The most fun and festive birthday cupcakes that are perfect for your special celebration! This sweet treat is simple to make and loaded with sprinkles and a fun “balloon” lollipop topper!
Make them for your kid’s classroom party, your co-worker, a bake sale, or anyone who loves a delicious cupcake! I can promise you that no matter where you bring them, they are sure to light up the room!
But can I tell you why I really love these birthday cupcakes so much? You can make them in two minutes or two hours, depending on how much time you want to put into them. Want to make the cupcakes and frosting from scratch? Go for it! Need a quick way to jazz up store-bought cupcakes? Just top with “balloons!”
I originally shared these balloon cupcakes in 2015 and they are still some of my favorite cupcakes I’ve ever made — and I’ve made a lot of fun cupcakes over the years (ahem, Mickey Mouse Cupcakes!). I don’t bake very much anymore (I leave that to Caroline), but this post deserved a refresh.
Birthday Cupcakes Ingredients
- Cake Mix: You have a few options here. You can make your cupcakes from scratch, buy them already frosted from the grocery store, or use a boxed cake mix! And you can get as wild as you want with the flavor. Personally, I think you can never go wrong with funfetti!
- Frosting Ingredients: If you want to home-make your frosting, you’ll need salted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cream or milk. You can also buy a jar of frosting too!
- Frosting Supplies: Items you’ll need for homemade frosting include a Wilton #12 Decorating Tip and Wilton Disposable Decorating Bags
- Cupcake Wrappers: You’re going to use two wrappers per cupcake, so purchase your quantity accordingly.
- Nonpareils Sprinkles
- Dum Dums: Sometimes these can be hard to find. After striking out at several grocery stores, I considered dumping the bowl of dum dums in my purse at my kids pediatrician’s office…but ultimately ordered them from Amazon.
- Ribbon: Optional but cute! You’ll use this to tie around the dum dums.
Sprinkle Disk Tutorial
But first, a note about the frosting. I will gladly outsource the cake mix to a box (especially if I’m baking gluten-free), but homemade frosting is not the corner I like to cut. Homemade frosting is easier to work with, tastes noticeably different than frosting from the jar, and is easy to whip up. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can usually find freshly made frosting in the bakery of your grocery store!
Step 1: Frost your cupcakes.
To create the sprinkle disk on top of the cupcake, I use two layers of icing.
Start by piping a flat even layer on top of the cupcake, working from the outside in. Then add a smaller disk of icing on top of the first layer, again working from the outside in. It doesn’t have to look perfect, you’re going to smash the cupcakes into some sprinkles in a minute anyway…
Step 2: Dip your cupcakes into a plate of sprinkles.‘
Step 3: Insert 3 dum dum lollipops into your cupcake & Tie A bow
You can tie a bow around just one of the lollipops.
- 1 Box cake mix (plus eggs, oil, water, etc)
- Cupcake wrappers
- Dum Dum lollipops
For the Frosting
- 2 sticks salted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-5 teaspoons cream or milk
- Wilton #12 Decorating Tip
- Disposable Decorating Bag
- Bake cupcakes according to package directions. Let cool completely.
- Make the buttercream frosting: In a large mixing bowl whip the butter. Slowly add in 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until well combined. Add vanilla and 1 more cup of powdered sugar and continue mixing. If your frosting is too thick, you can add cream or milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Add in last cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add more or less milk depending on the consistency. You want the frosting to be thick and creamy.
- Add your tip to decorating bag and fill with frosting. Frost your cupcakes. To create the sprinkle disk on top of the cupcake, I used two layers of icing. Start by piping a flat even layer on top of the cupcake, working from the outside in. Then add a smaller disk of icing on top of the first layer, again working from the outside in.
- In a small dish or plate, add sprinkles. Dunk the cupcake upside down in your bowl of sprinkles, applying a bit of pressure to flatten the top.
- Tie a ribbon around your lollipops and insert into your cupcakes!