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Confetti Cupcakes

confetti innards

When I first discovered confetti cake, I was still in elementary school and could manage to bake a cake from a boxed mix, which I often did when the occasion arose to do so. I almost always opted for white cake because I liked the color and the vanilla flavor, but when I found that the store stocked white cakes with multi-colored splashes in the batter, I forgot my old allegiance to the plain cake and opted for its colorful counterpart more times than I can remember.

Confetti cakes get their name from the confetti-like splashes of color throughout. These splashes are produced by stirring rainbow sprinkles into the batter. The sugary jimmies melt as the cake bakes, leaving behind color and no trace of what was once a sprinkle.

For these cupcakes, I opted not to use a mix (not really surprising, I know), but to use a classic white cake recipe. The resulting cupcakes have the familiar flavor of vanilla and a hint of almond, as well as a clean white interior that sets off the colors of the sprinkles. The crumb is very tender, but not so delicate that the cake crumbles before it gets into your mouth, and quite moist. This is achieved through a slightly unconventional – for cupcakes, anyway – mixing process, where the butter is cut into the dry ingredients and the eggs and other liquids are added at the end.

I topped them with a marshmallow frosting, which I used before when baking Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes.

If you don’t have rainbow sprinkles, you can use chocolate jimmies or simply skip the “confetti” and leave these white. But it might be worth that extra trip to the store because colorful cupcakes are just a little bit more fun.

Funfetti Cupcakes
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp butter, soft
2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg whites and extracts. Set aside
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if you prefer to work by hand), combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir to combine. Cut in butter with the paddle attachment at low speed (or cut in by hand), until mixture is coarse and sandy. Add milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl and continue beating for 20-30 seconds. Stir in sprinkles.
Divide batter evenly into prepared tin. Bake for for 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Makes 12.

Marshmallow Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, egg whites, 1/3 cup water, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch simmering water). Using handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture resembles soft marshmallow fluff, about 4 minutes.
Increase mixer speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick, about 3 minutes longer. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until marshmallow frosting is completely cool, about 5 minutes longer.

When cool, frost cupcakes and add more sprinkles, if desired.

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  • Anuhea
    April 6, 2007

    I love confetti/funfetti cakes…they are full of colorful surprises!

  • Jackie
    April 6, 2007

    So fun! I can’t wait to try these!

  • Chris
    April 6, 2007

    Wonderful! These will be great to bring to the staff on Monday, when they are bummed spring break is over. Lil’ bundles bound to bring smiles!

  • lori
    April 7, 2007

    Wow, I never even knew that a cake like this existed! This would be great for me to bake with my four year old daughter. The fireworks of colors is brilliant!

  • Jen
    April 7, 2007

    How fun these are! I’ve never made marshmallow frosting–I tend to make just plain-jane confectioner’s sugar and butter/confectioner’s sugar and cream cheese frostings. Maybe it’s time to branch out 🙂

  • mariya
    April 7, 2007

    i’m going to try these out soon! they look enchanting. 🙂

  • Kate
    April 9, 2007

    I am thrilled to have stumbled upon your site. My sister-in-law’s birthday is next week and confetti cake is her favorite. I have always cringed whenever she got the box of mix as cake mixes have never been my thing. I never thought of making one from scratch. I guess i never equated such bright colours with anything that would be homemade. Thank you for connecting the dots for me.


  • Cheryl
    April 9, 2007

    How beautiful and festive. I love the way it looks. Makes you wanna be a kid again.

  • Dave
    April 19, 2007

    I tried these treats today. I took the 12 cupcakes to be for standard cupcake tins and they all over flowed. Don’t fill them more than half full to be safe. They did taste good though.

  • Nicole
    April 20, 2007

    Dave – Sorry to hear your cupcakes overflowed. I, too, used a standard sized cupcake tin and had no problems. I would say that each of the cups was about 2/3 full.

  • Corey
    May 7, 2007

    I made these cupcakes today, and they tasted great! I did have one slight problem, though – when I stirred the sprinkles into the batter, the colours all began to run. So, when I bit into a finished cupcake, I didn’t have discrete flecks of colour (like in your picture), but swirls and streaks of colour instead (which were, admittedly, kind of cool). Did anyone else have this problem?

