Softbatch FUNFETTI®-Inspired Sugar Cookies

Funfetti Cookies — These funfetti cookies are essentially sugar cookies from scratch that have been loaded with sprinkles. They have that nostalgic boxed cake flavor but are 100% homemade! 

stack of Funfetti Cookies on white plate

Funfetti Cookies From Scratch

Who can say no to super soft cookies with sprinkles baked in? I sure can’t.

It’s been on my bucket list to come up with a softbatch-style sugar cookie recipe that’s soft, and not at all cakey, with just hints of chewiness around the edges. And I wanted to make these from scratch, not from Funfetti cake mix. I have nothing against it, and once upon a time used cake mix a whole lot more, but these sugar cookies with sprinkles are 100% from scratch.

I wanted cookies with less cakiness than Lofthouse Cookies, and I wanted drop rather than roll out cookies recipes. I didn’t want to have to frost them, so baking in sprinkles was my solution. I definitely didn’t want hard or crispy cookies, which are words that should never describe cookies.

I know people love sugar cookies and decorated Christmas cookies, but I think they’re tasteless and way too hard. I would never waste my calorie budget on cardboard cookies with frosting that’s crunchy. No way.

I made these Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies previously ,and while I like them I felt like I could improve on them, so I did just that. For these funfetti cookies, I worked cornstarch into the dough. It’s my secret weapon for creating softbatch-style cookies. I’ve written about it before so many times and swear by it.

I also included both almond and vanilla extracts in the cookies to really play up the Funfetti cake batter taste. 

And you can’t have Funfetti without sprinkles, and the abundance of them adds texture and flavor. Everything is better with sprinkles. The more the merrier.

These birthday cake cookies make a smaller batch, just 15 cookies, perfect when you don’t want or need dozens of cookies laying around tempting you. Feel free to double it if you’d like.

The cookies are pillowy soft and tender with just a tiny bit of chewiness around the edges. They’re lightweight without being airy or dry. They’re moist with a rich buttery flavor. If you’re a ‘dough’ person, rather than an add-ins person, and can appreciate the simple pleasures of a really good, flavorful dough, this dough will be your new best friend.

I have no willpower around super soft and tender sugar cookies from scratch like these. Especially when sprinkles are involved.

Funfetti Cookie recipe

What’s in Funfetti Cookies? 

For these homemade funfetti cookies, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Salt 
  • Sprinkles

Note that I used clear imitation vanilla extract rather than real vanilla extract. This is a recipe where using the cheap stuff is preferred to the real thing because imitation provides a classic, bakery-cake, nostalgic flavor. It’s found in the baking aisle next to real vanilla and it’s a fraction of the cost.

sugar cookies with sprinkles on plate

How to Make Funfetti Cookies From Scratch

To make these birthday cake cookies, you first need to cream together the butter, sugar, egg, and extracts for about 5 minutes. Do NOT shortcut the creaming process — you need to make sure the butter mixture is very light in color and fluffy before adding the other ingredients. 

Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined, making sure to not break apart the sprinkles. Then, scoop the cookie dough onto a plate and roll into balls before flattening them slightly with your hands. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours before baking the cookies. 

Once the dough has chilled, bake for 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. These cookies should not turn golden or brown at all and should stay white.

funfetti sugar cookies from scratch on plate

How to Store Funfetti Cookies

You should store these homemade cookies in an airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you freeze the cookies, you can reheat them in the oven or set them on the counter to thaw. 

Can I Make These Cookies in Advance? 

Absolutely! I make the dough, scoop into balls, cover and refrigerate them for up to 5 days, before baking. You can also freeze the cookie dough (after you’ve scooped it) and bake these sugar cookies with sprinkles directly from frozen. 

Funfetti Cookies

Can I Omit the Almond Extract?

If you have a nut allergy or are simply out of extract, I’d add extra vanilla extract to make up for the lack of almond extract. Your funfetti cookies won’t taste exactly like mine without the almond extract, but they’ll still be delicious! 

My Cookies Came Out Flat, What Happened? 

Sometimes these things happen! But this funfetti cookie recipe always turns out perfectly for me. If you need help troubleshooting this cookie recipe, check out this chocolate chip cookie recipe for all of my best tips and tricks to making cookies from scratch (scroll to the bottom of the post for the list of tips). 

birthday cake cookies on plate

Can I Double This Recipe? 

