Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake

Stuffed with white chocolate & sprinkles and topped with swirled buttercream frosting, this Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake is the perfect birthday treat! 

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

Today is my daughter’s 19th birthday! It’s also her Golden Birthday, a term I’d never heard of until last month, when a person turns the same age as their birth date.  Since I missed celebrating mine(when I was 4), I thought I’d make her a cake with my all-time favorite childhood cookies…  Circus Animal Cookies!

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

Sadly, they’re becoming harder to find as the years pass, so I usually snatch up a couple of bags when I manage to locate them.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

A couple of months ago, I had a pretty in-depth conversation with the Keebler man at WalMart(no, he wasn’t an elf, for those of you who wondered) and he mentioned that Circus Animal Cookies are his best seller.  That might explain why they were fresh out that day…  Luckily, he told me he had just left Kroger and they were in stock there.  Seriously, it was one of the happiest moments of my life… Well, not life, but week:)

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

Anyway, back to Nessa’s birthday…  She’s like me and isn’t a huge fan of chocolate, but she adores sprinkles, sugar cookies, and sweet buttercream frosting.  This bright cake was the perfect solution!   More detailed directions and the recipe are at the very end of this post and you can print out a copy of your own, Pin it, etc.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

Start by preparing your pan. I used a 8″ round pan, but an 8″x8″ pan would work perfectly.  Or a 8″-9″ springform pan, a shaped pan, you get the idea…  Grease your pan or line with parchment like I did(just use a pencil to trace the bottom of your pan on parchment and cut out).

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

Prep your colorful add-ins before getting busy on the dough.  I set aside about 12 cookies for decorating the top of the cake.  Try not to nibble too much, like me…

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

Now’s the time to cream the butter with the sugar and then add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Don’t hurry this process; the butter and sugar should look like the first picture and the second one illustrates how the mixture changes with the addition of egg and vanilla.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

After the dry ingredients are gently mixed in, add those deliciously bright sprinkles and cookies, along with the creamy white chocolate chips.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

The dough is very sticky, so I sprayed my hands with non-stick spray and gently coaxed it into the edges of the pan before finishing spreading it with a rubber scraper.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

It’s so important to not overbake the cake, so keep a close eye on it.  I baked mine for 23 minutes and it was just slightly golden around the edges. I prefer my cookies a bit underbaked because they remain soft and moist, rather than dried out.  Let the cake cool completely before frosting. There’s nothing worse than melted buttercream…

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

The frosting recipe is so simple!  My 12 year-old son prepared it for me while I cleaned up the kitchen.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

I chose to swirl my frosting because it just looked prettier:)  I just added a few drops of red food coloring to half and filled the piping bag like in Sally’s swirled frosting tutorial.

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

If you’ve used a springform pan or lined your pan with parchment, the cake should be easy to take out of the pan.  You might just have to loosen the edges with a sharp knife.  Otherwise, feel free to decorate it in the pan.  It tastes amazing either way!

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

 

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Stuffed with white chocolate & sprinkles and topped with swirled buttercream frosting, this Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake is the perfect birthday treat!
Serves: 16 slices(or 8 generous ones)
Ingredients
For the Cookie Cake:
  • ½ cup(115g) unsalted butter, softened(1 stick)
  • ½ cup(100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups(180g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup(90g) white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped Circus Animal Cookies
  • ¼ cup(40g) rainbow sprinkles
For the Buttercream Frosting:
  • ½ cup(115g) unsalted butter, softened(1 stick)
  • 2 cups(240g) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream(milk can be used, but isn't preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12-15 whole Circus Animal Cookies, for decorating
  • nonpareil sprinkles, for decorating(optional)
  • few drops red food coloring(optional)
Instructions
For the Cookie Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8" pan(round, square, or springform) by greasing or lining with parchment.
  2. Cream ½ cup butter and sugar together, until mixture is fluffy and white. Add in egg, the extra egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until mixture is even fluffier and light yellow.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ones and mix just until they're combined. Gently fold the white chocolate chips, circus animal cookies, and sprinkles into the dough, being careful to not overmix.
  4. Spray your hands with non-stick spray and carefully spread cookie dough in pan, finishing with a rubber scraper. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 22-23 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Please don't overbake the cake! Allow to cool before frosting.
For the Buttercream Frosting:
  1. Beat ½ cup butter for 30 seconds, then add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continue beating until frosting is light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. If swirled frosting is desired, take half of the frosting and spread it into one half/side of a piping bag fitted with a tip. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remaining frosting, then spread the pink frosting into the other half/side of the piping bag.
  3. Pipe the frosting as desired and decorate with the additional whole cookies and nonpareil sprinkles.

 

Happy Birthday, Nessa!

 

Circus Animal Sugar Cookie Cake|Sprinkles, Swirled Buttercream, & White Chocolate: The perfect birthday treat! http://www.shardsoflavender.com

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Comments

    • 2

      says

      Thanks for the sweet comment, Renee! You’re one of the bloggers who motivated me to start up. Yes, the cake is quite festive and most delicious:)

  1. 3

    Miranda says

    Oh Yum!!! Heather, your sugar cookie cake looks so delicious! Madeline and I are going to have to try this recipe. We both love sugar cookies AND frosting:)

    • 4

      says

      Another reason why I love you both! Thanks for taking the time to check in at my blog:) Make sure you have enough powdered sugar though beforehand;)

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