Love and Olive Oil
Sprinkle-Filled Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Sprinkle-Filled Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Fluffy White Wedding Cake Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream and a surprise inside!

There are few things better than a moist, fluffy white cupcake topped with a mound of the creamiest buttercream.

Except maybe a tender white cupcake topped with a mound of the creamiest buttercream and FILLED WITH SPRINKLES.

Piñata Cupcakes filled with a sprinkle surprise!

Indeed, you wouldn’t know it from just looking at them but these cupcakes are filled with a surprise cache of sprinkles!

Like a piñata, in cupcake form. That you bite into instead of bash.

Talk about a fun party trick!

Sprinkle Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with the BEST EVER Marshmallow Buttercream

Light & Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes with Creamy Marshmallow Buttercream (and filled with a sprinkle surprise!)

Both the cupcake and marshmallow buttercream recipes come from the Bravetart cookbook, which is shaping up to be one of my all-time favorite baking cookbooks.

This buttercream especially. Let’s just say it’s downright fabulous, quite possibly the best buttercream I’ve ever eaten, let alone made from scratch. It’s light and creamy and practically melts in your mouth, not gritty and crusty like the American kind, but far easier and less temperamental than the finicky meringue buttercreams I’ve tried. Just be sure your butter is at the proper temperature (yes, stick a thermometer in it if you have to!) and you’ll be good to go.

I’d be curious if the recipe would work with store-bought marshmallow fluff, as the from-scratch thing is definitely something you have to plan for. Although making the fluff one day and the buttercream the next was not an unreasonable task (you don’t even have to refrigerate it). The outcome is well worth it!

How to make Piñata Surprise cupcakes with sprinkles hidden inside!

To fill with sprinkles, I used a 3/4-inch round cutter to core the cupcakes. Simply press the cutter down as far as it will go–though not touching the bottom of the cupcake–then twist and lift to remove the plug. If any is left in the bottom you can scrape it out with a butter knife. You can also use a paring knife to cut a ‘cone’ of cupcake out of the center.

Trim off the bottom of the plug (baker’s snack!) leaving about a 1/2-inch ‘cap’ to replace on top.

Fill the cavity with 1-2 teaspoons of sprinkles, then top with the cap and frost as normal. The frosting will cover up the entire operation so your sprinkles will be a complete surprise.

Ultimate Fluffy White Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Technically the same process could be used to fill these cupcakes with just about anything, from lemon curd to fruity jam to dulce de leche. Filling cupcakes is the best way to take them over the top, in my opinion!

Surprise Sprinkle-Filled Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

For those curious, these fab sprinkles are the Flamingo twinkle sprinkle medley from Sweetapolita. Seriously love their stuff. I used a whole 4 ounce bottle for this project, filling and topping.


Do good. Win big. Eat cupcakes. Post a cupcake photo with the hashtag #10000 cupcakes and you could win a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer!

Be sure to check out the amazing giveaway going on right now on Instagram. I’ve partnered with KitchenAid for their #10000cupcakes campaign in support of breast cancer awareness, and we’re giving away a gorgeous pink stand mixer to boot! You don’t want to miss it. :)

Sprinkle-Filled Fluffy White Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

Sprinkle-Filled Cupcakes with Marshmallow Buttercream

These fluffy white cupcakes are filled with a fun sprinkle surprise and topped with the best, creamiest buttercream I’ve ever had.

Did you make this recipe?


For Buttercream:

  • 1 1/8 teaspoons (1/2 packet) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cool water, to bloom gelatin
  • 1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) water
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (5 ounces) light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (7.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, half as much if iodized
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, soft but cool (about 65 degrees F)

For Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) bleached cake flour, sifted
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature*
  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces) virgin coconut oil, solid but creamy*
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, half as much if iodized
  • 4 large egg whites, about 1/2 cup or 4 1/4 ounces), at room temperature*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extraact
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cultured low-fat buttermilk, at room temparture*
  • 4 ounces sprinkles of your choice, for filling and topping


For Marshmallow Creme:

(this should be made at least 2 hours before frosting and up to 1 week ahead of time)

  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons cool water to bloom for at least 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract or split vanilla bean to gelatin without stirring.
  2. Combine 3 ounces water with corn syrup, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Stir with a fork until dissolved and bubbling, then increase heat to  medium-high. Clip on a digital thermometer and continue to boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 250 degrees F, about 8 minutes.
  3. Pour the hot syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, scraping the pot with a heat resistant spatula. Let cool to exactly 212 degrees F, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add gelatin and mix on low speed until gelatin is melted, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until marshmallow is thick, glossy white, and roughly tripled in volume, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a greased container and let stand at cool room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

For Cupcakes:

  1. With rack in the lower-middle position, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.
  2. Combine butter, coconut oil, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to moisten, then increase to medium and cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl part way through.
  3. With the mixer running, add the egg whites one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 of the sifted flour, followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk. Continue alternating flour and buttermilk, allowing each addition to be mostly incorporated before adding the next, until no dry ingredients remain.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, drop a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each cup, filling about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. The cupcakes will look slightly underdone compared to yellow cake, as they do not brown like you might expect. Use the toothpick to know when they are done rather than visual cues.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. To fill, cut out cores of cupcakes using a paring knife or a small round cookie cutter. Trim off all but 1/2 inch or so of plug to form a flat cap. Fill each cavity with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sprinkles, then top with trimmed cap.

