Fluffy vanilla, gluten free cupcakes loaded with sprinkles, topped with my favourite whipped vanilla buttercream and even more sprinkles. These Funfetti Cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate my (or your) birthday!
It’s my birthday!! Yay! Today I turn 21 *ahem* plus 10 years *ahem*!
I was not particularly thrilled about turning 30 last year, but this last year turned out to be pretty awesome. I started a new job, some really awesome new people came into my life, I moved to a really gorgeous area of London, and I’ve baked some delicious treats and mixed some amazing cocktails. That’s a pretty good year by my books!
Every year I like to bake myself a birthday cake that I can share with you lovely readers. It’s always a lot of fun and it means I get to eat birthday cake a few weeks early – I mean I eat cake all year round, have you seen my blog?! But it feels more special when the word “birthday” is in front of it! Last year I made the ultimate fun cake, the Rainbow Lollipop Birthday Cake, it was Willy Wonka inspired and full of colour – that cake went down so well I ended up making it again for my boss’s daughter’s 2nd birthday party!
The year before I made the Elvis Cake, this wasn’t as colourful but boy was it yummy! Banana cake with peanut butter frosting, fried bananas and candied bacon – plus lots of bourbon! So good! This year’s birthday is a little more toned down I guess, not quite so over the top – in fact, not a cake at all, but cupcakes! Funfetti Cupcakes! Funfetti cupcakes are just so much fun, I’ve wanted to make them for the blog for a long time but it just never happened. So when it came to deciding what to make for my birthday cake, funfetti cupcakes seemed like a very good choice!
One of my biggest achievements this last year was learning how to bake gluten free! I was not at all happy about this challenge, but my body demanded it and I triumphed in the end! Gluten free baking still has it’s challenges, it took me four attempts to get something that even resembled a vanilla cupcake! I am glad I persisted though because I ended with light, fluffy cupcakes that are totally delicious. Just as good as the glutened version and a million times better than any box mix! The funfetti cupcakes are my first gluten free birthday cake, but they certainly won’t be the last!
There’s whole butt-load of sprinkles in these funfetti cupcakes – just the way it should be! As well as stirring them through the cupcake batter, I also stirred them through the frosting – the more sprinkles, the better, right? You will want to use rainbow jimmies/sprinkles and not non-pareils (aka hundreds-and-thousands) as they will bleed into the batter – not what you want! The sprinkles are what turn these delicious vanilla cupcakes into magical birthday funfetti cupcakes – so they are important! Sprinkles are serious business, y’all!
The frosting is my tried and true whipped vanilla frosting – it’s so thick, fluffy, and delicious, I could eat it with a spoon. The trick is to whip the butter by itself for about 8 minutes, until it is almost white. To get the thick and creamy texture, we add double (heavy) cream – so good! It pipes beautifully too, not a crack in sight! I favour the large star tip for cupcakes usually, but for my birthday funfetti cupcakes, I decided to go for a big ice cream swirl – and I think it looks really fun! And, of course, the frosting is piled high – I don’t know any other way to do it!
Gluten Free Funfetti Cupcakes
Yield 12 cucpakes
Fluffy, vanilla gluten free cupcakes loaded with sprinkles and topped with my favourite whipped vanilla buttercream
For the cupcakes
- 1 3/4 cup (225g) gluten free all purpose/plain flour blend*
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp xantham gum ONLY IF your gluten free flour blend does not already contain xantham gum.
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) white sugar (caster sugar)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk**
- 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (80g) rainbow sprinkles
For the frosting
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups (530g) confectioners/icing sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy/double cream
- 1 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (40g) raimbow sprinkles
- 2 tbsp more sprinkles for decorating (approx amount)
To make the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12 count cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xantham gum (if using) in a bowl, and lightly whisk to combine. Set aside
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or an electric handheld beater, beat the butter on a medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and pale. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the speed down to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate between each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract to the butter milk.
- Turn the speed down to it's lowest setting and add 1/3 of the flour mix to the batter, and beat until just combined. Add 1/2 the buttermilk and beat on low to combine.
- Add another 1/3 of the flour mix, beat on low, then the remaining half of the buttermilk. Followed by the last 1/3 of the flour mix. Beat until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Stir in the sprinkles by hand, gently so they don't bleed into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, filling 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- Put the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment (you can also use a handheld electric beater but it takes a while), beat on a high speed until it has turned almost white - this takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. It's worth the wait!
- Add the sugar, cream and vanilla and beat on low for 30 seconds to combine (this helps prevent an icing sugar cloud!).
- Turn the speed up to high and beat until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the sprinkles and stir to combine.
- Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes and add more sprinkles on top (do this immediately so the sprinkles stick to the frosting)
*I used Doves gluten free flour blend, you can use your favourite brand or your homemade blend.
**To easily make your own buttermilk, add 1 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice to your measuring jug, then fill up to the 1/2 cup with regular milk. Stir and leave to sit for about 5 minutes. It will slightly curdle.
Cupcakes will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days, bring to room temperature before eating