Gluten-Free Rainbow Sprinkle Cupcakes
Why This Recipe Works
Rainbow (or confetti) cupcakes are festive and especially popular with children, so we wanted to develop an easy-to-make gluten-free version that would deliver on flavor and looks alike. We began with our recipe for light, fluffy yellow cake. While that recipe calls for whipping egg whites to create lift and a lightweight crumb, we found that we didn’t need to whip the egg whites, as this created a huge dome (which made frosting the cupcakes a challenge). These cupcakes were so fluffy that they fell apart in our hands. Instead, we switched to an easier mixing method that combined everything in a bowl. The cupcakes were more compact and less crumbly, but they were still doming too much. We needed baking soda (it helps with browning and tenderness) but found we could really reduce the amount of baking powder. This solved the structural problems, but the change in mixing method meant that the butter wasn’t getting emulsified and was leaching out. Swapping in oil for the butter fixed the greasiness, but we missed the rich flavor of the butter. The addition of sour cream and white chocolate added flavor plus kept the cupcakes rich and moist. To achieve confetti throughout the cakes, we simply mixed rainbow sprinkles into the batter. As the cupcakes baked, the sprinkles dissolved, forming colorful spots suspended in every bite. Mixing more sprinkles into the frosting completed the festive look and added a nice, crunchy texture.