Homemade Animal Cookies


This recipe for homemade animal cookies is a good way to make a classic and know exactly what’s going in the recipe. Tiny sugar cookies are coated in frosting and topped with sprinkles.

Homemade Animal Cookies

“Hey Daniel, you wanna see me eat a giraffe’s head?!”

“You can’t reach a giraffe’s head.”

I’d pull out an giraffe animal cracker and bite its head off like a predator.

My brother would laugh so hard O.J. would come out of his nose. (The juice not the criminal.)

I loved animal crackers as a kid. I loved them so much because they were part toy, part snack.

I’d give the giraffe an old man’s voice and his wife, the bear, an old lady voice. Together their baby was the lion.

They were a family like The Lion King that miraculously got along in the box in my backpack.

Homemade Animal Crackers

Homemade Animal Crackers

I loved them so very much, especially the hot pink ones with a shit ton of sprinkles. What more could I want?!

Of course my mom never really bought them for us and they were considered treat-only-snacks.

I never even really considered making them at home until compartes sent me a box of his chocolate and they had what else, animal crackers, all up in their chocolate bars.

So I searched around the internets and came across this Noah’s Ark mini cookie cutter set. I sort of chuckled because who knew a Noah’s Ark cookie cutter set even existed! First testament licensing deal!

Anyway, it was perfect because at only $6, I could completely justify the cost. I left out the ark but you can include if you want!

Homemade Animal Crackers

The glazes are tasty and pretty and if you want hot pink, then look for neon food coloring (not red).

I went for baby pink with a ton of sprinkles.

I’d say these are good for everything from party time snacks to a baby shower (yes, Spring is coming) to just normal, personal snacking time.

How to make Homemade Animal Cookies:

  1. Make the cookie base. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs. Add the flour in a couple batches so it doesn’t fly everywhere.
  2. Chill! Portion the dough into two pieces and wrap with plastic wrap. Transfer to the fridge to firm up.
  3. Roll out and cut. Let the dough sit out for 10 minutes to soften just a little bit then roll out and cut. Transfer cut dough to a baking sheet. Once all the cookies have been cut, transfer the baking sheet to the freezer to harden to help them not spread as much.
  4. Bake! Bake the cookies just until they turn golden brown around the edges.
  5. Make the frosting. Mix together the sifted powdered sugar together with the heavy cream until smooth.
  6. Add color! Add whatever color food coloring you wanted I just used red to make pink but you could also buy a neon pink food coloring that would make it closer to the original.
  7. Dip cookies. Just barely in the frosting, then transfer to a cooling rack to add your sprinkles. Let the frosting set completely before serving.

Homemade Animal Cookies

Homemade Animal Cookie Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serving Size: 45 cookies
Calories: 94kcal
This recipe for homemade animal cookies is a good way to make a classic and know exactly what's going in the recipe. Tiny sugar cookies are coated in frosting and topped with sprinkles.



  • 1 cup unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting #1:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar,, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Frosting #2:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar,, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream,, plus 1 to teaspoons if it sits
  • 1 drop red food coloring


  • Round colored sprinkles


  • To make the cookies: To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, add the butter, sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and beat once more until combined. In two batches, add the flour, being sure each addition is combined before adding the next one. Divide the dough in half, transfer it to two sheets of plastic wrap (it’ll be quite soft!), shape into a disc and transfer to the fridge. Allow to chill for about 1 hour. Ideally it should be at least 3 hours.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove the first disc of dough from the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes. Liberally flour a rolling pin and work surface. Roll out the cookie dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Stamp out the cookies with a cookie cutters. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart (these spread slightly). Transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Repeat with the second disc of dough.
  • Bake the cookies, one baking sheet at a time, for about 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  • To make frosting #1: whisk the powdered sugar and heavy cream together. It should be thick but pourable.
  • To make frosting #2: whisk the powdered sugar, heavy cream and food coloring together. Adjust the food coloring according to your liking. I was comfortable at one drop!
  • Dip the cookies, face side down into the frosting, turn them over and place them on a cooling rack or piece of parchment. I like to work in batches of three or four and then add sprinkles. Repeat until you've worked your way through all of the cookies. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to set.
KeywordAnimal Cookie
Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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  • Reply Genevieve May 26, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Have you ever substituted lemon flavoring for the vanilla?

  • Reply Savannah December 18, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    How do you suggest keeping these? Tupperware with some paper towel perhaps in just a cool dry place? And what’s their life span before trashing (though I’m sure they’ll be gobbled up way before that!) do you think?

    I can’t wait to make these!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 18, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      Yes, tupperware or in a plastic bag in the fridge (if your kitchen is super warm just so they don’t melt together)! They should be good for 3 to 4 days. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Baby Gift Baskets September 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Those look absolutely delicious. I’ve never had the homemade ones before, I’m eager to give these a try. You are right, these would be perfect for a baby shower.

  • Reply christine July 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    You are my new hero. These are my favorite store-bought cookie, and I always feared they could never be replicated at home. Gonna do this soon.

  • Reply Kristin March 22, 2016 at 7:19 am

    I made these over the weekend, and they are SO GOOD! I found the bottom side of the cookie doesn’t quite dry, probably need to dry on a rack completely. I bought the cookie cutters that Adrianna suggested and they worked great. I used about 3/4 of the dough and using those cutters, I made double the cookies that was stated, so head’s up! I had to make the icing twice (duh, should’ve thought of that as the cookie amount doubled), but that was alright as it was a pinch to make. Storing them in the fridge makes for a delicious cool cookie. I will definitely make these again!

  • Reply Joanna March 11, 2016 at 11:49 am

    These are so cute! I am going to make these when my nephews are in town. Where did you get the cookie cutters? Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Tiffeny WIlbourn March 9, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I almost couldn’t read your post because I was so excited about what I saw! I can’t wait to make these with my boys, subbing Noah’s Ark for the only cookie cutters in the house, ninjas HAHA! This should be interesting πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Rebecca February 25, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Oh my goodness, I still adore animal crackers, even though my husband mercilessly mocks me for it. I’ve quit buying them, so this may be the perfect way to give in to the temptation without feeling toooo guilty about it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply Sharon | Cheesy Pennies February 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

    As soon as I saw the pictures, I knew I had to make these. They were just as cute romping around my kitchen, and their heads (and bodies) are decidedly tasty. The dough gets super soft instantly, so I recommend rotating it back through the fridge as you are cutting out and baking. Thanks for the fabulous idea!

  • Reply Mackenzie February 20, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    While this recipe looks fab, the comment about the OJ made me majorly lol, so thanks for brightening my day!

  • Reply Sara @ Cake Over Steak February 19, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Omg these are so cute!!!! The ones with the shit ton of sprinkles are the only way to go. I also just got way sucked into that compartes chocolate web site. I want them allllllllll!! I would totally do their chocolate of the month club if it wasn’t $500 FOR THE YEAR!! OMG. But their chocolate sounds amazing.

  • Reply DessertForTwo February 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I want all of these for me me me!

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