Birthday cake cookies are chewy, buttery, and filled with white chocolate chips and sprinkles. Plus, they're made entirely from scratch - no need for a boxed cake mix today!
Sometimes, birthdays need cake and cookies. Filled with flavors reminiscent of a classic yellow cake with buttercream frosting, these birthday cake cookies will be the hit of the party.
You will love these birthday cake cookies because they embrace that classic birthday cake flavor, but without a boxed cake mix. If you've been looking for a birthday cake cookie that's not made with a boxed cake mix - look no further!
This recipe was made from my curiosity of how to make a cookie actually taste like a classic yellow birthday cake. Turns out, it was as simple as adding some extra vanilla extract, a hint of almond extract, as well as white chocolate chips.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Room temperature eggs and butter - Room temperature ingredients cream together seamlessly to create an even dough that bakes up nicely in the oven. Butter should not be melted or cold. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, fill a small bowl with warm tap water. Add your eggs and allow to set for 10 minutes.
- Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
- Sugars - We're using a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar in this recipe for optimal texture and flavor. Granulated sugar helps aerate the butter when creaming the two together, which helps lift your cookies as they bake. Brown sugar adds a caramelized, molasses flavor and chewy texture to your cookies.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your cookies and balances the wet ingredients in the recipe. I haven't tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I can't say for sure how your cookies would turn out with substitutions. To avoid wasting ingredients, I highly suggest searching for a recipe that has been developed with the type of flour you'd like to use.
- Rainbow jimmies - I recommend using rainbow jimmies instead of nonpareils or sugar sprinkles. Nonpareils like to bleed when mixed into a batter. Jimmies hold up well to baking and look great in the finished product!
- White chocolate chips - Can be omitted entirely or substituted with chocolate chips. Omitting the chocolate chips will reduce the amount of cookies the recipe makes.
- Baking soda - Cannot be substituted with baking powder. The two are not interchangeable.
- Extracts - A combination of vanilla and almond extracts enhance the flavor of your cookies and give it that 'birthday cake' flavor.
Making cookie dough
- First, cream together your butter and sugars in a large bowl. I highly recommend using a hand mixer or stand mixer for best success. Then, add your eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract, beating until light and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together your dry ingredients to remove clumps. Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly incorporate, mixing until just combined (do not overmix, this overworks the gluten and makes a tough cookie).
- Last, pour in your sprinkles and white chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
Refrigerating your dough
Cover your bowl, or shape your dough into a disk and wrap with wax paper, then refrigerate for at least an hour (up to 24 hours). This gives the flavors time to meld. Your dough will also spread less on the baking sheet when it is chilled first.
Cookie tips and tricks
Check out my full post, 10 tips for baking cookies, for my best tips on baking a perfect batch of cookies. Here are my favorites:
- Room temperature ingredients - Room temperature ingredients mix together evenly to create a perfectly mixed dough (without streaks of unmixed ingredients).
- Bring ingredients to room temperature quickly - Slice sticks of butter into small, ½ inch slivers. Small pieces warm up faster than a whole stick. Place eggs into a bowl and cover with very warm tap water. They'll come to room temperature in about ten minutes.
- Properly measure your flour - The most common issue I see in baking is the improper measuring of flour. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale and measuring using the gram measurements in the recipe card. If you don't have a scale, use the spoon and level method. Stir your flour, then spoon gently into a measuring cup and level off the top with a knife.
- Cookie scoop - Use a cookie scoop (I used a medium OXO cookie scoop for this recipe) for perfectly sized, round cookies. Cookie scoops work especially well for a sticky dough like this one.
Storing and freezing
Raw cookie dough can be refrigerated for 3 days in a sealed container (or wrapped in plastic). Raw birthday cake cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months in a sealed, freezer-safe container. Or, form your dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and place in a freezer-safe plastic bag.
Baked cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a sealed container at room temperature. To elongate your cookie shelf life, add a slice of bread to the cookie container. Replace the bread as needed (it will get stale as it helps keep your cookies fresh).
Baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. To thaw, set them on the counter and allow them to come to room temperature. This can take between 30 to 60 minutes.
Birthday Cake Cookies
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (99 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (160 g) brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ¾ cups (330 g) all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (80 g) rainbow sprinkles
- 12 ounces (340 g) white chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, add butter and sugars. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gently stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
- 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 allows the flavors meld and also creates a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove dough from refrigerator. 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 about 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges and across the tops. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep for up to 5 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. Raw cookie dough will keep 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.
- Try using sprinkles to match your favorite sports team, school colors, holiday colors, or the party's theme colors.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking cookies, based on reader comments and questions!