Birthday Cake in Cookie Form

These soft birthday cake cookies are topped with a perfectly sweet cream cheese frosting and birthday cake crumbs. My recipe is 100% from-scratch, lots of fun to make, and takes just 45 minutes to prep!

For Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (226g)
¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
1 large egg + 1 large egg white
½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract (may substitute regular vanilla extract)
3 ¼ cups cake flour (375g)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon table salt

Electric mixer (Affiliate Link):
Mixing bowls (Affiliate Link):
Rolling pin (Affiliate Link):
2” round cookie cutter (Affiliate Link):
Baking sheet (Affiliate Link):

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (57g)
4 oz cream cheese, softened (use full-fat “brick-style” cream cheese) (113g)
2 ½ cups powdered sugar (315g)
½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract (may substitute regular vanilla extract)
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 batch confetti crumbs:…

00:00 Introduction
For Cookies
00:24 Combine softened butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer (or stand mixer) to beat until light, creamy, and well-combined.
00:44 Stir in egg, egg white, and vanilla extract until completely incorporated.
00:56 In a separate bowl, whisk together cake flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
01:08 Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring on low-speed until completely combined (I’ll usually add the flour mixture in 4 parts, stirring until just-combined after each addition).
01:20 Form dough into a 1” thick disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding (note: while the dough chills you can prepare your confetti crumbs, linked in the ingredients list above).
01:33 Once dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or bake cookies directly on ungreased cookie sheet).
01:38 Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll dough to be between ¼-½” (about 1 cm) thick (see note if you have any difficulty).
02:08 Use a 2” (5cm) round cookie cutter to cut out cookies as close together as possible and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies at least 2” (5cm) apart.
02:29 Bake in 350F (175C) oven for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on their baking sheet for at least 5-10 minutes before carefully removing to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
02:53 Combine butter and cream cheese and use an electric mixer to stir together until smooth, creamy, and lump-free.
03:10 Stir in vanilla extract and salt.
03:35 Gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
05:33 Pipe or spread frosting over cooled cookies (I use a ½” open tip for piping). Immediately top with confetti crumbs, if using (or just top with sprinkles!).


Clear vanilla extract
“Clear” vanilla extract is imitation vanilla. It has a more artificial taste that many people associate with a birthday cake or cake batter flavor. Using it in these recipes will give your cookies more of that flavor, but you may absolutely substitute regular vanilla extract instead (I typically do as I prefer to avoid artificial flavors, but I want you to know your options!).


Difficulty rolling dough
If the dough is too sticky to roll, return it to the refrigerator to chill for longer. If it’s still too sticky, double-check that you have not mis-measured any ingredients, but you can dust with flour to make it manageable. If the dough is too difficult to roll and/or is cracking, let it sit at room temperature for a bit before trying to roll again).

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You may also wrap well and freeze for several months.

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