Oh my gosh, friends—these Sprinkle Cookies are the most fun! The simple vanilla cookie batter starts with just a few ingredients, has a seriously straightforward method, and gets rolled in sprinkles for a result that practically bursts with joy. It’s like a party in a cookie!

stack of sprinkle cookies on counter

Sprinkle Cookies

I have been on a real sprinkles kick recently, and these cookies have taken my love of them to a whole new level. They are a version of my Easy Sugar Cookies—which have minimal sugar, delicious vanilla flavor, and a super simple method—and the results are just so fun.

These cookies are great as a cake alternative at a birthday, perfect to celebrate a holiday like Easter or Christmas, or just an easy option to make on any day you feel like baking.

I like to make these with my kids, though I usually mix the dough myself and let them roll the dough balls into the sprinkles. (You may have a higher mess tolerance than I do!)

ingredients in sprinkle cookies

Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to make this recipe so you’re prepared for baking:

  • All-purpose flour: This keeps the cookies light and even a little fluffy.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt: I add a tiny amount of salt to round out the rest of the flavors.
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll want to soften the butter at room temperature so it’s soft when you press on it with your finger. (I sometimes pop it into the microwave for 5 seconds.)
  • Milk: Any kind of milk works here, though I use regular whole milk.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles: I prefer classic sprinkles here, and love the ones from India Tree.

TIP: To make these gluten-free, use a cup-for-cup style of gluten-free baking mix. To make them dairy-free, use softened coconut oil and nondairy milk.

how to make sprinkle cookies step by step process

Step-by-Step Instructions

This is the basic process to make these cookies. Scroll down to the end of this post for the full recipe.

  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the sprinkles, to a bowl. I start with the lower range of milk and add more as needed. Make sure butter is softened at room temperature so it’s soft when you press it with your fingers.
  2. Use your fingers to press and spread the butter into the rest of the ingredients. Continue until you have a dough that starts to hold together, adding the extra milk as needed. Try to make sure the butter is evenly mixed (so you can’t see big pieces of it in the batter). You can also do this step in a food processor and pulse to combine the ingredients into a batter.
  3. Use a measuring spoon to portion out rounds of dough. Roll into a ball, roll in sprinkles to cover, and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  4. Press flat. Pop into the fridge while the oven preheats. Bake until lightly golden brown on the bottoms.

TIP: To mix the dough, press the butter between your fingers to gently mix it into the flour.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do sprinkles melt in cookies?

No, if you use a similar type of sprinkles as I use here, they do not melt. They do spread a little as they bake, but they basically hold their shape.

What kind of sprinkles are best?

I prefer regular sprinkles (the longer ones, not the nonpareil style ones) and love these natural-colored ones from India Tree.

What is the texture like in Sprinkle Cookies?

The edges are a little crisp, due both to the baking and the sprinkles, and the insides are fluffy and a little cake-y. It’s such a fun texture mix.

sprinkle cookies on baking sheet pan

How to Store

Store prepared cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. They do soften a little as they’re stored. Or, you can freeze fully cooled cookies in a freezer bag, with as much air removed as possible, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free cup-for-cup style flour.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil, just softened (so not totally liquid, but softer than when it comes out of the jar at room temp). I tested it with about 10 seconds in the microwave in a heat-safe bowl.
  • If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that the butter is throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.
  • You can use whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat. The cookies will be darker in color, but the results will otherwise be the same. You may need a smidge more milk to ensure the dough is moist.
  • To make this dough ahead: Store it in the fridge in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours. It will need to sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften up, or you can remove it from the plastic, put it onto a plate, and microwave for 5-10 seconds.
  • You may also like Birthday Cake Muffins, Healthy Oatmeal Cookies with Apples and Carrots, Baked Raspberry Donuts, and Easy Sugar Cookies.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment and rate it below!

stack of sprinkle cookies on counter

Favorite Sprinkle Cookies (to Share with the Kids)

These vanilla cookies have crisp edges, an easy method, and less than half the sugar as similar cookies.They are so delicious. You can use your hands or a food processor, and note that you'll form the cookies, then chill them in the fridge while the oven preheats.
4.84 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 146kcal
Servings 8 (Makes about 16 cookies)

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sprinkles

Instructions

  • Line a half sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place all ingredients, except the sprinkles, into a bowl starting with 4 tablespoons milk. Use a clean hand to mix together to form a dough. Press the butter through your fingers to break it up and incorporate it into the flour. (Or, you can put the ingredients into a food processor and pulse to combine.) You shouldn't see any large pieces of butter.
  • (If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure it's throughly combined and if it's still crumbly at all, add ½-1 tablespoon additional milk until it comes together. The dough should be moist, but still easy to roll into balls.)
  • Add the sprinkles to a separate small bowl.
  • Portion out 1 tablespoon balls of dough using a measuring spoon. Roll into a smooth ball in your hand. Roll in sprinkles to coat all sides.
  • Place onto the prepared baking sheet. Press down lightly to make the cookie about about ½-inch thick. Repeat to make the rest of the cookies.
  • Place the pan into the fridge to chill while you preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom of each cookies and set around the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the pan.

Notes

  • Store prepared cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. They soften a little as they’re stored. (They are most crisp around the edges on the day they are baked.)
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free cup-for-cup flour.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil, just softened (so not totally liquid, but softer than when it comes out of the jar at room temp). I tested it with about 10 seconds in the microwave in a heat-safe bowl.
  • If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure the butter is throughly combined, and if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.
  • You can use whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat. The cookies will be darker in color, but the results will otherwise be the same. You may need a smidge more milk to make a moist dough.
  • To make this dough ahead: Store it in the fridge in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours. It will need to sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften up, or you can remove it from the plastic, put it onto a plate, and microwave for 5-10 seconds.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cookies, Calories: 146kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 67mg, Potassium: 30mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 189IU, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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