This recipe was first published here on 14th May 2020 and has been updated with new information and images.

With May, June and July being big birthday months in my family, I’m thinking about loads of birthday treats right now. These Birthday Cake Cookies look like a mini funfetti birthday cake and they’re super quick to make.

If you love sprinkles on your cookies, you’ll love these Donut Cookies or these Giant Freckles Chocolate Cookies too.

A stack of 3 buttercream-filled birthday cake cookies.

These birthday cake cookies are adapted from the most popular cookie on this blog – these Buttery Sultana Cookies – blog and they’re totally addictive – just try to stop at one. I tried … it didn’t work.

In my opinion it’s the perfect cookie base. The texture is chewy with crispy edges and it’s full of buttery flavour. What’s even better is it starts with just 6 ingredients.

Ingredients in Birthday Cake cookies

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • The basic 6 ingredient cookie dough 
    • Flour: Use plain flour / all purpose flour.
    • Baking soda: Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, gives these a little lift. Keep in mind this is not baking powder.
    • Sugar: Just white sugar is perfect here.
    • Butter: Use unsalted butter for these cookies or leave out the salt if you only have salted butter. 
    • Salt: Just a little salt to intensify flavours.
    • Milk: There is no eggs in this recipe so we add some moisture with milk. 
  • The add-ins 
    • Sprinkles: Use your favourite rainbow sprinkles, 100’s and 1000’s or rainbow jimmies. You can even customise and use a colour to suit the birthday theme.
    • Chocolate chips: I use a mixture of milk and dark chocolate chips here but you could also use white chocolate chips.
    • Vanilla extract: I use pure vanilla extract to give these a lovely vanilla flavour. A little almond extract is lovely too.

There is also a totally optional buttercream if you want to sandwich them together.

This recipe makes a big batch of cookies so they can be sandwiched together with buttercream but you can easily halve the recipe or make the full amount and freeze half for later.

Tools you’ll need

How to make funfetti cookies

A collage of 4 images showing how to make birthday cake cookies.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients: First mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl, with a whisk to disperse and aerate it.
  2. Onto the dough: Now, beat together room temperature butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until lightened and fluffy. Now you’ll add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the vanilla and milk – so one third of flour, vanilla, one third of flour, milk, remaining flour – and beat just to combine after each addition.
  3. Add the sprinkles and chocolate chips and beat just until it starts forming large clumps.
  4. Scoop the cookies: Use a small cookie scoop (around 2 teaspoons volume) to scoop the dough or roll it into small balls.
  5. Bake: Place the cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper, then bake for 9-10 minutes. 
  6. Cool: Let them cool on a wire cooling rack before filling them with buttercream. 

Keep in mind the baking time will depend on your oven. I always recommend keeping an oven thermometer inside your oven to check that the thermostat is actually reading correctly.

The simple vanilla buttercream

This vanilla buttercream frosting has a slight salty kick which makes it near-on addictive to eat straight from the bowl. Between 2 sweet cookies, that salt is just perfect. Feel free to drop the level of salt or use salted butter in place of the unsalted.

Just beat together all 5 ingredients for 4-5 minutes until you have a fluffy, creamy frosting.

A batch of funfetti cookies with chocolate chips on a sheet of baking paper.
  • Make sure your baking soda is within it’s best before date and make sure to sift it first so there are no lumps.
  • Don’t roll tight balls of dough or if using a cookie scoop, just take one scoop, don’t pack it in. This creates little air pockets so your cookies don’t end up hard.
  • The dough is quite dry but able to be pressed together. It’s meant to be this way so don’t add too much moisture. If it isn’t clumping though, just drizzle in a tiny bit extra milk until it is.
  • The cookies spread to about twice their width so make sure to sit them a couple of inches apart on the baking trays.
  • The butter flavour is intensified if you let the edges get golden but remember the longer you bake the cookies, the crunchier they will be once cool.
  • Bake a test cookie – 10 minutes is perfect in my oven for a light golden edge but a crisp edge and chewy centre once cooled. All ovens vary and different climates / altitudes will also affect your baking so bake a test one first and let it cool so you know exactly how long to bake them to your preference.
  • Also for the reason above I always suggest using an oven thermometer. Oven thermostats are often out of whack and an oven thermometer is cheap and can remain in your oven indefinitely.

Can cookies be frozen?

Yes, cookies can be frozen and they’ll taste almost as good as fresh. This cookie dough as well as the baked cookies can be frozen (that’s if you don’t eat them all first).

  • The dough should be wrapped well in plastic wrap then placed in an airtight bag or container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Baked cookies should also be wrapped well or double bagged and placed in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Variations and substitutions

This birthday cookie recipe is incredibly customisable.

  • Chocolate Chips – leave out the sprinkles and use all chocolate chips. This is how my Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies were born.
  • Sprinkle colours – use coloured sprinkles to match the theme of the party or the birthday persons favourite colour. These cookies can also be used for baby showers – just change up the sprinkle colour.
  • Nuts – add different types of chopped nuts

More buttery cookies


Easy and fun, even for kids to make, these cookies are a definite winner. They’re buttery flavour is irresistible and the funfetti makes them so much fun. Don’t take my word for it though – make a batch of Birthday Cake Cookies in place of the next birthday cake and watch them get greedily devoured.

A stack of 6 birthday cake cookies.

IF YOU TRY THIS funfetti cookies recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers too!

A stack of funfetti cookies surrounded by more and a small bowl of sprinkles

Birthday Cake Cookies

5 from 2 votes – Rate this recipe!
Imagine rich butter sugar cookies, filled with sprinkles and chocolate chips and you have these Birthday Cake Cookies. On their own or sandwiched together with simple buttercream, this cute funfetti cookies recipe is the perfect fun birthday treat.

Ingredients

FOR THE COOKIES

  • 260 g plain (all purp) flour (2 cups / 9.1oz)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g white granulated sugar (1 cup / 7oz)
  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk (8 tsp, see notes)
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips (100g / 3.5oz)
  • cup sprinkles

BUTTERCREAM (optional)

  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 1 ⅓ cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

FOR THE COOKIES

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 180C / 350F /160C fan forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. If using a stand mixer, attach the paddle attachment.
  • MAKE THE DOUGH: Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and mix to distribute evenly.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and alternate, beating just until combined after each – one third of flour, the vanilla, another third of flour, the milk, the remaining flour.
  • Set aside 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips. Add the rest, along with the sprinkles to the dough and give the mix another quick beat until just mixed through.
  • ROLL & BAKE: Scoop small balls of dough (about 2 teaspoons) and roll into a ball gently (don't press it together too firmly).
  • Place on the lined baking trays 1-2 inches apart then dot the tops with the remaining choc chips.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes – the longer you bake them the more golden and crispier they’ll get.
  • Let them cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • If using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat, first on low until combined, then on medium high for 4-5 minutes. It should look pale and fluffy.
  • Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I really appreciate it and it helps me create more recipes.

Notes

Suggested equipment: small cookie scoop, cookie tray, stand mixer or handheld beater
  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equiv. 4 teaspoons everywhere)
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop
  3. All ovens vary – always test for doneness 2-5 minutes before the recipe suggests
  4. If you don’t want to make a full batch, you can easily scale the recipe to make only half.
  5. The cookie dough can be frozen
  6. The baked cookies can also be froze
For more cookie recipes, click here
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t for get to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you.