  • Chris
    May 12, 2007

    I did, Corey…I didn’t do well with mine at all when I baked these last month. But, I am going to try again!

  • Bob
    May 30, 2007

    Hi, cupcakes look great, nice site by the way.

  • liz
    July 19, 2007

    i was just wondering if it would affect the cupcake much if i eliminated the almond extract. also as i’m in a rush, i’d probably be using betty crocker’s creamy frosting rather than making my own. shouldn’t be a problem right? thanks

  • Nicole
    July 27, 2007

    What a fantastic idea! Instead of cupcakes I did this for my daughters birthday cake – looked and tasted great!

    I have been becoming more and more dependent on this web site. Thanks for all your great ideas and recipes! We are “enjoying” them!

  • DD
    August 28, 2007

    these cupcakes are super duperly amazing!!!! i even snuck in some whole wheat flour and you could not for a second tell the difference. my little brother ate three tonight and would have had more if i didnt stop him. these are beatiful and delicious… everyone should have the experience of eating one.

  • Ace
    September 23, 2007

    To address the sprinkles-running issue:

    The round colorful circle sprinkles will run. They should be used atop frosting, but not mixed into batter.

    The elongated-pill-shaped jimmies are excellent for confetti cakes. They maintain color- and sometimes even shape!

  • emily
    March 27, 2008

    i wnna eat them =D

  • emily
    March 27, 2008

    i wnna eat them =D

  • Monika
    April 13, 2008

    Can you use the same recipe for making a cake? or should i double the amount of ingredients?

  • shannon
    June 10, 2008

    i loved these i made a few changes i used 2 whole eggs casue i like the mositness and i didnt use the almond so i used extra vinallia extract .. also i was wonder you no how they have a recipe for funfetti cookies on the side of the philsbery box.. how would you make them from this

  • Katie
    June 11, 2008

    I just put these cupcakes into the oven and wanted to share my experience. I mistakenly mixed the sprinkles into the dry ingredients so that when I combined the wet and dry, the colours of the sprinkles ran together and completely dyed the batter. I used pink and blue sprinkles. The cupcakes are now fully purple (but with a greyish tint unfortunately). They are still fun but totally not what I was going for! I learned a lesson lol!

  • Sarah
    August 9, 2008

    This recipe was really good, except that the frosting recipe makes waaaay too much frosting for 12 cupcakes. If I make this again, I will definitely cut the frosting recipe in half (or double the cake recipe :-P).

  • Olivia
    August 15, 2008

    I can wait to try this it sounds taste

  • Lisa
    October 15, 2008

    I tried Kroger Decors dessert toppings non-pareils (small dots) in the batter and the color did not come out as vivid as in your photo. Did you use carousel mix (larger rod shaped) sweet toppings?

  • Nicole
    October 15, 2008

    Lisa – Yes, the rod-shaped sprinkles are the ones that will give you the best color. The nonpariels don’t melt into the batter quite as well

  • Lisa
    October 16, 2008

    Thanks, I’ll try that today and let you know how it works out!

  • Lisa
    October 19, 2008

    The cupcakes turned out great! The hardest part was deciding which cupcake version to put on my site. I made cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing, with vanilla buttercream icing, with plain French vanilla batter, with non-pareils (dots) in the batter, and with carousel mix (rods) in the batter. I peeled back the paper for some shots. I even took a bite out of a couple to show the confetti within. Oh, the things I do for my “art”. I ended up picking the simplest one (see http://www.lisaweberdesign.com under Styling #08).
    Thanks for your help!

  • bob
    March 3, 2009


  • bob
    March 3, 2009


  • Tom
    April 3, 2009


  • Tamana
    June 12, 2009

    A great site, I’m always looking for new inspiration!

    I wanted to ask about the marshmallow frosting. Does it need refrigeration?


  • Lulu
    June 22, 2009

    I toss my sprinkles in flour before I fold them in… that helps to keep the color from running.

