Birthday cake cookies are soft and chewy sugar cookies packed with funfetti sprinkles and birthday cake flavor. You only need 10 ingredients, and no boxed cake mix is required!

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

Classic birthday cake is always the #1 seller in every bakery I’ve worked at, which is why I wanted to take everything you love about them and transform them into a cookie version- just like I did with my birthday cake brownies and birthday cake macarons.

These birthday cookies are thick, soft, and super chewy with a classic yellow cake flavor. They’re stuffed with rainbow sprinkles, making them perfect for birthday celebrations (especially if cake isn’t your thing) but just as delicious as a go-to weeknight dessert!

Tips for Bakery-Style Cookies

Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is my #1 baking tip! If your cookies are turning out dry or crumbly or don’t spread in the oven, it’s almost always due to using too much flour.

Use room-temperature ingredients. This creates a smooth, fully blended cookie dough with a uniform texture and even baking.

Freeze before baking. For the best flavor and texture, this recipe requires the dough to be completely frozen before baking. I always make it the day before and let it freeze overnight!

Use the right sprinkle! Do NOT use nonpareil sprinkles or sanding sugar. These sprinkles will bleed into the cookie dough and melt in the oven.

Use a cookie scoop. For even sizes and baking, I highly recommend investing in a spring-loaded cookie scoop.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

ingredients needed to make sugar cookies in bowls with labels.

Vanilla: For a classic birthday cake flavor, we’re using (clear) imitation vanilla extract. If you don’t have any on hand, regular vanilla can also work. You can also add a splash of butter bakery emulsion or cake batter bakery emulsion- these are commonly used in bakeries!

Egg: This recipe uses both a whole egg and an extra egg yolk. The extra yolk gives the birthday cake cookies a richer, cake-like flavor and also keeps them super soft and chewy.

Butter: For a true bakery-style flavor, use a cultured European butter like Kerrygold. Regular American butter can also be used!

Rainbow sprinkles: For the best results, use rainbow jimmies! Do not use any colored sugar or nonpareil sprinkles because they will bleed into the cookie dough. Feel free to change up the sprinkle color for Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl, Christmas, or any other special occasion!

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

Recipe Instructions

STEP 1: Cream the butter and sugar. This is best done with a hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. The mixture should look light and fluffy when it’s ready! (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, but some dry flour pockets still remain, then fold in the funfetti sprinkles. (Image 3 below)

a process collage of the steps for making birthday cookies.

STEP 4: Scoop and chill! Using a cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough and roll it between your hands. Dip the top into extra rainbow sprinkles and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t roll the whole dough ball in sprinkles. Any sprinkles that are on the sides or bottom of the ball will melt in the oven. Then, cover and freeze the dough. (Image 4 above)

STEP 5: Bake the cookies. Once the cookie dough is completely frozen solid, bake the birthday cookies until the edges are lightly golden brown. (Image 5 above)

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

Storage and Freezing

Storage: Keep any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Freezer: Once the dough balls are completely frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months and baked straight from the freezer!

FAQs

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.

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

Yes! I recommend using a large three-tablespoon cookie scoop. They will need an extra 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.

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

If you tried this or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments; 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

Birthday cake cookies are soft and chewy sugar cookies packed with funfetti sprinkles and birthday cake flavor. You only need 10 ingredients, and no boxed cake mix is required!
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. Then fold in the rainbow sprinkles until just combined.
    2 cups + 2 tbsp (265 g) all-purpose flour, 1 tsp fine sea salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 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 melt! Then, place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Freeze the cookie dough balls for 3-4 hours minimum, overnight is best!
  • 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

*Measure your dry ingredients properly. This is my #1 baking tip! Do not ever scoop a measuring cup into your flour, as this always leads to using too much flour. Instead, use the spoon-level method. This means fluffing the flour first, then spooning it into your measuring cup/spoon. For the BEST results, use a kitchen scale!*
Notes on cookie sizes: If you prefer large cookies, use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop and add 2-3 minutes to the bake time. You will have roughly 15 cookies.
Notes on sprinkles: Do not use any colored sugar or nonpareils- the colors will bleed into the cookie dough! I recommend using jimmy sprinkles only.
Storage: Keep leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. The frozen cookie dough balls can be stored in a container or freezer bag for up to three months and 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.

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11 Comments

  1. Great birthday cake cookies.5 stars