Birthday Cake Cookies – and you might be living in Paradise (and not know it!)


Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

I’m good at a few things – housekeeping ain’t one of them. ~Waits a moment for her family’s amen choir to die down~. I believe we all have different God given talents and things He has equipped us to do. Combined with those are certain obstacles and challenges that we must overcome at the same time. Keeps life interesting.

For me, that is housework. Sure, I’m busy. I use that as an excuse most times. Truth is, my brain doesn’t see the mess and clutter with all of the thoughts whizzing around in my head like a box of mismatched fireworks someone put a match to. But regardless of the multiple reasons, it still comes down to the fact that although my home has been in magazines, it requires two weeks of deep cleaning to even get remotely presentable.

But I still try and I’m always working on it. This past weekend we spent a great deal of time organizing, finding homes for objects that have never had a home beyond being close at hand, and donating things my kids have outgrown. We made huge headway and that felt good.

But something happened last week that really put all of that in perspective for me. My daughter has a friend she wanted to spend some time with so I picked her up and took them to her favorite restaurant. You know, the one with chicken and an indoor playground? Chez Chick Fil A. When we have these “dates” with her friends I’m kinda the gray man. I am there, but I’m not. They talk and play and go about their visit as if I’m invisible. Kinda like the chauffeur. I know y’all parents know what I’m talking about. I enjoy this because I pretend to be lost in my thoughts while I’m really just listening in and enjoying their excited conversation. Although sometimes I do find my thoughts drifting only to be called back by something particularly funny or heartwarming that is said.

And so, as we were sitting there, I looked out the window as Katy’s voice called me back. “You have GOT to come to my house soon. You are going to LOVE IT. My house is complete paradise!”

I did a double blink and looked at her in surprise. Her face was animated and lit up with glee as she smiled with excitement. I was completely taken aback.

Paradise? But the sink is full of dirty dishes. There is Mount Laundry in our living room, and I can’t remember the last time someone actually put the toilet paper on the holder.

Paradise? I looked down in confusion as I recalled that new pink chair Katy picked out for a reading corner in her room. How excited she was to have a birthday party in our house to show off the diner furniture we bought, and that big pot of chicken and dumplings she’d fawned over the night before.

I thought of her cuddling up against her dad on the couch as they read books and that big basket her sweet cat lets her tote him around in….The third (or fourth) hand piano I bought her off of Craigslist for $100 that she decorated with a collection of My Little Ponies and pounds away on throughout the week. I thought of that big old pile of shoes in the den that seems to grow daily as everyone comes in and gets comfy – bare feet on their own turf.

Come to think of it, I can’t begin to count the hugs, kisses, “I love yous”, and laughter that has taken place in the five years we have lived here. The walls must be nigh on bursting with it at this point.

But Paradise?

You bet. Mount Laundry and all.

Thanks for the perspective, Katy baby. You nailed it again.

Today’s cookies are the result of a conversation with Katy. It isn’t anyone’s birthday but they remind me of when Brady was a toddler. He loved my birthday cakes and so he brought me his teddy bear one day and told me that it was Teddy’s birthday. Being the mother that I am, I acted surprised and horrified that I’d forgotten such an important occasion and got to work mixing up cake batter and buttercream icing. Little Brady was so impressed with the results that a few days later, wouldn’t you know he found another stuffed animal who was celebrating their entry into this world. We celebrated a lot of birthdays back then :)

So last week I asked Katy “If you could invent any cookie, what would it be?”. Without missing a beat she said “Birthday Cake Cookies.”

Hmm. I was intrigued by that and started running ideas by her. I chose the flavoring so that the cookie mimics the taste of a homemade birthday cake and the texture of these cookies is really most closely akin to a Blondie, for extra deliciousness. Top it off with a generous layer of fluffy buttercream icing and a sprinkling of rainbow candies and we have a treat fit for the most special of days!

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 You’ll need: Sugar, Self Rising Flour*, Brown Sugar*, Butter, Eggs, Sprinkles, Vanilla, Butter Flavoring, and Almond Flavoring. 

