To celebrate M’s birthday, I offered to send in cupcakes for M to share with her class. I came here prepared to rant about being asked to include a “healthy snack alternative,” but I’m going to leave it alone. It’s not easy to teach kids about balanced nutrition, especially when adults don’t even understand the concept of healthy eating and what it really means. Demonizing a food only makes it more desirable and the last thing I’m going to do is demonize cupcakes. I’m also not going to call them a “sometimes treat,” because I don’t think that means anything, really. Cupcakes are a celebratory food, meant to mark a special occasion and be shared with friends. Even if “I survived Monday,” or “new episodes on Netflix” is the occasion. Food isn’t only made to sustain us, it should be made to be enjoyed.
Birthdays are among my favorite occasions to enjoy. Another year wiser, another year of accomplishments, and another year of new things ahead. So along with a bag of baby carrots (“healthy snack alternative!”), I sent in homemade Funfetti cupcakes. The batter is the same as the one I used for the Oreo cupcakes I sent in for O’s birthday. The last time I made Funfetti cupcakes the recipe called for butter while this recipe uses butter and yogurt (or sour cream). It’s my new favorite, producing buttery cupcakes that are just sweet enough and not at all dry. Not only does it taste better than boxed mix, it’s as quick as using a boxed mix. They worked out really well with my new favorite buttercream frosting, and I haven’t met a cupcake yet that didn’t agree with a fun splash of sprinkles on top.
for the cupcakes:
- 3 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 C. (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 2 C. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 C. yogurt (Greek or regular, or sour cream)
- 1 1/4 C. milk
- 1 Tbsp.
- 1 C. rainbow sprinkles or “jimmies” (not nonpariels)
for the frosting:
- 1 C. (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 4 C. confectioner’s sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 4-5 Tbsp. heavy cream
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line two muffin tins with 24 liners and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then set aside.
Melt the butter in the microwave in a large, microwave-safe bowl.
Whisk the sugar into the butter (mixture will be gritty).
Chill the butter mixture in a refrigerator for 1 minute, then stir in the egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla until combined.
Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
Stir in the sprinkles.
Divide the batter evenly among the 24 cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes, then remove them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, beat the butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer), for 2-3 minutes until butter is smooth.
Add the confectioner’s sugar to the bowl and stir it into the butter using the lowest speed until the butter is incorporated. Then beat on medium for 2-3 minutes until the confectioner’s sugar is completely beaten into the butter.
Add the vanilla and 4 Tbsp. of the heavy cream and beat on high speed until frosting reaches desired consistency.
Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with additional sprinkles if desired.