These Momofuku’s Milk Bar Birthday Cupcakes have all the taste of the Momofuku’s Milk Bar Birthday Cake, but without all the additional work of building a layer cake.
Do you have an item that makes you smile just when you look at it? Sprinkles kind of do that for me. They remind me of being a carefree kid eating something special. Maybe that’s it, they create specialness.
That’s something I always love to portray in food; using a special item, making your guests feel special with out too much fluff. It creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This Birthday Cupcake recipe made a lot of people smile, it was great.
I also found that the package of sprinkles, a small plastic container in our case, was an amazing toy for my toddler girls. Kept them occupied for a solid 20 minutes. One of them wanted to eat these cupcakes like crazy, but they’re not full-blown on the sugar train yet.
I can relate to her though, seeing pretty sprinkles sitting on top of a mound of icing is an image we can all get excited about.
Regarding the directions below on piping the icing onto the muffins; if you don’t have a pastry bag or the points, here’s a very quick and straightforward video that shows you how to pipe icing without all the gadgets.
I frequently use Ziplock bags for piping; I find it easy and a very quick clean up.
I’ve made this recipe a number of times and my preferred sprinkles are those by Sweetapolita lately. Previously, I used the standard grocery store sprinkles and these worked really well (no bleeding into the batter or anything like that).
Momofuku's Birthday Cake turned into more manageable and still crazy yummy Birthday Cupcakes.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract (regular brown vanilla extract is ok if you're unable to source clear imitation, the result is an off-white cake and icing vs a pristine bright white batter)
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp clear imitation vanilla extract (regular brown vanilla extract is ok if you're unable to source clear imitation, the result is an off-white cake and icing vs a pristine bright white icing)
- 1 1/4 cups powdered (icing) sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2-4 tsp rainbow sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 2 muffin tins, each with 12 cups, with non-stick muffin cups or butter.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup sprinkles in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat granulated sugar, shortening, butter, and light brown sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 min. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Continue to beat mixture, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until almost doubled in volume and very light, airy, and pale yellow, about 4 min.
With mixer on low, add buttermilk mixture until incorporated. Add dry ingredients, beating until just combined, about 1 min.
Distribute evenly into prepared muffin tins. I found this easiest to do with a small ice cream scoop. I suspect a 1/4 cup measuring device would produce equal results.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown and a cake tester (toothpick, butter knife, etc.) come out of muffins cleanly. Let cool in tins for 5 min and then cool completely on a wire rack (or in the fridge if you're pressed for time and want to ice the muffins shortly after baking).
Combine butter, shortening, and cream cheese in large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or the flat beater attachment if you don't have the paddle attachment like me). Beat on medium-high until mixture is smooth and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and slowly stream in corn syrup and 1 tbsp vanilla. Beat until mixture is silky smooth and glossy, about 3 min.
Scrape down sides of bowl and, with mixer on low, add powdered sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon juice until just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until you have a brilliant stark white (or off-white), beautifully smooth frosting, about 4 min (it should look just like it came out of a plastic tub at the grocery store!).
Pipe icing onto muffins and top with sprinkles.
Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit