Classic Sprinkle Cupcakes

classic sprinkle cupcakesThere are plenty of super-fancy cupcakes out there…filled, artfully frosted creations that look incredible and, sometimes, taste incredible too. But I’ve been fooled by many a super-fancy cupcake in the past; they look amazing, but when you take a bite…it’s only okay. Not the delicious creation you’d expected.

This, my friends, is not a super-fancy cupcake, but it’s certainly the delicious creation you’ve expected. Using a basic vanilla cupcake recipe, vanilla almond buttercream, and some fun sprinkles, these treats are the type of cupcake everyone should know how to make. The recipes are fairly simple, though I admit that most folks probably don’t stock cake flour in their pantries the way I do; still, you can find it easily at your local market and can use it in many cake and cupcake recipes, so it’s worth the buy.


  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sour milk*
  • 1 recipe vanilla almond buttercream
  • Sprinkles for topping**

*To make sour milk, place 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar in a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to equal one half cup total. Stir; let stand for 5 minutes before using. 

**I use the Betty Crocker Parlor Perfect Confetti variety. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners; this recipe makes about 21 cupcakes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Place eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat for another 30 seconds.

Add vanilla and canola oil and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add flour mixture and sour milk alternatively in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Batter will be very thin.

Using a quarter-cup measuring cup, scoop batter into prepared regular-sized cupcake liners, filling about half full.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Prepare your frosting and fit a 14-inch pastry bag with the Wilton M1 piping tip. Pipe generous swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.

Top each cupcake with sprinkles; I find it helpful to place each cupcake in a bowl for sprinkling so you don’t get sprinkles everywhere.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.



Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream







What can you say about a classic?  The yellow cake/chocolate frosting combination is the little black dress of baking, one that baker should have it in her repertoire.  There seems to be something magical in the pairing of rich chocolate buttercream with mellow yellow cake, in the same way that a chocolate cupcake is finely matched with vanilla buttercream.  They say opposites attract, right?

Yellow Cupcakes


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 2/3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for one minute.

Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each.

Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beating until combined.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about half-full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack before frosting.


Chocolate Buttercream


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter for about one minute.

Add powdered sugar and cocoa and beat on low speed to incorporate as much sugar into the butter as you can.  I cover my mixing bowl with a kitchen towel during this step to prevent a sugar storm.

Add three tablespoons milk and two teaspoons vanilla extract; beat for three minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add the final teaspoon vanilla extract, then beat for another minute.