Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, or another special occasion, these fun and cheerful cupcakes will definitely be a crowd pleaser. These easy to make little cakes are loaded with sprinkles and then topped with a delicious vanilla buttercream, before a light scattering of more sprinkles over the frosting. What makes them soft and fluffy is the dairy-free buttermilk, as this gives the cake a wonderfully light and tender crumb. You can customise them to suit just about any occasion, by simply adding different coloured sprinkles to your batter. You could also tint your buttercream with a fun festive colour, for delicious and colourful cupcakes to suit any occasion.
I loved sprinkles growing up and one of my all time favourite party foods was fairy bread. I cringe now as an adult, because I now know just how harmful and toxic these artificial colours and flavours really are. So I was pleasantly surprised when I was out shopping a few weeks ago, as I came across an all-natural product by a company called Hopper. Their range includes natural food colourings, sprinkles, 100’s & 1000’s and more. The 100’s & 1000’s are free from gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nuts, plus they are vegan friendly too. But what I really liked about this product is that the colours didn’t bleed into the batter. So a couple of weeks ago, for the first time ever, our boys were very excited to eat funfetti cupcakes!
Just a quick note about the cupcake liners I used. As you can see from the picture below, there is a difference in size and depth from the patty pan I used compared to a standard cupcake liner. I bought these from Coles Supermarket and I like these ones because the liner is quite thick and sturdy, not thin and flimsy like some others can be. There are also different patterns and colours to choose from in this range.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are also firmly packed.
Recipe Update: although I originally listed pure icing sugar in the butter cream ingredients, soft icing sugar also works just as well, I use this brand.
125ml (½ cup) dairy free milk of choice, at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5ml) white vinegar
112g (0.4 ounces or ½ cup) gluten and dairy free butter
192g (6.8 ounces or 1 cup) golden/raw caster sugar or superfine white sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons (10mml) pure vanilla extract
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) superfine white rice flour
44g (1.6 ounces or ¼ cup) potato starch
36g (1.3 ounces or ¼ cup) superfine brown rice flour
32g (1.1 ounces or ¼ cup) tapioca starch
28g (1.0 ounce or ¼ cup) corn starch
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
6 tablespoons 100’s & 1000’s
Vanilla Butter Cream
324g (11.4 ounces or 2¼ cups) pure icing sugar (I use this brand)
112g (4.0 ounces or ½ cup) gluten and dairy free butter
1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Extra 100’s & 1000’S to sprinkle over the frosting
Preheat oven to 160C, and line a muffin tin with liners.
To make the buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to a ½ cup-measuring cup, and then fill it with milk to make ½ cup. Then let it stand for 5 minutes, so it can become thick and curdled.
Now sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, or a hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 3-4 minutes, until very light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Next, add the vanilla and beat until well combined.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on a low speed, until just combined.
Now pour in all the milk and mix on a low speed, until just combined. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat for about 1 minute on a medium-low speed. It’s important here not to over beat the batter, as you will incorporate too much air. This will result in slightly sunken cupcakes with wrinkled tops as they cool.
Next, use a sturdy spatula to gently fold in the 100’s & 1000’s.
¾ fill your cupcake liners and bake for approximately 22-24 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in pan for 2 minutes, before removing from the pan and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the vanilla butter cream, add the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract to a bowl. Using a handheld mixer, start mixing on a low speed, until combined, and then turn up the speed and continue to beat, until light and fluffy.
Transfer the vanilla butter cream to a piping bag fitted with a 1M nozzle. To start piping, first hold the bag in a vertical position over your cupcake. Then, applying a constant and even pressure, start piping from the outside edge and move in one fluid motion as you pipe a circle around the border of the cupcake. As you near the point where you started, continue in an ever-decreasing circle as you move inside, making sure that you overlap your first circle to create an upward spiral. When you reach the top of your spiral, in the centre the cupcake, it’s very important that you stop and release the pressure on the bag, before you lift up. This will then give you a nice star pattern on top.
Now 100’s & 1000’S are a little messy to work with, as they kind of bounce everywhere! So I find it easier to place the cupcake in a shallow bowl and then sprinkle them over the frosting. This way, those that do fall off go into the bowl and not over the counter or the floor.
Then place any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container and store in the pantry.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 325F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8