*To make your own self rising flour, simply add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt for EACH cup of all purpose flour. Stir well.

*Light or dark brown sugar is fine. Whichever one you have.

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

Place butter in a bowl and melt it in a microwave. You can also melt it on the stovetop. If you want, you can even build a fire in the back yard and melt it over that if you have a hankering. Or, if you live in the south right now, just put it out on the back porch for a few minutes and that should do the job.

The point is, you need to melt your butter. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 Add in sugars and stir well by hand. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 Beat the mess out of your eggs. This is when you get out all those frustrations. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 Add in flour, eggs, and flavorings. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 Stir that up really well by hand. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 If you want to add sprinkles, toss in a handful of those and stir in well. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

 Bake this at 350 for about 40 -45 minutes. When it is done it will still be soft in the center but golden brown all over. 

Birthday Cake Cookies - LOVE the cake like flavors of these delicious blondes, topped with fluffy buttercream!

Special thanks to Katy for my inspiration!

Birthday Cake Cookies
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 4 Tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
Icing Ingredients (you can half this if you want less icing)
  • 2 sticks butter, at room temp
  • 4 teaspoons butter flavoring (Can use clear vanilla instead)
  • 5-6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 4-8 tablespoons milk
  1. Melt butter. In large mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar by hand until well blended. In separate bowl or measuring cup, beat eggs well.
  2. Make sure mixture isn't too hot. If it is, allow to cool for a few minutes before the next step so you don't cook the eggs.
  3. Add eggs, flour, and flavorings to bowl. Stir well to combine. Stir in rainbow sprinkles, if using.
  4. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and pour batter in. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the center. Center will still be soft. Allow to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and about 1 cup of confectioner's sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the butter flavoring, half of the milk, and remaining sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides and adding a little extra milk if needed.
  2. Ice cooled cookie bars while still in the pan. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Allow icing to set by leaving uncovered for about half an hour. Enjoy!

Every day of your life is a day worth celebrating :)


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  1. Laura L. says

    Have you seen this poem, Christy?

    Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
    To paint a picture or write a letter;
    Bake a cake or plant a seed
    Ponder the difference between want and need?

    Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
    With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
    Music to hear and books to read,
    Friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
    With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
    A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
    This day will not come round again!

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
    Old age will come and it’s not kind.
    And when you go–and go you must–
    You, yourself, will make more dust.

    –Rose Milligan

  2. Angie H in Dallas, Tx says

    Isn’t it great that kids don’t mind the mess?

    We think, plan, worry and obsess over the neatness of our house, but they pay no attention to that. They see and remember only the good times they’ve had, and want to share it with their friends.
    My house used to be spic’n span, then I was blessed with 2 children. It’s been a mess ever since.

    Since this is the first week of school here in Dallas, I’ll just have to make these for an school snack for the 2 darlin’s I have.

    Thanks Christy! A job well done again….

  3. Kaitlyn says

    Cannot wait to try these!! As usual your post are spot on. I have been having one of those weeks where life happens and needed some encouragement to keep a smile on my face and spring in my step !! Thank you Christy for being a light in the darkness and thank you Katy Rose for being just as precious as your Ma is ! Lots of love!!

  4. Mary says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who seems to lack the good housekeeping gene. I fight the good fight, but I just don’t have the knack for housekeeping that I do for other things. I can clean for a week and my house won’t look as good as my one friend’s when you drop by unexpected. I always joke that my house will only be in Better Homes & Gardens if they have a “can this house be saved” feature! Yet I continue to work on it, and guests seem comfortable when they’re in my home. And the funny thing is, for all I knock my housekeeping, if things really get out of sorts, I’m out of sorts as well and have to get it cleaned up right away.

  5. Judy says

    I can’t wait to make these special treats! I can see Katy’s eyes sparkling as they do in the pictures you post! What a creative mind Brady has as wel! Lol . You could potentially be celebrating every single day of the year! 😉 Happy Birthday!

