These homemade funfetti cupcakes are moist and delicious with a light, fluffy frosting that tastes just like vanilla ice cream!
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Like many people, the older I get, the less I view birthdays as something to celebrate, and more as a reason to crawl under a blanket with a pint of Häagen Dazs. But this year most of Phil’s friends (and Phil himself) are turning 40! That one doesn’t usually slide by unnoticed.
One particular friend of Phil’s had a 40th birthday party last weekend and his girlfriend asked me to make some cupcakes. I’ve been seeing funfetti cupcakes around the web for a while, and the whimsy of them always appealed to me. But to be honest, I never really thought they would come out of my kitchen. If I had to choose between a vanilla and a chocolate cupcake, the latter would win every time.
This time, however, I needed more than one batch, so these are one of two kinds that I made (guess what kind the others were). And not only were these funfetti cupcakes adorable, but to my surprise, I really loved them!
Boxed mixes have nothing on this moist, flavorful vanilla cake. But vanilla frostings are something I’ve struggled with for years. American buttercreams are usually cloyingly sweet and heavy, while meringue buttercreams tend to be too rich and buttery for my taste.
When I need a white frosting, I almost always go with tangy cream cheese. However in this case, the cupcakes would be at room temperature for hours before the party, and I find that cream cheese frosting is better refrigerated – as much for its tendency to be softer and meltier as for any potential risk of souring.
Ultimately I went with an American buttercream, but added some whipping cream to keep it lighter and less sweet. It ended up tasting just like vanilla ice cream!
Birthday parties for people that come up past my waist are something I don’t regularly attend these days. And after a long week of battling a cold, I didn’t make it to this one either. But I regret that now because this party involved a really sweet surprise proposal. At least there is a video 🙂
Homemade funfetti Cupcakes
- 1 3/4 cup cake flour sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites at room temp
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream at room temp
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temp
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles, preferably jimmies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 2/3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla and mix on medium-high speed until well combined, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- Add the sour cream and continue beating until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low.
- Add the dry ingredients in thirds, mixing only until just combined. Add the milk and continue mixing until just incorporated.
- Fold in the sprinkles with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed, but do not over-mix as the color from the sprinkles will start to bleed into the matter.
- Fill cupcakes lines about 2/3 full. You will have some batter left over to make an extra 2-3 cupcakes.
- Bake in the preheated oven, about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set cupcake tin on a wire rack to cool. When cupcakes are cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin to finish cooling on the rack.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and smooth, one or two minutes
- Reduce speed to medium-low, and add confectioner's sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides as needed.
- Add vanilla, and increase speed to medium-high. Beat until smooth. Add cream and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Frost cupcakes, and decorate with additional sprinkles.