Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies

published Nov 27, 2023
Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies Recipe

These eye-catching cookies come together easily with ingredients you already have on hand.

Makes28 (2-inch) cookies

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Overhead view of sprinkle cookies on butcher paper.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Jason Schreiber

What’s your holiday cookie personality? Take our quiz, then discover 10 brand-new delicious cookie recipes, featuring some of The Kitchn’s favorite bakers. This content is presented in partnership with Challenge Butter; it was created independently by our editorial team. 

The classic sprinkle cookie is always the life of the party. Decked out in a rainbow of colors, it will immediately catch everyone’s eye in the crowd. Don’t be intimidated, though — this cookie is both flirty and friendly! All of your favorite flavors are there — butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon — but in a way that feels both new and familiar at the same time. 

After a few thick and chewy bites that are just sweet enough, you won’t be able to imagine life without it. Luckily for you, you can take it home. Well, the recipe, that is! This cookie is incredibly simple to make with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and fridge — just plenty of butter and the magic of rainbow sprinkles

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Jason Schreiber

If You’re Making Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies, a Couple Tips

  • Play with flavorings. You can easily swap the vanilla extract for an equal amount of lemon or almond extract. And the lemon zest can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of orange zest if you like.
  • Don’t be shy with the sprinkles. To maximize the sprinkles, press them onto the surface as you roll to fully coat each dough ball. 

Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies Recipe

These eye-catching cookies come together easily with ingredients you already have on hand.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes 28 (2-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 9 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    plus 1 teaspoon cream cheese

  • 2 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable or canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups

    rainbow sprinkles


  1. Place 9 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, place 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into the bowl of cream cheese and butter. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Beat with the paddle attachment, starting on low and increasing to medium-high speed, until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a flexible spatula.

  3. Add 1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  4. Turn on the mixer to low speed. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just before the flour is completely mixed in. Use the spatula to mix the dough by hand until all of the flour is incorporated, being sure to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl.

  5. Scoop the dough out in 2-tablespoon portions. Place close together in a single layer on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet or a large dinner plate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

  6. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Pour 1 1/2 cups rainbow sprinkles into a small bowl.

  7. Use your hands to roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball. The heat from your hands will warm the dough and make it sticky. Drop each ball into the sprinkles and roll to coat, gently pressing the sprinkles onto the surface so they adhere. Place on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart, 12 per baking sheet. Refrigerate the remaining dough.

  8. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and between racks. Bake until the edge of each cookie is slightly golden-brown, the middle is puffed and no longer shiny, and the top is slightly cracked, 5 to 7 minutes more.

  9. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat baking the remaining dough on a cooled baking sheet; the parchment paper or baking mat can be reused.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: The vanilla extract can be substituted with almond or lemon extract. The lemon zest can be substituted with 1 teaspoon orange zest. The all-purpose flour can be substituted with gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

Make ahead: The dough balls can be frozen until solid, then stored in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let the dough balls sit on the baking sheet at room temperature while the oven is heating. Coat in sprinkles and bake for the same amount of time.

Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Sorry, this list is no longer accepting subscriptions.

Feel free to subscribe to our other emails.