Birthday Cookies are chilled, but soft cookies that are loaded with colorful sprinkles, both chocolate and white chocolate chips, and topped with buttercream frosting. Try my Birthday Blondies for another colorful birthday treat!
Yes, a birthday cake is always a treat on your special day, but these birthday cookies would also be a sweet treat to share. Both the taste and colorful sprinkles will make everyone smile! I started with the recipe from my Frosted Cookies and Cream Milkshake Cookies and tweaked them just a bit to make them birthday-approved. And, don’t forget the homemade buttercream frosting with even more sprinkles!
Room Temperature Ingredients: Using room temperature ingredients (butter, shortening, eggs) will help you get the best results when baking these cookies. Butter is at room temperature at 65°F. Don’t put it in the microwave to soften it; simply cut it up into small pieces and let it sit out if you forgot to take it out of the refrigerator.
Shortening: Shortening (hydrogenated vegetable oil) is any fat or oil that is solid at room temperature. If you have heard of or seen a big can of Crisco, that is shortening. It can be stored at room temperature and has a long shelf life. Because shortening is all fat, it is hard to make substitutions. If you do have to substitute for shortening, your best bet is lard because it is also 100% fat. If using lard in place of shortening, use 2 tablespoons less of lard for every one cup of shortening.
Cornstarch: Using cornstarch keeps the large cookies together, but still soft.
Sprinkles: Use a variety of colorful sprinkles, or the birthday boy or girl’s favorite colors! The sprinkles are added to the cookie dough as well as on top of the buttercream frosting.
Chocolate Chips: I added half of a cup of both semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Yes, you could use all chocolate chips, but I highly recommend the white chocolate chips for a more of a birthday cake-like taste.
How to Make Birthday Cookies
All you need is one large mixing bowl, a handheld mixer, and cookie sheets to get this cookie made. (Well, you need the ingredients, too, of course.) And, it is always somebody’s birthday somewhere, so these can really be made any day you are craving them! To make the cookie dough, first, mix together the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla with the mixer. Next, add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. Mix until incorporated.
Finally, fold in the sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips by hand. Mix just until they are incorporated into the batter. Use a quarter cup to scoop the cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet. You could also use a 2 tablespoon scoop; but then, you need two scoops to make one cookie. Use your hands to form the dough into round cookies and to slightly flatten, like a disc. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes. This keeps the cookies soft. If you prefer a firmer cookie, bake the cookies for 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting with buttercream.
How to Make Buttercream Frosting
I used a reduced amount of my American buttercream recipe to frost the cookies. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing the buttercream.
- To properly cream the butter and sugar to form the buttercream, the butter must start at room temperature. If the butter is too cold, the emulsion might break causing a separated buttercream.
- A lighter variation on this buttercream can be made by whipping the butter for a longer period of time to make a whipped buttercream.
- If the buttercream will not be used right away it must be stored in the refrigerator. It will firm up quite a bit and should be allowed to come back to room temperature before piping or spreading. Depending on how long it was stored you may need to re-mix it quickly. It will last about a week in the refrigerator.
I used a 2A tip – however, any open round tip will work for decorating. I piped out swirls on top of the cookies. You can omit the frosting or just use a knife to spread some should you want!
Be sure the cookies are completely cooled before frosting and adding sprinkles on top. Store the cookies in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Can I Freeze these Cookies?
Yes! You can freeze the cookies after they are baked (without the buttercream frosting) or freeze the dough. To freeze the cookies after they have been baked, let them cool completely. Place the cooled cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Remove from the freezer and store in a freezer-safe container for 3-4 weeks. Be sure to label and date the packaging.
To freeze the dough, place the balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the dough balls are completely frozen. Once frozen, transfer the dough to freezer-safe zipper bags. When ready to bake, simply bake as many of the cookies as you need from frozen. You may need to increase the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
Looking for More Birthday Treats?
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (192g) sprinkles, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup (84g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup (84g) white chocolate chips
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups (500g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2-6 teaspoons milk, as needed for desired consistency
- sprinkles, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Using a handheld mixer, combine the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.
To the butter mixture, add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. Mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in the sprinkles and chocolate chips.
Using a ¼ cup (or 2 scoops of dough with a 2 tablespoon scoop), add the dough out onto a lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. (I usually put 6 cookie dough balls onto each cookie sheet.) Use your hands to shape and slightly flatten each ball of dough, like a disc. (If you used 2, 2 tablespoon scoops, combine the scoops of dough into one large cookie.)
Bake for 12 minutes for a softer cookie, up to 14 minutes for a firmer cookie.
Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting with the buttercream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and salt.
Start mixing on low speed until the sugar is incorporated with the butter. Increase the mixing speed to high and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Adjust the consistency with milk as needed.
Store unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container and bring it back to room temperature before using it to pipe or frost.
Use buttercream to frost completely cooled cookies. Add sprinkles on top.
Store frosted cookies in the refrigerator. Serve cookies cold.