  6. Elizabeth (Liz) says

    Hi Christy, you said a mouth full. Ido the cooking this wonderful man of mine do the cleaning and the laundry plus some shopping. I AM BLESSED. He loves cookies, I make them for him. Again thanks for all the recipes and for being you. Tell Katy she is a real sweetie pie, and has her own wisdom already. I will make her cookies tonight. GOD BLESS. PS Laura I know the poem, thanks for sharing, I love it.

  7. Laura S. says

    Loved reading this, Christy! I have 3 children the oldest is 4 years old, then we have a 2 year old, and a 1 year old!! Needless to say I am always hoping from one thing to another and nothing ever gets or stays done!! I’ve had to learn that my house will always be messy, and instead of stressing over the house I need to be playing and enjoying every second of these days! It makes me feel so much better to know that I’m not the only one out there whose house is a beautiful, full of life and love mess!! Can’t wait to bake these with my kids! They LOVE to help me cook!

  8. Reta says

    This is awesome, as usual! Love sentiment, love the recipe. Love the relatability, too! 😉 AND!!! I have noticed you are using what I think are the 1980’s era Pyrex primary bowl set! Did you get a new treat? Blessings and hugs!

  9. Cheryl says

    Remember, you can’t control the lenght of your life, but you can control the depth. Relationships are more important than a spotless home. Enjoy life each day as if it is your last and love those who come into your life. For all you know, you may be entertaining angels!

  10. Dwina Willis says

    When my first baby was on the way, I embroidered the following poem for the nursery:

    Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
    ‘Cause babies grow up I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

    Your post reminded me of this.

  11. Erin R. says

    I know this is a little strange, but I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to see you acknowledge your lack of enthusiasm for housekeeping. I have never been a champion housekeeper. I always just say I manage to keep the top scraped off the mess and that’s about all I’m up for. Things do get put away, floors swept, dishwasher unloaded, etc., but you’re unlikely to see me scrubbing or polishing or getting into corners. Thank you so much for giving me the feeling I can let myself off the hook.

    Also, these birthday cake cookies look fanfreakingtastic, and I don’t know why anybody would want “less frosting,” ever.

  12. MARSHA G says

    Great post Christy! I still say you are so inspirational and such a great cook you could be called the cooking preacher. I totally agree with you. I can look past dirt and dust and would rather be creating something in the kitchen, or some kind of craft. Oh, that old dust has been there a while and ain’t hurt nobody so it can just stay a little longer so I can do what I am thinking about before I forget. Loved Katy’s recipe, well momma’s but I have a feeling Katy’s just like you and that’s a good thing!

  13. Linda Keith says

    Christy your Katy story brought back so many memories for me. Wish your Katy had been around when I was rearing my daughter – I’d probably have done a better job of it… In a heartbeat they are grown and gone….you keep baking and talking and listening Christy. That old housework will still be here 50 years later – to that I can attest! xoxoxoxo

  14. Lori says

    It’s just funny that I was sitting here contemplating cleaning house when I saw this post float up on my FB newsfeed. How delightful, I think Birthday Cake cookies are the perfect creation. I am going to make some the next time I am with my niece, she will love it. I wish I had one now to go with my tea! Love your humor! Lori

      • Gina says

        I just read this post and it couldn’t be more timely. This is exactly what I needed to put life into perspective. Cliff notes version: we have to move soon. Trying to get house ready to sell. (We rent from my dad-in-law who is a kind-hearted wonderful man). So now I have other relatives trying to “help” and criticizing my housekeeping and parenting (getting kiddos – age 5 and 3 – to help). I found a quote on your site that comforted me tremendously “Good mothers have sticky floors, dirty ovens, and HAPPY children!” Exactly! Anyway, big hugs to Christy and Katy for all you do!

  15. elaineraye says

    My children are grown now and have families of their own. I have never once heard one of them say anything about the state of the house as they were growing up. They do often mention picnics in the woods behind the house ( all the way in 150 feet)! They speak of popcorn balls and caramel apples at Halloween, they remember rolling cookies, and picking their own ears of corn for supper and making jack-o-lanterns. Making memories are much more important in the grand scheme of life than winning a contest for the shiniest kitchen floor and sparkling windows.

