Easy Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

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5 from 5 votes

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Sprinkle-speckled cupcakes that taste BETTER than the ones from the box, topped with creamy, sprinkle-filled vanilla buttercream. Ditch the mix and make your own funfetti cupcakes from scratch this year… And don’t forget the birthday candle! 

*wishes for another batch of cupcakes*

Funfetti cupcakes sitting on a surface.

A DECADE OF TESTING & PERFECTING THIS RECIPE

A very long time ago (in 2015, actually), I shared this recipe for funfetti cupcakes to celebrate my site turning a year old. The original recipe was really delicious, but after more than a decade, I have tweaked, tested, and perfected this cupcake recipe to be the one you’ll see below. 

In fact, in 2020, I shared an updated version of the original recipe, and this one is different still. 

Because that’s what happens when you learn and adapt and grow as a baker. I’ve gotten told by keyboard warriors over the years that since I’m a self-taught baker, I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about. 

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But here’s the thing— self-taught, in my opinion, is a very unique experience. Personally, I learned how to bake by using recipes from people who are my friends and “colleagues” now, and each time I made a recipe, I learned more about baking that has shaped how I approach and create my recipes now. 

My goal is to be your guide to baking from scratch with recipes I’ve personally tested, tasted, tweaked, and perfected myself so that you, too, can learn how to bake confidently with repeatable results. 

All that said, this funfetti cupcake recipe always reminds me of how far I’ve come, and I hope you love it as much as we do and as much as my readers over the years have.

You don’t have to take my word for how easy and delicious these confetti cupcakes are. Consider this 5-star review from Kelly:

“I put my skills to the test and used the homemade funfetti cupcakes recipe over the weekend and it exceeded my expectations! The cupcakes were delicious and the icing was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I followed the exact recipe and instructions, was able to get 24 cupcakes from it. They not only tasted great but looked fantastic too! My young adult children were drooling over them. I love your recipes! Don’t ever stop perfecting them!”

See? You’re just going to have to make them yourself to find out why they’re the best! 

homemade funfetti cupcakes with pink frosting and a bowl of sprinkles in the background

CAREFULLY CHOSEN INGREDIENTS YIELD THE BEST HOMEMADE CUPCAKES

As I mentioned, my original homemade funfetti cupcake recipe was good, but it needed some work. And thankfully, after many many more years of learning about baking, I was able to turn really good cupcakes into the BEST funfetti cupcakes.

You’ll just need to follow the ingredient list and instructions carefully, otherwise, your results will definitely differ (believe me– I’ve made so many of these cupcakes over the years before settling on this perfect combo).

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

Aerial photo of ingredients for funfetti cupcakes on a surface with text overlay labeling each ingredient.

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR: be sure you’re measuring this with a kitchen scale or, at the very least, the scoop and level method.

CORNSTARCH: when we add cornstarch to baked goods, we’re softening the crumb. You can also do this by using cake flour, but the combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch mimics this lighter feel. I have not tested this recipe with actual cake flour, but if you are experienced with adjusting recipes to accommodate this flour swap, go for it! And let me know how it goes.

BAKING POWDER: a carefully tested 1 and ½ teaspoons brings the perfect amount of lift to these cupcakes.

SALT: just ½ teaspoon in the whole batch to cut the sweetness.

UNSALTED BUTTER: you’ll need your butter at room temperature. Be sure it’s not too warm, as this can lead to greasy cupcakes. Read my post about room temperature butter (and other ingredients) if you’re unsure exactly what room temperature butter should be.

GRANULATED SUGAR: no brown sugar in these sweet cupcakes. We have enough moisture happening with the remaining ingredients to bring us a super moist crumb!

EGG WHITES: egg whites help keep the batter light. In my original recipe, we used two whole eggs. By removing the yolks, we can keep things light and fluffy, but since we’re removing the fat component of the eggs, we need to be strategic about putting fat back in to prevent a dry crumb (we’ll get there in a second).

VANILLA EXTRACT & ALMOND EXTRACT: vanilla extract brings the bulk of the flavor to these cupcakes, and the almond extract gives that signature “funfetti” touch. If you or someone who may be consuming these cupcakes has an allergy, feel free to omit it. You don’t need to replace it with anything, but more vanilla never hurt anyone!

SOUR CREAM: I much prefer actual sour cream here as opposed to full fat yogurt, but the yogurt will work just fine and still produce a beautifully textured cupcake. Sour cream is naturally fattier than even full fat yogurt, and all that fat brings mega moisture to baked goods. If you’re going to use yogurt, pick the fattiest brand you can find.

