Cake Batter Cookies Copycat – Crazy for Crust

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Cake Batter Cookies are a soft sugar cookie that tastes like cake! These are a copycat of a famous recipe and they’ll be the only birthday cake you want from now on; PLUS you can make them for Christmas or any holiday with a simple swap.

This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter who helped these cookies come to life.

cookies with frosting and rainbow sprinkles on parchment

Copycat Cake Batter Cookies

There’s a national chain of cookie stores – you know the one – and I love them, especially all of their cake flavored cookies. And, of course, I love the birthday cake cookie the most: it has sprinkles. This is even better than that recipe because you can make it at home anytime you want!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Soft sugar cookie with frosting and tons of sprinkles!
  • The cookie and the frosting both taste like cake without using cake mix, thanks to cake batter extract.
  • You can make these for any holiday: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween…the options are endless!

Ingredients in Birthday Cake Cookies

  • Challenge Unsalted Butter – this is my go-to butter! I grew up using Challenge Butter and have used it almost my entire career too. I prefer baking with unsalted butter (did you know their unsalted butter was named a favorite by Cooks Illustrated?) but you can use salted, just reduce the salt – see recipe notes.
  • Sugar – Unlike my normal sugar cookie recipe, I’m using both granulated sugar and packed brown sugar. The bit of brown sugar adds a softness to the cookie.
  • Eggs – Always buy large eggs!
  • Baking Powder – This is also a change from my normal recipe, which calls for baking soda and cream of tartar. Using the baking powder makes these a little softer so they’re more cake-like.
  • Cake Batter Extract – This is what gives the cookies and frosting their telltale birthday cake flavor! Don’t skip this part – you can find this extract in the baking aisle of most grocery stores and even some craft stores.
  • Salt – To add flavor
  • Flour – Use all-purpose flour and be sure to measure it correctly.
  • Sprinkles – Jimmies (long thin sprinkles) are the best for baking. Use any color combination you like.
  • Powdered Sugar – For the buttercream frosting.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – This is my secret frosting ingredient for creamy fluffy frosting.
cookies with frosting and rainbow sprinkles on parchment with bite missing and butter box behind

Don’t forget to use the best ingredients when you’re baking, which is why I’ll always use them Challenge Butter. It’s made by happy cows at over 400 family-owned dairies and is farm to fridge in just 2 days, without added hormones or additives, and is available nationally.

How to make Cake Batter Cookies

  • Start by creaming together your room temperature butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. I like using a stand mixer.
  • Once the butter and sugar is light and fluffy, add the baking powder, eggs, salt, and cake batter extract. Mix until smooth.
  • Add in the flour and mix until smooth.
  • Decide what color sprinkles you’re using and fold them into the cookie dough.
  • You can choose what size cookies you want to make: large ones like the cookie shop using 3 tablespoons of cookie dough or scoop 2 tablespoon balls of dough instead. Place them on a baking sheet.
  • Press each cookie flat with the bottom of a drinking glass. TIP: spray the glass with nonstick cooking spray so it doesn’t stick. These will not spread much unless you flatten them.
  • Make the frosting by creaming together the butter, sugar, and extract and then adding in cream until you get the desired consistency.
  • Frost the cookies, adding more rainbow sprinkles!
cookies with frosting and Christmas sprinkles on parchment and butter box

Recipe Swaps

  • Only have Challenge Salted Butter? Reduce the added salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Use cream cheese frosting instead – with or without the cake batter extract. I love my cream cheese frosting recipe!
  • If you can’t find the cake batter extract you can use a combination of vanilla extract and butter emulsion, but it won’t have as much cake flavor.
cookies with frosting and Christmas sprinkles on parchment

FAQs

What makes a cookie cakey?

The baking powder instead of baking soda is what makes these a bit more like cake in texture, but they’re still all cookie!

How do you store birthday cake cookies?

Store these at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze sugar cookies?

Freeze the unfrosted cookies and frosting in airtight containers or freeze frosted cookies by freezing them in a single layer then stacking between layers of parchment paper. You can also freeze the unbaked dough balls; allow to thaw before baking.

How do you swirl frosting like Crumb?

To make the swirled frosting look, add frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe in a spiral around the cookie.

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes


Cookies:

  • 1 ½ cups (339g) Challenge Unsalted Butter softened
  • 1 ¼ cup (250g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cake batter extract (see notes)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (492g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup holiday sprinkles

Frosting:

  • 1 cup (226g) Challenge Unsalted Butter softened
  • 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cake batter extract (or vanilla extract)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a second cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  • Place softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Add granulated and brown sugars and mix on low speed until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in egg and cake batter extract and mix on medium speed until combined.

  • Mix in baking powder and salt, then slowly mix in flour and mix just until the batter is smooth and comes together. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl during mixing. Slowly mix in sprinkles.

  • Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Scoop 2 or 3 tablespoon balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Space them about 3 or 4 inches apart, depending on size. Press them gently with the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten.

  • Bake 13-16 minutes for 2-tablespoon size or 18-20 for 3 tablespoon size. The edges will be a light golden and the tops will no longer be glossy. Let cool completely before frosting.

  • To make frosting: Beat butter until smooth with a stand or hand mixer in a very large bowl. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until crumbly, then add salt and extract. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and mix, until smooth and fluffy, adding more cream as needed for desired consistency.

  • Frost the cookies as desired and top with more sprinkles. To frost them like Crumbl does, use a pastry bag with a round tip and spiral the frosting.

  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

  • If using salted butter, reduce added salt in cookie dough to 1/2 teaspoon and omit from frosting.
  • Can’t find the cake batter extract? Use a combination of vanilla and butter extracts (although it won’t be as “cake” flavored).
  • Use any color sprinkles you want.
  • How to freeze cookies:
    • Freeze unbaked cookie dough balls in an airtight container. Defrost before baking.
    • Freeze unfrosted cookies in bags or an airtight container. You can also freeze the frosting in an airtight container. Leave on the counter to thaw.
    • Freeze frosted cookies by freezing in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, layer between sheets of wax or parchment paper. Separate before thawing.

Serving: 1cookies | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Dish: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Vitamin C: 0.004mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Other Favorite Recipes

Cake Batter Cookies are the best – a birthday cake cookie copycat you can make with any color sprinkles – even as a Christmas cookie! So soft with cake batter frosting on top! These are SO GOOD!

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