Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

Homemade sugar cookies that taste like cake batter. No cake mix needed!

Fact: it’s been ages since I posted a recipe with sprinkles.

Weird, considering I’m known as “Sally Sprinkles” to some of my friends. It’s true– sprinkles and glitter and confetti and sparkles are a handful of my favorite things in life. I’m actually a 5 year old at heart.

When I think of sprinkles, I think of birthday cakes. Funfetti madness. Bright colorful dots assorted through soft, buttery confections. Pinks, blues, greens, and orange flecks of sugary beauty. No cake batter is complete without a hefty pour of sprinkles, in my opinion.

And I like my sprinkle-filled cake batter just as it is… an unbaked batter. I believe that the actual batter sort-of-kinda tastes better than the actual baked cake. Kinda like how cookie dough probably-all-of-the-freaking-time tastes better than the cookie? FACT.

I like my cake batter taste in things… other than cake. Like itsy bitsy cinnamon buns.

And today? Well, I LOVE my cake batter taste in sugar cookies.

These sugary little cake batter dreamies are void of any boxed cake mix and took me THREE failed attempts to get down. I was a cookie maniac this week! Pure sprinkle madness.

The first batch tasted nothing like cake batter. They were delicious sugar cookies, indeed… but not what I was going for. The second two batches were flat and crispy. Blech. I like my cookies thick, with a little personality, and ultra soft. My fourth and successful batch are chewy, puffy, and buttery. They remind me a lot of my XXL Buttery Soft Sugar Cookie, but are teeny tiny.

Love love love.

The secret to these cookies… and all of the cake batter flavor… is the butter extract. Rather than using boxed cake mix to achieve a cake batter taste, I splashed a bit of butter extract into the sugar cookie dough. Butter extract can be found in the baking aisle next to the vanilla extract. This is my first recipe using it and I must say… I am hooked.

The smell of the cookie dough alone had me in cake batter heaven. I couldn’t wait to taste one. 🙂

The secret to the super soft texture is the egg yolk. Egg yolks give cookies a moist richness, without drying the finished cookie out. The reason why I didn’t use the egg white is because my first three batches had too much liquid with an entire egg added in – they spread too much and were too thin for my liking.

So instead of cutting down on the butter extract… which is key to the cake batter flavor… I cut the egg white in batch #4.

Oh and did I mention I love sprinkles? These guys are stuffed with ’em. All different kinds. The more, the better. Sprinkles make the world a better place.


Preliminary notes:

*If you can’t find butter extract, try using almond extract. I actually made a batch of these cookies (my fifth batch, yes) with almond extract. The resulting cookie doesn’t taste as “cake batter-y” in comparison to the butter extract cookie, but it’s pretty close. 

*I must note that you could use cake flour in place of all-purpose flour in these. The resulting cookie will be fluffier and more cakey. If you can’t find cake flour, simply take one cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of corn starch back in and sift together. This equals 1 cup of cake flour. I did not take this extra step because I felt as though my cookies were darn delicious and already puffy using all-purpose flour and baking powder. 

*Depending on how I rolled them, I had to gently press down on a couple of the cookies mid-baking. If you find they aren’t spreading at all, remove them from the oven at the 6 minute mark and very, very slightly press down.


Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 small cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Homemade sugar cookies that taste like cake batter in the mixing bowl. Everyone will love sneaking a cookie or two from the cookie jar!


  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles
  • for rolling: 1/4 cup (40g) sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside. Pour 1/4 cup sprinkles onto a plate to use for rolling. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat in egg yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt. Add flour, and mix until a dough forms. Dough will be thick. Gently mix in sprinkles.
  3. Roll dough in teaspoon size balls. Make sure that the balls are tall, rather than wide. The taller the cookie dough ball, the thicker the cookie will be. Roll the dough balls into the reserved sprinkles and bake for 9-10 minutes. Watch them closely at the 9 minute mark to assure they do not brown.
  4. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a cookie rack to cool completely. Cookies remain fresh up to 1 week covered at room temperature.

Keywords: cake batter sugar cookies

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies with no cake mix. Recipe by


  1. I’ve been admiring the cake batter blondies for a couple of week now and I just printed this recipe–I think I’ll be making both when I get home from work this evening!

  2. I can’t wait to try butter extract in other recipes! I hope you find it… mine was at my regular grocery store in the baking aisle.

    1. It’s by McCormick. I have seen just about everywhere, I get it at Walmart. I had never heard if it before my grandmother gave me a cake recipe that had it in it. It was the “secret” ingredient.

  3. We have a lot in common, Laura! And I thought of you posting these…. no chocolate!! 🙂 I can’t wait to see that new recipe of yours next week!

