Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in extracts. Stir in 1/3 cup multicolored confetti sprinkles.
Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
To prepare Vanilla Frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Make 3 cups.
Tint Vanilla Frosting with food coloring gels of your choice. Frost each cupcake with tinted frosting. Roll edges of each cupcake in confetti sprinkles, and top each with 1 sugar circus animal.
The cake decorating experts at Dreamcakes suggest that you check out your local crafts store or look at cakedeco.com to buy sugar circus animals.
Southern Living Big Book of Cupcakes; Dreamcakes Bakery