These festive Funfetti Cupcakes are a joy to bite into because of their colourful interior. Frost with a simple vanilla frosting to make the sprinkles stand out!
A few days ago, my brother celebrated his 24th birthday and it really put me into a celebratory mood. I tend to get more excited about other people’s birthdays than my own so that was normal, but I found myself oddly hankering for anything involving funfetti. Funfetti Cupcakes to be specific! Essentially this is just vanilla/yellow cake with sprinkles incorporated in the cake batter, but it feels a bit more special to eat Funfetti rather than plain old yellow cake.
In fact whenever I see Funfetti Cakes, I almost expect a unicorn to burst out! I can hardly think of anyone who wouldn’t crack a smile after biting into something so colourful.
Where funfetti comes from, nobody really knows. I couldn’t find the answer on Google, and Mr. Google knows everything! However it is widely credited as being popularised by Pillsbury as a cake mix, with a matching frosting to boot. (Saw some at Lander’s in case my Filipino readers want to know what I’m talking about.) Apparently it was first introduced in the 1990’s but colour me clueless about it despite being a 90’s kid.
But just like many 90’s things, funfetti is making a full-on comeback. Everybody’s Funfetti-sizing everything, from cookies to donuts to pies or cake bars. You name it! And why not? Funfetti is so festive, it looks like someone threw confetti into your dessert! And that is why some people actually call it confetti instead of funfetti. Though the latter is cuter, it works for me either way!
Despite the plethora of funfetti recipes out there, today we’re sticking with some good old classic cupcakes. To help make this recipe a quick reality, I’ve enlisted the help of my KitchenAid stand mixer. I know it has taken a bit of a backseat these past few months because I’ve been going mad over my KitchenAid hand mixer, but this was a good time to ask it for help. (It’s like being asked to pick your favourite child haha!)
We’re using two different attachments for this recipe, both of which come with the KitchenAid stand mixer: first is the paddle attachment for the cake batter, next is the whisk attachment to make the fluffy frosting.
I’m really sad to say that this will be the last installment of my collaboration with KitchenAid Philippines at this time, so I thought it would be nice to end with something that’s more celebratory in mood rather than somber. It’s been an awesome partnership for me after all, and I’ve enjoyed thinking about which recipes to make that would really highlight how much I’ve loved using all my KitchenAid tools. 🙂
Anyways, Funfetti Cupcakes are vanilla bundles of joy, from the cakes up to the icing on top. I’ll teach you how easy it is to make them too, with the help of the KitchenAid stand mixer of course!
We start by mixing the dry ingredients together in the bowl of the KitchenAid stand mixer. You can use just a simple whisk. Now here’s where the fun with the KitchenAid starts. Attach your bowl to the stand mixer and then begin adding in the sliced up butter a few cubes at time.
I like to switch my mixer on and off at the start just to work the butter into the flour initially since I don’t want the flour to fly everywhere. Once you get half of the butter in, you can keep your mixer on low and add the rest, until you get these yummy-looking crumbs.
Up next we’ll add the eggs one at a time, because we don’t want to end up with a slimy mess if we add all the eggs together.
Some of you might be wondering based on the picture why my egg is in a bowl. I don’t crack my eggs straight into my batter anymore after I had an encounter with a rotten egg long ago. It was such a waste to have to throw everything away and start again! These days I crack each egg into a bowl first before adding into the batter, to be on the safe side. 🙂
You’re going to give the mixture a whirl each time you add an egg, and it’s going to start looking like proper cake batter at this point, instead of crumbs. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding in the milk in a slow and steady stream, with the mixer on low.
We’re adding some vanilla too of course! Gosh I love me some vanilla. I even love it in the form of perfume.
We scrape down the sides of the bowl one final time and let the KitchenAid do its magic for about 2 minutes, beating the batter on medium speed until smooth and silky. At this point, detach the bowl and grab your spatula.
Well if you think that’s already a lovely looking batter as it is, wait until you add in the life of the party: SPRINKLES!
For this specific amount of batter, which is good to make 24 cupcakes, you’ll need 1/2 cup of sprinkles. It actually doesn’t have to be this specific kind. You can use any type of sprinkles you like, but I just find that these round ones bleed far less into the cupcakes than the long regular old sprinkles. It actually depends on what effect you’re going for.