Most definitely! These sugar cookies with sprinkles can be doubled or even tripled to feed a crowd. 

Can I Make These Into Cookie Bars? 

I haven’t tried that myself, so I can’t say for sure how they’d turn out. However, I have lots of cookie bar recipes on my blog already! If you’re looking for inspiration, try out my Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars, M&M’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, or Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

unbaked Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Does it Matter What Type of Sprinkles I Use? 

Nope! But I’d steer clear of the sprinkle balls if I were you, just because they’re fairly hard.

Can I Roll Out These Cookies and Cut Them Into Shapes? 

I haven’t tried that myself, so I’m not sure that’d work. If you roll out these cookies, I’m afraid they wouldn’t turn out soft and chewy at all. 

Funfetti Cookies recipe

Can I Make These with Whole Wheat Flour? 

I haven’t tried that myself, but my gut says no. Whole wheat flour would majorly alter the texture and flavor of these funfetti cookies. 

Can I Make These Gluten-Free? 

I’ve never made these with a GF flour, but if you find one that works please leave me a comment below! 

stack of Funfetti Cookies on plate

Tips for Making Funfetti Cookies

You absolutely must chill this dough before baking, no exceptions. The cookies will spread and bake flat and thin if you don’t chill the dough.

And don’t over bake! The cookies will look quite raw and underdone at 8 minutes, but they firm up while they cool. Don’t be tempted to bake them longer because they’re not meant to be browned, golden, or crisp. They’re meant to be white and soft.

Also note that the cornstarch in these birthday cake cookies can’t be substituted. It’s the secret ingredient and they wouldn’t turn out properly without it.  

Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies - Move over cake mix. These easy, super soft cookies are from scratch & loaded with sprinkles! Recipe at averiecooks.com

Softbatch Funfetti Cookies

Softbatch Funfetti Cookies

Funfetti cookies are essentially sugar cookies from scratch that have been loaded with sprinkles. They have that boxed cake flavor but are 100% homemade! 

Yield: 15 cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract (real vanilla extract may be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 3/4 cup sprinkles (jimmies)

Instructions

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Do not shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluff, stop to scrape down the sides of the mixer as necessary.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sprinkles and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two tablespoon mounds (I made 15). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line two baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. These cookies should not turn golden or brown at all and should stay white. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 13mg Sodium: 80mg Carbohydrates: 26g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 15g Protein: 2g

More Cookies From Scratch:

The Best Soft & Chewy M&M’s Cookies — These bakery-style M&M’s cookies are soft, chewy, buttery, and LOADED with M&M’s and chocolate chips. No one can resist these cookies!

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies — These soft batch cookies are made with a combination of butter and cream cheese, which makes them extra rich and delicious!

Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies – Super SOFT sugar cookies that just melt in your mouth!! If you’ve ever thought that sugar cookies can be boring or dry, this EASY recipe with frosting and sprinkles will change your mind!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — These cookies are soft, moist, and oh-so chewy. They taste like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies rolled into one dessert! 

The Best Snickerdoodles – Soft, pillowy puffs that are so irresistible! The closest recipe to Mrs. Fields snickerdoodles that you’ll find!

One-Bowl, No-Mixer, No-Chill, Extra-Large Chocolate Chip Cookie For One – An incredibly FAST and EASY recipe that produces ONE extra-large soft and chewy cookie that’s loaded with chocolate!

Funfetti Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies — The cookies are loaded with Oreos, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and are adapted from my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

263 comments on “Softbatch FUNFETTI®-Inspired Sugar Cookies”

  1. I made these cookies tonight and they came out very flat. I refrigerated them overnight in 2″ balls and baked them as stated. In fact, the 1st batch I baked right out of the refrig. and the 2nd batch I let sit at room temp. for 15 min. before baking. Both versions came out of the oven slightly mounded but flattened immediately as they cooled. The centers of the cookies did not firm up and look like the photo of your cookies.

    I am at a loss to why these did not stay puffy. I am a very experienced baker(40+ years). The ONLY thing I can think of is the measuring of the ingredients. I measured all my dry ingredients by spooning the ingredient into the measuring cup and leveling off. Is this how you measured your ingredients or did you use the “scoop and sweep” method?

