Say happy birthday with birthday cake cookies! These easy sugar cookies are chewy, filled with rainbow sprinkles, and have a classic birthday cake flavor. They are perfect for birthday occasions and made completely from scratch, no boxed cake mix is needed!

birthday cake cookies covered in rainbow sprinkles on brown parchment paper.

I love a classic Funfetti birthday cake for celebrating birthdays but occasionally prefer something different like birthday cake brownies or birthday cake macarons instead.

Lately, these birthday cake cookies have become my absolute favorite! They are thick, soft, and super chewy sugar cookies with a classic yellow cake flavor. They are birthday cakes in cookie form and will surely steal the show wherever they go!

For more birthday-ready recipes, try Oreo cookie cake, pop tart cookie bars, and churro cake.

funfetti cookie covered in rainbow sprinkles with a bite taken out of it.

Why We Love Birthday Cake Cookies

  • Soft and chewy: These are soft and chewy sugar cookies that are stuffed with rainbow sprinkles. We used this same base to make our Christmas cookie bars!
  • No box cake mix: They have a classic birthday cake flavor without using a boxed cake mix. Instead, they are flavored with clear vanilla extract and almond extract.
  • One bowl recipe: They are very easy to make with just 10 ingredients and one bowl!
  • If you are looking for an easy recipe to impress without the work of making a whole cake, these funfetti cookies are the perfect dessert!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

ingredients needed to make sugar cookies in bowls with labels.

Clear vanilla extract: This is also known as imitation vanilla and is required for achieving the classic birthday cake flavor! If you need to, regular vanilla extract can be used in equal parts.

Egg: This recipe uses both a whole egg and an extra egg yolk. Do not use two eggs or the dough will spread too much in the oven.

Unsalted butter: If needed, you can substitute it with salted butter. I recommend leaving out 1/4 teaspoon of the salt from the recipe if you use salted butter.

Rainbow sprinkles: I specifically used natural rainbow jimmies, which have more of a pastel color compared to regular rainbow sprinkles. Either one will work! I do not recommend using any kind of colored sugar or nonpareil sprinkles because the colors will bleed into the cookie dough.

Find the full ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below!

Recipe Instructions

Before you start, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You will need a standard (two-tablespoon) cookie scoop and a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer to make the cookie dough.

STEP 1: Cream the butter and sugar together. Cream the softened butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar for three minutes until it looks light and fluffy (image 1 below).

STEP 2: Mix in the wet ingredients. Mix in the room temperature egg, egg yolk, almond extract, and clear vanilla extract until just combined (image 2 below).

STEP 3: Mix in the dry ingredients. Mix in the all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder until almost combined (image 3 below).

Then fold in the rainbow sprinkles until everything is combined and there are no more pockets of dry flour.

a process collage of the steps for making birthday cookies.

STEP 4: Scoop and chill! Using a standard cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough and roll it between your hands. Dip the top into a shallow bowl of rainbow sprinkles and then place it on the prepared baking sheet (image 4 above).

Chill the cookie dough in the freezer for a minimum of two hours; overnight will give the best results in both flavor and texture!

Don’t roll the whole cookie dough ball in the sprinkles. Any sprinkles on the sides or bottom of the ball will just melt in the oven!

sugar cookie dough balls topped with rainbow sprinkles on a baking tray.

STEP 5: Bake! Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Bake the birthday cookies spaced 2-3 inches apart for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown (image 5 above).

You will need to use at least two baking sheets if you plan on baking the entire batch. While the first tray is baking, keep the rest of the dough in the freezer!

birthday cake cookies topped with rainbow sprinkles on a baking tray.

Tips for Perfect Cookies

  • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
  • Use room temperature ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients creates a smooth, fully blended batter that will result in a uniform texture and even baking.
  • Use the right sprinkle! Do NOT use nonpareil sprinkles or sanding sugar. It will bleed into the cookie dough and melt in the oven.
  • Underbake the cookies. You should remove them from the oven when the edges are just set and slightly brown with the centers still undercooked. 
  • Variations for this recipe: You can add white chocolate chips for even more cake flavor and extra sweetness. You can also use them for ice cream sandwiches or sandwich them with buttercream!
  • Adjust the colors for any occasion. You can change up the sprinkle color to match Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl, Christmas, or any other special occasion!

How to Store and Freeze

Store the baked cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for 3-4 days. I do not recommend storing them in the refrigerator!

