Funfetti Cupcakes

I have seen homemade funfetti cupcakes floating around on lots of food blogs recently, and I was dying to try them for myself.  Recently, for a coworker’s birthday celebration at work, he gave me free reign with the flavor of his birthday cupcake, only requesting for the final design to have lots of color in it.  Obviously,  my opportunity for trying my own homemade funfetti cupcakes had arrived.

From most of the blogs I had read about these cupcakes, I knew I could use a simple white cake recipe for the base.  I didn’t want anything too incredibly sweet, though, because I knew the sprinkles in the batter would add a lot to the overall sweetness of the cupcake.  I went with Baking Illustrated’s version of simple white cake with a hint of almond flavor.  The consistency was light and fluffy but held up the sprinkles really well.  For the frosting, I toyed with the idea of using a Swiss meringue buttercream for the texture, but in the end I went with a light and fluffy simple vanilla buttercream: the kind I remember from store-bought birthday cakes (minus the shortening and using fresh butter instead) of my childhood.  (I love that frosting, and I always will.)

In the end, these may be one of my favorite cupcakes to date.  True, they are not too involved and were done in about an hour, but the flavor combinations and colorful sprinkles really added a cheerful and childlike appeal to them-these really are the perfect little cupcakes for a birthday party: kid and grown-ups alike.

Funfetti Cupcakes

Servings: approximately 18 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

2 and 1/4 cups cake flour

1 cup milk, at room temperature

6 large egg whites, at room temperature

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces

1/3  cup colored sprinkles (preferably Jimmies)

For the vanilla buttercream:

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool

4 cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Pinch of salt

Sprinkles, for garnish


1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line your cupcake pan with the desired liners of your choice.

3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the milk, egg whites, and almond and vanilla extracts, whisking until well-combined.

4. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on low speed, combine the  flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.

5. Add the butter, one piece at a time, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

6. Add all but 1/2-cup of the milk mixture to the batter and beat at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.

7. Add the remaining milk mixture and mix at medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles until thoroughly combined.

9. Divide the mixture evenly among your cupcake liners and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes. Let cool completely.

10. For the frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt on low speed until combined.

11. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 90 seconds or so.

12. Pipe as desired onto the completely cooled cupcakes. Decorate with additional sprinkles.

Source:  Adapted from Baking Illustrated.

August 22, 2011 - 6:29 am

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots - So fun! I love a good and soft funfetti cupcake. Mmm! 🙂

August 22, 2011 - 7:17 am

Tina@flourtrader - These cupcakes are so good and they make for a lovely presentation. I may make these for an upcoming luncheon, your post is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

August 22, 2011 - 7:39 am

Lori - Shannon, Thanks for posting. These look great!

August 22, 2011 - 9:35 am

Lolly @ Lolly's Sweet Treats - I love funfetti! Your cupcakes look wonderful, as usual.

August 22, 2011 - 12:26 pm

DessertForTwo - So fun! And gorgeous photo!

P.S. Small typo: 1/3 CUP colored sprinkles

August 22, 2011 - 12:50 pm

srlacy - Thanks a million!

August 22, 2011 - 5:45 pm

Sasha @ The Procrastobaker - So so cute 🙂 you have the loveliest recipes!

August 22, 2011 - 6:13 pm

Maggie @MaggieCooks - The cupcakes are so pretty!
I dont think i could eat them! 🙂 I’m sure they are delicious! Great recipe!

August 24, 2011 - 1:31 pm

Lauren - These are so cute! I love me a good Funfetti cupcake made with the boxed mix (and so do my in-laws), so I can only imagine that these would be even better. I’ll have to try these out next time we have my husbands’ family over. Thanks for sharing these!

August 24, 2011 - 1:32 pm

Lauren - Eesh, should be “husband’s” rather than “husbands'”.

I’m a one man kind woman over here =)

September 2, 2011 - 2:12 am

Laura - Is 4 teaspoons baking powder correct? Mine fried in the oven in 10 minutes!

September 2, 2011 - 6:44 am

srlacy - Hi Laura-

Yes, the recipe is correct as written. I double-checked the reference just to be sure. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you, but there are 4 teaspoons of baking powder in the recipe.

September 22, 2011 - 10:24 pm

Ryan - Hi Shanon,

I wanted to tell you that I used this recipe for my little guy’s first birthday cake, and it was delicious! Thanks! I love your blog. 🙂

September 23, 2011 - 5:09 pm

srlacy - Hey Ryan! So great to hear from you! Your comment just made my day-I am glad that it turned out for you. Thanks for being so supportive. 🙂


February 1, 2012 - 11:30 am

MaLinda - Love your piping(:

March 14, 2012 - 11:24 pm

Funfetti Cupcakes « Kristine's Kitchen - […] adapted from Baking Illustrated, via The Curvy Carrot. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

June 9, 2012 - 8:00 pm

Cupcakes & Confetti | Shannon Louise Horn - […] recipe taken from Foods of Our Lives, and one batch of Fun-Fetti cupcakes, recipe taken from The Curvy Carrot. They were both a super success. I was unsure of the Raspberry, White Choc & Coconut ones as I […]