How to Make Homemade Confetti Cupcakes


Who loves confetti cupcakes?! Also know as funfetti cupcakes, these have become so popular in the last few years! We are sharing some tips and tricks with you on how to make homemade confetti cupcakes using a variety of our pretty sprinkles! We will discuss what sprinkle styles worked best, how much to use, what the inside looks like so you can pick the best sprinkle for the look and taste you are going for. You can turn any light colored cake mix or from scratch recipes into confetti cupcakes with the addition of some of our fun sprinkles! Be sure to stop by the sprinkle section of our shop!

We are asked the question "how much sprinkles do I need for my project?" quite often so we thought we would tackle the subject of homemade confetti cupcakes first and share what we learned! Now since we carry many styles of sprinkles, that of course meant we needed to try a out a few styles for our homemade confetti cupcake project! Rainbow jimmies sprinkles are often what is used in store bought funfetti cake mixes. We have to admit they tend to skimp on the sprinkles, at least from what we found with the mix we tried from a previous project. If you like a lot of confetti or color in your cupcakes you can easily dress up a plain white or yellow cake mix with some of our pretty sprinkles. The best part is we have a huge selection of colors and mixes so you can match to your party or event! Planning a super hero party why not use our super hero party jimmie sprinkles for example! For this project we used our girls rainbow sprinkles.

As you can see in the picture above one style of sprinkles was well...a little less successful than the others. Can you guess what one? Below you will find a detailed breakdown on the 4 styles we chose to test out for our homemade confetti cupcake project. The results of each style are listed so you can choose the best sprinkle style when you want to make your own confetti cupcakes for your next party or anytime you are craving a cupcake!

JIMMIES: Jimmie sprinkles are the long skinny sprinkles that are soft in texture. The term "jimmies" seems to be an east coast thing here in the United States! It appears the further west you go they are simply sprinkles, but since we are in Maine we'll stick with jimmies! There are so many color choices theses days, which we love! They are a traditional topping for ice cream, cupcakes and can be used on cakes and cake pops or most any style of sweet treat you are making. As mentioned we think that jimmie sprinkles or something close is what's used in the funfetti cake mixes you can find at the grocery store.

TIPS & RESULTS: During our experiment we discovered jimmies sprinkles are very easy to mix into the batter without having to worry about the colors streaking and making your batter look muddy. Once baked the jimmies end up melting into the batter since they are soft in texture, so these were our number one choice for making confetti cupcakes and cakes!

NONPAREILS: Nonpareils sprinkles are tiny hard round sprinkles that are traditionally used for decorating cupcakes, cakes, cake pops and sugar cookies. Since they are so small they are perfect for decorating candies too. In Australia they are called 100's and 1000's and are often used on a special treat called "fairy bread" which is bread with butter and then covered with nonpareils! It's a favorite for kids! Esther's favorite birthday desserts that her mom made her when she was little was called pistachio pudding cake, which was not cake at all. It had a shortbread crust baked in a cheesecake pan that you added a layer of cream cheese mixed with cool whip to create sort of a cheesecake layer, thick pistachio pudding was the next layer, then you top it off with cool whip and sprinkle rainbow nonpareils for the finishing touch. She has fond memories of these tiny colorful sprinkles making her special birthday treat colorful!

TIPS & RESULTS: For our confetti cupcake experiment the nonpareils work well, but it's best to add them in just before baking and do not over mix the batter or some of the colors start to streak your batter which could give it a tie dyed look...and hey some may want that! We just folded them into the batter quickly and carefully, then filled the cupcake liners immediately. This way they stay put and you only get a few streaks of color. Over-mixing the batter will result in a muddy color when using rainbow nonpareils or another color set. Once baked you may get a slight crunch, but by the next day they typically dissolve and just leave the fun colors behind! We have a variety of colors, some custom to our shop so these are another fantastic choice for confetti cupcakes and cakes!