MILK: again, we want full fat dairy here. Since we’ve removed two egg yolks and we need that fat for flavor and texture, using full fat milk here is almost a non-negotiable for me. If you opt for lower fat dairy, I can guarantee you a dry cupcake. Fat yields flavor and moisture, so don’t make any subs here, unless you’re prepared for the results.

SPRINKLES: I obviously used rainbow sprinkles, but feel free to use any color combination you wish. Just don’t use those teeny nonpareils because they will bleed into your batter when you stir it, making it brown, and the quins usually disappear into sugar oblivion in the oven, so I don’t prefer them (though I did use some in the most recently photographed batch– they’re fine in small doses!). 

TOP WITH MY FAVORITE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING + SPRINKLES

The base for this buttercream stems from my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe.

Aerial photo of ingredients for funfetti buttercream on a surface with text overlay labeling each ingredient.

UNSALTED BUTTER: again, be sure your butter is room temperature and not even the slightest bit melted. 

POWDERED SUGAR: you do not need to sift this sugar, but if you find yourself regularly struggling with a smooth texture for your homemade buttercreams, sifting can help.

VANILLA EXTRACT & ALMOND EXTRACT: just as in the cupcakes, vanilla extract brings the bulk of the flavor to the frosting, and the almond extract gives the “funfetti” touch. 

MILK OR CREAM: the fat content here doesn’t matter as much as it does in the cupcakes, but if you’re using full fat dairy in the cupcakes, you might as well use the same liquid for the frosting.

SALT: just a touch cuts the sweetness. I suggest starting with the smallest amount, tasting, and adding more if you need it.

SPRINKLES: again, go for the jimmies (rods). See my note below about sprinkles in frosting, though, before proceeding with the recipe. 

GEL COLORING: I have tinted my frosting and also kept it white. It all depends on what I’m making the cupcakes for! I always use gel color over traditional liquid coloring. 

A NOTE ABOUT SPRINKLES IN FROSTING

Make sure you have a plan of action before finishing the frosting. I really like using a Wilton 1M tip, but the sprinkles can get jammed up in it. I find I can do about 3 cupcakes before sprinkles clog the tip and the frosting doesn’t come out nicely anymore. 

If you’re going to use a tip, be sure you’re using a large coupler so you can remove the tip and clear it out. You can also use a large open circle tip (I like a Wilton 1A), or forego the tip altogether and cut the tip off of your piping bag instead. 

If you prefer, you can just omit the sprinkles from the frosting, and generously sprinkle some on top of the frosting after piping.

HOW TO MAKE PERFECT CUPCAKES

So now, let’s talk about exactly how to make these cupcakes. Funfetti cupcakes made from a box are… Amazing, yes? Something about that box from Pillsbury (that I happened to use in this cake batter dip) is just SO. GOOD. 

The great news is that now you’ll be able to recreate this iconic flavor right in your own kitchen, and I’ve got all the best tips and tricks for how to make funfetti cupcakes better than the ones from the box (yeah, I said it).

MAKE THE CUPCAKES

STEP #1 

Start by whisking together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, then set this mixture aside.

STEP #2

Next, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat again until everything is incorporated.

STEP #3

Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat in the sour cream or yogurt on medium speed until completely combined.

STEP #4

Next, add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, alternating with the milk, beating on high for about 10 seconds once everything is combined. Remove the bowl from mixer and stir in the sprinkles carefully with a spatula.

STEP #5

Fill the cupcake liners with the cupcake batter about ¾ of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a thumb trigger) and bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

MAKE THE FROSTING

STEP #6

Start by beating the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.

STEP #7

Next, slowly add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and milk or cream. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste, then stir in sprinkles carefully with a spatula.

STEP #8

Decorate cupcakes as desired (don’t forget the notes above about decorating with frosting that has sprinkles in it).

homemade funfetti cupcake with pink frosting and a lighted pink birthday candle

These easy funfetti cupcakes have a flavor profile unlike any other cupcake. They’re very similar to what you’d find in regular vanilla cupcakes, but the touch of almond extract plus tons of sprinkles makes for a flavor and texture you’ll find mimics the ones from the box very closely, but better.

While there is a time and a place for a box mix, recreating favorites can be simple and think of how proud of yourself you’ll be in your creation!

Just be sure you follow the recipe exactly as written, down to the preparation of the ingredients. I know you can do this and I know you’ll be so proud of your results! Now let’s go celebrate something, anything, because I’m ready for some more cupcakes!

FUNFETTI CUPCAKE FAQs

Absolutely! The almond extract gives that signature “funfetti” flavor, but if you don’t like it or need to leave it out for allergen purposes, the results will not suffer. The cupcakes will just taste a tiny bit different!

Yes, a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free sub will work perfectly here. No other adjustments are necessary.

