Friday, August 10, 2012

Funfetti Cupcakes

My very best friend at Columbia and I have a lot of things in common.  We both loveee music, have a slight obsession with Halloween (this year's Halloween costumes have already been picked out...don't judge us please), and we love to cook and bake, cupcakes in particular, obviously.  In fact, it's not far-fetched to say that baking is one of the things that got us to be friends in the first place!  We lived together in a suite during our freshman year, and she'd always be making really adorable cupcakes, whether it was for a bake sale, for one of her classes, or just for the hell of it (my personal favorite reason for making cupcakes).  Eventually, we started making them together, and we'd bring a giant tray of cupcakes all around the suite to share with all our suitemates.  Our cupcakes became pretty popular!  We're starting our senior year in a matter of just a few short weeks (!!!) and we're living in an amazinggg suite with an amazinggg kitchen (it's definitely a tiny kitchen, but by NYC apartment standards, I think it's pretty amazing), and I'm so incredibly excited.  The amount of sugary adventures that will take place in that kitchen and the cupcakes that will result from them is gonna be ridiculous, and I can't wait for it!

While my friend and I have a lot of things in common, there is one thing that we always have, and probably always will, disagree on: chocolate, or vanilla?  If you've been following me for a while, you know by now that I am a huge chocolate person, and the more chocolate that's in a recipe, the better.  My friend is the total opposite, and while she'll definitely appreciate good chocolate, she's definitely a vanilla person all the way.  We often get into silly little debates about which is better, and we always end up remaining loyal to our favorite flavors.  Chocolate will always win, in my opinion, and there's nothing I love more than experimenting with different recipes for chocolate cake.  It was only until recently that I realized that I did not have a single vanilla cake recipe on my site...every cake and cupcake was chocolate!  I decided that this needed to change, so I knew that my next step was to make a delicious vanilla cupcake.  I decided that to celebrate this endeavor into vanilla-territory, I'd throw in some rainbow sprinkles and transform my vanilla cupcakes into funfetti cupcakes!

I find it so amusing that people are so enamored with funfetti cupcakes.  I mean, yeah, they're pretty delicious and all, but funfetti cupcakes are really nothing more than just fluffy white cake with rainbow sprinkles mixed in.  This is obviously not a problem, because the sprinkles really do so much to help make a plain old vanilla cupcake from boring (sorry, Alie!) to adorable!  I take it back.  Vanilla cupcakes are not boring...they're just a little plain for my taste, but sometimes a simple vanilla cupcake can do wonders, and it's actually impossible not to smile when you have a funfetti cupcake sitting in front of you.  They're just so darn cute!

Like I said above, a funfetti cupcake is nothing by a vanilla cupcake with some added sprinkles.  Given that, it should be pretty easy and straightforward to make, and these cupcakes are just that!  I got the recipe from the queen of all things dealing with vanilla cake, Sweetapolita, and since she claimed this to be one of her favorite recipes for vanilla cake, and she has good reason for doing so...this vanilla cake was, dare I say, ahhhh-mazing. I seriously never thought I could like a vanilla cake this much!  It was light and fluffy, and just perfect, with or without the addition of the sprinkles (I set aside a little cupcake batter before I added the sprinkles so that I could really taste the vanilla cake itself).  This recipe is a bit unusual, as the method of preparation is totally unlike any that I've ever seen for a cake before.  Get actually don't start out by creaming together the butter and sugar.  Sounds crazy, and I had my doubts about this different technique, but the cupcakes turned out perfectly.  The original recipe calls for vanilla sugar, which is essentially white sugar that has been infused with vanilla beans for a couple of weeks, but I went ahead and made this with regular white sugar, because I wanted my funfetti cupcakes NOW, and not in a couple weeks when I would have vanilla sugar.  While I think the vanilla sugar would have been a great addition and would have made the cupcakes even more vanilla-y and awesome, the white sugar worked just fine, so no worries if you get stuck with a vanilla cupcake craving that needs to be satisfied right away. 

These funfetti cupcakes are just perfect, in every way possible.  Light and fluffy, moist and delicious, they're perfect with or without the sprinkles.  I may still be a chocolate lover at heart, but I don't think I'll ever turn down one of these little vanilla cupcakes!  Enjoy!
Funfetti Cupcakes
cupcake recipe from Sweetapolita; vanilla frosting recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook


For the Cupcakes

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

For the Vanilla Frosting

2 cups confectioner's sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (to taste)

rainbow sprinkles (for decoration)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Add paper liners to cupcake tins.

In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, whole egg, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla extract and almond extract.  Stir together, and set aside. 

In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients, including the sugar, mixing on low speed (or the "stir" setting) for about 30 seconds to incorporate them together.  Add the butter and shortening, and continue to mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for about 1 1/2 minutes.  

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and begin to add the egg mixture in three separate additions, beating for about 20 seconds after each addition.  Once the batter has been fully combined, add in the rainbow sprinkles, and gently fold them in.  

Evenly divide the cupcake batter into the prepared pans; I like to use a cookie scoop to ensure that all my cupcakes end up being the same size. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcakes, around 17 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and place the cupcake tins on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the tins and allowing them to cool completely on the racks.  

While the cupcakes cool, prepare the vanilla frosting.  In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the confectioner's sugar and butter until the mixture begins to come together. Lower the mixer speed, and add in the milk and vanilla extract.  Increase the mixer speed to high, and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with the vanilla frosting, and decorate with more sprinkles.  Enjoy!

Makes 24 cupcakes, and enough frosting to generously frost all 24 cupcakes


  1. oh, how absolutely darling & delicious are these treasures! thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Wow! These cupcakes live up to its name. It really does look like fun!!



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