Fluffy-soft and flavorful sprinkle-flecked vanilla cupcakes topped with a smooth, sweet cream cheese frosting. These easy treats are a party in cupcake form!
For the cupcakes:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil*
- 1 cup milk**
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles, plus more for topping***
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 2–3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- First, make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 standard-size muffin cups (two 12-cup pans) with paper liners.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla; beat with an electric hand mixer or in the stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Use a spatula to gently fold in sprinkles (if you stir them in too much, the colors will start to bleed).
- Divide cupcake batter evenly among paper liners so each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cupcakes are baked through with lightly golden, domed tops. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in 2 cups powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. Beat in just enough of remaining 1 cup powdered sugar until frosting is thick but spreadable. (If the frosting seems too thin to pipe or spread, refrigerate covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour.)
- Pipe or spread frosting on top of cupcakes. Top with more sprinkles, if desired. Store frosted cupcakes in refrigerator up to 2 days.
- Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
- *Swap vegetable oil for canola oil, or melted and cooled butter.
- **You can use any alternative milk you like for this recipe, such as oat milk or almond milk.
- ***Be sure to use jimmy sprinkles for this recipe (aka the long, rod-like sprinkles); nonpareils will bleed into the batter.
Keywords: rainbow cupcakes, sprinkle cupcakes, vanilla funfetti cake, vanilla cake with sprinkles, cheesecake frosting