Cupcakes/ Dessert/ Recipes

Funfetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream


I can’t stop with the rainbow sprinkles. It’s like someone gave me a bottle and it opened up a whole new part of my soul I never knew existed before. I’m sprinkling them on everything from chocolates to broccoli and just can’t stop myself.

I admittedly went through an entire bottle in a week and then just two days ago, bought a brand new one at the store.

I’m armed with sprinkles and you can’t stop me.

May I humbly present you with a plate of these funfetti cupcakes though? They’re the best thing that’s ever come out of a rainbow sprinkle jar, and I spiked both the cupcake batter and the frosting with lots of fresh vanilla bean.

Hit me.

Oh yeah, and I stuck this somewhat creepy ballet dancer girl in the center of my cupcake just because.

Do you ever start to talk to yourself in the kitchen? I do.

Would it be wrong to also tell you that I want to bathe in this vanilla bean buttercream?

I really, really do.

It’s probably the best buttercream I’ve ever made to date and I can’t stop licking the whisk.

I made these cupcakes, naturally, for our fried chicken dinner party because I couldn’t think of a better ending to a greasy meal than more butter.

I also made these cupcakes because I feel for you, vanilla lovers. I’ve been very chocolate heavy in the past month and wanted to win back your love and affection. Even though I’m a self-professed chocoholic in every way, I actually don’t like chocolate frosting OR ice cream.

So let’s be friends again, vanilla people. I feel you. I know you.

Funfetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

makes about 12 cupcakes

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles


1 stick butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350. Cream together the butter and sugar and add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and in another bowl, mix together the milk and vanilla bean seeds. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk/vanilla to the batter. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in rainbow sprinkles.

Pour batter into greased (or lined) cupcake tins. Bake for twenty five minutes. Let cool thoroughly before frosting.

For the buttercream, beat the butter and vanilla bean seeds on high until soft. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat well. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat on high for about six minutes, until very light and fluffy. Pipe buttercream on cupcakes and top with more sprinkles.

Don’t get used to this though—I’ve got another chocolate recipe coming at you soon enough.

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  • Caitlin
    December 20, 2010 at 7:50 am

    If you’re on a sprinkles and funfetti kick, you better watch out for the rainbow chip frosting. Millions of women everywhere have been known to consume an entire container in one sitting.

    • Becki @ Hike, Bike, Eat
      December 20, 2010 at 8:48 am

      I’ve been addicted to rainbow chip frosting for twelve years. I’m okay with this. πŸ™‚

      • Clizia
        December 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

        Errrm…what’s rainbow chip frosting? It sounds like I should know πŸ˜€

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    December 20, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Aw how pretty. Those would make the best kids cupcakes for a birthday party!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    December 20, 2010 at 7:52 am

    homemade funfetti?! you win πŸ™‚

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate
    December 20, 2010 at 7:52 am

    OMG. I am making these. ASAP. And thank God for rainbow sprinkles.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    December 20, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I can’t even take it. I’m a sprinkles addict. This will not go over well in my kitchen. Stretchy pants, let’s get it on!

  • sirenjess
    December 20, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I talk to myself all the time. My husband will ask “who are you talking to?” Um, me of course. Love the cupcakes!!!!

  • Caitlin
    December 20, 2010 at 8:03 am

    i am a vanilla person!

  • Karen
    December 20, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Oh, my goodness! This fun vanilla frosting heavy concoction really has me wishing I was a better baker. In your hands these look incredible…just my thing. Perhaps I could persuade you to offer a giveaway of these πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      December 20, 2010 at 8:33 am

      you can totally do it!!

      • Karen
        December 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

        Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jenna…I dunno. (I am absolutely obsessed with this creation!)

  • Laura
    December 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

    My mom always said that it is okay to talk to yourself as long as you know who you are talking to! πŸ™‚

  • M.E.
    December 20, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I love chocolate too but was always partial to vanilla cupcakes— until I had a MOCHA cupcake at a local bakery. Moist chocolatey cake topped with fluffy mocha icing– I challenge you to try it, your love of vanilla may take a backseat.

  • Amanda
    December 20, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Mmmmmm, there’s nothing quite like homemade butter cream icing!

  • Katryn@rampantcuisine
    December 20, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I wish I could take off work at this moment to go home and bake these cupcakes…so fun.

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    December 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I love funfetti! And vanilla bean buttercream? yum yum yum!

    On a side note, I just got the williams sonoma tools and techniques cookbook as a Christmas gift. It has a recipe for traditional buttercream, which is different than what I’ve always thought it was. I can’t remember exactly, but I know it involved the stove. Any thoughts on what a traditional buttercream icing actually is?