  4. I wish I could get fro-yo everyday! The fro-yo place by my apartment gets to be pretty expensive because I LOAD it with so many add-ins and sprinkles hehe. Thanks Ari 🙂

  5. What a genius idea! I’d love a little cake in my cookies 😉 And I LOVE that you don’t use boxed cake mix cuz I never have that laying around (I actually have to buy a box just to make something cake batter flavored) – using the butter extract is a great way to mimic the flavor!

    1. Hey Nicole – I’m glad I got around using a cake mix, too. I rely on cake mixes a lot for my cake batter items, but I know it’s best to bake from scratch from time to time. Plus these are SO easy without cake mix! Thanks so much!

  6. These cookies are beyond adorable.
    You are so right about the butter extract/flavoring. It gives baked goods a little something extra that makes them especially yummy. I need another bottle soon.

    1. Hi Micha! Thanks so much… I am now hooked on butter extract! I can’t wait to taste it in anything else I bake soon!

  7. I am taking these to my daughter next week. She adores sprinkles! And I loved the tips about the flour and the butter extract.

    1. Thanks Abbe! I know kids love these cookies, I brought them into work and my coworker said she brought a couple home for her daughter and she loved them! How can you not love sprinkles?! at any age! 🙂

  8. Sprinkle cookies are the best! They’re so pretty and just make me feel like a kid again. I love that. Did I tell you I made your giant sugar cookie last weekend? It was super yummy! I ate it all in one night. Half right away then the other half before I went to bed. I couldn’t resist.

    1. Reeni, that is so nice to hear! I’m glad you liked that sugar cookie… it is by far, one of my favorite recipes to date. SO soft and fluffy! Ph and obviously all of the sprinkles… so glad you like the looks of these cake batter cookies too! Thanks Reeni 🙂

  9. can’t wait to delve into your other recipes!! these cookies look AMAZING! do you know if you can substitute whole wheat flour? i’ve been milling my own flour, but i’m not good at figuring out how to substitute it and dont know how much it affects the taste. any idea?

    1. Hi randal! you could sub whole wheat flour, but the texture of the cookie will be tougher. Not as chewy and soft. But give it a whirl! I can’t imagine anything with butter, butter extract, and sprinkles tasting awful. Let me know how they turn out!

  10. As always, Sally, your cookies are GORGEOUS! Seriously, I need you to come here and teach me how to get mine so puffy and perfect! I use butter extract in my buttercream icing all the time (actually, half butter and half vanilla is my favorite combo), but I never thought to use it in sugar cookies like this. What a great idea–I have no doubt these are fabulous! And I love the sprinkles. =)

    1. Hey Ashley! Your comments about my cookies are always so sweet, thank you! Your buttercream frosting idea is wonderful – I think I’m going to try to use butter extract in my next frosting recipe. You’d LOVE these cake batter cookies. Hope you try them 🙂

  11. I wish I had of bought the butter extract when I saw it in one of the supermarkets. Now I can’t remember which supermarket it was, gah!

    What a lot of effort has gone in to perfecting this recipe. It sounds delicious. Cake batter IS delish. Thanks for sharing your perfected recipe.

    1. Hi Lisa! I definitely suggest picking up some butter extract whenever you find it again! I’m glad you like cake batter as much as I do 😉

  12. Hi Sally, I was searching online for homemade chocolate granola and clicked on your site. I am so glad that I did! 🙂 I made the cake batter sugar cookies and they are so yummy! I did use 1/4 cup white wheat flour + 1/2 cup AP flour. Instead of the butter extract (didn’t have any) I just used used 1/2 tsp pure vanilla and 1/4 almond extract. They are delicious and adorable! I am anxious to try a lot more of your recipes! I love baking and love your site!

    1. Wow! Love the substitutions you used Vanessa! I love white whole wheat flour – I use it in a lot of my breakfast items like banana bread or muffins. You can’t tell at all! I made these with almond extract as well and LOVED them. So glad you enjoyed them! Let me know what else you try 🙂

  13. Everything you make looks amazing.Your blog is inspiring! I always love to see your pics come up on foodgawker, they get me every time.

    1. Jaclyn!! Thank you so much for stopping by. That means a lot- you are the foodgawker queen! I must make your Reese’s krispies treats soon. 🙂

  14. Yum! I made these to bring to a work event and they were yummy! So soft and fluffy, a great melt-in-your-mouth consistency. I added two more tablespoons of butter since my batter wasn’t holding its shape, and that helped a lot. I couldn’t find this elusive butter extract, but I will keep my eye out. I used the almond extract as suggested, and it gave them a nice flavor.
    I also brought a batch of the cake batter blondies since they’re so easy, and everyone RAVED over them!

  15. Hi Sally!
    I was in Michaels today and I stumbled upon the butter extract so I bought it! I was wondering if you have any more recipes using it? I’d love to try some other things with this special little ingredient 🙂

  16. Just made these, yummy lil sugar guys! They don’t have much of a cake batter taste though… maybe because I had imitation butter extract on hand? Also I make many things by hand, I avoid using a mixer, so can that affect it also? Yummy sugar cookies!

