How To Make Birthday Cookies with Sprinkles

I have to confess, I’m a bit of a sprinkles addict. I have a growing collection in every color, shape, and size you can imagine. My pantry stores jars of sprinkles from basic nonpareils to pig-shaped sprinkles. That’s why when it came time to make these birthday cookies I knew the design needed to include one thing above all else… sprinkles!

Birthday Cookies -

Supplies for Present and Balloon Birthday Cookies

  • Cookies made from your favorite sugar cookie recipe and cut using a present and balloon cookie cutter (an oval cookie cutter will work for the balloon too)
  • Royal icing in white (12-count consistency)
  • Royal icing in a few other colors, with a dark version and a light version of each. I used dark/light blue, dark/light green and dark/light purple (all 12-count consistency).
  • Rainbow nonpareils
  • Icing bags (or bottles) with couplers and tips (I used a #2 tip for all the steps in this tutorial.)
  • Food coloring marker in any color

How To Make Present Birthday Cookies

Using a food coloring marker, draw the outlines of the bow and the sprinkle circles on your present cookies. Make the circles large enough to hold an array of sprinkles with enough space between to flood with more icing later.

Working one cookie at a time, outline and flood each circle with white royal icing. (If you need help with icing color or consistency, check out the “How To Make Royal Icing” section of 101 Essential Cookie Decorating Resources.) While the icing is still wet, cover it completely with sprinkles. Gently turn the cookie upright to shake off any excess sprinkles and press any unruly sprinkles into place. (Applying the sprinkles over a coffee filter allows you to keep the mess to a minimum and to save any unused sprinkles. I picked up this handy little tip from Bridget at Bake at 350.)

Present Birthday Cookies

After you have applied the sprinkles to all of your cookies, outline and immediately fill the rest of the box with white royal icing. To reduce bleeding, let the white icing dry (approximately 20 minutes) before moving on to the next step.

Outline and fill the center of the bow with a darker colored icing and the rest of the bow with a lighter colored icing. Set the cookies aside to dry completely, preferrably overnight. Then, use the darker colored icing to outline the bow and the box.

Present Birthday Cookies -

Allow the icing to dry completely before packing or stacking your beautiful present birthday cookies.

Present Birthday Cookies -

How To Make Balloon Birthday Cookies

If you thought the present cookies were easy, you’ll be able to make these balloon cookies in your sleep!

Start by drawing the circle pattern onto your cookies using a food coloring marker. Then, outline and immediately fill each circle with a darker colored icing. After letting the icing dry a little (wait approximately 20 minutes), outline and fill the rest of the balloon with the lighter colored icing.

Balloon Birthday Cookies -

If your balloon cookie cutters are simple ovals and you want “tails” on your balloons, you can easily add them using royal icing. On a piece of wax paper, draw a small triangle the width that you want the “tail” to be with a little extra height. Set a balloon cookie on top of the wet icing so that the top half of the triangle is under the cookie. Do this for each cookie and then set them aside to dry overnight. Once the icing is dry, the “tail” of the balloon will stay attached to the cookie as you continue to work.

Balloon Birthday Cookies -

After all of the icing is dry to the touch, use white royal icing to outline each balloon. Work on just a few cookies at a time so that the icing remains wet. Cover each cookie with sprinkles, turn the cookie vertically to remove any excess sprinkles, and press any unruly sprinkles into place. Allow the icing to dry completely before stacking or packing your balloon birthday cookies.

Balloon Birthday Cookies -

This cookie set is perfect for making cookie pops and putting together a birthday cookie bouquet. Even if you don’t decide that you want to make cookie pops until after you have already baked and decorated your cookies, it’s not too late! Check out Cookie Pops 4 Different Ways to learn how to turn both unbaked and baked cookies into cookie pops.

Balloon Birthday Cookies -

For more fun with birthday cookies, learn how to easily make these Sprinkle Cake Cookies and Cupcake Cookies with Heart Centers.

Sprinkle Cake Cookies Cupcake Cookies with Heart Centers

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About Janine

Creative sweets made simple. Learn how to easily make decorated treats through recipes and tutorials at Are you ready for sweet inspiration?
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