  • Amanda
    December 20, 2010 at 8:38 am

    These cupcakes make me smile! I love rainbow sprinkles too – they’re probably my favorite topping, along with whipped cream πŸ™‚

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    December 20, 2010 at 8:39 am

    These cupcakes are PERFECT for the kiddie party I’m going to next week πŸ™‚

  • Olympe
    December 20, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Looks Amazing!!

  • Laura
    December 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I am soooo a vanilla person. And these just seem to be calling my name right now.

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie
    December 20, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I love that photo with the ballet dancer! Even though I have to agree that doll is just a little creepy. I feel like it could be an illustration in a book about an obsession with thinness or something like that.

  • Amalfi Girl (EatRunHaveFun!)
    December 20, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Two words. Yumm-y.

  • Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen)
    December 20, 2010 at 8:51 am

    yum!! my boyfriend LOVES funfetti and always begs for it. this looks better than boxed…obviously!

  • Laura
    December 20, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Ha! This was such a fun post. I am cracking up.

  • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef
    December 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

    funfetti is my favorite. and i’m 25. sigh… it’s just SO GOOD!

  • Amanda (Eating Up)
    December 20, 2010 at 8:59 am

    YES! Vanilla lover over here loving you for this recipe.

  • Katie (Sweet Tater)
    December 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

    haha, you like sprinkles ALMOST as much as this lady bug does…

    • jennifer
      December 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

      Hahahhahahahahaha! That is hilarious! And so cute! I am still laughing at it.

  • Nancy - The Wife of a Dairyman
    December 20, 2010 at 9:04 am

    My kids LOVE the rainbow sprinkles {and so do I} Totally craving a cupcake now!

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl
    December 20, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Something about the little bean flecks just makes vanilla taste thaaaaat much better πŸ™‚

    And now…a friendly warning for all of you: I would advise you NOT to eat an entire jar of the sprinkles in one sitting. It was one of those “Lessons Learned” from college. Bad things happen. Just trust me πŸ™‚ hehe

  • jennifer
    December 20, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Ok two things ..

    First .. I didn’t know that you could MAKE your own funfetti. I thought that the dough boy held the market on it.

    Second .. I actually did laugh out loud when I read the sprinkles on your broccoli.

    I sometimes write LOL when I am not really laughing out loud .. so occassionally I feel the need to say that I actually did laugh out loud when it really matters. Ha. LOL. See .. I didn’t really laugh out loud at that,

  • Ashley
    December 20, 2010 at 9:19 am

    There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with rainbow sprinkles. I fully support this new obsession.

  • Haleigh
    December 20, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I loved funfetti cake from a box when I was a kid. I’ve attempted making them from scratch before, but they just don’t taste the same! I’ll have to give these a try πŸ™‚ They look fantastic! So colorful !

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    December 20, 2010 at 9:21 am

    You had me at “funfetti” πŸ˜‰

  • Blog is the New Black
    December 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Wow, these look so beautiful! I love funfetti, and your homemade version sounds wonderful.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)
    December 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Give it to me!!! Omg the buttercream. I would gladly help you lick the bowl!!!

    cupcake batter and the frosting with lots of fresh vanilla bean = delish!!!

    and the little ballerina on top. and the sprinkles. oh, my.

    My grandma always used to put sprinkles and ballerinas or fairies on top of cupcakes, so i am especially partial to these πŸ™‚

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    December 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

    my sister has always been obsessed with funfetti, i never loved it but they do look pretty!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    December 20, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Funfetti was my favorite type of cake growing up. How’d ya know I wanted a box-free version? This is great.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    December 20, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I almost licked my monitor but, since I’m at work, restrained myself.

    You didn’t really put sprinkles on broccoli right?

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
    December 20, 2010 at 9:40 am

    These are some of the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever seen. I don’t like chocolate cake or ice cream, either!

  • Mabelle @ Dance, Love, Dine
    December 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Jenna—this sugar filled recipes are giving me a sugar comma. Im def. not complaining though πŸ˜‰

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    December 20, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I almost jumped through my computer screen for this.

  • Michelle - A Little P
    December 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I’m one of those people who prefers vanilla over chocolate. I was wondering what to do with my leftover vanilla beans and now I know….it was the vanilla sugar idea or these and I think I choose these cupcakes!

