Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free

Tomorrow is my Christopher’s birthday. For 28 years this tall, smiley, ginger-haired man has been bringing light and laughter to the world, and for the past 2 ½ years I have had the greatest blessing to be in his life and by his side.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeChris, you bring the sparkle, you are the party, and you know how to drop the Boom! There is no one who knows how to live in the moment and love every minute of it better than you. You inspire me to leave the heaviness behind and remember the joy of life. You are joie de vivre personified. My sweetheart, you are my safest harbour, my surest compass, and my greatest adventure. I am so proud of the man you are. Happy birthday my love. Here is to many more years of midnight ice cream runs, snuggles in front of the television, sunset harbour walks, and dancing in the kitchen.

Oh, and many, many more cupcakes.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI made these cupcakes a few weeks ago as part of a super-secret special project that I will share with you soon. Chris loved them! Fluffy, sprinkle-speckled cupcakes topped with birthday cake flavoured frosting showered with more sprinkles. Message: you can never have enough sprinkles, or frosting. In honour of the birthday boy I had to share the recipe for these super-festive cupcakes with you all!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhen you take your first big bite of this cupcake you will be taken back to childhood days of boxed mix sprinkle cakes (funfetti for my US readers) – this special memory conjuring flavour comes from the addition of almond extract as well as vanilla extract. These cupcakes are just like Betty Crocker makes, only better! The buttercream is my super fluffy birthday cake buttercream frosting covered in even more sprinkles! Yes, they really do taste just as pretty and perfect as they look (no, modesty is not a problem I suffer from when it comes to cupcake making). Imagine the best bakery vanilla cupcake you have ever had – the lightness of crumb, the perfect lip-smacking sweetness of the fluffy whipped buttercream frosting, the sugary crunch of a rainbow of sprinkles – this is that cupcake, now yours to make at home.

I couldn’t believe how quickly these disappeared when I brought them along to a family lunch. All that was left was a few wrappers and lots of buttercream-induced smiles! Need a treat for an upcoming birthday party? My Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes are sure to make the party! You can change the sprinkles up to suit your colour palette too. Try red and pink for a little girl’s party, or how about red and green for Christmas!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese cupcakes are gluten free but you would never know it – and you don’t need any special gums or ground chia seeds to get the perfect light and fluffy (not crumbly, gummy or gluey) cake – the secret: Greek yoghurt and the perfect balance of flours. A few notes of getting the perfect cupcakes everytime:

  • Make sure your butter, eggs, and yoghurt are at room temperature. This is really important for the texture of your cupcakes.
  • Believe me when I tell you to whisk all of your flours together. Evenly whisked/sifted flours make for a fluffy crumb, and ensures that your leavening ingredient (baking powder in this case) are distributed throughout the batter so you get consistent happy cupcakes from every batch!
  • Really cream your butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. You want fluffy cupcakes? Put that mixer to work! Cream that butter and sugar until it is pearlescent for the best results.

Enough technical baking stuff! Now, you need to turn your oven on, get our your prettiest sprinkles and some matching cupcake papers and get to work because every day deserves a little celebration!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Gluten Free | Makes 15 cupcakes


  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond essence
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
  • ¼ cup multi-coloured sprinkles

For the frosting

  • 125 grams softened butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond essence
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles, to decorate


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two 12-hole cupcake tins with papers for 15 cupcakes.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
  5. Add vanilla extract and almond essence and beat in.
  6. Add flour in two parts alternating with the yoghurt. After each addition mix until just combined.
  7. Use a wooden spoon to mix in sprinkles.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners fill only two-thirds of the way to avoid spill-over.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
  10. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.
  11. To make the frosting place the butter in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) and beat until light in colour and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  12. Add icing sugar, vanilla extract, almond essence and milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  13. Fit a piping bag with your choice of decorating tip, spoon frosting into bag and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life


20 thoughts on “Sprinkle Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free

  1. Amy, these look SO delicious!!! I haven’t had a “funfetti” style cake since going gluten-free 5 years ago and I’m so, so excited to give this a shot. Oh and happy birthday to your man!

  2. Oh Amy, sprinkle cupcakes are my weakness. These look so good!!! What a perfect way to celebrate a birthday. I will have to make these for my GF friends – they will be so excited to have a cupcake!!

    • Jess, I am a sprinkle lover too! These cupcakes work out so well and there’s nothing too fancy in the way of flours required either. I found everything in my local Coles 🙂

  3. Happy Happy Birthday Christopher! What a lovely tribute to your sweetie, Amy.

    Look at these little cakes, Amy! They’re gorgeous and that crumb looks just perfect! A throwback to childhood for sure. Funfetti made a regular appearance at birthday celebrations. hehe…. I bet Chis loved these!

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