These funfetti cupcakes are the ultimate treat for birthdays and celebrations. They’re light and fluffy with a soft crumb and a delicious vanilla flavor. Filled with sprinkles and piled high with frosting – this recipe is way better than any boxed mix!
**This post was updated February 18, 2023 with new photos, recipe tips and a slightly updated recipe for fluffier cupcakes**
Funfetti cupcakes should be moist and fluffy with a buttery flavor, tons of sprinkles and creamy vanilla frosting. I wanted these cupcakes to be reminiscent of the funfetti cakes I had as a child, but without being sickeningly sweet or taste artificial. They’re a white vanilla cake – meaning that we’re only using egg whites as opposed to the whole eggs – with a hint of almond extract for the perfect flavor.
While some people might reserve funfetti for children’s birthday parties – I don’t like to stereotype my treats. These sprinkle cupcakes are loved by children and adults alike.
Funfetti Cupcakes – Key Baking Tips & Tricks
Ok – let’s talk cupcake specifics. You can jump down to the recipe but I highly recommend reading through the following tips and tricks. Both the ingredients and the method is so important for getting the best results.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: It is very important that the butter, egg whites and milk are all at room temperature before getting started. This ensures that everything mixes together, without having to overmix the batter. Overmixing causes tough cupcakes with air tunnels. Cold ingredients can also cause the batter to curdle.
- Egg Whites: As mentioned, this recipe uses only egg whites. Note that it is easier to separate the eggs when they’re cold – so I recommend separating them first then letting the egg whites come to room temperature. You will first whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. The egg whites will later be gently folded into the batter. Whisking the egg whites first into stiff peaks and gently folding them into the batter makes these cupcakes extremely fluffy. You may feel like this step is unnecessary – but it really gives the cupcakes the best texture.
- Butter Plus Oil: The recipe primarily uses butter for the most flavor. However, we’re also adding just a touch of oil to keep the cupcakes moist for longer.
- Vanilla Extract and Almond Extract: This recipe uses both vanilla extract and almond extract for the perfect flavor. If you’ve ever had funfetti cake and wondered what that delicious flavor is – it’s likely the almond extract.
- Measuring Flour: One very common problem in baking is inaccurate measuring. When measuring flour, be sure to whisk it first. Then scoop into a dry measuring cup and level off the top. For the most accurate results, measure using a baking scale in grams.
- Milk: I highly recommend using whole milk for more moisture and flavor. 2% is OK – but skim is definitely too thin.
- Folding the Egg Whites Into The Batter: When folding the egg whites into the batter, it’s important to be very gentle and use a rubber spatula. You want to keep the volume of the whipped egg whites for a lighter, fluffier texture.
- Sprinkles: I highly recommend using jimmies (the little cylinder ones) instead of nonpareils (the little round balls). Nonpareils are much more likely to bleed color throughout the batter.
For the Frosting
These funfetti cupcakes are frosted with creamy vanilla frosting. I always like to make a big batch of frosting so that there’s enough to pipe them with a very generous amount. If you plan to frost with a knife and only want a thin layer, then feel free to divide the frosting recipe in half. Here are my main frosting tips:
- Butter should be softened, but not starting to melt. If you gently press your finger into the butter it should make an indent, but you shouldn’t be able to easily press it down.
- Sift the powdered sugar to get rid of any lumps.
- Almond extract and a touch of vanilla extract really improve the flavor.
- Whipping cream with make the frosting extra thick and fluffy. Milk works too – but I prefer the texture and flavor with using whipping cream.
- I added red food coloring to make my frosting pink, but if you want bright white frosting – check out this post with all my tips.
I love these funfetti cupcakes for birthdays and celebrations, and if you’re looking for more classic cupcakes, then be sure to try:
- 12-cavity muffin pan
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (167 grams)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (75 grams) softened to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (15 ml) canola oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup whole milk (120 ml)
- 3 tablespoons rainbow jimmie sprinkles
- 1 cup butter (226 grams) softened to room temperature
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar (330-440 grams) sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3-4 tablespoons whipping cream (45-60 ml)
- sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and line your cupcake pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites (I recommend using the whisk attachment until peaks form. The should be white in color (not just frothy). Set aside
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate large bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Then beat in the oil, vanilla extract and almond extract.
- Slowly add in about ⅓ of your flour mixture and beat on a low speed until combined.
- Then mix in about ½ of the milk, followed by about ⅓ more of the flour mixture. Finally, beat in the rest of the milk, followed by the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
- Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula. When done, you should no longer see streaks of egg white in the batter.
- Very, very gently fold the sprinkles into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the lined cupcake pan filling each about ⅔ full. You should end up with 11 or 12 cupcakes in total.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- In a large bowl beat your butter on high for about 3-4 minutes until it's light and fluffy with no lumps.
- Turn off the mixer and add in 2 cups powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Start with the mixer on a low speed and gradually increase to medium speed until combined.
- Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of whipping cream until the desired consistency and flavor is reached. If using food coloring, beat in the food coloring.
- Frost cooled cupcakes with a piping bag (I used a 1M tip), or a flat knife. Then decorate with sprinkles and devour.
- Separating Eggs: It is easier to separate the eggs when they're cold from the fridge. Then let the egg whites sit on the counter to come to room temperature before using. This makes it easier to whip the egg whites.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure the egg whites, butter and milk are at room temperature before getting started.
- Frosting: This recipe makes enough to frost the cupcakes with a very generous amount of frosting. If you plan to frost with a knife and don't want copious amounts of frosting, divide the recipe in half. Use:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream
- Storage: Fresh cupcakes are always best. Store cupcakes in an air-tight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or in the fridge. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen and thawed in the fridge overnight.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cupcake with frosting, assuming the recipe yields 12 equal cupcakes and all the frosting is used and the frosting recipe is not halved.