These easy, delicious, homemade sugar cookies with sprinkles make a delightful addition to the cookie jar.
These from-scratch funfetti or confetti cookies taste like a delicious birthday cake in cookie form!
This particular cookie recipe was inspired by the humble vanilla birthday cake that is decorated with sprinkles or hundreds and thousands as they are called in many commonwealth countries.
This cookie has that rich vanilla flavour, and is full of happy birthday-like colors from the sprinkles, and rolled in sugar that give it a crunchiness that also mimics the sweetness of a buttercream frosting.
What exactly are sprinkles?
Sprinkles are small pieces of confectionery that are used to add not only fun colors but also texture to desserts such as cakes, brownies, or ice cream. There are many different types of sprinkles.
Nonpareils (which are commonly known as hundreds and thousands in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) are tiny colored balls made from sugar and starch. These sprinkles are usually used for decoration but can be added to baked goods (as I did here). However, these should be mixed in fairly gently as they do tend to bleed colors into the baked goods.
Jimmies typically refer to rod-shaped brightly colored sprinkles. These don't bleed as much color as the nonpareils and are also great for decorating baked goods.
Quins/Sequins or confetti sprinkles are softer, larger, round, or oval-shaped sprinkles. They can also be heart-, star- or other shapes for special occasions. These sprinkles are great for decoration and can also be used inside baked goods, like these cookies.
Why You Will Love These Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
- Super easy to make!
- These cookies with their bright colors will put a smile on anyone's face.
- They are super delicious! And taste like a cookie-shaped birthday cake.
- The resting time allows you to bake a set of fresh cookies the day after making the dough.
- This cookie dough can be frozen and baked from frozen!
Here are some notes on the ingredients used in this recipe. Please see the recipe card for quantities.
- Flour - plain, all-purpose, or standard-grade flour.
- Caster or granulated white sugar adds sweetness to this cookie.
- Baking soda gives a bit of lift.
- Butter adds a nice rich flavor.
- Salt - this can be left out if using salted butter.
- Sprinkles - I used a mixture of Jimmies and Hundreds and Thousands or nonpareils (see notes above on different sprinkle types).
- An egg binds everything together.
- Additional granulated sugar and sprinkles for cookie dusting before baking.
Test the freshness of your baking powder or baking soda (bicarbonate of soda or bread soda) by placing a small amount in some boiling water. If it bubbles and fizzes, it's good to use!
Salt is a crucial ingredient in all baked goods. I use table salt in all my recipes. One teaspoon of table salt equals 1.5 teaspoons of Morton Kosher Salt equals 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal.
Room Temperature Ingredients
Use room-temperature ingredients! Using room temperature ingredients ensures that ingredients in the batter or dough will incorporate easier. Take note that room temperature refers to around 20°C/68F.
- To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place them into warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- To bring butter to room temperature quickly, cut the butter into cubes and zap in the microwave at 20% power in 10-second intervals. Or place the cubes in a bowl over warm water (such as with a double boiler) over low heat for 1 minute!
- Milk, buttermilk, and cream can be brought to room temperature by zapping in the microwave at 20% power in 10-second intervals. Or on low heat for a minute or two swirling every 10-15 seconds.
Weighing & Measuring Ingredients
Weighing ingredients with a kitchen scale is more accurate than using measuring cups. All my recipes are developed and tested using grams only.
However, I have activated the metric-to-cup conversions. Simply click on "cups" or "metric" for your preferred measurements. For these conversions, cups are equal to 240 millilitres/8 fluid ounces, tablespoons are 15 milliliters and teaspoons are 5mL.
How to Make Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
Step 1 - Cream the Butter and Sugar
Cream the room-temperature butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for 2-3 minutes. The butter should be light, fluffy, and lightened in color.
NOTE: Room temperature butter is best for creaming. If the butter is too soft, simply pop it into the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 2 - Add in the egg and vanilla
Add the vanilla extract and room-temperature egg and beat for 2-3 minutes until the egg is completely incorporated and the mixture is nice and fluffy.
Step 3 - Mix in the dry ingredients
In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and then add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Toss in the sprinkles and mix to form a soft cookie dough.
NOTE - If using nonpareils or hundreds and thousands, the cookie dough must be mixed carefully, and not overmixed, this will prevent the mixing and bleeding of colors through the cookie dough.