SPARKLING SUGAR: Sparkling sugar is a coarse sugar that is used often on decorating sugar cookies around the holidays. It has gained in popularity over the years and there are many color choices available for it now. It is more coarse than sanding sugar so if you want a chunky sugar look it is perfect for decorating sugar cookies, cupcakes, cakes and candies. You can use it to rim drink glasses but as the crystal is a bit chunky sanding sugar which is finer may be a better option.

TIPS & RESULTS: Well, as you can see from the photo above sparkling sugar is an epic fail in the confetti department! We had a sneaking suspicion this would be the case since it's so similar to the sugar you bake with. Essentially you are just adding more sugar to a sweetened cake, so the moisture levels are completely thrown off. The other downfall to sparkling sugar is that the colors bleed the second they hit the batter. No matter how carefully or quickly you stir in the sparkling sugar you just end up with a mess! After baking the cupcakes were wet and heavy even after baking a few minutes longer than the other styles.

QUINS SPRINKLES: Mini confetti polka dot quins are about 1/8" in size making them perfect for decorating a wide variety of sweet confections and candies! They come in more color mixes than ever before. The one thing that is missing is being able to offer them in single colors...sprinkle gods if you are listening we've been requesting that for years from the manufacturers! Maybe one day...hey, if we win the lottery maybe I can open up a sprinkle factory of my own! Then we'd have single color polka dot sprinkles in multiple sizes! We digress...these are a great style of sprinkles for cupcakes, cakes, cookies, candies and even ice cream!

TIPS & RESULTS: Quin style sprinkles are right up there with jimmies for baking confetti cupcakes or cake! They are easy to mix in the batter without having to worry about the color streaking. Once baked they are nearly dissolved in the batter, so it's best to use the round shaped quins. You can use other shaped styles such as the fall leaves, but you won't be able to tell what shape they were and you will just be left with the colors. While we do not have quite as many colors available, we do have a few fun rainbow mixes that would be perfect for confetti cupcakes! These sprinkles start out crunchy, but by the time the cupcakes are done baking they just blend right into the cake if you are using our mini or small shaped quins.

So how much sprinkles did we find worked best to get a nice amount of color for our homemade confetti cupcakes? 1/2 tablespoon was the perfect amount for the batter for one cupcake! To give you an idea our 2 oz size sprinkles jars hold about 4 tablespoons so you would need 3 jars per cake mix that makes around 24 cupcakes to get the colorful results we show here. You can also follow these measurements if you prefer to make a confetti cake instead of cupcakes. Of course you can use more or less sprinkles depending on your tastes. Of course when you add the sprinkles you end up with a few extra cupcakes so everybody wins! For standard size cupcakes we use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop for filling cupcake liners quickly with very little mess!

Stay tuned as next week on our blog we will share some decorating ideas plus a way to make a very special confetti cupcake with double the sprinkle surprise! Can you guess what that might be?!

We hope you enjoyed our confetti cupcake tutorial and make some homemade funfetti cupcakes of your own soon! Don't forget if you are in Instagram tag your sweet treat photos and creations with @bakerspartyshop for a chance to get featured! We love seeing what you all create!

Happy baking and sprinkle on!

This post was written by Shauna & Esther and styled and photographed by Esther of The Bakers Party Shop. If you share a photo from our post a link must be displayed back to this post and credit given to The Bakers Party Shop. All photos and content are copyright of The Bakers Party Shop & The Bakers Confections, All rights reserved 2015.


  • Catherine

    This is very informative. Really amazing. I wanted to make a funfetti cake for my sister’s birthday and i was worried about how the nonpareils sprinkles would work and this eased my mind. Thank you so much 😄

  • Annette

    Thank you so much for doing this experiment and being willing to share your results. Now, I can get the results I want on my first try!

  • Rebekah Sanchez

    I totally agree with Chantalle!! I’ve searched and searched for the “best sprinkle for cake batter” question and your site is the only one to answer it!! THANK YOU!!

  • Sweetspotbda

    Thank you soooo much for taking the time to do this experiment!!!! Much appreciated all the way from Bermuda!

  • Kathy Sharp

    Thank you so much for the detailed sprinkle experiment. It answered all my questions. Just what I needed !

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