Recipe Review

These One-Bowl Confetti Cupcakes Are the Easiest I’ve Ever Made

published Jun 5, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
funfetti cupcake with frosting and sprinkles on top placed on a marble surface
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaffer; Food Styling: Brett Regot

I have made and enjoyed many recipes from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog over the years and consider the site to be a source of reliable, go-to dishes. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to try her easy version of confetti cupcakes, which just happen to be vegan. Ordinarily, I’m a bit wary of vegan versions of recipes that usually rely on butter, milk, and eggs, but when Perelman says that her vegan cupcakes are “even more moist and plush” than traditional renditions, I put aside my skepticism. Would the cupcakes indeed live up to Perelman’s hype? I was excited to try them and see. 

How to Make Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Confetti Cupcakes

The batter for these colorful cupcakes comes together with just a whisk and one bowl — no mixer needed. You start by whisking together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. You then make a well in the center of the mixture, add unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk), oil or melted vegan butter (I used oil), lemon juice, and vanilla and almond extracts, then whisk to combine. Finally, you stir in rainbow sprinkles, divide the batter among 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners, and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

The frosting consists of just three ingredients: non-dairy cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. You beat these three together until lightly whipped and then frost the completely cooled cupcakes. 

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

My Honest Review of Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Confetti Cupcakes

I loved how easy the cupcakes were to make, with their whisk-together batter. When you don’t have eggs in the batter, the ingredients get incorporated more easily into a smooth mixture, so there’s not even a lot of whisking required. The batter was quite thin, and the sprinkles’ colors bled a little, but that didn’t make much difference in the finished cupcakes, which looked similar to the other ones I baked. The real issue was that the cupcakes were indeed quite moist, but to a fault — they came off a bit gummy. 

There was a modest amount of frosting for the cupcakes — enough for a good swoop on top but not enough for a high, bakery-style swirl. This was the only recipe I tried that used a cream cheese frosting instead of buttercream, and I felt that the tang of the cream cheese overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the cupcakes. 

Overall, these are good cupcakes that are so easy to make that I’ll no doubt make them again, with a modification or two (see below). And even though I baked them until a wooden pick came out clean, I’ll bake them a couple minutes longer so that they’re moist but not gummy.

If You’re Making Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Confetti Cupcakes, a Few Tips

  1. Try vanilla milk. The recipe calls for unsweetened non-dairy milk (such as soy, almond, or oat). For a deeper, more complex flavor, try an unsweetened vanilla version of one of those, and keep the same amount of vanilla extract in the recipe.
  2. Up the frosting. I was happy with the modest amount of frosting, but if you’d like more, multiply the frosting ingredients by 1.5 or 2. 
  3. Try buttercream. Instead of the cream cheese frosting in the recipe, try the suggested vegan buttercream detailed in the notes that precede the recipe. 

Overall rating: 7.5/10