Birthday cake cupcakes with sprinkles. A small batch cupcake recipe for birthday cupcakes for celebrating a kids birthday party, or gifting a friend or coworker on their special day! This recipe for 4 cupcakes will come in handy!
The other day, my daughter and I were invited to a low-key birthday celebration for one of her friends from school. It wasn’t the typical birthday party with a huge cake and formal setting; it was a fun, relaxing play date. Can I admit that these are the only kinds of kids birthday parties I like to attend?
Even though the party was low-key, I still felt like sprinkles needed to be involved in some way. So, I altered my recipe for wedding cake cupcakes to become birthday cake cupcakes with sprinkles. In order to make the cupcakes have a softer texture more similar to cake mix, I use oil instead of butter.
The resulting birthday cake cupcakes recipe is so good, that I just might make these weekly!
While a small batch of cupcakes is perfect for a kids birthday party, they’re also a great gift for a friend on their birthday. A small plate of 4 cupcakes is so thoughtful to give to someone on their birthday. If they share a cupcake with you, even better, but it’s their day!
Learning how to make birthday cupcakes at home is a skill that will make you lots of friends in life!
I love that this small batch recipe of cupcakes only makes 4 because kids don’t really need that much sugar on their birthdays. I actually waited to give Camille refined sugar until she was 2 years old. As much as I would have liked to give Camille these, I opted for my refined-sugar free maple syrup cupcake recipe instead as her first birthday cupcakes! (Yep, I’m one of those moms!)
But now that she’s well beyond that stage, I know she’s going to ask for these best birthday cupcakes for her next birthday!
These aren’t just for kids, though! It’s a great birthday cupcakes recipe for adults, too! You can even leave out the sprinkles and make plain small batch vanilla cupcakes, if you want. (But honestly, who doesn’t love confetti cupcakes?)
Birthday cake cupcakes tips & tricks:
-use oil instead of butter for soft, moist cupcakes
-full-fat sour cream is best, but you can use Greek yogurt
-since we’re small batch baking, I tend to lose count of 6 tablespoons of flour, so I space the scoops out in the batter to help me keep track (see photo above).
-2 full tablespoons of sprinkles is perfect for a recipe for 4 cupcakes. Plus, extra sprinkles in the frosting, too!
We should talk about this buttercream frosting. It’s soft enough to be piped in a piping bag (I always use these disposable piping bags to make for easy clean-up), but you can also use a knife to swirl it on top of the cupcakes instead.
I used a large 8B open star tip from Wilton to make the swirls of frosting. Start in the center of the cupcake, go around the edge, and then repeat while pulling up to make a pretty pile.
Piping pretty frosting takes practice, so don’t be afraid to scrape it off the cupcake back in the bag and start again!
If you make these cute birthday cupcakes, let me know! I’d love to see them! Other cupcakes you might love are my funfetti cupcakes recipe (slightly different than these because they’re more like angel food cake), and my red velvet cupcakes. If you need something richer, my tiramisu cupcakes or Boston Cream Pie cupcakes are going to be your favorite!
For the birthday cake cupcakes:
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- big pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of sprinkles
For the frosting:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sprinkles, plus extra for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line four cups in a muffin pan with paper liners.
- First, make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts. Whisk until very well combined.
- Add the egg white and sour cream, and whisk until combined.
- Finally, sprinkle the flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles evenly over the batter, and then stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, and bake on the middle rack for 17-20 minutes. When done, the tops will spring back, and a toothpick inserted will come out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool.
- To make the frosting: beat the butter in a small bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of the cream and the vanilla extract. Beat until very light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add more cream, if necessary. Stir in the sprinkles.
- Scrape the frosting into a piping bag fitting with a large open star tip (I used a Wilton 8B). Pipe swirls of frosting, and decorate with extra sprinkles.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 529Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 0gSugar: 45gProtein: 3g