Whether you call them confetti, funfetti, or rainbow chip, one thing’s for certain: when cupcakes are studded with tiny flecks of rainbow sprinkles, they are instantly rendered a celebratory and happiness-inducing food. In this recipe, these party-perfect cupcakes get a peanut butter makeover! Cupcake batter is infused with the peanutty goodness of Smooth Operator peanut butter, stuffed with rainbow sprinkles, then baked to fluffy perfection. Once cooled, the rainbow-flecked cakes are iced with a rich, flavorful Smooth Operator peanut butter buttercream, then (of course) garnished with more rainbow sprinkles. These cupcakes are a peanut butter lover’s dream come true, and are guaranteed to make you smile.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 16-20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: about 30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces buttermilk
1 cup rainbow sprinkles
For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup Smooth Operator peanut butter
6-8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk or cream, to thin (optional)
Rainbow sprinkles, to garnish
- 1. Place 30 cupcake liners in cupcake tins. This would take three 12-cup cupcake tins, or if like me you only have one 12-cup tin, you’ll just bake in batches. Just be sure to let the tin cool between batches.
- 2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set to the side.
- 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or rotary attachment, cream the butter and peanut butter until creamy and mixed, about 2 minutes on high speed. Add the sugar, and continue mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes on high speed. Pause the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- 4. Pause the mixer, and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla.
- 5. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk in 2-3 additions each, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not overmix.
- 6. Gently fold in the rainbow sprinkles, mixing by hand only until evenly distributed.
- 7. Fill the cupcake liners about halfway full with batter (this batter gets a nice rise so filling the cups is not suggested). Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating at the 8 minute mark. Bake until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- 8. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and let them cool in the tin for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If you are baking in batches, continue repeating the baking process until you have used all of the batter.
- 9. To make frosting, cream the butter and Smooth Operator peanut butter until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, and mix on low until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla. Add the remaining sugar, one cup at a time, until you have reached your desired spreading consistency. If the mixture becomes too thick, thin it with a little bit of milk or cream and re-mix.
- 10. Frost each cupcake (either using an icing spatula or piping the frosting on top). Immediately after frosting, apply sprinkles, if using (they will stick best right after the cakes are frosted).
- 11. Store leftovers, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.