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Soft, fluffy, vanilla birthday cupcakes with a sweet vanilla flavor and thick, creamy vanilla frosting. They’re the best homemade cupcakes for a birthday!

Funfetti Birthday Cupcakes

*This post was originally published in 2017. I’ve since updated the text but the recipe remains the same*

So, you might remember from a few posts back my mention of some birthday cupcakes! I was making them for the group birthday party we were having – I’m happy to say the cupcakes were a hit – and I’m finally getting around to posting the recipe for them. A month is reasonable, right!?

This weekend is very fitting for this post, because Saturday is my soon-to-be 3 year old’s actual birthday. I can’t believe he’s going to be 3!! I know that’s very young, but it honestly feels like just a short time ago that I was holding a red, wrinkly newborn in my arms, staring in awe at the miracle that I actually created. Mushy Mommy moment aside, it’s time to think about cake.

Specifically, vanilla birthday cupcakes!

vanilla funfetti cupcakes

Oscar’s actual cake is going to be a firetruck cake, pending I can actually pull that one off, but after looking at all the pictures of these vanilla beauties I’m kind of wishing I was just making a batch of these cupcakes again!! They’re light, fluffy, sweet and full of sprinkles. Everything a birthday cupcake should be, no?

What’s in vanilla birthday cupcakes?

Let’s talk about the ingredients first.

The fluffy texture comes from the buttermilk and egg whites. Buttermilk is possibly my favorite weapon of mass-bake’struction. Did I really just say that? Along with a slight tanginess to the finished product, buttermilk keeps baked goods nice and moist, without any extra fat. Do I need to keep convincing you?

Also, to get that wonderful vanilla flavour in the cupcakes I use vanilla-bean paste. This one is my favourite!! It’s pretty pricey for how small the bottle is, but it lasts a long time. So worth it!! It’ll leave such a smooth vanilla taste in your baked good, with specks of real vanilla bean. I’m drooling a little thinking of it!


I used Wilton multicolor sprinkles, but you can use any sprinkles, except for those little balls (nonpareils) as they always bleed their color. The cupcakes take about 20 minutes to put together, with about 20 minutes of bake time. Be sure to let them cool completely before frosting!

vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

How do you make birthday cupcakes?

This is about as easy as cupcake recipes come!

This recipe can be made with either a stand mixer (my fave) or a handheld electric mixer. Use it to cream together the butter, sugar, egg whites and vanilla until nice and smooth.

Grab a large mixing bowl, and whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, alternating with the buttermilk. Use a spatula to gently fold in the sprinkles before filling a 12-count cupcake tin with the batter. 

The cupcakes take about 20 minutes to be perfectly baked!

Let them cool completely before preparing the icing and frosting the cupcakes with a perfect vanilla buttercream frosting.

Time to PART-AY!

vanilla funfetti cupcakes

vanilla funfetti birthday cupcakes

Some of my other favorite cupcake recipes on the blog:

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vanilla birthday cupcakes

Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

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  • Author: Katherine
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


Soft, fluffy, vanilla birthday cupcakes with a sweet vanilla flavor and thick, creamy vanilla frosting. They’re the best homemade cupcakes for a birthday!




  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, cream the butter on high until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, and beat on high for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as required. Add the egg whites, one at a time, continuing to beat on medium-high speed. Add the vanilla, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat together until thoroughly mixed.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients slowly until incorporated. Pour in the buttermilk, with the mixer still on low. Mix for one minute until just combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in the sprinkles.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly among the cupcake pan, filling until about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cupcakes to col completely before frosting.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream, beating until all the ingredients are incorporated and frosting is fluffy. Add more cream if frosting is too thick, and more powdered sugar if it is too thin. Frost the cupcakes!

Cupcakes will keep at room temperature, in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Frosted cupcakes will also freeze well in an airtight container; thaw overnight in the fridge before consuming.


  1. Any kind of sprinkle will work, except for nonpareils which are prone to bleeding
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: cupcakes
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: american
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About Katherine

Heeey! Thank you for stopping by! I like 30-minute dinners and giant peanut butter cups made with only 3 ingredients. I LOVE food! If you do too, you're in the right place.

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  1. These cupcakes looks so fun and incredibly moist and tender. A basic, keep sake cupcake recipe that I would love to turn to, for every celebration. Happy Birthday to Oscar, am sure his birthday was filled with sprinkles!!!

    1. It’s definitely a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for those occasions that require sprinkles!! Or is that every occasion? Thank you Maria!! He had a wonderful day!! XO

  2. A month is reasonable…as long as you get them here eventually it’s all good! These are so pretty and festive…there’s nothing like a gorgeous homemade cupcake in my book!

    1. That’s what I figured! Glad you agree 🙂 Thank you Marcie! I’m totally with you.

  3. How fun are these Katherine! And they sound delicious too. I love the cupcake liners! Happy Birthday to Oscar!

  4. My nieces would love these! Birthday blessings for Oscar. Did you manage to pull of the fire truck? Hope you share the recipe 🙂

    1. I bet they would love them too! Anything with sprinkles, right? 🙂 Thank you! He had a great day. The truck turned out pretty good, but it ended up being bright pink. I may have to refine that recipe! Haha

  5. Sprinkles make everything look so pretty!! I love that these adorable cupcakes have vanilla bean much more flavor! And a very Happy Birthday to dear Oscar 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the fire truck cake 😀

    1. Exactly! Sprinkles are so fun!! I love vanilla bean paste too – it adds so much vanilla flavour! Thank you Deepika!! XO

  6. Ooooh these cupcakes look so pretty 😍. I absolutely love how beautifully the buttercream is piped😃 I also really enjoy baking with keeps baked goodies so moist and gives it great flavour.
    Happy birthday to your adorable little boy Oscar.😃

    1. Ooh you are too kind, thank you so much!! I’m really working on piping, so I appreciate that!! YES buttermilk is the BEST! Thank you Ashika. He had a wonderful day!!

  7. these are the cutest wrappers!! i only have the standard boring white and brown ones lol. also looking forward to hearing how that firetruck cake comes out; if it were me making it, it would be closer to a bright red lump than a truck (;

    1. They’re the best!! I can’t even remember where I picked them up, but I’ve been wanting to use them for a long time. Hah – it turned out pretty good but it’s most definitely bright pink, instead of red!!