  16. MARSHA G says

    Christy I just had to make Katy’s cookies today but since there was no one around with a birthday my neighbors and I decide it was to celebrate “Thank God we made it another day” day. Worth celebrating with a yummy cookie like yours. Guess tomorrow we can come up with a different reason.

    • says

      I’m afraid you’ve missed the point of the type of example I want to be for my children. I’d rather show them imperfect but devoted love than have them live in a showplace home. Our house is paradise because of the people in it. The dirty dishes are there because of wonderful family meals. I’ll accept being “disgusting” and a “bad example” in your eyes if my priorities make me so. Thanks!

      • Erin R. says

        I now have even more respect for your frankness about your house. It was quite brave of you to share this part of yourself knowing there was a risk of people calling you disgusting and a bad example. Clearly, you are neither. No one else thinks so. Thanks again.

  17. Beth says

    My, my, my……. Christy, you can see an overwhelming response that supports and validates your belief that being with those most important to you tops a spotless house. However, I doubt you really need that validation since you seem to know yourself and your priorities well, and are generous enough to spread the joy to your readers.

  18. Karen from says

    Love this post! I just made a cookie cake. You better bet next time it will be covered in frosting & sprinkles! Isn’t it wonderful to know, even in your own opinion of your shortcomings, you are still nailing it with your kids?? That’s all we can ask for. My 10 year old daughter has friends that LOVE coming to our house. I’m like, “Your room looks like a cyclone has hit it & you would think the vacuum cleaner has never been used.” My daughter says, “But you make us peanut butter & crackers with marshmallows melted on top & give us ice cream & judge our beauty contests.” I guess unfolded clothes is no match for melted marshmallows! :) You are doing LOTS of stuff right Christy!! :)

    • Karen from says

      And Christy, I appreciate your light hearted approach to what plagues most of us working women. (Trying to keep up with housework, while making a life with our families). My uncle always told me to clean my house when my kids were grown. That I would never get the time back with my kids. SO TRUE!!:)

  19. Pamela says

    Katy, great idea! Christy, thank you for the recipes that I already have the ingredients for. Buttercream is truly a wonder of the world. My grandma always said, only the bored have spotless houses the rest of us are too busy living in our homes! Keep making the wonderful memories with your family.

  20. John H says

    Hi Christy, I first came across your site while searching the web for anything interesting. It was a very low time for me in my life, (I will not bother you with the details). Since reading that first article, and the one’s I have recieved there after, some things seem to go a little easier. You some how make it seem like you are writing to me personally, like you know just what kind of a day I had. It isn’t always right on the head but I can take bits and pieces from each article and work from there.
    I know that I am just one of many, of the thousands of people who follow you, but I thought that I would let you know how this one, felt. Thanks

    • says

      John, YOU are so very important to me! Each and every one of you are!! I am so glad that you have found a blessing by being here and I am so blessed to have you here. Thank you for letting me know that things are a bit easier and I pray that they will get better and better as the days go by! ~Christy

    • says

      You know, I’m not an almond extract fan myself. If I ever have cookies flavored exclusively with it, I politely eat what I must and pass on seconds :) In this recipe though, I blended it with two other flavorings to produce a birthday cake flavor and it does blend very well to create a new flavor profile without standing out at all.

  21. Heather says

    Wow Christy!! What an awesome post!!! I wish every working mother could read this post! Thanks so much for sharing! Our kids are going to remember time we spent with them SO much more than a “perfect” house. Isn’t cleaning house when you have kids like trying to brush your teeth and eat oreos at the same time anyway? :) Ha!

  22. Cindy says

    I made this wonderful recipe as a pan cookie in a scrubbed out Papa Murphy’s deep dish pizza pan. It turned out great! I baked it for 23 minutes at 325 degrees. Thanks for a versatile recipe!

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