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. Thank you so much for this recipe and blog! I can’t wait to try more recipes. I’m making these for my son’s first birthday party and decided to do a test batch first. They turned out so yummy and cute. I used almond extract and I think they tasted great. I froze the rest of them and was wondering how long to bake when they come out of the freezer? I tried baking a few today frozen for a few extra minutes but I think that overcooked them. I don’t know what the standard protocol for baking frozen dough.

    Thanks again, I’m making the puppy chow and confetti cake in a few days.

    1. Hi Anna! Just add 1 extra minute to the cookie dough balls when you take them out of the freezer, no need to thaw. So glad you made them! Love that puppy chow and cake too. Enjoy! Happy birthday to your son!

  2. Hello. I really like your website and your recipes. I don’t have any butter extract around, so what can I substitute for butter extract? (please don’t say any other kind of extract, there is none in my house). I soooo want to make these cookies

  3. Hello,

    I made these cookies as well. I love them, they taste so buttery, sweet, chocolatey, lovely. But mine came out of the oven like minidiscs. Maybe about 1/2 inch thick and very wide. I think my oven was too hot and I baked them too long because on the picture they dont have colour and mine were very light brownish. But I will try again! And I will get them right! With sprinkles!

    1. Hi Miranda – I’m unsure how your cookies are brown. They should be yellowish white (from the egg yolk). Try using an oven thermometer to check your oven temperature. That could very well be the culprit!

      Do you use a silicone baking mat? I highly suggest all my readers use one for baking my cookie recipes. It minimized spread:

  4. The first time I made these, I stuck to the recipe and the dough seemed to have a very crumbly consistency. I just finished making a triple batch, to which I added one egg white, and let me tell you, these are by far the best cookies I have ever made! They’re a cooled off, but still nice and soft and simply DELICIOUS!! thank you for this recipe!!

  5. Hi,

    I’m making your cookies again (because they taste and smell so oooohhhhhh), I’m baking on a silicone sheet now and they didn’s spread as far as before. They are still not as thick as yours but I’m very pleased again.
    And they are not lightbrown this time, very pale.
    But they are very very soft inside, like uncooked batter. So I’m gonna turn them and put them in the oven for a minute or so.

    1. Try baking them for a bit longer, as you mentioned. And rotating the pan is always important. Happy you tried the silicone mat!

  6. I always see butter extract and wonder what people do with it, that’s for the answer Sally. I’m really excited to use this butter extract next time.. Have you ever tried it in chocolate cookies?
    Ps these sprinkles melt my heart!

    1. Butter extract would be fantastic in chocolate cookies, Radhika! I’ve never tried it before, but I have no doubt it would be incredible.

  7. Thank you for such an awesome recipe! These cookies were so easy and super scrummy!!! I used a gluten-free flour mix and added 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum and it worked a treat. The first batch I rolled tall and had to pull them out and pat them down, so the second batch I made into discs and they spread perfectly! Love, love, LOVE these cookies!

    1. Hi Alice! Thanks so much for reporting back about these cookies and how you adapted them to be gluten free! That’s so helpful for my gluten intolerant readers. Thank you!

  8. Just made these for a coworker’s birthday. They are really tasty! The dough is crumbly – they came out more like shortbread cookies, which I was totally fine with! I squashed them down with the back of a wooden spoon before I even put them in the oven and they came out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. These look delish! about to go make them as we speak for the my little neighbors that I watch. Although i dont have butter extract on hand, i hope using a little vanilla extract instead will be okay and still give them that cake batter taste! Will post later to let you know how they turn out (: (:

  10. So made them freshly out of the oven for the kids and they loved them! The batter was very crumbly, but it formed well when making dough balls, the cookies came out nice and soft. Since no butter extract on hand, i subbed for almond extract, although it didnt have much of a cake batter taste to it, it was still delicious, will deff have to pick up some butter extract and try it out once more!

    1. A paddle is a beater attachment. I’m not sure what you mean by regular beater. A hand mixer? You could use that instead, yes.

  11. These cookies are adorable! I want them for my son’s birhday 🙂 … I have never used butter extract, and I wonder if I can find it here where I live now. Any substitute in case I dont find it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Daniela! I hope your son likes his birthday cookies. I add the butter extract only to give these cookies a slight “cake batter/butter cake” flavor. You may certainly leave it out all together. In fact, sometimes I make these cookies without the extract because I don’t have any on hand.