For Buttercream:

  1. Place the marshmallow in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn to medium speed, and begin adding butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting about 5 seconds after each addition. The creme will cling to the whisk at first, but will loosen up as the butter is incorporated.
  2. Once all the butter has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add food coloring as desired and whip for 1 minute more. The buttercream should be light and creamy and almost melt on your tongue, but still thick enough to hang upside down from a spoon. (If your buttercream seems to dense or too thin, please see troubleshooting in the original recipe [preview available on google books.]) Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with more sprinkles.

*The temperature of the butter, coconut oil, buttermilk, and egg whites is very important to the structure of the cake. Butter should be at cool room temperature, about 65º, and the other ingredients should be about 70ºF. Get your ingredients out about 1 hour before you start baking, and use a thermometer if you have to to monitor the temperature of your ingredients.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

There may be affiliate links in this post. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. My cupcakes keep falling completely sinking once I take them out of the oven. They look perfect and then disaster. What could I be doing wrong? Am I meant to be baking in convection? 

    • Sinking cupcakes could be the result of overmixing the batter, expired leavening, taking them out too soon, or an oven that’s too hot or too cold. Also substituting milk for buttermilk, for example, would lower the acidity so the leavening wouldn’t work as well. These cupcakes aren’t supposed to have a strong dome, they are fairly flat on top. But definitely shouldn’t sink.

      I don’t use convection when I test recipes (just to keep things consistent since most people don’t have it), but you could certainly try that and see if it works better for you, since every oven is different.

  2. I’m an emotional eater with nobody to share cupcakes with. Can i freeze the batter and icing? Am I better off cutting the recipe in half? PS, you are so talented and I love everything you post.

    • The unfrosted baked cupcakes freeze great! Just store them in a zip top bag. For the frosting, I think you could freeze it separately, let it thaw out overnight in the fridge then rewhip it a bit before frosting the cupcakes. Otherwise it should keep in the fridge for a few days at least!

  3. Is this Stella’s recipe? I noticed it’s identical, but halved.

    • I’m asking because Hers didn’t work for me (marshmallows), but this one seems to have more positive reviews. Is this an improvement?

    • It’s from her cookbook. If you’re having issues with it I suggest you check out the book as there is a very helpful buttercream troubleshooting section!

  4. So this buttercream. I made it. Exactly as instructed. Something is off on the amount of butter. it was not the temp as she directs on if it seams greasy. It tasted like sweetened butter. Not frosting. I like making the marshmallow cream rather than buying it and I like not using powdered sugar, but this ratio of Marshmallow fluff to sugar ratio isn’t right.

    • If the consistency seemed greasy then it’s likely your marshmallow wasn’t fully cooled or the butter was too hot or cold. I’d consult Temperature is everything when it comes to a frosting like this. This is a different recipe but the tips still apply:

    • I know this is a late reply, but I’ve had this issue too with one of Stella’s buttercream recipes, and a deeper dive taught me that they’re not formulated for European butter if that’s what you were using. Their fat:water ratio is different than the standard US butter, so even a perfectly-followed recipe at exact temps will still be greasy if you reach for the good stuff (like plugra) for this. 

      • Ok this is very interesting, and makes a lot of sense as to why some found this frosting greasy! I’ve never personally used European butter here (too $$ when you need so much of it!) I’m wondering if adding a small amount of water would help bring the fat % down to something more akin to American butter. Definitely worth exploring, thanks so much for the insight!

  5. So pretty! What brand and how much pink food coloring did you use to get such a pretty shade of pink in the frosting? It’s so common it’s almost cliche now, but the first thing that popped to my mind when I saw the inside sprinkles was gender reveal party haha!

    • I used Americolor gel colors… deep pink and electric pink I believe? A generous squirt of each (it takes quite a bit of coloring to get a deeper color)

  6. Goooorgeous! Loving seeing everyone post on the breast cancer awareness!

  7. Omg, THESE CUPCAKES! I just cannot get over how cute and adorable and amazing the “pinata” effect is with those surprise sprinkles – just love it! And mmmm, marshmallow buttercream? That sounds like pure icing heaven. I don’t even think I need to try this. I KNOW I need to try this!

    And I know I like just commented on another post and went on about your photography, but I am going to go ahead and do it again – you literally have some of the best photos I have seen on a blog. Like, I’m just hit with such a massive amount of awe and inspiration, I keep feeling this drive now to get better, to make my photos even a smidge as good as yours. I just love everything, from the styling to the composition, everything. Do you have any posts about photography? I swear, you could make a living off teaching how you do it. I’d pay for that, at any rate! Okay, I could go on, but it might be kind of weird, so I’ll stop. I will, however, continue to visually devour your gorgeous photos for the next few hours – I can’t wait!

    • Shucks you have me blushing. <333 Thanks so much for your kind words.

      At the moment I haven't done any photography posts, though I have done a few 'behind the scenes' type posts for my books in the past. I've learned mainly by trial and error over the years... I've been doing this for 10 years now so hopefully will have learned a thing or two in the process. :)

  8. These are STUNNING! Seeing pink cupcakes amongst all the brow pumpkin right now is AMAZING!

    I love Sweetpolita’s sprinkles. THE BEST! I have that medley too! I would rather have cute sprinkles than a new cute purse :)

Did you make this recipe? Leave a Review »