Circus Animal Sugar Cookies

These circus animal sugar cookies are a cute twist on a classic sweet treat! Kids and adults will love these tasty cookies!

animal cracker cookies

Why I Love These Cookies

Iced animal crackers have a special place in my heart. They were always one of my favorite childhood treats! So they add a fun twist to these tasty cookies. Some of the cookies are crushed into the dough and then each cookie is topped with an additional frosted animal cracker to take things to the next level!

How to Make the Perfect Cookies

  1. Measure ingredients accurately: One of the most important aspects of making great cookies is measuring your ingredients accurately. Even small variations in the amount of ingredients used can significantly impact the texture and taste of your cookies. Use measuring cups and spoons to measure ingredients precisely.
  2. Use quality ingredients: Use high-quality ingredients like fresh eggs, butter, and vanilla extract to give your cookies the best taste and texture. High-quality ingredients can make a significant difference in the final outcome of your cookies.
  3. Preheat your oven: Preheat your oven to the correct temperature before baking your cookies. This ensures that your cookies cook evenly and have a nice golden-brown color. I like to use an oven thermometer to be sure my oven isn’t running too hot or too cold.
  4. Watch your baking time: Keep a close eye on your cookies while they’re in the oven, and don’t overbake them. Overbaked cookies can become hard and dry, while underbaked cookies can be too soft and gooey. The right baking time will vary depending on the type of cookie you’re making, so check the recipe for specific instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between nonpareils and sprinkles? Nonpareils are tiny sugar balls with a matte finish, while sprinkles are small pieces of candy or sugar that come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be opaque or translucent.

What’s the best type of iced animal cracker for these cookies? These circus animal cookies are perfect but any brand is fine!

What’s the purpose of the cornstarch? Cornstarch helps to inhibit gluten formation in the cookie dough, which makes the cookies more tender. This gives us a soft and perfectly pillowy cookie.

Why do I need to melt the butter? When butter is melted, its water content evaporates, leaving behind the fat. This concentrated fat has a different effect on the structure of the cookie dough compared to solid butter. When melted butter is used, it coats the flour and sugar more evenly, resulting in a more cohesive and chewy texture.

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animal cracker cookies

Animal Cracker Cookies

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  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x


These animal cracker cookies are a cute twist on a classic sweet treat! Kids and adults will love these tasty cookies!


  • 1 cup of butter – melted
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Nonpareils or sprinkles
  • 40 Circus Animal cookies 16 crushed, 14 for topping cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the melted butter, and sugar, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy. 
  4. In a separate bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir altogether until completely mixed.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, a little at a time, until all the flour has been added, and mix well.
  6. Scrape down the sides of bowl, and mix again.
  7. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer, and gently fold in the Nonpareils and the crushed animal cookies.
  8. Drop by the rounded tablespoon full onto an un-greased cookie sheet, and bake 12 – 14 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  9. When cookies are almost done, remove the cookie sheet, and place an animal cookie in the center of each cookie.
  10. Place cookie sheet back in the oven for 1 minute, then remove from the oven.
  11. Let cool for 1 minute then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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