    PLease comment. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Karen
      Ok thanks for trying these and I honestly don’t know why things didn’t turn out for you with these. I use King Arthur brand flour (all purpose) and I swear by it as ‘insurance’ because it has a slightly higher protein content than others, which will give anything a better rise and better structure from collapsing or falling. Maybe try with King Arthur. You could also try adding about 1/2 tsp baking powder to the recipe; I personally did not need it but sounds like you need something to help give them some puff.

      I measure my flour like you do, rather than the scoop & sweep (the later will tend to add more flour to a recipe than the former). If I am ever on the fence about calling for flour in a recipe, like 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp for example, I will always round up for readers and just say 2 cups. The pitfalls of not adding enough are worse. You could also try adding up to maybe 1/4 cup or so of flour.

      I have another cookie recipe similar to these that I am posting tomorrow. Stay tuned and LMK what you try with this recipe & your results.

  2. Dearest kitchen genius,

    I have made these cookies and am most thrilled with the results!! I gave the link to a friend. I also got to thinking that multi-coloured chocolate chips might just be fantastic in these. I did use less sprinkles as that was all I had, but it was plenty!! I love how huge these cookies are!!

  3. These look so good – I can’t wait to give them a try! I also love the fact that you can make these so far ahead of time and have them ready to bake in the fridge!

  4. For those who are experiencing flattening….

    you may want to try substituting half the butter with an equal amount of butter flavor crisco. This will stop the spreading and flattening, and does NOT change the flavor of the final product.

  5. Do you have any recommendations for baking these in high altitude?

  6. I have made these twice now and they are very yummy. The few I did spread but I wasn’t keeping track of time and I let them sit out at room temp too long before baking. I didnt let the rest sit out and they turned out lovely. I like just to do a few cookies at first because i have seen you mention in replies to posts that oven temps can vary. I just got a new oven so I am still getting the hang of it.

    My husband doesn’t like almond extract so I used only a teeny bit and used vanilla for the rest. I used Christmas colored jimmies and they look so pretty for the holidays. Thanks for the recipe! I love that you don’t overbake your recipes. The cookies are always such a great texture. I can’t wait to try you m&m cookies tomorrow.

    • Oh gosh, great comment! Not overbaking, using more vanilla than almond b/c it’s the right choice for your family/hubs (good, always bake to taste; yours!), the xmas jimmies, realizing that room temp dough does and will spread more than chilled (wish all people clued into that), new oven and testing things out in batches – I am so happy that you’re baking smart! And thanks for trying this recipe!

      The M&M cookies are great! It’s my fave all-around dough base for choc chip cookies, twix/snickers/milky way/M&M cookies, and LMK how they go for you!

      • I made those m&m cookies and they were soooooo good. They spread a bit more than in your photos. Not sure where I went wrong. I was careful about chilling them and such. Only thing I could think is maybe I am not creaming the butter enough AND I used salted butter. Regardless though they are delicious and I will try again possibly doing a better job of creaming the butter.

        Perhaps I should have put this on the actual m&m cookie review!

        Thanks for your replies and comments! My family (Dad especially) loves your soft cookies.

      • Feel free to just paste this on the M&M cookies if you’d like! That way others know what’s up :)
        https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/03/soft-and-chewy-mms-cookies.html

        The softbatch funfetti cookies are prone to spreading more so than some of the other cookies, like the M&M Cookies which are based on my fave choc chip cookie base. Cookies made with that base, just don’t spread. But it doesn’t translate to a white, pale cookie like the funfetti. I would say cream better, continue with the chilling, but also using a higher quality flour, like king arthur brand, will really help you. It has a slightly higher protein content and in baking that means cookies, cakes, etc rise better, get better oven spring with muffins and breads, and just all around, it will help you!

  7. “Do not overbake.”

    I have had to put my cookies in the oven four times (total of at least 15 minutes) and they are still basically raw in the center. The only deviation I made from the recipe is baking them on stoneware instead of a regular baking sheet. Any ideas where I may have gone wring, or anyone else experience their cookies not actually cooking?
    Thanks.

