Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Homemade Frosted Circus Animal Cookies (Vegan)

And you all thought I was turning into some kind of grown-up. We can’t have that now can we?

Someone asked me the other day how old I was and, you guys, not only did it take me a billion and one years to answer, I told them I was 18. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes later that I realized that I turned 19 a few weeks ago, what! I’ve concluded that I’m either losing my mind or in complete denial. You know you’re actually growing-up when you start denying your age, right?

That’s why I made these, to prove just how much of a kid I still am. Yeah, that whole getting older thing can hit the road and find someone its own size to pick on cause it’s not gonna be me today. In fact, no amount of maturity can poop on this parade so only kids at heart can proceed past this point. Does that include you?

Okay, great! I’m glad we can still be friends. Now that that’s out of the way, are you a fan of circus animal cookies? They were never my favorite because I always thought the dye made them taste kind of bitter.

They were always one of my mom’s guilty pleasures though, so they were something I enjoyed eating with her because of how much she liked them. Kind of like how Dad’s pop always tasted better than your own. Especially when you were 8 and you got to pour it for him and sip all the fizz off the top only to play dumb when he asked what happened to the first half of his coke. Ahhh, those were the days.

Anyway, these have been on my list of things to try to recreate for a while and I finally decided that I couldn’t wait any longer to try them. Sometimes you just have I need to eat circus animal cookies! type of days in this life and I’m here to show you how to make them at home!

I used all natural color for the pink frosting but I broke down and used some sprinkles since I just don’t think that it’s possible to diy those. I also put a little bit more fun into the mix and dipped some in chocolate frosting, because why not?

Homemade Frosted Circus Animal Cookies (Vegan)

Skip buying these classic sweet treats next time you're at the store and make them at home for yourself.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 - 14 servings



  • 1 cup 2 sticks vegan butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 200 g about 1 cup vegan white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or vegan butter will work as well
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • pinch of salt
  • red preferably organic, food coloring or beet juice
  • colorful round sprinkles
  • animal shaped cookie cutters


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C) and line a few cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl, then add milk, vanilla, and salt. Add flour a cup at a time and beat until dough is well mixed.

  2. Divide dough into halves or quarters and roll out each portion, one at time, on a lightly floured surface in a layer about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes or just a sharp knife to cut squares. Place cookies side by side (no need for much spacing because these don't spread) and bake for 7 to 9 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Remove and cool completely before frosting.
  3. Frosting:
  4. Melt palm oil and white chocolate in a double-boiler (or microwave safe bowl) and whisk in 1/4 cup almond milk. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. If the frosting seems too thick add a few more tablespoons of milk until it is thin enough for easily dipping the cookies. For pink frosting add a few drops of red food coloring or beet juice. You can divide the frosting and only add it to half.

  5. Dip cookies into frosting and place on wire rack to allow excess to drip off and top with sprinkles if desired. Allow to dry for 4 - 12 hours until frosting is set.

Recipe Notes

For chocolate frosting replace white chocolate with dark and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

If you are vegan be sure to check the ingredients for the dye and the sprinkles.



  • Beebah

    You are the best! I JUST almost broke down and bought some of those circus animal cookies the other day because I passed them at the store, and I was having one of those “I need Circus animal cookie days!” They DO totally remind me of when I was a kid! I can’t wait to try these! How FUN! And your video with them dancing across the screen is adorable!

  • H

    I did the frosting exactly as your recipe is written and it is incredibly too thin and not firm at all when dry?! Looks nothing at all like the picture. It looks like a cookie with milk poured over the top. 3/4 cup of milk was wayyy too much.

    • Tori

      Hi friend, thanks for reading! If you’re having trouble with the consistency you can simply add more powdered sugar to the frosting until it’s as thick as you’d like it. I hope that helps!

      • Jess

        Hi! These are so cute! I too had trouble with the frosting being too thin. Added 4 cups powdered sugar and still didn’t like the consistency. Decided to double the white chocolate do the frosting was opaque again. 1/4 cup milk would have been plenty. Thanks for the inspiration!!

        • Tori

          I’m sorry about that Jess. I am curious though, what kind of oil did you use because a liquid oil would definitely have given you a thinner icing? Thanks for the feedback and for trying it. I will be sure to note that detail in the recipe now. Have a great week!

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