  • Ella
    December 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

    i love funfetti. my best friend is a cake designer (? i think thats what you call it? like ace of cakes style cover everything in fondant GORGEOUS cakes, like the thing this girl can do with no training at 20 years old is crazy) and i always told her for my wedding she’s making me a gorgeous cake..a gorgeous, funfetti cake. aha i should pass this recipe along to her. love it.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    December 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I know what you mean about rainbow sprinkles! I kind of grew out of them I guess until I ate them again in ice cream a few years back. I have rediscovered a true love! They make everything more delicious :).

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
    December 20, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I don’t care for chocolate frosting, ice cream, or cake much either. LOVE the vanilla. And you can’t go wrong with buttercream.

    • emily hall
      December 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      I definitely agree, not so much for chocolate but vanilla and buttercream with sprinkles….so delicious!!!

  • VeggieGirl
    December 20, 2010 at 10:07 am


    Those look amazing.

  • jen
    December 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

    jenna- is there any way to make both the cupcakes and the frosting without one of those fancy mixer things?!


    • Karen
      December 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

      I was wondering the same thing…I am lacking a fancy mixer thing too!

  • Amy K. @ Onehealthypeanut
    December 20, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Is there anything better then funfetti?!

  • Courtney
    December 20, 2010 at 10:19 am

    My son is all about the Christmas sprinkles lately. He’s had me sprinkling them on his french toast in the morning. I make it with whole wheat bread and flax to counterbalance the sugar!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    December 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    You are so cute!!! I love the sprinkles and kids know what they’re doing when they always go for the sprinkle donuts. They’re my favourite (cupcakes too). πŸ™‚

  • Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    December 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

    this is adorable…thanks for validating sprinkles! (and funfetti!!)
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • Amber K
    December 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

    While I love actual chocolate, I HATE chocolate ice cream/frosting/cake. Yuck. There’s something just bad about it.

  • Camille
    December 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    You found Funfetti! It is absolutely the best thing ever πŸ™‚

  • Clizia
    December 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    OMG I am not the only person who would secretly like to bathe in cream!!!

  • Mauimandy@The Grains of Paradise
    December 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I’m a bit crazy for rainbow sprinkles too! When I was a teenager I would have them mixed into my frozen yogurts. Sometimes I still do! Takes me back to the early 90s haha!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble
    December 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Cute pics! The question is why would you NOT top funfetti cupcakes without a creepy ballerina dancer. Nothing says fun and delicious the like 5 cent toys [possibly containing lead]! hahaha

  • Baking 'n' Books
    December 20, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Never been a big sprinkles fan – too messy πŸ˜‰

    What is a ‘stick’ of butter equivalent too? I buy the tubs of butter….

    • jenna
      December 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

      4 ounces, or half a cup πŸ™‚

      • Baking 'n' Books
        December 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

        Thank you! I didn’t expect a response πŸ˜‰

  • Erica
    December 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Um, yes, you and Katie would be BFFs for sure πŸ˜‰

  • Darcy @ She Sings at the Table
    December 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

    These are simply too adorable. I have a sprinkle collection that is taking over a cupboard…because it’s important to have appropriate sprinkles for every occasion. It’s so nice to know there are others with similar issues…. πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    December 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

    These were always our favorite cupcakes! Still are!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal
    December 20, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Love rainbow sprinkles. I can’t get enough! These cupcakes look amazing.

  • Juniper
    December 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

    “i’m armed with sprinkles and you can’t stop me.”

    best . line. Ever.


    made my day! : )

  • Emily @ For Sweets Sake
    December 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    oh yum! I love funfetti!

  • Rachel @ The Avid Appetite
    December 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Ah the Funfetti! Such an underrated way to eat a cupcake. Love the homemade version you created!

  • Chelsea
    December 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    These look so good! I am definitely saving the recipes! Sprinkles are seriously under rated. They add such a nice crunch and are so fun looking! πŸ™‚

  • Erin Rose
    December 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I made the vanilla buttercream this afternoon to go with some sugar cookies and Delicious! Thanks again for another fantastic sweet-post!

  • Skyoga
    December 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I am beyond obsessed with sprinkles. My advice: buy in bulk. Much cheaper way to feed the addiction.

  • Abbey
    December 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    1 tsp vanilla extract, seeds scraped out

    1 vanilla bean

    *Does this mean 1 tsp of extract plus the seeds from 1 bean for the frosting?

    Yum, by the way.

    • jenna
      December 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      yes m’aam! it’s super vanilla-y!

  • Anne
    December 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    There’s a typo. You don’t scrape the beans out of the extract, you scrape them out of the bean.

    • jenna
      December 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      ooopsies! thanks!

  • Lisa @ Dishes of Mrs. Fish
    December 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Must leave house now, and purchase a container of sprinkles. This looks amazing.

