Believe it or not, I had no idea what funfetti was until about seven years ago. Once I started to read food blogs, I discovered this phenomenon, which is basically a boxed white or yellow cake with flecks of rainbow colors baked right in. Not surprisingly, these cakes, cupcakes and cookies are extremely popular with kids and a lot of people have fond memories of enjoying them at childhood birthday parties. I probably missed this whole trend for a variety of reasons: (1) my mom always ordered our birthday cakes from the same bakery, year after year; (2) I was never a fan of cakes, so once I was old enough to realize there were options outside of traditional birthday cakes, I started requesting ice cream cakes and cheesecakes for my birthday; (3) I don’t remember my mom ever baking a cake from a box mix. Like, ever. Maybe she did and I just don’t remember it, but I don’t think they were really on her radar, either.
I can see why the funfetti concept is so popular – who doesn’t love bright colors and sprinkles?! It’s so festive and fun and totally appropriate for any birthday party (kids or adults, I say). I’ve never had the box mix version, but was all-in on creating a homemade version. Sprinkle fun!
Truth is, funfetti are totally easy to make right at home, all you need is a basic vanilla cupcake recipe and some rainbow sprinkles. I’ve been trying out some different vanilla cupcake recipes and really love this one that I stumbled upon over at Cookies and Cups. Shelly adapted it from the Back in the Day Bakery cookbook, and I think they’re fabulous. They have a really distinct butter flavor (score!) and are nice and moist. The only thing that could make them better? Sprinkles!
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, or just another special kind of day, I can’t think of anything more fun and cheerful than these. I also love that they kind of look like ice cream cones with sprinkles on top :)
Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt, and mix together on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the butter, a few cubes at a time, continuing until all the butter has been added and the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Slowly pour in the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, until batter is smooth, scraping the sides of bowl as needed. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the sprinkles.
Fill the liners two-thirds full (about ¼ cup of batter) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting: Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
Frost the cupcakes as desired (I used the Ateco #808 decorating tip) and garnish with additional sprinkles. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.