Birthday Funfetti Cupcakes!

I love birthdays, and I love celebrating birthdays with my friends and family. One of the easiest and most appreciated gifts that I can give is always a yummy baked good. It gives me joy to spend time baking in the kitchen on a weekend, and I get to give away the finished product to a very grateful receiver.

When it comes to baking, I always ask if the recipient has a request for flavor/type of baked good. If they do, then I can hunt down the best recipe for what they’re requested. (If I don’t all ready have a favorite).  If they don’t have any requests, I can spend hours pouring over websites and blog posts trying to decide what to make.

This is exactly what happened today. I knew I wanted to bake cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, but she had no specific preference in mind. So I started searching the web, and I kept coming back to funfetti cupcakes from scratch. As a kid, I loved going to the bake sales and seeing a funfetti cupcake – it was always my first choice! Which is odd, because I love all things chocolate, but there is just something about those yummy sprinkles (or jimmies, for those of us Pittsburgher’s)!

So I searched a few funfetti recipes, and settled on this one, from Sweet Peony. It was simple and didn’t require any separating of eggs or cake flour, etc. Just basic ingredients that I always have on hand in my pantry for baking. These didn’t take long at all to make, and they’re delicious. They are soft and fluffy with they yummy addition of sprinkles for some fun!

This is also the first vanilla buttercream that has turned out well for me! Maybe it’s because I sifted the icing sugar, or maybe it’s because I finally bought a food scale and used the right amount of butter! (Here in Doha, all the butter is in Grams, so  a stick is slightly less than a full 1/2 cup, and I always need to add a little extra). Either way, it’s delicious and you’ll have to try really hard to not lick it right off the spatula!

So if you have a friend having a brithday and you want to bake them something fun, give this recipe a try! I think it will bring back good memories for anyone!

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes  (From Sweet Peony)

Makes 12-14 cupcakes (Mine made 16 even)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup assorted colored sprinkles + more for sprinkling on frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with liners.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Lower speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed.  Add vanilla and mix until combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the milk and mixing just until incorporated.  Fold in sprinkles with a rubber spatula.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frost with vanilla buttercream (recipe below) and top with sprinkles.

Vanilla Buttercream
2 sticks butter, softened but cool
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (to help maintain bright white color)
1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk (if needed)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream butter on medium-high until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar.  Add vanilla then increase mixer speed to medium-high, beating 2-3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.  If the frosting is too thick, add heavy cream or milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.  If the frosting is to thin, gradually add powdered sugar until it thickens.

Frost cupcakes as desired and top with sprinkles.