Sprinkle-Splosion Sugar Cookies

March 31, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 14 minutes
  • makes 32 cookies
Author Notes

My roll-out sugar cookies are delightfully soft, but boast a short (more crumbly) texture. This recipe is their chewy drop cookie cousin, packed with vanilla flavor and tons of sprinkles. Topped with a smear of buttercream, they are perfect for everything from birthdays to bake sales to holiday cookie boxes with a few variations on the recipe (see below). Try piping the buttercream for an even fancier effect. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and pointing out all the mistakes to avoid along the way. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Sprinkle-Splosion Sugar Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks / 340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (113 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (106 g) light brown sugar
  • 1 large (56 g) egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large (21 g) egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups (450 g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) sprinkles, preferably confetti style, plus more for finishing
  • 1 recipe American Buttercream (
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C with the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well.
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well on medium speed until evenly incorporated. Scrape the bowl well.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add about half of this mixture to the mixer and pulse on low speed to incorporate the flour, then mix on low speed to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour.
  5. Add the sprinkles and mix on low speed just until evenly dispersed.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough into 2 tablespoon sized rounds and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Stagger the rows of cookies as you place them, and leave 2 inches/5 cm between each cookie to allow room for spreading. Use your fingers to gently press each mound of dough to flatten slightly.
  7. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cookies have spread and are very lightly browned around the lower edge, 12 to 14 minutes (for a softer cookie, bake for 10 to 12 minutes and remove before you see much browning). Rotate the trays halfway through baking.
  8. Cool completely on the baking sheet, then frost with buttercream and garnish with more sprinkles.
  9. Holiday Variation #1: Twister Cookie Dippers: If desired, add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract to the dough in Step 3 and remove the sprinkles in Step 5. After mixing the dough, divide it in half, and mix a few drops of red food coloring into one half of the dough. Roll portions of each dough into long strands (about ¼ inch in circumference) on a lightly floured surface. Twist the white and red strands together, then cut into 4 inch long pieces. These twists can be baked alone, or twisted slightly into a candy cane shape. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until very lightly browned at the edges.
  10. Holiday Variation #2: Swirly Marbled Cookies: Remove the sprinkles in Step 5. After mixing the dough, divide it in two (or more) even portions, and mix food coloring of your choice into some of the portions (I usually leave some plain). Break the dough up into pieces, and mish mash the colors together. Gently knead until the dough is only gently swirled and marbled. Scoop portions of the marbled dough onto the prepared baking sheets and bake as directed. I usually don’t frost these, because they are too pretty to cover up! But you can dip the base of the cookie in chocolate (and even press the dipped cookies in sprinkles, if desired) for some extra oomph!
  11. Holiday Variation #3: Sugar/Sprinkle Coated Cookies: For a really fun and simple option, coat the cookies in sanding sugar or sprinkles. To do this, remove the sprinkles in Step 5. After scooping the cookie dough, roll each dough ball fully in sprinkles to coat, then transfer to the baking sheet and bake as directed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

1 Review

ksabow April 11, 2022
I made these cookies and gave them to four different people....everyone raved about them. I have to admit, one of the best cookies ever. Not sure what made them so good but the delicious buttercream on top certainly didn't hurt.