Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes


Maybe you’re not like me.  Maybe you are super duper organized and always have everything you need for a recipe, every single time.  Maybe you sweep through the grocery store, kids and diaper bag in tow, singing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”  Maybe.

But maybe, just MAYBE, there are days when you’re like me (the juice cups hanging from my pockets and the frozen smile on my face as I try to navigate walmart WITHOUT stopping at the Lego and Matchbox car aisles (I’m sorry– did I just hear the rumblings of WWIII????), then you might, just MIGHT forget something sometimes, before leaving the store.  You might get all the way home and realize that BLAAAAAST it.  You forgot to grab a cake mix, and you need 2 dozen cupcakes for your son’s school TOMORROW.  *face plant.  How could you remember Brussels sprouts and forget the cupcakes?  Ahh, adulthood, you are a cruel world, indeed.

Well, my busy, disorganized friends (and my closet, disorganized busy friends who pretend you aren’t disorganized and busy . . . ) there is hope.  This recipe will save your life on more than one occasion (I may or may not speak from experience, here).  This is basically how to make funfetti cupcakes like a mix, without a mix.  And you will love the difference.  This means that now, you can whip up cupcakes at 10 PM, WITHOUT going back to the store.  You are free from cake mix bondage.  You are oh-so-welcome.

What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

Icing Ingredients:

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4-5 tbsp. whole milk, depending on your icing consistency preferences

1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles


To make the cupcakes, cream room temperature butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well, scraping bowl halfway through mixing to ensure that all the butter gets incorporated.  Mix in baking powder and salt.  Add in flour and milk, mixing slowly just until combined.  Stir in rainbow sprinkles and portion batter into muffin tins about 1/8″ from the top of the muffin papers, using a cookie scoop for even cupcakes.  Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 25 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when touched and pass the toothpick test.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.

To make funfetti frosting, slowly mix together your room temperature butter (must use real butter for the icing) and powdered sugar, gradually drizzling in vanilla and milk until the powder is incorporated and you can whip the lumps out of the icing.  Stir in sprinkles and decorate cupcakes when completely cooled.

Now, in pictures! 🙂


To begin with, let’s talk about one of my very favorite subjects: BUTTAHHHHHH.  You’ve heard my mantra before, and I shall state it again, for the record, your Honor . . .

Cold Ingredients are the Enemy of Good Cookies.

Cold ingredients, with few exceptions, are the enemy of good cookies, and the enemy of good cupcakes, too.  You see, cupcakes are just like you and me– they don’t like things to be frigid.  They like to take off their coats and stay a while. They like to be warm and comfy.  And they do their best baking when the butter and eggs are at room temperature. Trust me on this.  Your cookies– er, cupcakes– will thank you.

Start out by whipping your room temperature butter/margarine and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer, until they are nice and fluffy.  (“I’m not fat– I’m just . . . fluffy.”)  I have the Kitchenaid Mixer, here, and honestly, I think it is the most used item in my kitchen.  If I had to give up everything else and just keep one thing, it would be this mixer.  No serious baker or foodie should be without one.

Next, mix in your eggs and vanilla.  I like to stop the mixer halfway through beating and scrape down the sides of the mixer, just to make sure everything gets incorporated.

Next, mix in your salt and baking powder.

Then flour and milk.  Mix on low speed just until combined.

Now . . . another one of my favorite topics: SPRINKLES!!!  You should see my sprinkle collection. It literally takes up almost an entire shelf.  I may or may not have a problem.  *eyebrow twitches.*

You can use any kind of sprinkles that you want, but I am using plain ‘ole ice cream parlor style sprinkles, like these here.

Fold 1/2 cup of sprinkle magic into your cake batter with a spatula.  Ahhhh, now isn’t that pretty?  😀

Next, go ahead and fill your cupcake papers about 1/8″ below the top of the paper. That’s right– overfilling the cupcakes will not make them “bigger.”  It will just make them slop all over your oven and make you vow to go “cake mix” next time.  Don’t let that happen.

I always use a cookie scoop (I use the blue one here for cupcakes, but I have all sizes and use them for scones, cookies, drop biscuits, meatballs, ice cream . . . you name it) to ensure that my cupcakes are all the same size and that I don’t accidentally overfill my tins.  Throw your cupcakes (Well, OK. Don’t LITERALLY throw or we might have to enroll you in anger management classes . . .) into a 350 degree oven for 25ish minutes.  Each oven is different so yours might take a squidge shorter or longer baking time than mine did.  Basically, when your cupcakes “spring back” when you touch the centers, and a toothpick inserted into their chubby little centers comes out clean, then they are good to go.  At that point let them finish cooling on a cooling rack and get started on your icing.

Ahhh, icing.  I have long been a proponent of the thought that butter and margarine can be substituted in a recipe. However, this icing is NOT one of those times.  If you try to use margarine, here, you won’t be serving up icing– you’ll be serving up greasy, oily heartbreak.

So, take your softened REAL butter and powdered sugar and gently start to mix them together in the bowl of your stand mixer.  I say slowly because powdered sugar has a way of going from “sweet treat” to “Winter Wonderland” in about 1 second if you start the mixer out too fast before everything has had a chance to get incorporated.  So mix slowly.  And be wise.

As the mixer is working away, slowly drizzle in your vanilla extract, and then about 4 tbsp. of milk.  I like to save the final tbsp. until the end, to see if I need it.  I should also mention that I used whole milk for this, so if you are using skim or 1% milk, you may need even less liquid.  Add your liquid slowly– you can always add more, but you can’t take it out, once it’s in there.

When the icing is the consistency that you want, go ahead and stir in 1/4 cup of sprinkles.

Just for a second, imagine that you are sparkling and have a real life unicorn that snorts rainbows and magic.  It’s just that fun.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

When your cupcakes have cooled, go ahead and pipe some awesome swirls of icing on top.  This is not the time to use the “snipped off ziploc bag,” folks.  Nope.  We want these babies to look professional.  Spend 6 bucks and get a real cupcake decorating set.  I use mine again and again.  Best $6 I ever spent.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

If you want to “sprinkle” with more sprinkles (sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle away and be GLAD!!!!), make sure you do it right after piping the icing so that your sprinkles will adhere to the icing.  If you wait too long the icing hardens, slightly, and the sprinkles will just bounce off.  (“Oh dear!  We messed these up.  What a mistake.  I guess we will just have to eat them ALL now, then and make some more . . .” *pious, heavenward glance*).

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

But, no matter how you choose to make these, the fact of the matter is this:

You have been freed from cake mix dominion and rule.  You have escaped the tyranny of the grocery store forgetful fancies!  You have risen up and created a cake FROM NOTHING!!!!! *earth conquering music swells in background*

And what’s more . . .

You did it.  And I’m just so proud of you.

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  1. Jo Ann

    Emilie, I think I enjoy your wonderfully humorous recipe writing style as much as I enjoy the beauty and taste of the foods. Thank you for your consistently delicious food offerings!

    1. Emilie (Post author)

      And my sweet friend, your kind comment and sweet words have made my day. 😉 Thanks for taking time to read. 😀

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