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Homemade Frosted Circus Animal Cookies

These Homemade Frosted Circus Animal Cookies are such a fun treat! This copycat recipe produces cookies with a little crunch and a lot of sweetness and nostalgia!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Dessert
Servings: 60 cookies (approx)
Author: thedomesticrebel


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
  • cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Pink food coloring
  • Rainbow non-pareils sprinkles


  • 1. Preheat oven to 400° degrees F. Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and confectioners' sugar together with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 1 minute or until fluffy and creamy. Add in the egg, beating well, followed by the vanilla extract, mixing in well. Add in the baking powder, salt, and flour and beat on low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Sprinkle a clean, flat work surface with some confectioners' sugar (I like using this instead of flour so it has more flavor!). Roll out half of the cookie dough into about 1/4" thickness. Using very small 1" size cookie cutters, cut out animal shapes and place on the baking sheets just about 1/2" apart from one another.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Cool for about 10 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the icing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, corn syrup, vanilla and confectioners' sugar until it has reached a smooth consistency. Divide the icing in half between bowls; tint one half of the icing pink.
  • I like to dip the cookies top-side-down into the icing to coat, then allow excess icing to drip off back into the icing bowl. Place on the wire rack and immediately top with rainbow non-pareils sprinkles. Allow icing to harden, about 30 minutes, before packing up or serving.


I found my animal cookie cutters by Wilton brand. I believe they're in a Noah's Arc-themed cookie cutter kit.