Step 4 - Portion out the cookies
Using an ice-cream scoop or 2-tablespoon cookie scoop and portion out the cookies. Place the portioned cookies on a sheet of parchment on a plate or baking tray. Allow the cookies to rest in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. If resting for longer than 2 hours, store the cookies in an airtight container in a single layer or cover the plate with plastic wrap.
NOTE - Resting the cookie dough in the fridge allows all the flour to hydrate and also solidifies the butter which helps the cookies maintain their shape during baking.
Step 5 - Preheat
Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F or 160°C fan. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Step 6 - Dust and Bake
Place 2-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of sprinkles in a small bowl. Dip the tops of the cookies all the way to the base into the mixture and place them on the baking trays about 7cm or 3 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow cooling on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Enjoy these sugar cookies with sprinkles with a large glass of milk!
NOTE - these cookies do not need to be rolled in sugar and sprinkles, but I like the extra crunch it gives the cookies.
Pro Tips for this Recipe
The temperatures stated are for conventional ovens. For convection, fan-forced, fan-assisted, or air-fryers, the temperature must be reduced by 20°C/25°F.
For baking, make sure the oven is fully preheated, and that the rack is in the middle of the oven. Open the oven as little as possible. For best baking results use an oven thermometer.
Remember that all ovens work slightly differently and bake times may need to be adjusted for your specific oven.
Metal bakeware is superior when it comes to baking biscuits, cookies, brownies, muffins and quick bread, scones, cakes. These heat up and cool down faster than glassware. Glassware is heavier, heats up and cools down slower than metal, and is more suited for bread puddings, pies, crisps, crumbles, and cobblers.
Resting cookies in the fridge
Resting cookie dough in the fridge plays an important role in the final product of the cookies. It allows the flour to hydrate, and the butter to solidify. This not only results in a cookie that better holds its shape but also results in a cookie with a chewier center and a deeper flavor profile.
Storage and Freezing
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
The cookie dough can be frozen in individual portions and baked off when the need for a warm cookie strikes. To bake from frozen, follow the preheat and baking directions as per the recipe.
Sprinkle Sugar Cookies FAQ
I used a mixture of nonpariels (hundreds and thousands) and jimmies. But you can use either or, or even swop them out with confetti sprinkles to make confetti cookies!
I would reccomend resting them, especially if the temperature is a bit warmer. If baking immediately because you just can't wait - the cookies may spread out more, and be thinner. Also watch the baking time.
Yes! To make smaller sugar cookies with sprinkles, simply use a tablespoon cookie scoop. But watch the bake time, and check on the doneness at around 10 minutes.
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Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
- 2⅔ tablespoon scoop (No. 24)
- Baking Tray
- Stand Mixer OR
- Electric hand mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- 113 grams butter (room temperature)
- 150 grams white granulated sugar (caster/granulated)
- 1 egg (large - room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 180 grams plain flour (all-purpose/standard grade)
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb/bread soda)
- 80 grams sprinkles
- 4 tablespoons white granulated sugar (granulated)
- 2 tablespoons sprinkles
- Cream the room-temperature butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for 2-3 minutes. The butter should be light, fluffy, and lightened in color.113 grams butter, 150 grams white granulated sugar
- Add the vanilla extract and room-temperature egg and beat for 2-3 minutes until the egg is completely incorporated and the mixture is nice and fluffy.1 egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and then add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Toss in the sprinkles and mix to form a soft cookie dough.180 grams plain flour, ¼ teaspoon table salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 80 grams sprinkles
- Using an ice-cream scoop or 2-tablespoon cookie scoop and portion out the cookies. Place the portioned cookies on a sheet of parchment on a plate or baking tray. Allow the cookies to rest in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. If resting for longer than 2 hours, store the cookies in an airtight container in a single layer or cover the plate with plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F or 160°C fan. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Place 2-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of sprinkles in a small bowl. Dip the tops of the cookies all the way to the base into the mixture and place them on the baking trays about 7cm or 3 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow cooling on the baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.4 tablespoons white granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons sprinkles
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly. All temperatures stated are conventional, unless otherwise stated. Recipes tested in grams and at sea level.