Learn how to make beautiful Funfetti Cupcakes from scratch. These gorgeous vanilla cakes are filled with sprinkles and topped with clouds of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. They’re perfect for birthdays, parties and celebrations!
It’s party time 🥳
Meet the ultimate celebration bake: Funfetti Cupcakes. These soft and moist vanilla cupcakes are filled with rainbow sprinkles and frosted with dreamy, creamy, Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
They’re perfect for sprinkle lovers of all ages! ❤️
why you will love these cupcakes
- The cakes are soft, moist and tender
- They have flat tops for easy decorating
- They look like they’ve stepped out of a gourmet bakery
- They’re perfect for parties and celebrations!
It is no secret that I absolutely adore sprinkles and all things funfetti. I even made my favourite Funfetti Cake for Lucy’s first birthday just a few months ago. So it’s no surprise that Funfetti Cupcakes have been on my to-make list forever.
I knew I wanted a soft and buttery cake and my popular Vanilla Cupcake recipe was the perfect place to start. Add plenty of rainbow sprinkles and you have one colourful, fun-filled buttery treat.
And is there a better way to decorate these gorgeous cakes than with BIG swirls of Swiss Meringue Buttercream? I think not. My husband, AKA chief taste tester here at SM HQ, said they were the best cupcakes he’s ever had. WIN.
so, what is a cupcake?
Cupcakes are mini cakes that are baked in a regular-sized muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. They are designed to be handheld with a mostly flat top that can be easily decorated with frosting.
Are cupcakes and muffins the same?
No. While both are delicious, cupcakes are designed to have a flat top, whereas muffins are typically larger with a risen, domed top. Cupcakes are soft and tender, while muffins have a more crusty or even crisp outside – the much loved ‘muffin top’.
To achieve these two different results, the anatomy of each recipe is different. Muffins are typically heavy on the flour and dry ingredients, requiring a light hand when mixing, lest they be tough and dry.
While cupcakes often (but not always) follow a typical method of cake making; creaming the butter and sugar using an electric mixer. And while cupcakes go light on raising agents, muffins often go heavy on baking powder to achieve that enviable bakery-style muffin top.
And finally, while muffins are served as is, cupcakes are not complete without swirls of buttercream frosting.
Tips for making perfect cupcakes
- Start with softened butter: Using room temperature butter will make it quick and easy to beat together the butter and sugar, helping to create a soft and tender cupcake.
- Weigh your dry ingredients using a baking scale: Adding too much flour could result in a dry cupcake. Use a baking scale to make sure you don’t accidentally over-measure any ingredients.
- Don’t over-mix your cake batter: Your mixer won’t need to go higher than medium speed; any faster and you’ll risk over-mixing your cake batter.
- Only fill your liners two-thirds full: Unlike muffins, you don’t want to fill your cupcake liners all the way to the top or they’ll overflow. Just fill them two-thirds full for lovely flat tops.
Why do you add soUr cream to the batter?
Sour cream is a high-fat dairy product that helps create a truly tender cake. Due to its fat content, it ensures your cakes are moist and soft, while its acidity helps with the leavening process, producing a light, tender crumb.
We use sour cream in our favourite Chocolate Bundt Cake, Neapolitan Cake and our Tiny Chocolate Cake recipes.
If you don’t have access to sour cream, I find a full fat Greek or natural style yogurt will also work well.
A little bit of cake batter goes a long way
Try not to overfill your cupcake liners with cake batter. You only need to fill them two-thirds full to achieve an even bake.
how to decorate cupcakes
A cupcake is not complete without plenty of frosting, in my opinion. And I’ve chosen to pair these gorgeous Funfetti Cupcakes with swirls of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Its silky smooth texture makes it ideal for piping. And its creaminess takes these cupcakes from wow to WOAH.
In saying that, you can use your favourite frosting to decorate these cupcakes. My regular Vanilla Buttercream works really well, or you could opt for a Chocolate Frosting. A tangy cream cheese frosting would be delightful too.
HOW DO I PIPE BIG SWIRLS OF FROSTING?
I’ve decorated these cupcakes using a large star tip. I can’t find my exact one online, but the Ateco 849 piping tip will produce a similar result.
All you need is your buttercream or frosting, a large piping bag (I prefer disposable ones) and a large star tip. Using the right-sized nozzle (the bigger the better) will allow you to frost big bakery-style cupcakes in minutes.
Tell me more about Swiss meringue buttercream
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a frosting made from cooked eggs, caster sugar and butter. It’s smooth and creamy, light and airy.
Compared to regular buttercream, it’s a little bit more fiddly to make, but it works wonderfully well when frosting layer cakes and it also pipes beautifully. It’s smooth and soft and doesn’t clump or go grainy.
Check out my tutorial on making perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream every time.
frequently asked questions
Yes of course! These cupcakes are equally delicious topped with vanilla buttercream, chocolate frosting or cream cheese frosting.
I find rainbow jimmy sprinkles work best. Don’t use nonpareils as they tend to bleed into the batter. Just remember to gently stir the sprinkles into the cake batter to help prevent the colours from running.
You can store the cupcakes themselves in an airtight container at room temperature. Once frosted, store any leftovers in the fridge.
More funfetti recipes
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Beautiful Funfetti Cupcakes decorated with swirls of Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 175 grams (1 and 1/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) whole or full fat milk
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) full fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 65 grams (1/3 cup) rainbow jimmy sprinkles
- 1 x Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Rainbow jimmy sprinkles, to decorate
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat using an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add egg and beat briefly until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture, milk and sour cream to butter mixture and gently beat on low speed until smooth and creamy. The cake batter will be thick. Finally, fold through sprinkles.
- Spoon out the cake batter into your prepared liners, filling each one two-thirds full. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes are golden. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake. Decorate with extra sprinkles.
Sprinkles: Jimmy sprinkles work best. Don’t use nonpareils as they tend to bleed into the batter. Just remember to gently stir the sprinkles into the cake batter to help prevent the colours from running.
Frosting: These cupcakes are equally delicious topped with vanilla buttercream or chocolate frosting.
Piping nozzle: You’ll want to use a large star tip to achieve similar swirls of frosting to what I have pictured here. Try the Ateco 849 piping tip.
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