Birthday Cupcakes are a simple, sprinkle-loaded, sweet treat that is super easy to make for any last minute birthday event. Smooth vanilla cake batter is baked until oh-so soft and fluffy, and topped with a heavenly whipped buttercream so good that you’ll want to eat it with a spoon!
Forget the box mix cupcakes, and make the bakery grade stuff from the comfort of your own home!
Reasons You’ll Love This
Birthday Bash – No birthday party is complete without these birthday cake cupcakes!
Homemade – While box mix cupcakes are good in a pinch, these are just as easy to make and taste just as good if not better!
Pantry Friendly – Panicking because you need a last minute birthday treat? Thankfully the ingredients for these cupcakes are things you probably already have in your pantry.
Fun and Delicious – Who could say no to a birthday cupcake? They’re so adorable, always hit the spot, and you can never have just one!
Very Merry Unbirthday – No birthday coming up? Don’t worry, you can make any day a very merry unbirthday with these delicious cupcakes!
Struggling to find some birthday cupcake ideas? There’s no going wrong with the classic vanilla cupcake, fun colorful sprinkles, and whipped buttercream frosting! Everyone is familiar with these classic cupcakes, but they’ll still devour them nonetheless.
Let’s discuss how to make birthday cupcakes, as well as the ingredients that are needed. Please take note that below you will find discussion, expert tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about this recipe to help you recreate it in your kitchen. If you *just* want the recipe itself, scroll down. The full printable recipe itself, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of this page.
- Powdered Sugar – This is the ideal type of sugar for a frosting. It’s light, sweet and will create that lovely whipped frosting texture. While for most ingredients I think store brands are just as good, I do find that C&H Powdered sugar really provides the best results.
- Flour – When measuring flour for any baked goods, be sure you spoon the flour into the measuring cup, level it off, and then add it to the recipe.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar is the best type of sugar for a vanilla cupcake.
- Butter – Make sure that the butter has been softened to room temperature to ensure the texture of both the frosting and cupcake batter comes out correctly. Unsalted butter is best for this recipe.
- Eggs – Room temperature eggs are ideal, but not required.
- Oil – Vegetable oil is ideal but you can substitute for canola oil instead.
- Milk – Use whatever kind of milk you prefer or have on hand.
- Vanilla Extract – While I prefer vanilla, you could swap it out for almond extract.
- Sprinkles – Rainbow sprinkles, of course, are a classic for birthday cupcakes. Feel free to use whatever kind of colorful, themed sprinkles you want. I prefer to use jimmies style sprinkles, as they usually hold their color. The one type of sprinkle I don’t recommend is nonparelis. They tend to bleed color into the batter, but are fine for sprinkling on the frosting.
Step By Step Instructions
- Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Let the oven preheat and set the tin aside while you start on the batter. Grab a large mixing bowl and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk that together until combined.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, add the oil, softened butter and granulated sugar. Beat that together with an electric hand or stand mixer until combined.
- To the butter mixture, add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Grab the bowl of the dry ingredients, add a portion of it to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Add a portion of the milk and stir to combine.
- Repeat, and alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk until everything has been added and your cake batter is smooth.
- Fold in the rainbow sprinkles using a silicone spatula.
- Grab the lined cupcake tin and fill each liner up until it’s about 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake it in the oven for about 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
- While that bakes, start on the buttercream frosting. Grab a large mixing bowl and add the softened butter and vanilla. Beat that together with an electric hand or stand mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar in portions and continue to beat it together until its light and fluffy. If you want, you can add food coloring to the frosting.
- Take the cupcakes out of the oven once they’re ready and let them cool completely before frosting. You can fill up a piping bag with the frosting or spread it on the cupcakes with a knife. Top the cupcakes with some optional sprinkles and serve!
Tips and Advice
Storage – Store the leftover cupcakes covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 3-4 days.
You’ll need a couple of simple baking tools to make this recipe.
- Large Mixing Bowls
- Cupcake Tin
- Cupcake Liners
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Silicone Spatula
- Piping Bag and Tips
A simple frosting swirl with rainbow sprinkles on top is cute and effective for any birthday! If you wan’t you can get creative with some multi-colored frosting, different themed sprinkles, or fun candles to put on top of each one!
Highly recommend going with these birthday cupcakes for a kid’s birthday party because there is no cleanup, you don’t have to cut the slices, there’s no arguing about who got a bigger or better piece, and they can hold them in their hands without having to sit down and use any utensils.
Recipes You’ll Love
Have a few more mouths to feed? Here are some other fantastic treats you can serve at your next birthday party!
- Cookie Truffles
- Funfetti Cupcakes
- Funfetti Cake
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Rainbow Cake
- Ice Cream Cake
- Unicorn Cake
- Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
- Cupcake Pan
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature prefered
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract almond extract can also be used
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles avoid using nonpareils sprinkles
- 1 cup butter softened (can be salted or unsalted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- food coloring – optional
- milk – optional for a thinner consistency, add a teaspoon or two of milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a 12 count cupcake pan with paper liners, then set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, and sugar until smooth.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract, mix until combined.
- Add the dry mixture, alternating with the milk until completely combined.
- Fold in the rainbow sprinkles, stirring just enough to combine, do not overmix.
- Fill each cupcake liner about 2⁄3 of the way.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely while making the buttercream.
- Beat the softened butter and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar until completely combined.
- If a thinner consistency is desired, add a teaspoon of milk, then mix well. Add another teaspoon of milk if needed, and repeat until desired consistency is reached.
- If desired, add a drop of food coloring at a time until the desired color is reached.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.