  • Jenn
    July 12, 2009

    I doubled the recipe and made a cake instead of cupcakes, it was just enough for 2 8″ round pans. It came out great however when I made the frosting it was like liquid instead of thick and fluffy… did anyone else have this problem? Did I do something wrong? I did not double the frosting recipe. Otherwise cake turned out great as a wonderful birthday cake!

  • Anty
    December 15, 2009

    I tried this recipe today for my daughter and her friends. They look wonderful but unfortunately the Hundreds and Thousands I used didn’t give sharp colours the way your sprinkles do (Dr Oetker brand) so they look just like white cakes.
    And when I tasted it (without the frosting), it was extremely sweet. Should it be like that or I should have reduced the sugar when added sprinkles?

    Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  • Angela
    December 26, 2009

    I made them and I didn’t add the almond extract. Is that OK? Will it turn out bad? Thanks

  • textmex
    January 6, 2010

    To those who made it as a cake…You doubled the recipe and then how long did you cook it for? Same time as cupcakes or more?

    And did anyone try another frosting? A cream cheese or butter frosting? I’m thinking the marshmallow will be tricky in putting the layers together. I’m planning to use white icing with pearl dragées, then when you slice it, a riot of color. Can’t wait to try this!

  • Shawna
    February 6, 2010

    I just finished making these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party (which is tomorrow) and they are GORGEOUS!! I am so happy with them! The sprinkles didn’t run in the batter at all, and the frosting is so beautiful and shiny! They are the cutest cupcakes I have ever seen. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this recipe. I was so nervous about them turning out, but they turned out so perfect. I taste-tested one (of course) and they are marvelous! A little sweet, but the frosting balances it out well. Thank you again, so happy with them!! I will definitely use this site for future recipes.

  • Carmelina
    March 6, 2010

    I would love to link this recipe/blog to my blog. What a great idea!

  • Ali
    April 25, 2010

    To avoid the sprinkles getting runny, you must fold them in very carefully at the very end right before you fill the tins.

  • Mitchell
    May 14, 2010

    beautiful.just wonderful. absolutely phenominal. this is a superb idea that i will never forget for as long as i live. i idolize you.

  • CC Recipe
    July 2, 2010

    I made these cupcakes and they were fabulous…thanks so much for the recipe! http://ccrecipe.com/1394/cupcakes/funfetti-cupcakes.html#more-1394

  • tara holland
    July 16, 2010

    I just made the cupcakes and they are not rising….i even followed everything to a t. wonder what went wrong

  • Jolene
    August 21, 2010

    Just made these cupcakes for my daughter’s 1st birthday with my 3 1/2 year old son! So easy and delicious that we had to make another batch! We made mini-cupcakes too, baked for 10 min! Thanks for sharing… I’ll never go back to the box again 🙂

  • Jamia
    January 13, 2011

    I made these cupcakes for my son’s 1st birthday party last year, and they were wonderful. How could I convert this recipe to make a sheet cake? I am hoping to use a 12-inch square pan–do I just multiply all the ingredients by 3 or 4? Thanks!

  • Unknown
    May 21, 2011

    Like these cucakes, would be easier to make if the recipe was also in grams

  • michelle
    August 19, 2011

    Awesome! I refuse to buy boxes but I really wanted a confetti cake. Good white cake recipes are hard to find – this is a keeper! I had to make an extra 4 or 5 cupcakes to prevent them from overflowing. I did use 2 whole eggs just to simplify it and reduce waste. My daughter is going to love these for her party tomorrow! I used eggs & milk, and also used cold butter, chopped, to try to prevent melting the sprinkles. Seemed to work really well!

  • Alonte
    February 15, 2012

    i can’t wait to make these, but i was just wondering how you can tell when the mixture is mixed perfectly. i will be doing everything by hand and i have a good idea of how things should look after mixing but i just want to play it safe.

  • Vasie
    July 18, 2012

    do u whisk the egg whites & milk till it is fluffy or just whisk lightly

  • Karolina
    March 5, 2015

    Do you think something like this recipe would work (even with box cake mix) and putting in only blue sprinkles?? I want to do this for a baby gender reveal. I wouldn’t care if the colour bled, as long as it looks blue when bitten into! Thanks in advance 🙂

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