    • baking them on stoneware instead of a regular baking sheet = YES THAT’S where you went wrong!!! Stonewear heats/cooks/conducts heat totally differently than regular cookies sheets and they share none of the same properties. Bake cookies on a regular cookie baking sheet. Save your stonewear for your pizzas and pita breads and such.

  8. Made these again for Christmas using red and green sprinkles!!! So good.

  9. These are the first Pinterest cookies that I have made (out of several recipes) that have turned out just as pictured! They are delicious! Didn’t have any almond extract on hand so just used vanilla but going to make them again in the future with the correct extracts! Still delicious and so so cute! Thank you for a great recipe!!

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe!! It was very clear, concise, and thorough. This is exactly how every recipe should be! Mine turned out great, but I thought the almond flavor was a little heavy and toned it down for my second batch. My man LOVES soft cookies, so these were just his speed!

  11. Okay, I made these today and they were an absolute hit! I followed the directions to a “t”, other than that I didn’t have any almond extract (we’ve been snowed in the last few days), but I did have rum extract. I made another nutty, shortbread cookie over the holidays with it, so I figured I’d might as well use it up in this recipe. I don’t think I’d do it any differently! For those of you who aren’t familiar with rum extract, the cookies won’t taste like alcohol at all, even though the extract smells JUST LIKE the liquor. The rum extract just enhances the vanilla in the recipe. I will also say that although I chilled the dough for almost 4 hours, the cookies I made did flatten quite a bit, too. I didn’t have a scoop, so I just used a Tablespoon measuring spoon and made slightly rounded Tablespoons of dough. That ended up making 46 cookies from a double batch of the recipe. I cooked them at 350 for 4 minutes, turned the cookie sheets (baked two sheets at a time), and then baked them for 4 more minutes. They turned out perfect! This recipe will be a keeper. Thank you Averie for posting it. I will definitely be trying more of your recipes in coming weeks.

    • I love rum extract and actually, in so many ways, it’s pretty similar to almond extract and in a pinch, I have subbed rum extract for either almond or vanilla extract. There’s one I can get the storebrand (Ralph’s/Kroger) for like 1.99 super cheap called ‘butter rum extract’ and I really like that one. Anyway, good call!

      The best thing you can do for the flattening issue is go buy a cookie scoop. It’s just impossible to get high/tall yet tightly compacted dough balls by using a tablespoon. You’ll be amazed at the difference & if not baking on a silpat, get one too. A small investment for even better cookie results!

  12. YUM – I seriously just discovered this recipe, and made it immediately. Yes, put down my computer, got up off my couch at 9 pm and made it. You had me at homemade funfetti. I will have to let you know just how yummy they turn out after I bake them, at 11 pm. :) I might just wait and have one for breakfast instead. THANKs and I love the “how to grow your blog” and “blogging 101” posts!

  13. I just made these tonight (had to use christmas sprinkles as that is what I had handy lol) and these tasted awesome. Trying not to eat more than my calories allow. I used a smaller cookie scoop to yield more and I cannot wait to serve these to my co workers tomorrow. I did not wait two hours to bake and they did not spread too much. Did keep it covered while other batches were baking. These are fun, festive and tasty and the almond extract adds a nice flavor to these. LOVE THESE COOKIES!

  14. These cookies rock. I am a straight up sugar cookie snob and I can’t stop eating them. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  15. I see these cookies all the time – they are sheer perfection and so gorgeous!

  16. You’re definitely right, nobody can ever say no to a soft sugar cookie! These look so yummy.

  17. I live in Flagstaff Arizona at 7000 ft. what altitude do you cook your funfetti cookie?

  18. I was drooling and thinking about these cookies after I pinned them on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and finally made them today! I altered a couple of things like subbing part almond flour, a little less cornstarch and little more baking powder, but I found it so interesting that you used cornstarch! Does that make it fluffier or since it’s a thickener does that help with the slight crispiness? Or is it the chewiness? (haha I am pretty sure it’s one of those but not sure which!)

    • Cornstarch gives that softbatch-style ultra soft texture. It’s probably the almond flour you subbed with that gave more chewy/crispyness because it’s a nut, and nuts get crunchy/crispy in the oven so I’m thinking that aspect comes from the almond flour.

  19. Made these this past weekend and they turned out perfect!! Soft & puffy, they did not spread or flatten at all!! So happy with this recipe!!!

