Recipe Review

I Finally Found the Vanilla Frosting of My Dreams

published Jun 8, 2023
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funfetti cupcake with tall frosting and sprinkles on top placed on a marble surface
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaffer; Food Styling: Brett Regot

While searching for recipes to include in this confetti cupcake showdown, I was excited to come upon this one from Sally’s Baking Recipes. The ingredient list and instructions felt the most classic to me — using cake flour instead of all-purpose and employing a classic creaming technique with butter and sugar to kick off the batter. The recipe also called for a good bit of vanilla extract (more than any of the other recipes) and more sprinkles than the other contenders as well. I couldn’t wait to see if those elements would take the cupcakes over the top or over the line. 

Get the recipe: Sally’s Baking Recipes’ Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes

How to Sally’s Baking Recipes’ Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes

This recipe makes 14 cupcakes, so you’ll first need to line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners, then line another one with 2 liners. You’ll then whisk together the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, you’ll beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, then beat in egg whites and vanilla extract. Next, you’ll beat in sour cream. Then you’ll add the dry ingredients to the batter, then slowly beat in some milk until you get a thick batter. Finally, you’ll stir in some rainbow sprinkles, divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes.

The frosting, a classic vanilla buttercream, is a separate recipe that’s linked in the cupcake recipe. To make it, you’ll beat butter with an electric mixer until it’s creamy, then add powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. You’ll beat this mixture at low speed just until combined, then beat at medium-high for a couple of minutes so that it gets fluffy and creamy. An optional but highly recommended bit of salt goes in at the end, and then you’ll frost the cooled cupcakes.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaffer; Food Styling: Brett Regot

My Honest Review of Sally’s Baking Recipes’ Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes

First of all, these cupcakes simply look gorgeous. The cake part itself is tall, and you can pile on a hefty spiral of frosting to pretty much double the height. The cake has a tender, soft, moist crumb akin to the best layer cake, with a rich vanilla flavor (thanks to 2 teaspoons of the extract) and plenty of buttery richness. 

Indeed, the combination of cake flour and butter made for the softest and best-tasting cupcakes of the bunch. There are plenty of sprinkles dotting the cake — not surprising, as this recipe uses more sprinkles than any of the others. And the frosting is irresistibly buttery, wonderfully sweet, and fantastically creamy. These are the confetti cupcakes you’ll want to make for a birthday party, work event, bake sale, or get-together; they’re incomparably impressive in appearance and deliciousness.  

If You’re Making Sally’s Baking Recipes’ Confetti Sprinkle Cupcakes, a Few Tips

  1. Use room-temp ingredients. The recipe specifies room-temperature butter, egg whites, sour cream, and milk — and that’s important. Room-temperature ingredients combine more evenly and emulsify better; cold ones can clump and combine unevenly, resulting in a dense texture.
  2. Fold in sprinkles. The recipe instructs you to whisk in the sprinkles, but that might make the colors bleed. Instead, gently fold them in with a silicone spatula. 
  3. Consider clear vanilla. If you want a super-white cake to serve as a more pristine backdrop for the sprinkles, look for clear vanilla extract, which you can find at craft stores or online.

Overall rating: 10/10