You can easily freeze the cookie dough balls for later! Once the dough has chilled in the freezer for at least two hours, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will stay fresh for up to three months and can be baked straight from the freezer.

FAQs

What is a birthday cake cookie?

A birthday cake cookie is a birthday cake in cookie form! These cookies are flavored with clear vanilla and almond extract to taste just like a slice of classic yellow birthday cake.

Can this recipe be made into bars instead?

Although I haven’t tested it, you definitely could! I recommend lining a 9×13 or 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and baking it at 350 F until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out covered with just a few moist crumbs.

Can I make this recipe as a cookie cake?

Although I haven’t tested it, you definitely could! I recommend lining a round 9″ cake pan with parchment paper or using a spring-form pan. Keep an eye on it while it bakes. When the top is golden brown it should be done!

Can I make these cookies with white chocolate chips?

Absolutely! You can add white chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips to the cookie dough with rainbow sprinkles.

Can I use a different cookie scoop to make them larger?

Yes! I recommend using a large three-tablespoon cookie scoop. They will need a minimum of three hours in the freezer to chill and 1-3 minutes longer when baking.

Can I use birthday cake extract?

Yes! I recommend leaving out the clear vanilla extract, otherwise, they may have an overly sweet flavor.

More Cookie Recipes

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below, I love hearing from you! Also, please leave a star rating while you’re there! You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can check it out!

birthday cake cookies covered in rainbow sprinkles on brown parchment paper.

Birthday Cake Cookies

4.91 from 11 votes
– by Cambrea Gordon

Say happy birthday in the best way with birthday cake cookies! These sugar cookies are soft, chewy, filled with rainbow sprinkles, and have a classic birthday cake flavor. They are perfect for any birthday occasion and are made completely from scratch, no boxed cake mix is needed!
Print Recipe Save Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 24 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 27 cookies
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams!

Ingredients 
 

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, *see notes for measuring flour*
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup all-natural rainbow sprinkles, plus at least 1/2 cup extra for rolling

Instructions

  • Cream the softened butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar together for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
    12 tbsp (168 g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar, 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • Mix in the egg, egg yolk, almond extract, and vanilla extract until just combined.
    1 (52 g) large egg, 1 (18 g) large egg yolk, 2 tsp clear vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Mix in the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder until almost combined and there are still some dry flour streaks.
    2 cups + 2 tbsp (265 g) all-purpose flour, 1 tsp fine sea salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Then fold in the rainbow sprinkles until just combined.
    1/3 cup (54 g) all-natural rainbow sprinkles
  • Scoop the dough with a standard cookie scoop (two-tablespoons) onto a parchment-lined baking tray.
  • Fill a shallow bowl with the extra rainbow sprinkles.
  • Roll each cookie dough ball between your hands then dip the top of the ball into the sprinkles so just the top is covered. Don’t roll the whole thing in sprinkles, they will just melt!
  • Place them back on the baking tray.
  • Chill the tray of cookie dough in the freezer for 2 hours minimum, or overnight for the best flavor and texture.
  • Then preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Bake the cookies spaced 2-3 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking tray for 9-11 minutes, or until the very edges are just golden brown.
  • Let the tray cool on a wire cooling rack before removing them, then enjoy!

Notes

*How to measure flour correctly: If you are not using a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, you must spoon-level the flour. This means fluffing the flour first, then spooning it into your measuring cup/spoon. Scooping flour straight from the bag will result in dry, thick cookies.*
    • Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the “metric” button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
    • Use room temperature ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients creates a smooth, fully blended batter that will result in a uniform texture and even baking.
    • Use the right sprinkle! Do NOT use nonpareil sprinkles or sanding sugar. It will bleed into the cookie dough and melt in the oven.
    • Underbake the cookies: You should remove them from the oven when the edges are just set and slightly brown with the centers still undercooked. 
    • Variations for this recipe: You can add white chocolate chips for even more cake flavor and extra sweetness. You can also use them for ice cream sandwiches or sandwich them with buttercream!
    • Adjust the colors for any occasion. You can change up the sprinkle color to match Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl, Christmas, or any other special occasion!
    • Store the baked cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for 3-4 days. I do not recommend storing them in the refrigerator!
    • You can easily freeze the cookie dough balls for later! Once the dough has chilled in the freezer for at least two hours, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. They will stay fresh for up to three months and can be baked straight from the freezer.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 0.004g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.

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11 Comments

  1. Great birthday cake cookies.5 stars