Your cupcakes may be dry if you didn’t use full fat dairy, if your butter was warmer than room temperature, or if you over baked the cupcakes. Be sure you’re paying attention to all of these things to yield the moistest and softest cupcakes.

Funfetti cupcakes sitting on a surface.
5 from 5 votes
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Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes Recipe

Sprinkle-speckled cupcakes that taste BETTER than the ones from the box, topped with creamy, sprinkle-filled vanilla buttercream. Ditch the mix and make your own funfetti cupcakes from scratch!
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time18 minutes
Total Time33 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

FUNFETTI CUPCAKES

  • 1 and ⅓ cup (150g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
  • cup (40g) cornstarch
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites room temperature1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ cup (61g) sour cream or full fat yogurt room temperature1,2
  • ¾ cup (180g) milk room temperature1,2
  • ½ cup (100g) sprinkles not nonpareils

FUNFETTI BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 4 to 5 cups (480-600g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup (60-80g) milk or cream
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
  • ¾ cup (50g) sprinkles not nonpareils
  • gel coloring if desired3

Instructions

FUNFETTI CUPCAKES

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a standard cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    1 and ⅓ cup (150g) all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup (40g) cornstarch, 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat again until everything is incorporated.
    ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, 2 large egg whites, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat in the sour cream or yogurt on medium speed until completely combined.
    ¼ cup (61g) sour cream or full fat yogurt
  • Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, alternating with the milk, beating on high for about 10 seconds once everything is combined. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the sprinkles carefully with a spatula.
    ¾ cup (180g) milk, ½ cup (100g) sprinkles
  • Fill cupcake liners ¾ of the way full (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a thumb trigger) and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

FUNFETTI BUTTERCREAM

  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
    1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and milk or cream. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste. Stir in sprinkles carefully with a spatula. If frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
    4 to 5 cups (480-600g) powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon almond extract, ¼ to ⅓ cup (60-80g) milk or cream, ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt, ¾ cup (50g) sprinkles
  • Fill a piping bag (or a large zip top bag with the corner snipped off) with frosting and decorate your cupcakes. If you want a fancier pipe, use a Wilton 1M tip, but be sure to read the notes carefully. More sprinkles on top are optional. Cupcakes stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. Room temperature eggs: these are always a good idea when using room temperature butter as it makes for easier incorporation into the batter. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Full fat dairy: it is imperative to use full fat dairy in this recipe for moisture, since we’re eliminating the yolks from the eggs to keep the batter light. I prefer the texture I get using sour cream, but full fat yogurt will work, too. 
  3. Coloring icing: I like to color my funfetti buttercream, and my favorite coloring are AmeriColor. The color I used in the photos is “dusty rose.
  4. Piping tip: because the sprinkles can get jammed up in the tip, I find I can do about 3 cupcakes before sprinkles clog the tip. Be sure you’re using a large coupler so you can remove the tip and clear it out. You can also omit the sprinkles from the frosting, use a large open circle tip (I like a Wilton 1A), or cut the tip off of your piping bag instead. 
  5. Make mini cupcakes: this recipe can make about 2 and ½ dozen mini cupcakes (baking time is 11-13 minutes).
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 558IU | Vitamin C: 0.05mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

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41 Comments

  1. An early happy birthday to Fresh April Flours! A very happy birthday indeed!
    I am so, so glad that you hit publish that first day and have kept sharing your blogging journey with us over the past year! I look forward to every time I see a new post in my inbox, or am reminded of an old favourite on your Facebook page 🙂 Your photography is totally inspirational to me, and pushes me to keep working on my own skills.
    I wish I could send you a box of cupcakes to wish you happy bloggy birthday, but instead I will bake a batch of these and share them with friends, and toast my wonderful blogging friend across the world.
    Here is to many, many more years of Fresh April Flours. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  2. Happy (early) birthday to your blog! I actually had no idea you’d only been blogging for less than a year – your photographs are all so lovely! And those cupcakes…*swoon*

  3. Happy Birthday, FAF! I loved seeing your early pictures – it is really fun to see how much you have learned over the past year. Your pictures are gorgeous and your recipes are amazing. And what a perfect way to celebrate – nothing beats Funfetti for a birthday! Here’s to many more years of FAF!

  4. I’m confused by the ingredient list. “1 and cup flour, cup cornstarch, cup milk or cream”. How much flour exactly? I’m assuming 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of milk?

    1. Hi Ashley, it sounds like the fractions aren’t showing up for you. Everything looks fine on my end, so I’m not sure what the problem is! It should read 1 and 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup cornstarch, and 3/4 cup milk or cream. Are the other measurements showing up ok? If not, let me know and I’ll help you out!

