These birthday cake cookies are just like your favorite funfetti cake, just made into cookies! They’re perfectly soft and buttery sugar cookies filled with sprinkles, topped with a classic vanilla frosting and even more sprinkles. Make these delightful birthday sugar cookies for your next party, gathering or just for fun.
Why Should You Make This Recipe
There is something so fun about baking with sprinkles. Each time I make a recipe with sprinkles, it’s just instant joy in every bite. A few of my favorite sprinkle filled recipes from the blog are my Funfetti Pound Cake, Funfetti Sandwich Cookies and Birthday Cake Blondies. I am so excited to add this birthday cake cookie recipe to the blog. I know you’ll love them as much as I do because:
- They are quick to make and no chill. All you need to do is bring the butter and egg to room temperature, mix the cake batter cookies in one bowl, scoop and bake!
- You love easy drop cookies. These better than crumbl birthday cake cookies are easy to mix and bake will give you beautiful and delicious cake cookies every time.
- Layers of flavor and texture. From the soft and fluffy sprinkle filled sugar cookie, to the rich and sweet vanilla butter buttercream frosting, these cake flavored cookies are incredibly delicious.
This birthday cake cookie recipe requires only a handful of pantry basics to make. Make sure you have these ingredients ready to go!
Birthday Cake Cookies
Dry ingredients: Gather all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
Wet Ingredients: Gather unsalted butter, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and sprinkles.
Gather unsalted butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and sprinkles.
Here are my recommended substitutions to make these sprinkle filled cake cookies:
- All purpose flour: This recipe hasn’t been tested with an alternative flour. However, if you want to make this recipe gluten free, use a good 1-1 flour and measure by weight rather than cups.
- Baking Powder: This helps to give the cookies their cake like fluffiness. Baking soda is not recommended as a substitute for this cookie recipe.
- Unsalted Butter: You can use the same amount of salted butter as written in the recipe, but omit the added salt.
- Powdered and Granulated Sugars: A blend of both sugars is what creates the classic cake cookie taste and texture.
- Eggs: This recipe hasn’t been tested without eggs.
- Vanilla Extract: There is a generous amount of vanilla extract in these birthday cookies. If you want even more birthday cake flavor, try using clear imitation vanilla extract. I personally love using regular vanilla extract in this recipe.
- Sprinkles: This wouldn’t be a birthday cookie without colorful sprinkles! I use rainbow sprinkles rather than confetti sprinkles. If you would like to use dye free or naturally dyed sprinkles, I suggest leaving the sprinkles out of the cookie cake batter. The colors don’t show up or bake as nicely as traditional sprinkles. Save the naturally colored sprinkles for topping.
- Heavy Cream: This is used to add some whipped texture to the frosting. Feel free to use an equal amount of milk of your choice.
- Powdered Sugar: I like using Wholesome Organic powdered sugar. If you need a lower sugar powdered sugar alternative, I recommend Swerve or Lakanto.
Birthday Cake Cookies with Cake Mix: You will need a 15.25 oz. white, vanilla or yellow box cake mix, ½ cup (113 g) softened butter, 2 eggs, 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract and 3 - 4 tbsp rainbow sprinkles. Mix the cake mix, butter, eggs and vanilla together until well combined. Fold in the sprinkles. Scoop the cookies (about 2 tbsp) using a medium cookie scoop onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F (177 C) for 11- 13 minutes.
Chewy Birthday Cake Cookies: With a few tweaks to this cake cookie recipe, you can make them chewy rather than cake like. To do this follow this chewy sugar cookie recipe:
- 2½ cups (300 g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 large egg (US), room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk (US), room temperature
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 3 - 4 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar for rolling (optional)
Whisk the dry ingredients together. Whisk the wet ingredients together. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles. Scoop with a medium (2 tbsp, 30 ml) cookie scoop. Roll in sugar if you like. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 10 - 12 minutes. Top with vanilla frosting, more sprinkles and enjoy!
How To Make
Let me show you how to make these quick, easy and wonderfully delicious birthday cake cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together until well combined.
- In a mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat the softened butter, powdered sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 3 - 4 minutes on medium speed. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- On low, mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the rainbow sprinkles.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop about 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of cake batter cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet. I like to use a large cookie scoop to get perfectly portioned cookies. Bake the birthday cake cookies for 12 - 14 minutes. The edges will be set and lightly golden brown. Cool the cookies on the hot cookie sheet for 3 - 4 minutes before transferring onto the cooling rack to cool to room temperature. While the cookies cool, make the vanilla frosting.
