These cute Christmas cupcakes are made with soft and fluffy vanilla cupcakes, a simple vanilla buttercream frosting, and whatever fun sprinkles or toppings you choose. See notes above for decorating instructions and supplies.
Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising flour)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
- optional: sprinkles (see note below)
Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients:
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
To Make The Cupcakes:
- Prep the oven and cupcake liners. Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two cupcake pans with about 16 liners total (or you can bake multiple batches with one pan).
- Mix together the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
- Add the butter. Add the butter (be sure that it is room temperature) and mix on medium-low speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. The batter should have a fine crumb texture.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium-speed for 30 seconds, or until just combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the milk until it is just combined. The batter will be liquid.
- Bake. Fill the cupcake liners so that they are just over halfway full. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool completely to room temperature.
To Make The Buttercream:
- Beat the butter. Add the butter to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat on low speed for 1 minute until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes until completely smooth.
- Adjust consistency if needed. If the buttercream seems too thin, add in 1 to 2 cups of additional powdered sugar and beat until smooth. If the buttercream seems too thick, add in 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (or more, if needed) and beat until smooth. See notes below for storage directions.
Sprinkles: I used a medley mix similar to these green metallic sprinkles (this brand has lots of fun mixes available on Amazon), but feel free to use whatever sprinkles you love best. This brand of natural sprinkles is a great option that is free of artificial colorings.
Storage instructions: Unfrosted baked cupcakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Plain buttercream can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 1 week. To be safe, frosted cupcakes should be refrigerated in a sealed container where they can be stored for up to 5 days.
Prep time: The prep time listed in the recipe above approximates the amount of time that it may take to decorate the cupcakes, but does not include the additional time needed for the cupcakes to completely cool to room temperature, which can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. I typically make the buttercream while the cupcakes are in the oven to save time.
Source: The cupcake recipe is ever so slightly adapted from Cupcake Project’s famous vanilla cupcake recipe that never lets me down.