Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

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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

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
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup (40g) sprinkles, for rolling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.



Cake Batter Sugar Cookies with no cake mix. Recipe by


Favorite sprinkle recipes:

Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls (without cake mix)

Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls (without cake mix)


Classic Yellow Funfetti Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting


Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies (using cake mix)

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies


XXL Buttery Soft Sugar Cookie


Fudgy Cookies n Cream Oreo Brownies


Cake Batter Blondies

Cake Batter Blondies




    1. I’ll have to expand my horizons and use my new little secret weapon in a pound cake or rice kris pie treat next! Thanks Aimee!

  1. When I took a cake decorating class at Michael’s, I learned about butter extract. Who knew?! I’d only used it once in a frosting and it made it taste delicious. Never thought to add it to cookies and cakes but girl, that’s a genius idea! These cookies are so stinkin’ cute! Sprinkle-overload–is there such a thing? (Um, definitely not). I’m totally making these this weekend since I’ve been dying for sugar cookies for awhile now!

  2. YUM! I have been using butter extract for a while-it adds that depth of flavor without having to use (as much) butter. Great for skinny recipes 🙂

  3. in getting to the FINAL recipe – and who said blogging was easy 🙂

    all your efforts are SO WORTH IT. Btw butter extract is so incredibly common, the Kroger/Ralph’s grocery store sells their own generic and I add it to butter for popcorn b/c it gives it even MORE flavor so I always have tons on hand.

    And the egg yolk only. Nice. job.

    And the cake flour tips/techniques with the corn starch and replacing 2 tbsps of AP with it – wow…I swear, you’re in my head.


  4. Ok so I have only used butter extract in frosting, but now I’m going to start using it for more things!!! I love how cute, sprinkly, and puffy these look!!! I want cookies now!!!! 😉

  5. These are so stinkin adorable! I swear sprinkles are happiness in candy form, they just make everything more fun (and pretty)!
    Butter vanilla extract is amaaaaazing too! Gotta try these. Just curious though, why did you use baking powder vs soda here? Fab pictures, too btw.
    Hope you have a super fun weekend girlie!

    1. Hey Stephanie! I used baking powder because there aren’t any acidic ingredients in the recipe, including brown sugar – just white sugar. I wanted these sugar cookies to be chewy and not overly cakey as well, which meant I only had to add a small amount of leavener with the appropriate amount of flour, giving these cookies the right amount of lift and not drying them out. Thank you!

  6. These look so lovely! I’ve tried to find butter extract before, but I haven’t found any anywhere 🙁 (according to CCK it should be vegan, so I hope to find some soon) Guess I got the motivation to search back now though 😀

    1. 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.

  7. These are good little morsals. I used vanilla butter nut extract instead though. IMO it tastes even better than the plain butter extract.

      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.

  8. I love sprinkles and sparkles and anything that glitters at least as much as you, so these cookies are right up my alley. I also love you made these from scratch, because I’m not really a boxed mix kind of girl. And I can totally relate to making recipes over and over. I’m posting a recipe next week that I feared would never turn out, but it did, and it may be the best thing I’ve made. But I haven’t made these cookies yet, so my mind might change. I love the batter too, especially for cookies and cakes like this. YUM 🙂

    1. 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!

  9. Sprinkles are basically my favorite food group. Every single time I get fro yo (which is basically daily) I ALWAYS get sprinkles. Better than oreos or chocolate fudge–everything is better with sprinkles 🙂

    1. 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 🙂

  10. 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!

    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!

    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!

    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! 🙂

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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!

  13. Love butter extract! I first discovered it when I took cake decorating classes — you can use it in non-butter frostings (cream cheese, shortening, etc.) to give the frosting that buttercream flavor everyone knows and loves, without having melty frosting. 🙂 I’m a sprinkles addict too, they just make everything happy (has to be rainbow sprinkles, of course!).

  14. 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 🙂

  15. 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 😉

  16. 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 🙂

    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. 🙂

  17. 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!

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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