  • Page
    December 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    OK, these look AMAZING but I have a guilty confession to make. What do I use if I don’t have/have no clue how to use actual vanilla beans?!

    • jenna
      December 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      two teaspoons of vanilla extract will do just fine!

      • jenna
        December 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

        or…just buy a vanilla bean, slice it down the middle with a knife and then run a spoon down the center to get out the “seeds”. You only use the seed part in the recipe!

  • Tina
    December 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    These look mouthwateringly delicious! I’m half tempted to get out of my cozy bed and go make these right now!

  • Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon
    December 21, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Fantastic! Funfetti is my husband’s favorite cake flavor–it was the top of our wedding cake, and I make it for our anniversary every year πŸ™‚ I’ll be sure to use your recipe next time! Thank you for sharing it~

  • Lindsay
    December 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

    There are few things in life that make me as happy as funfetti!

    (By the way, your creepy ballerina cupcake totally looks like something my Mom made me for my 5th birthday. Except the eggs were most definitely not cage free then!)

  • Robin
    December 21, 2010 at 10:48 am

    These remind me of home, my mom used to make me a funfetti birthday cake with strawberry icing EVERY year for my birthday (from ages 3- 23!)! I think she still would if I asked! Maybe Ill make one for myself this year for old times sake!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    December 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Gorgeous!! Yay for the vanilla, much appreciated πŸ™‚
    Heidi xo

  • Alyssa
    December 22, 2010 at 3:25 am

    O.M.G. Funfetti is my absolute favorite… Homemade would be even better…I might start making this NOW for breakfast!

  • Jenna
    December 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm


    I made this frosting tonight, it was amazing! I’ve always been afraid to make buttercream and this was so easy! Thank you so much.

    Another Jenna : )

  • Stacie
    December 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Those cupcakes look ridiculously amazing! I will be making these in the very near future! Thanks for sharing!

  • Ffion
    December 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I love the specks of colour in the sponge- so fun!

  • Cathy
    February 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Just made this frosting (minus the vanilla bean)! Definitely the best I’ve ever made! Probably because I used the whisk attachment instead of the paddle for my mixer. I feel like recipes always said to use the paddle, but the whisk definitely made all the difference. Thanks

  • SmA033
    February 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    If you made this in cake form, how would you adjust the ingredients?
    Or could you keep the same measurements & make it as a bundt cake?

  • janine
    April 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I gave this recipe to my boyfriend, and he just made these for my birthday!

    Funfetti is amazing, but I gave up on all boxed cake mixes after realizing they have partially hydrogenated oils.

  • Erin
    April 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    mine came out a bit on the hard dense side… did i over beat them?? Frosting good of course. πŸ™‚ NOTE: No one ever try “natural” sprinkles…. they will NOT keep their color when baked. πŸ™

  • Laura
    April 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Oh, my. I just made this buttercream, and it’s definitely my new favorite buttercream. Thanks for the recipe!

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    August 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    My boyfiend is going to love these!!

  • Dana
    January 1, 2012 at 10:27 am

    These look delicious! I’m planning on trying out this recipe for my sister’s baby shower next weekend. Is it possible to make the frosting ahead of time? Any tips on the best way to do that? She is a vanilla girl through and through, I know she’ll love it!

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  • Laura
    March 8, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I made these! They are so cute and yummy.

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  • Stephanie
    June 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I see you used all purpose flour for these cupcakes. What is the difference when using all purpose verses cake flour in cakes?

  • Sheila V
    July 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Jenna! Long time lurker, first time commenter. I’ve mad a lot of your other recipes with major success and I’m going to try my hand at baking for the first time tonight. These are going to be perfect for two friends coming to visit me. One question (I’ve NEVER made cupcakes from scratch before): What do you mean by “cream together” the butter and sugar?

    • jenna
      July 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Put them both in a bowl together and beat until light and fluffy πŸ™‚

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  • Dana
    May 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

    This totally made me laugh with the ballerina thing! I adore rainbow sprinkles too! So pretty. and the talking to yourself in the kitchen? Well my friend, I’m afraid that sometimes it’s not just in the kitchen. I kid. I kid. {maybe}.

    These look awesome!

  • Jennifer C
    July 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Made this these afternoon and they were delicious! I think I’ve found my new go to cupcakes for my daughters. I think next time I’ll try them as mini-cupcakes but they are awesome. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth
    July 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    How would you adapt this to a cake? Sounds yummy and fun!

  • Sharona
    August 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve made (and LOVED) this recipe — it’s SO delicious. I’d like to turn it into a cake for a friends birthday — would it work with these measurements? Any tips? Thank you!!!!