These birthday cake sugar cookies are the softest, chewiest, most delicious cookies you will ever make. They're loaded with birthday sprinkles and taste like Funfetti cake batter. If you love birthday cake, these cookies are for you!
Looking to celebrate your birthday without making a whole birthday cake? This recipe is for you!
These birthday cake sugar cookies taste just like birthday cake because they are made with only white cane sugar, no brown sugar. They are flavored with vanilla extract and almond extract for a sweet flavor. They bake into large, soft and chewy bakery-style cookies that can be made gluten free!
Why You Will Love This
- Large, chewy cookies- These cookies are thick, soft, and have a chewy center.
- Easy to make- They don't require any chill time and come together within 20 minutes.
- Perfect for birthdays- They are perfect for a birthday celebration, especially for kids!
- Gluten free option- These cookies can easily be made gluten free with a simple substitution.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- All purpose flour- Use regular or all purpose flour for the best structure and chewy texture.
- Baking powder- This leavener helps the cookies rise and spread by adding air bubbles to the batter. Make sure it isn't expired and don't use baking soda because it's way stronger than baking powder!
- Salt- Cookies need a little salt to keep them from being cloyingly sweet. Use finely ground sea salt, Kosher salt, or pink Himalayan salt. If your salt is coarse, add another ¼ teaspoon.
- Unsalted butter- Butter adds Pull this out of the fridge 2 hours or so before baking. The butter should be at room temperature so it mixes better.
- Granulated sugar- Only pure granulated cane sugar is used to sweeten these cookies so they have a more birthday cake taste. Sugar also retains moisture, making these cookies super chewy.
- Egg + Egg yolk- An egg holds all the ingredients together, adding fat from the yolk and lift from the egg white. The extra egg yolk makes these cookies extra soft and chewy and keeps them from spreading too much. Make sure they're at room temperature so they mix in easily. Take them out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before you start baking.
- Vanilla extract- Vanilla rounds out the flavor profile and enhances all the other flavors.
- Almond extract- This gives the cookies a beautiful, sweet flavor.
- Rainbow sprinkles- Use gluten free rainbow Jimmies. Other kinds of rainbow sprinkles will bleed or melt into the batter while baking. These are my favorite, naturally dyed sprinkles.
- Flour: To make these cookies gluten free, I recommend Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
- Granulated sugar: Coconut sugar can be substituted for the cane or table sugar. However, this will change the taste and color of the cookies.
- Sprinkles: You can mix up what color Jimmies you use depending on the holiday that you're celebrating: red and green for Christmas, red and pink for Valentine's Day, different shades of green for St. Patrick's Day, and more!
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- For mixing your cookie dough, a 5-quart stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment is ideal. You can also use an electric hand mixer.
- Use a 3 tablespoon large cookie scoop to make sure the cookie dough balls are evenly sized.
Step by Step Instructions
Here are the steps to make these birthday cake sugar cookies. This recipe requires a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. A hand mixer or electric mixer will work as well.
STEP 1: Mix the dry ingredients. Sift the gluten free flour into a large mixing bowl. Sifting the flour will prevent any lumps from getting into the batter. Then, mix in the baking powder and salt.
STEP 2: Cream the butter and sugar. Beat the room-temperature butter and sugar together on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 2-5 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter gets mixed in.
STEP 3: Add in the wet ingredients. Mix the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract into the beaten butter and sugar. Then, beat on high speed for about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
STEP 4: Add in the dry ingredients. Mix the flour and other dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed. It will be a thick but slightly sticky dough.
STEP 5: Add in the sprinkles. Fold the rainbow sprinkles into the cookie dough with a rubber spatula.
STEP 6: Scoop the dough. Use a large cookie dough scoop to scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the dough balls about ½ inch apart on the baking sheet. Press down on each cookie dough ball with your fingers to spread them slightly.
STEP 7: Bake the cookies. Next, bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Top the baked cookies with extra rainbow sprinkles. Let the cookies sit on the hot pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Expert Baking Tips
- Measure the flour correctly. Make sure the flour is spooned and leveled or weighed in grams with a kitchen scale. Compacted flour will result in a dry cookies that don't spread.
- Use fresh baking powder. Make sure your baking powder is fresh so the cookies rise properly. Baking powder should be replaced ever 6-12 months.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Room temperature butter and eggs help create a smooth, uniform batter.
- Vigorously mix the wet ingredients. When adding the wet ingredients, make sure to beat on high to incorporate more air into the cookie dough. This will give them a chewier texture.
- Don't overcrowd the baking sheet. Leave about ½-1 inch between each cookie dough ball so they have room to spread.
Additions & Variations
There are a lot of different ingredients you can add to birthday cake cookies to make them even more delicious and festive. Here are some ideas:
- White chocolate: About ¼ cup of white chocolate chips can be added to the batter for extra sweetness. You could also add a white chocolate drizzle on top.
- M&Ms: Adding M&Ms to the cookie dough will give the cookies a pop of color and a delicious chocolatey crunch.
- Marshmallows: Adding mini marshmallows to the cookie dough will give the cookies a fluffy, chewy texture and a subtle hint of sweetness.
- Birthday cake flavored chips: You can find chips that are specifically flavored like birthday cake at some specialty food stores or online. These can be a fun addition to the cookie dough.
- Ice cream: These cookies would be perfect served with ice cream! Even better, you can turn them into ice cream sandwiches.
- Frosting: You can add a swirl of frosting on top for an extra festive, Crumbl inspired cookie.
Storage & Freezing
Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. Wait until they cool to room temperature before storing them or condensation will form in your container, making the cookies soggy.
Freeze the baked birthday cookies in an airtight container for up to 30 days. Make sure they are fully cooled before putting them in the freezer. When you're ready to eat, thaw for 1 hour or heat in the microwave.
The cookie dough also freezes super well! First, freeze a tray of cookie dough balls for about 2 hours or until frozen solid. Then, wrap them in plastic wrap or store in an airtight, freezer-safe bag for up to 30 days.
Frozen cookie dough balls can be baked straight out of the freezer. Just add a few extra minutes onto the total bake time.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have not added enough flour or your baking powder could be expired.
You may have added too much flour to the batter! Make sure to properly spoon and level your flour to prevent this. Other reasons are that your batter was too cold or that the butter and eggs were too cold.
No, you unfortunately can't make these cookies vegan. If you feel like experimenting, you could possibly try using vegan butter and 2 flax eggs, but I can't guarantee any success!
Absolutely, although the cookies won't be as chewy. You can use a smaller, 1 oz cookie dough scoop and bake the cookies for about 7-10 minutes.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
Birthday Cake Sugar Cookies
- 1 mixer stand mixer or hand mixer
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Then, mix in the baking powder and salt.1 ½ cup all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat the room-temperature butter and sugar on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.½ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high for 1 minute.1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky.
- Fold the rainbow sprinkles into the cookie dough with a rubber spatula.¼ cup rainbow Jimmies sprinkles
- Use a large cookie scoop to scoop large cookie dough balls. Place 6-8 balls on each cookie sheet and press down on each firmly.
- Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes each. Bake until the edges are slightly golden and the cookies seem set.
- Top the cookies with extra sprinkles when they finish baking. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.