Who else loves birthday cake? I don’t know about you, but I look forward to a big piece of yellow cake with white buttercream and sprinkles every year. You know, classic birthday cake. These Birthday Cake Cookies embrace that cake flavor, but without the need for a boxed cake mix. They are soft and buttery with a warm vanilla flavor. The white chocolate chips provide that buttercream sweetness and the sprinkles are fun and nostalgic.
I have been looking for the perfect Birthday Cake Cookies recipe for quite some time now. My cookie dough base was solid, but how do you get that cake flavor without adding a boxed cake mix? I scoured the internet and found that other bakers used a combination of different extracts: vanilla, imitation vanilla, almond, and even a butter flavored (artificial) extract. Not being a fan of artificial flavors, I went to work using the vanilla and almond extract only. (If your taste buds aren’t sensitive to artificial flavors, feel free to give these other options a try! Tell me how they work out and leave a comment below.)
For this amount of cookie dough, I would generally use 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Since we are ramping up the flavor, I increased the amount to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. I also added a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. This made me nervous because at first, the almond taste was a little strong (I may have tested the dough once or twice. For science of course!). But to my relief, the almond taste becomes very subtle in the baked cookie. All of the flavors meld together and you’re left with this beautiful, rainbow speckled cookie.
With almost all of my cookie recipes, chilling the dough before baking it is a must. You’ll want to do this because chilling gives the ingredients a chance to meld together. The firmer consistency also keeps the cookies from spreading as much when baking. I like to make my cookie dough the day before and let the dough chill for 24 hours. This splits up your cookie making time into two smaller sessions, and it becomes much less daunting of a task. If you don’t have time, one hour of chilling is just fine.
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
- 1 and 1/2 cups white chocolate chips one 12 ounce bag
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat for a full 3 minutes, mixture will look fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
Add white chocolate chips and sprinkles and stir until just combined.
Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. Refrigerating will help the flavors meld and also create a firmer dough to roll into balls.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop dough using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls.
Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Your cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, you can place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed. You can keep raw cookie dough in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough balls (and baked cookies) freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen balls to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.