you have a wonderful birthday this weekend. Thanks Sally. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    1. Thanks María!

  24. Happy birthday! And my, these cupcakes look awesome! I can’t wait to try these! 🙂

    1. Thank you Hope!

  25. These cupcakes are TOO fun Sally, I’m in love with them! And I love the cake you made over at Allrecipes – I’ve always wanted to try making a rainbow or multi-coloured cake. Happiest of birthdays to you! Hope it’s a great one 🙂

    1. Thank you Hayley!

  26. Ashley McNaught says:

    Happy Birthday Sally!! I just gained 10lbs looking at these!

    1. Hahaha I know, right? I only ate one and gave the rest away! So good though!

  27. Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says:

    Happy Birthday Sally! It sounds like you will be spending it the best way possible ((((the spa!!!!)))). I’m swooning over these cupcakes! Definitely the perfect birthday cupcake! Xoxo 🙂

    1. Thanks Kelly!

  28. Happy Birthday Sally! I am so thankful for this recipe because it includes all my daughter’s favorites: sprinkles, frosting, chocolate shell and don’t forget more sprinkles. My daughter has helped me understand the power of sprinkles!  I have dreamed of the day I would one day make birthday cupcakes for my children. Unfortunately their birthdays are in the summer.  So I am going to make this recipe for her last day of school which is Friday.  Thank you for sharing this recipe so I can have one happy birthday girl!

    1. Destiny, these might just be the *ultimate* last day of school cupcakes too!! I hope she LOVES them, considering how much she adores sprinkles 🙂

  29. Happy Birthday Sally! Sounds like you have the perfect birthday plans full of rest, relaxation, pampering and delicious cake. Enjoy your day. 

    1. Thank you Annette!

  30. SALLY!! It’s my birthday weekend, too!!! No wonder I love you so much, we are both Gemini’s. Mine is on Sunday and I am beyond thrilled that I get a long weekend, it’s the best gift of all. I’m going to go ahead and pretend you posted these just for (me) us because it is time to celebrate fabulous us!!! I hope you have a great birthday 🙂 🙂 I will drink a mimosa in your honor at Brunch on Sunday! PS- is it weird to make my own birthday cupcakes? K didn’t think so.

    1. Not weird at all to make your own bday treat! Haha I do every year! Please enjoy that mimosa– I’ll be sipping my mimosa minus the champagne. lol!
      Happy birthday to YOU!

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

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



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

Skip to toolbar