  20. I tried this recipe the other day and was super disappointed as they came out looking nothing like the photo. :( The cookies seemed very dry and way too airy. I am not sure what went wrong. I want to try again as I have enough ingredients for another batch but I don’t understand whats wrong with my first batch! I didnt chill for 2 hours – Maybe 1 hour but the dough wasn’t runny AT ALL so I thought it was fine. Other than that, I cannot think of what the issue was but the photo had me craving them and they came out nothing like it! :(

    • I would chill for the recommended amount of time and also way too dry and airy would seem to indicate the dough was over-floured and or over-baked. When you are measuring flour, don’t hard-pack it; use a light hand and loosely put it in the cup, then measure. Don’t compact it or the dough could become too dense. I use King Arthur all-purpose flour and swear by the results. Also, you don’t want to overbake sugar cookies or they will be dry and airy and all ovens vary, so watch them closely (like a hawk) and the minute they look barely even done, they’re done. Let them cool on the tray for 10-15 mins and they will carryover cook and should be perfect.

      • Ok ill try again tonight. Im a New Yorker living in England so I’m just using normal flour which should be fine. What about butter? Does it matter what kind? Also with regards to baking soda versus powder – I used baking soda like the recipe indicated – are you certain? Normally baking soda recipes also have an acidic/ citrus ingredient also to “activate” it – are you 10)% its baking soda and not powder? Just making sure I have it all right for my second try because I am desperate to shove this entire batch of cookies into my mouth exactly as they are from the photo :) I am obsessed with amazing sugar/ almond flavored cookies!!!

      • I’m just using normal flour which should be fine. = not so fast. European flour is very different from American and if there is such a thing as ‘bread’ flour, you may want to try that. It has more gluten and therefore the cookies will have more structural integrity and not be as prone to spreading. But since I live in San Diego, I cannot comment too much on the flours there!

        I was asked this about the baking powder/soda before and I did use baking soda. If you want to add 1/2 tsp baking powder, it can’t hurt; it could make the cookies a little more airy/light and cakey-textured which I personally don’t prefer so I didn’t use it, but it’s ‘insurance’ if you will.

      • OK, Tried it again and they’re amaze balls! Thanks! Things I did differently this time:

        – used unsalted plain butter (last time i used whatever my flatmate had)
        – carefully measured the flour (used same basic flour as its all I had)
        – Chilled overnight
        Used a MIXER and NOT my hand to whisk the ingredients.

        I think a potential huge error was the baking soda measurement – I might have accidentally doubled the amount because I doubled the recipe both times and I think I used the TABLEspoon and not TEAspoon measurement the first time around by mistake. These are great! Love the almond and the denseness to them – thats my favorite part – a DENSE, soft sugar cookie! :) :) Thanks girl! xo

      • So glad they came out just right for you this time…and yes using the butter the recipe calls for, carefully measuring the flour, chilling overnight, and using a mixer AND the baking soda (gosh yes that would have totally done them in had you used a tablespoon and not a teaspoon), all these things ALL matter. Baking is precise and you have to do things just like I write in the recipe or that any recipe calls for to get a good result and glad it all worked out!

  21. HOLY AWESOME! These seriously filled this gaping void in my cookie repertoire!!! Thank you for sprinkle sunshine and this fabulous perfectly textured, non cakey recipe!!!

  22. Love these! I made the cake batter version previously but I would love to try these sometime. The sprinkles just make my life better. :)

    Check out my baking blog! http://Www.forloveofbaking.com to see my funfetti cookies!

    Sydney

  23. WOW! My granddaughter and I made these cookies yesterday. They were a huge hit with the family. The only change I would make the next time is to use less sprinkles. These would be great without sprinkles too. Just love the idea of small batch cookies too. So glad I found your website.

  24. What do you think about chilling the dough in a log. Then, cutting into rounds and baking?

    • I don’t tend to do that because sometimes dough get crumbly after it’s been chilled and cut. Where the knife hits it, it breaks and crumbles. Not sure if that would happen with this dough because I haven’t tried it.

  25. Honestly, I made these today and they came out perfectly flat. I followed the recipe in every minute way.
    HOWEVER- they are totally worth it, flat or not. Amazingly delicious! I can’t imagine loving them any better if they were mounded. Thanks Averie!

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