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Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

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4.76 from 25 votes

Circus Animal Sugar Cookies are soft, buttery, and filled with colorful sprinkles and crushed cookies! Classic frosted circus animal cookies are loaded in a classic sugar cookie base, then topped with white chocolate. This fun and delicious cookie will take you back to your childhood!

PIN Circus Animal Sugar Cookies to try later!

Circus Animal Sugar Cookies on a white plate with cookies and sprinklesPin

Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

If you loved eating frosted circus animal cookies growing up, you will easily fall in love with these Circus Animal Sugar Cookies! Similar to my Circus Animal Blondies, these cookies are made with a thick and chewy sugar cookie base, then filled with pieces of circus animal cookies, sprinkles, and topped with white chocolate and more sprinkles and cookie bits.

I used to love getting frosted circus animal cookies in my lunch box as a kid or enjoyed them with friends after school for playdates. They made the best treat and I still get excited when I buy a bag at the store!

Other childhood favorites of mine were Dunkaroo Dip and Bagel Bites! Does anyone else agree!?

The sugar cookie dough in this recipe has sprinkles and crushed cookies which makes these cookies extra special. If you love sugar cookies, try my classic Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe, Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, Sugar Cookie Truffles, and Sugar Cookie Bars.

close up view of circus animal sugar cookiesPin

Key Ingredients

  • Butter: I used unsalted and added my own salt but you can also use salted butter, just omit the salt in the recipe. It’s best if the butter is at room temperature and slightly softened.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness.
  • Eggs: You’ll need one whole egg and an egg yolk.
  • Vanilla and almond extract: Both add so much flavor. The almond extract brings out the sugar cookie flavor the most. 
  • Flour: Spoon and level the flour when measuring it. Be sure not to scoop it out of the bag using the measuring cup. This way, you won’t accidentally measure out too much. 
  • Sprinkles: I love the classic nonpareils sprinkles because they are similar to the sprinkles on the actual circus animal cookies. The sprinkles add color and makes these cookies extra fun.
  • Frosted circus animal cookies: Added on top of the cookies and in the sugar cookie dough.
  • White chocolate: Used for the frosting and compliments the cookies perfectly.
how to make circus animal sugar cookies step by stepPin

How To Make Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

Cream butter and sugar: In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.


Add egg and extracts: Continue to beat together just until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.


Add flour, baking powder, and salt:
Blend until a dough forms, then add sprinkles and cookie pieces. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated but be sure not to over-mix the dough.

Scoop, roll, and press: Scoop out 1/4 cup of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and arrange cookie dough balls on prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches in-between each cookie. Gently press down on each cookie with a drinking glass or measuring cup. Be careful not to make the cookies too flat.


Bake: For 8-9 minutes or until the center of the cookies have puffed and are no longer glossy. The cookies won’t really turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes to set, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Melt chocolate: Place white chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwavable safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Decorate and enjoy: Spoon the white chocolate onto the top of each cookie and then immediately add a whole circus animal cookie to the centers. Top with more sprinkles and crushed cookies (optional). Enjoy!

frosted sprinkled sugar cookies on cooling wrack with frosted circus animal cookiesPin

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Make these cookies smaller. I normally don’t eat a whole cookie so instead of making each cookie dough with 1/4 cup of dough, use 2 or 3 tablespoons. You will have to adjust the baking time as needed.
  • Add pink food coloring to the white chocolate to add color.
  • Use frosting instead of white chocolate- you can use canned frosting or homemade.
  • It’s best if all of the ingredients are at room temperature such as the butter and eggs. It helps the ingredients incorporate better together.
stacked sprinkled sugar cookies with white chocolate frosting, circus animal cookies, and sprinklesPin

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • They are a fun twist on a favorite childhood dessert.
  • You don’t have to refrigerate the dough so you can make these in less than 30 minutes.
  • Perfect for birthday parties, classroom parties, celebrations, or any occasion.
  • The sugar cookie dough is filled with circus animal cookies and sprinkles.
  • These cookies are thick, chewy, buttery, soft, and has a cake-like consistency that will melt in your mouth.
  • Circus Animal Sugar Cookies tastes similar to the Crumbl cookie version but are even better 😉 Be sure to check out my other copycat Crumble Sugar Cookies.
center view of sugar cookies with sprinkles, white chocolate frosting, and circus cookies. Pin

Recipe FAQs

white plate with circus animal sugar cookiesPin

Leftovers & Storage

To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container or cover plate with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

To Freeze Unfrosted Cookies: Frozen unfrosted cookies will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store by wrapping each cookie individually with plastic wrap, then place them in a large heavy-duty ziplock bag. 

Freezing Cookie Dough: You can also freeze the unbaked cookie dough or you can shape the cookies and place them on a baking sheet and flash freeze for 30 minutes, or until hard. Place them in an airtight container to freeze. Thaw completely or bake frozen and add an extra few minutes to the baking time. 

birds eye view of frosted sugar cookie with sprinkles. Pin

Other Desserts With Sprinkles

frosted sugar cookies with circus animal cookies and white chocolate on top. Pin

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Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

Circus Animal Sugar Cookies are soft, buttery, and filled with colorful sprinkles and cookies! Classic frosted circus animal cookies are loaded in a classic sugar cookie base, then topped with white chocolate. This fun and delicious cookie will take you back to your childhood!
4.76 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: circus animal cookies, circus animal sugar cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons nonpareil sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup crushed circus animal cookies plus 12 cookies to put on top
  • 4 ounce white chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in egg, egg yolk, and extracts. Continue to beat together just until combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  • Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend until a dough forms, then add sprinkles and cookie pieces. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated but be sure not to over-mix the dough.
  • Scoop out 1/4 cup of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and arrange cookie dough balls on prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches in-between each cookie. Gently press down on each cookie with a drinking glass or measuring cup. Be careful not to make the cookies too flat.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the center of the cookies have puffed and are no longer glossy. The cookies won't really turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes to set, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Place white chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwavable safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • Spoon the white chocolate onto the top of each cookie and then immediately add a whole circus animal cookie to the centers. Top with more sprinkles and crushed cookies (optional). Enjoy!
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Notes

Recipe Notes: 
  1. Leftovers: Place leftovers in an airtight container or cover plate with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

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Recipe Rating




20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The grandkids are back to school tomorrow. We are having a sleepover on the weekend. I will make these, and they will be thrilled.

  2. 5 stars
    How adorable! That’s a taste of my childhood right there. I think these would be amazing at a baby shower or for a circus themed birthday party.

  3. 5 stars
    My kiddo loves to bake with me and he loves, loves, loves sprinkles, so this was our special treat for Friday and they were not only fun, but very tasty too.

  4. 5 stars
    These were so fun to make and turned out so pretty. The sprinkles and white chocolate made the perfect frosting. Loved them.