Once you’ve got your sprinkles in you just mix it into the batter gently. Make sure you go down to the bottom of the bowl with your spatula as well so that your sprinkles will be well-distributed. It’ll be horrible if your last batch of cupcakes end up with barely any sprinkles at all!
I usually like to fill my cupcake liners with batter until they’re level with the rim of the cupcake pans, just to make sure the cake will rise to the top of the paper liners once they’re baked. They get a nice domed top as well that makes them perfect for frosting with just a spoon or spatula.
At the point before they go into the oven, I know the cupcakes don’t look like much. The batter is very light with a nice thick-ish consistency. However you can barely see the sprinkles. Just wait about 15 to 20 minutes, until they bake up, and you shall see! And oh, don’t keep these cakes inside the oven for longer than you should. Overbaking them may dry them out.
They will smell amazing fresh out of the oven. Resist the urge to take a bite before you cool and frost them. And don’t you say it’s because you just want to check whether the sprinkles are inside haha! 😀
So while the cupcakes are cooling, you’ll want to clean up a bit and proceed with making the Vanilla Frosting. For that, you’ll be changing the KitchenAid stand mixer’s attachment from the paddle to the balloon whisk.
The whisk attachment is great for anything you want to whip into fluffiness. I normally use it to whip egg whites to stiff peaks for macarons or meringues, but it’s also great for frosting. You’ll initially want to whip up your butter first for a bit before adding in the confectioner’s sugar. SLOWLY. Those scenes on TV you see of white powder flying around? IT HAPPENS!
You should start the stand mixer out slowly at first, and then once all your sugar has been incorporated, that’s when you turn the speed up and let it whip to perfection.
A note on the amount of confectioner’s sugar to use: It’s actually entirely up to you. You can use as much or as little as you want depending on the consistency you’re after. I ended up using a little less than 1 1/2 cups actually. As I was gradually adding my second cup of sugar, I already liked how fluffy my frosting was after being whipped using the KitchenAid stand mixer.
Remember that you should always start with a small amount, and then add more sugar as needed afterwards. If you accidentally add too much sugar, you can adjust with a tablespoon of milk at a time to thin out the frosting until you get the consistency you like. Just note that the frosting will be sweet!
Seriously you guys, how FLUFFY is that?!
So now it’s all just a matter of frosting your COMPLETELY cooled cupcakes. Please do cool your cupcakes if you don’t want your frosting to turn into a soggy mess on top. You can use a piping tip and bag, but I just used a small spatula for this one. I don’t like having too much frosting on my cupcakes so just a dollop of frosting for each was enough, but if you like more, feel free to double the Vanilla Frosting recipe and pile away.
And it wouldn’t be decent Funfetti Cupcakes without a big explosion of sprinkles on top of the frosting, wouldn’t it? 🙂
Funfetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
For the Funfetti Cupcakes
- 1¾ cups cake flour, not self-raising
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup rainbow sprinkles or jimmies
For the Vanilla Frosting
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ to 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Rainbow sprinkles, to decorate
Make the Cupcakes
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
- 2. In the bowl of your KitchenAid Stand Mixer, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- 3. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment on low speed, mix in the butter a few cubes at a time, continuing until all the butter has been added and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- 4. Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions to ensure even mixing.
- 5. Slowly pour in the milk and the vanilla. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, until batter is smooth. Detach the bowl from the mixer.
- 6. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the sprinkles. Make sure to stir from the bottom of the bowl to distribute the sprinkles properly.
- 7. Fill the liners two-thirds of the way full (about ¼ cup measure) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting
- 8. In a clean bowl and using the wire whisk attachment of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- 9. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. (Add just a bit at a time so that the sugar doesn't fly all over the place!) Start with 1½ cups and check if the consistency is what you like before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high. Whip until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- 10. Frost the cupcakes as desired and garnish with additional sprinkles. Once frosted, cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These are best eaten at room temperature.
Here are my other collaborations with KitchenAid Philippines you might enjoy:
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl
- Rum Raisin Hot Cross Buns [With VIDEO]
- Chicken Curry Pot Pie
- Calamansi Custard Pudding [With VIDEO]
- Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken Stew
- Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate-Coffee Sauce [With VIDEO]
- Neapolitan Layer Cake [With VIDEO]
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