You can’t really go wrong with a fan favorite. And funetti – well, funfetti is definitely a fan favorite. What’s that? Oh, it’s below freezing outside and these cupcakes look like spring? So what. The fact that it’s so wintry and gloomy outside is all the more reason to combat it with some bright, bold baking. Plus, my dad (better known as “DINO!”) got married this past weekend, and I’m still in celebration mode. Nothing says “celebration” like funfetti, so funfetti it is.
When it comes to funfetti, even the “bad” stuff is still so so good. But, in typical Type A fashion, I’m not satisfied with just “ok” and, of course, had to find the best version of the classic. First, because I can’t help it; second, because I refuse to share anything subpar on P2P; and third (and most exciting), because my friends Amanda and Sean are getting married in just a few weeks, and have asked me to bake the desserts for the wedding! Included on the list: a funfetti cake and funfetti cupcakes. The stage was set for a mini funfetti battle royale, and my brand new kitchen was ground zero.
I tried out two different recipes: one with more of a white cake; the other with more of a yellow cake. To some people, vanilla cupcakes are vanilla cupcakes and white versus yellow cake makes zero difference. To a baker, though (or just extreme cake enthusiasts), the flavors can be very distinct depending on the particular ingredients used in each. The white cake funfetti recipe would presumably have a lighter, cleaner flavor, while this particular yellow cake funfetti recipe would presumably have a deeper, more buttery taste. I made batches of both, also testing out different types of sprinkles to see which type bled less when mixed into the batter (the bleeding results in more of a tie-dye effect – and not the good kind – rather than big, bright pops of color).
The verdict? While the white cake version resulted in prettier, puffier cupcakes, the yellow cake version was the hands-down winner for taste. Given that the recipe came from Sally’s Baking Addiction (one of my favorite baking blogs), I really shouldn’t have been surprised. The melted butter in the recipe adds such a great flavor, and the greek yogurt used in the recipe keeps the cake extra moist. The only thing I would change is the type of sprinkles. I originally used multi-colored jimmies in the yellow cake version, but the confetti sprinkles I used in the white cake version bled much less and provided much cleaner pops of color in the finished product. This is totally a matter of preference, though, so do whatever you think is more fun!
Ok, now this frosting. Two words: cake batter. I probably should’ve mentioned this earlier, because the frosting really makes these cupcakes pop. It’s light and fluffy with a hint of cake batter flavor, and is actually very reminiscent of Publix frosting (all my fellow Floridians know what I’m talking about)! Add some more confetti sprinkles on top, and these things will look almost as good as they taste.
Confetti, cake batter, and lively color in the dead of winter? Clearly I’m in full overachiever mode over here. But I mean, if you’re going to bake, bake it bright, right? Being that it’s almost the weekend, I’m thinking Thursday is cause enough for celebratory funfetti. As if you needed an excuse.
Cake Batter Confetti Cupcakes
Funfetti Cupcakes (from Sally’s Baking Addiction):
1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain or vanilla regular yogurt, greek yogurt, or sour cream)
3/4 cup regular milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup rainbow confetti sprinkles
Cake Batter Frosting (from Sprinkle Bakes):
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heavy pinch of salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon French Vanilla cake mix
3 to 4 tablespoons milk, if needed
1. Create your cupcakes. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugar (don’t worry, the mixture will be gritty!) and chill in the refrigerator for 1 minute. Stir the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract into the sugar mixture until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. The batter will be thick. Slowly and carefully fold in your sprinkles, being careful to not overmix (which will cause the colors to bleed!).
Divide the batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
2. Now onto this cake batter frosting. Cream the butter and shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, to get it light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to combine. Next, beat in the vanilla. Add the pinch of salt and cake mix, and beat together for another 2 minutes or so (the more air you incorporate into the mixture, the fluffier it will be!). Add milk one tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
3. Pull it all together! Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with your piping tip of choice, and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with more confetti sprinkles!