I fell in love once back in 2007, my junior year of high school. It was in the most hopeless of places and in the sweetest of ways.
It was in the form of a cookie.
I’ll never forget that magical Tuesday evening. It was February 13th, and my awkward little 16-year-old self was sitting quietly in my rigid wooden chair, in the corner of my SAT prep classroom with 20 other fidgety high-schoolers. We were all counting down the minutes until the halfway mark of the dreadfully long 3-hour class- that was when we typically took our breaks.
We finally wrapped up whatever section we had been working on, and my instructor dismissed us for our 15 minute break. I don’t remember what her name was, but I remember her being a peppy, blonde 20-something-year-old.
When the break was over she stood there at the head of the classroom grinning and clutching an oversized white tupperware container to her chest. “Sooo…I’ve baked you guys my favorite treat for Valentine’s Day! Crack cookies! JK, I didn’t put crack in them. They are confetti cake cookies, but they are so addicting they may as well have crack in them!” She eagerly passed around the white sprinkled cookies for us to try.
Now, let’s talk about this cookie. This was the softest, fluffiest, richest and chewiest cookie I had ever had. Like those cheap delicious Walmart/Target sugar cookies with the frosting and sprinkles, only 100 times better. They literally just dissolved in your mouth. It was love at first bite.
I immediately thought that they were made from scratch, but she later gave away her secret and said they were made from cake mix and that they were pretty simple to whip up.
I don’t even think 48 hours went by before my craving for these cookies took its toll and sent me on a wild Google hunt for the recipe. There are lots of recipes online, many of which I have tweaked a bit myself. Pillsbury also came out with a funfetti cookie mix, which made pretty tasty cookies. But I found that after these baked and cooled, they always ended up looking slightly flat and sad. It took a few attempts (a number of years, to be exact), to perfect this recipe and replicate the same shape, texture, and softness of that one perfect cookie that stole my heart.
The token ingredient and the key to the lightest soft-baked cookie you well ever experience: A pinch of baking powder. Nope, not baking soda. But baking powder. I have also discovered a tool for getting the perfectly sized cookie every time (linked below).
Thanks to my SAT prep teacher, these confetti
crack cake cookies have become my signature dish (yes dish— my entrees could use some work). They’re perfect for any type of tacky holiday or occasion. You can buy seasonal confetti cake mixes or simply add your own colored sprinkles to dress them up.
I’ve played around with some of the mix-ins in the past and have added M&Ms, white chocolate chips, marshmallows, crushed Oreos etc. However, my go-to is adding a handful of white chocolate chips into the mix.
Word of caution: THESE COOKIES ARE EXTREMELY ADDICTING. I’ve been known to inhale 12 in a sitting with ease. People like Selena Gomez write songs about cookies like these. You won’t be able to keep your hands to yourself…I mean you could, but why would you want to?
Confetti Cake Cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 9 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | Makes roughly 2 dozen
1 box (18.25 oz) Funfetti Cake Mix, such as Pillsbury
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (or any other mix-in your heart desires)
1 cup sprinkles (optional)
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone-baking mat.
Mix the cake mix and baking powder together in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the 2 eggs, the oil and the vanilla by hand in a smaller bowl. Add this egg mixture to the large bowl of cake mix. Stir it together briskly until there are no more pockets of dry cake mix. Add in the white chocolate chips and mix in. (If you choose to add sprinkles or M&Ms, gently fold these toppings into the dough at the very end. You want to avoid over-stirring these colored toppings so that you don’t end up dying the cookie dough.)
***If you find the dough is gooey, extra sticky or too hard to work with, you can add up to 2 tablespoons of flour to make it more manageable.
Scoop teaspoon size balls of dough onto the baking sheet. I use a melon scooper or cookie scooper to do this. If you don’t have a scooper, you can just drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the sheet, roughly 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 9 minutes. When you take them out, the cookies will look very soft. Do not leave them in the oven for longer, you don’t want them to brown. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for at least 3 minutes. Enjoy!
- Parchment paper is what I typically use. Note that parchment paper is not the same as wax paper! I’ve made that mistake before and let’s just say wax paper doesn’t do too well in the oven.
- Vegetable oil causes the dough to spread while baking, which can lead to flat-cookie-city. To get that perfectly round and thick cookie, I use a spring-loaded 1.5 teaspoon cookie scooper (this size works great). I use 1 scoop as a base and add half a scoop on top to create a ‘dome-like’ shape. I then smooth out the edges if needed. This prep prevents the cookie dough from spreading out too much.
- Bake one sheet at a time to ensure even baking.