  12. These came out exactly how I was hoping – soft, chewy, cake-battery. I used the almond extract substitute for the butter extract and it tasted great. I am at a high altitude – over 5,500 ft – so I increased the oven temp to 375 F and baked them for 7 minutes and they came out perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I’ve been raring to make your cookies for a while, sadly I do not have a mixer. Is it possible to make this and your cranberry white chocolate cookies without one? Your blog is lovely, and thanks for explaining in detail the effects various ingredients have on your recipes!

    1. I made these cookies by hand without a mixer and they came out great with one exception…I use 1/8 tspn of salt instead of the suggested 1/4! Once I made the change everything was well blended. It also takes a bit of time to cream butter and sugar by hand. I suggest letting the butter soften first and mashing the sugar and butter with a wooden spoon before attempting to “mix.” Good luck!

  14. Can u not use sprinkles in it because my family does not like sprinkles will it effect the cake batter taste? Plz reply fast

    1. It looks like Sally didn’t see this comment but I’ll give you the answer: no. No, the taste will not be affected by the lack of sprinkles. The butter extract is what makes the cookie have a cake taste. The sprinkles play a big part in the cuteness though!

  15. What brand of butter extract do you use I this recipe? I baked these cookies using mccormicks butter extract and they were good but they did not taste like cake batter. Instead they tasted like an updated version of the classic butter cookie.

  16. If I double the recipe, can I use a whole egg instead of 2 yolks? I’m actually planning to quadruple the recipe to take to work and because I have 4 sons and 4 leftover whites seems silly if it can be avoided?

  17. Hey Sally,

    I use your blog ALL the time. I’ve never had any issues with the 100’s of recipes that I have tried, until this cookie 🙁 

    Once I baked the cookies, they came out of the oven with the centers sunken in. Maybe the baking powder wasn’t any good? What went wrong because I am craving a sugar cookie. 


  18. I also experienced sinking middles after they cooled. I thought perhaps they were too tall, so I flattened my last pan of cookies a bit, but they also had sunken middles. They tasted delicious though. 

    1. Hi! I know these are older questions but I just seen this recipe. The sinking could be due to where you live. While they are “cookies” the recipe is kinda like a cake mix meets cookie from what I have seen. Higher altitudes need adjustment with some baked goods. I had this problem with tons of things when I lived in Colorado. Reducing sugar by 1 Tbs. per cup, in this recipe it would be 1 1/2 tsp. If that doesn’t fully correct the sinking, add 1 Tbs. flour also with the sugar reduction per recipe. Works great for cookies and cakes that sink! hope this saves some trouble

  19. When I mixed my dough it was powdery. It would not hold together so i tried adding another egg yolk and little bit of milk and the spread to much. How can I fix my dilemma? They taste good but are not soft and pillowy. Thanks

  20. I made this recipe twice and the dough would not come together. I double checked that I followed your instructions and I did. I am bummed because I was really excited about this recipe!

  21. I typically love your recipes! I’m not sure what I did wrong on  this one, my dough was super crumbly.   I was able to roll them because it would stay together when I clumped it in my hand but consistency was just kind of weird could be that my egg was not completely room temperature?  Also I did them kind of giant so they got kind a hard after they cooled,   That was totally my bad.  Any tips would be appreciated because the test was lovely

  22. I mixed everything by hand. I used vanilla extract instead. My dough was more so a batter. I spoon dropped dough on my pan. I wasn’t trying for the puffy effect. My cookies came out perfect. Pillowy and delicious OMG!! Best cookies I have ever made and all I will ever make.

  23. I made these today, wanting to find a use for a leftover egg yolk. I used almond extract and less sprinkles than the recipe calls for, just because I don’t like too many sprinkles. Not sure why some experienced problems with the dough, but if the ingredients are room temperature and you keep mixing until it comes together a dough does indeed form, and as you’re rolling them in your hand they are not crumbly at all. I tried rolling them in different sizes to see what happened, some smaller and some bigger than what the recipe recommends. They are all good but in terms of taste the bigger ones are definitely better.

  24. Hi Sally! I’m going by your suggestion to tweak this recipe for your Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. I observed both recipes have the same yield; however are the cookies similar in size? If not, is it okay to make these cake batter sugar cookies bigger?

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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