- Make the vanilla buttercream frosting by beating the softened butter with powdered sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream and salt until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed the medium speed for 3 - 4 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Top each cake cookie with the vanilla frosting and more sprinkles and enjoy!
How To Make Ahead, Freeze, Thaw and Store
Make these cake sugar cookies ahead of time: Simply prepare the cookies according to the recipe directions through step 3 and store covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for a day or two. Set the cookie dough out at room temperature for 20 minutes before scooping and baking.
Freeze the cookies: Once the cookies are baked and have fully cooled to room temperature, place the baked cookies into an airtight, freezer safe container. Store in the freezer for 2 months.
Thaw the cookies: Transfer your desired amount of frozen baked cookies onto a plate to thaw at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
Store baked cookies: These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up 1 day. Then transfer the cookies to the fridge for another 3 - 4 days. Unfrosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 - 5 days.
M's Expert Tips
- Fully preheat the oven. Use an oven thermometer to double check the temperature.
- Bring cold ingredients to room temperature. This allows the cookies to mix together more evenly which requires less mixing, resulting in a soft, fluffy and delicious cookie.
- Don’t overmix. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
- Less is more with sprinkles. Save the heaps of rainbow sprinkles for topping. Adding too many sprinkles can cause the cookie cake dough to become muddled. Add just enough for some fun pops of color.
- Use a cookie scoop to get perfectly round cookies.
- Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before frosting them.
- Give your cookies a “cookie scoot.” Within the first 3-5 minutes of removing the cookies from the oven, use a large biscuit cutter (wider than the cookies) to help shape any cookies back into a more round shape. Place the cutter over the cookies so the edges of the cookie are inside the cookie/ biscuit cutter. In a circular motion, gently nudge the edges back into a round shape.
You can absolutely make these cake cookies smaller. Make them as 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cookies and bake them for 8 -10 minutes. For 2 tablespoon (30 ml) sized cookies, bake them for 10 - 12 minutes.
The ideal butter for baking cookies is softened butter that is still cool to the touch. I like to set my butter out at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes before baking.
Using melted butter is the secret to chewy cookies. Slightly underbaking the cookies also keeps them soft with chewy centers. Storing them in an airtight container also helps them to stay soft and chewy for longer.
While I love a classic vanilla frosting for these cookies, you can absolutely top them with any frosting you like. Keep it old school by using a tub of Betty Crocker frosting or try something new like my Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
Other Frosted Cookie Recipes To Try
If you try this Birthday Cake Cookies Recipe please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. Doing so helps other readers decide if this is a great recipe to bake. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using @olivesnthyme so I can see what you’re baking! Happy Baking! - M
Birthday Cake Cookies Recipe
- 1 stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
- 2 cookie sheets
- 1 large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon capacity) optional
Birthday Cake Cookies
- 2¼ cups (270 g) all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs (US), room temperature
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract optional
- 3 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
- 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter room, temperature
- 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (59 ml) rainbow sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together until well combined.2¼ cups (270 g) all purpose flour, 1½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt
- In a mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat the softened butter, powdered sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This takes about 3 - 4 minutes on medium speed. With the mixer on low, beat in the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract if you are using in the cookies.¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar, 2 large eggs (US), room temperature, 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract, ¼ tsp almond extract
- On low, mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the rainbow sprinkles.3 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop about 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of cake batter cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet. I like to use a large cookie scoop to get perfectly portioned cookies.
- Bake the birthday cake cookies for 12 - 14 minutes.The edges will be set and lightly golden brown. Cool the cookies on the hot cookie sheet for 3 - 4 minutes before transferring onto the cooling rack to cool to room temperature. While the cookies cool, make the vanilla frosting.
- Make the vanilla buttercream frosting by beating the softened butter with powdered sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream and salt until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed the medium speed for 3 - 4 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter room, temperature, 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar, 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract, ¼ tsp salt, 2 tbsp (30 ml) heavy cream
- Top each cake cookie with the vanilla frosting and more sprinkles and enjoy!¼ cup (59 ml) rainbow sprinkles
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