    2. Thanks, Lynn. It must be an issue with the formatting of my phone. I appreciate the reply and I’m looking forward to making these today!

  5. 5 stars
    LOVED this recipe. I made them for a girlfriends birthday at work and they were a hit! I made them into mini cupcakes which I liked better than the regular size, the texture was better. I also used store bought frosting though. I tried to make the frosting recipe and it was a fail. Pretty sure I did not do it correctly.
    Thanks again!
    Tracy
    http://www.squatsandstrawberries.com

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Tracy! Sorry the frosting didn’t work out, but I’m happy to hear you were able to top them anyway 🙂 thanks for reporting back!

  6. I followed this recipe to a T. They ended up salty and flaky and overall gross. The frosting ended up not being sweet enough either. Thanks for ruining my birthday and my first time baking on my own.

    1. Hi, Kenzie! So sorry to hear these cupcakes didn’t work out for you. Are you sure you followed the recipe “to a T”? Even if you wildly screwed up the entire recipe, there is no way 1/2 teaspoon of salt (what the recipe calls for) would make 18 cupcakes taste salty. That’s barely any salt in the whole recipe. And if 4 cups of powdered sugar isn’t sweet enough, you must have a super sweet tooth! I hope your next baking venture turns out better. Happy belated birthday!

    2. Wow Kenzie, you are so rude!!!! Lynn or this recipe did not ruin your birthday!!!!! Seeing as you say this is the first time cooking on your own, I would say you ruined it!!!! It’s quite obvious by your feedback that you don’t know what you’re doing!!!! Like Lynn said 1/2 teaspoon of salt for 18 cupcakes is definitely not gonna make them salty!!!! Oh and 4 cups of powdered sugar is more than enough to make a very sweet buttercream. I’m so tired of coming on here and seeing people bash the person that posted the recipe!!!!! I make a lot of cupcakes and this is a basic simple easy cupcake recipe to follow and if it came out as bad as you say, then it’s you my dear, not Lynn, and not the recipe!!!!

  7. Hi! I noticed the icing recipe does not say almond extract, but in the directions it says to add almond extract (?) also, I noticed these cupcakes did not “brown” at all. Even after adding almost 10 minutes to the recommended baking time. Is that normal? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Thanks, that was a mistake on my part– it should be 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract in addition to the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. And the directions never said anything about browning, so no, they don’t need to brown. They just need the toothpick test.

  8. Hello, I love anything funfetti! But I absolutely love your photography skills as well! The photo of the cupcake could very well be a book cover. I’m anxiously awaiting the next work potluck so I can try these!

    1. It should be easy enough to, Stephanie! The recipe as written will yield about 3/4 of a cake, so I would do 1.5x the recipe to make two 8″ layers. I’m unsure of bake time, but would start with about 20-25 minutes.

    2. Thanks for your reply!! I will give it a try! Would you double the frosting?

  9. For some reason these turned out completely awful for me. They looked completely under baked, & they were super chewy & dense. I have never had cupcakes turn out that way for me. The frosting wasn’t bad though.

    1. Hmm, I’m sorry to hear that, Janine! I was actually going to tackle this as a recipe update soon, so I’ll report back if I find it doesn’t work as written.

  10. Not sure what happened to my cupcakes but they were the consistency of cornbread after they were baked. They tasted like marishino cherries too. I think the cornstarch is not needed nor the almond extract. I may give this another try without those and see how they turn out.
    Should these brown up at all in the oven? Mine did not. All ingredients were room temp and I followed the recipe exactly.
    Keep doing what you do. I’m just posting my own personal feedback on my experience.

    1. Hey, Michelle– I’m not sure what to tell you. The cornstarch is there to soften the batter and keep the cupcakes fluffy. Without it, you’ll get a dense cupcake. It’s imperative to follow the recipe exactly, as well as use the ingredients as specified to achieve perfect results. And no, these will not brown much if at all.

  11. Hello, I will be making these for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. Question: the sprinkles are incorporated into the frosting? Is that what makes the frosting pink? Another question: do you have a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe I can use? I think im going to make 2 different frostings, as my daughter loves chocolate!

    Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    I put my skills to the test and used the homemade funfetti cupcakes recipe over the weekend and it exceeded my expectations! The cupcakes were delicious and the icing was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I followed the exact recipe and instructions, was able to get 24 cupcakes from it. They not only tasted great but looked fantastic too! My young adult children were drooling over them. I love your recipes! Don’t ever stop perfecting them!

  13. This recipe sounds delicious. I’m wondering if I leave the sprinkles out of 1/2 the batter for a few kids who don’t like sprinkles if I need to increase the flour slightly for the non-sprinkle portion to reach the correct consistency?

    Thank you,
    Lauren