    1. Interesting Nichole! I’ve had many readers say they taste like cake batter with butter extract – I certainly thought they did too. I’m sorry! Using a mixer over beating by hand wouldn’t affect the taste, just the texture. I love these cookies with almond extract as well – try that one next time!

      1. Yeah, that’s why I’m wondering if the ‘imitation’ part did it. I do also have almond extract on hand, but I think it is also the ‘imitation’…. we shall see! They are slated to be birthday treats for my mother and sister-in-law. 🙂

  17. Ok I love the concept but next time I will just use my own sugar cookie dough and replace vanilla with butter extract. I made this twice. The first time was crumbly and no matter how hard I tried to form a ball it just wasn’t happening. I made another batch and added an extra egg yolk. I also let the eggs get room temp too. They tasted good but the bottoms got slightly too brown because the middle was not getting done. I might try once more but extra butter instead of the extra yolk.

  18. Hi Sally. Im a die-hard fan of Cake batter flavored things. Especially Coldstone’s Cake Batter ice cream.
    1.)But WHERE in the world did you get butter extract?
    2.) Ive seen “Mccormick’s Imitation Butter Flavor” on amazon, it that it?

    1. Yes, imitation butter flavor is the extract I used – and it’s also pictured and described above. 🙂 I love cake batter too. Thanks Gege!

  19. Somehow these little sprinkled gems were hiding from me. I can’t wait to try them! I love cake batter taste (or cookie batter, heck – any batter!) but I don’t like having to use cake mix to get it. These are definitely on my must bake soon list, which is constantly growing! But, first will come the banana cinnamon swirl bread. I have some bananas begging to get baked into something yummy – and everything is better with cinnamon 🙂

    1. I love cake batter (and cookie dough!) taste as well. 🙂 Let me know if you try thse cake batter cookies sometime Elizabeth! That cinnamon swirl banana bread is a fine choice for dying bananas. I have two recipes coming this week that also use dying bananas too 🙂

      1. oh. my. yum.
        These are scrumptiously delicious! (that may be a little redundant, but that’s okay because they are that good!) We accidentally “had” to make a triple batch because Mom (me) made a little measuring mistake (more of a memory / not paying attention mistake) s0 to fix it, I had to triple everything. What a wonderful mistake that turned out to be. A single batch would not have been enough! I’d love to see more cake batter recipes that don’t use cake mix.
        The cinnamon swirl banana bread was also delicious! I didn’t put the glaze on. It was wonderful as is – and even better with some Nutella spread on it!

      2. A TRIPLE recipe of cake batter sugar cookies?! Now that sounds fantastic Elizabeth!! I’m so glad you loved that cinnamon swirl banana bread, too! And I may have to try spreading it with Nutella next time. 🙂

  20. Sally,
    I was wondering if you use this cake batter recipe for cut out cookies too? I have butter flavoring but didn’t think about using it for that cake batter flavor. Gonna try it this week. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Lizbeth! I fear this dough will be much too sticky for rolling out. I’ve never tried it before, so it’s worth a shot. If it isn’t rolling, I would just make regular drop cookies from it. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  21. Hi Sally! I tried this recipe and it’s wonderfully yummy. I doubled it, and I got 24 medium sized cookies using my cookie scoop. I put the scooped dough balls in the freezer for 24 hours. I didn’t need to press them down, they cooled to a beautiful thickness, neither flat nor domed. Thanks very much for sharing.

  22. Do you ever use princess cake and cookie flavoring (yes, it really is called that)? I’m a fan and I bet it’d be great in cake batter cookies. It’s perfect for when you want that distinct flavoring without going to a box mix.

  23. I just came across this recipe today looking for a good sugar cookie recipe and decided to try this one without the sprinkles (because i dont have any) these are the best cookies i have ever had!! i was a little sceptical because of the texture of the dough but i am currently finishing baking the last of the QUADRUPLE batch i just made and i am in love! next time im going to try adding the sprinkles because they are just so fun looking

  24. I made these cookies for my daughter’s birthday party over the weekend, and they looked so cute, but they were really hard and crispy. Is this because I didn’t use a paddle attachment on my mixer? Could it also be because of the high humidity and temperature in my kitchen in Hawaii (upper 80 degrees and 80% humidity)? Or could it just be that my oven temperature runs high? The cookies weren’t burnt, but the bottoms were slightly brown.

    1. Hi Tammy – do you own an oven thermometer? I strongly urge my readers to buy one. My oven it almost 20 degrees warmer than what the dial states! So I use a thermometer instead. Otherwise, I’d have many ruined and burnt cookies. That sounds like that happened to yours – overcooked.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally