Levain Bakery-Style Circus Animal Sprinkle Cookies

author holding two halves of a circus animal sprinkle cookie

If you love Levain Bakery-style cookies but are looking for a fun new flavor to explore, these Levain Bakery-Style Circus Animal Sprinkle Cookies are it! Packed with white chocolate chips, plenty of sprinkles and nostalgic frosted circus animal cookies, they’re perfect for kids and adults alike!

Happy November!

I realize this isn’t exactly a Christmas-y recipe, nor one that’s particularly fall-esque or Thanksgiving-ish, but I just had to share it. It could not possibly wait another day without being shared with the world, and of course, my beloved readers.

Ever since I began my journey making Levain copycat and Levain-inspired cookies, you guys have gone crazy for them. They’re one of my more popular recipe types on my blog and for good reason: who doesn’t love an abnormally large, super gooey cookie? They hit the spot, feel indulgent and taste amazing. A triple threat! Plus, the real Levain Bakery in NYC only has four flavors, and I have already made a ton more flavor twists that blow the standard four out of the water, if I do say so myself ? Save the shipping costs and make your own! They’re easy and SO much better when they’re fresh out of the oven and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

closeup of the inside of a circus animal sprinkle cookie to show texture

There are a few key components to making your Levain cookies perfect, and those are:

  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is my secret ingredient for almost all of my cookies. It yields soft and tender cookies each and every time and does the same in these, too.
  • Cake flour: Cake flour is Levain’s secret in making a tender, lighter cookie. If all all-purpose flour was to be used for these cookies, they’d be more dense and scone-like because of their size. Cake flour lightens things up a bit and creates a tender, lighter crumb.
  • Brief chill time: These cookies are chilled for a minimum of 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, and also to help set everything up to prevent spreading in the oven. We’ll only bake one sheet of cookies at a time, so just keep the rest of the dough refrigerated while the one sheet bakes.
  • Extra mix-ins: Do not be alarmed by the whopping 4.5 cups (yes, you read that correctly!) of mix-ins. The amount of mix-ins is paramount to giving these cookies both flavor and structure. The mix-ins help maintain the structure of the cookie when baking and prevent too much spreading.

circus animal sprinkle cookies on a wire rack

And for optimal baking results, follow these tips:

  • Shape: I like to shape my Levain cookie dough balls roughly and loosely. Normally for other cookie recipes we’d use a cookie dough scoop for tight, smooth, compacted cookie dough balls – but for these cookies in particular, I like a loosely packed, rougher looking cookie dough ball with a craggly exterior. It gives it better texture.
  • Size: These cookies are colossal at a whopping 6 ounces apiece, and for accurate results, I like to measure out the cookie dough beforehand on a digital kitchen scale to weigh out 6oz of dough. Because of their size, we’re only baking 4 cookies per baking sheet and staggering them on the sheet about 3″ apart from one another to prevent them from globbing together and help maintain their consistent baking time.
  • Do not over-bake!: Levain’s cookies are notorious for being slightly underbaked and hopelessly gooey in the center and that’s the goal here, too. Remember, the cookies will continue to cook as they cool on the baking sheet once you remove them from the oven, so err on the side of underdone versus overbaked. The baking time is 10-13 minutes, but I found mine were done at the 12:15 minute mark. To test where your cookies timing works best at, bake off one test cookie by itself. Remember, we’re only baking 1 sheet of cookies at a time as well.
  • One at a time: We’re baking the cookies 4 per sheet, one sheet at a time for consistent baking results.

a cut open circus animal sprinkle cookie stacked on a black wire rack

These cookies are fun, sprinkly, happiness-inducing and full of nostalgic childhood charm thanks to the frosted circus animal cookies bursting in every bite! You’re going to LOVE these Levain Bakery-Style Circus Animal Sprinkle Cookies!

author holding a split open circus animal sprinkle cookie to show the texture

Levain Bakery-Style Circus Animal Sprinkle Cookies

These Levain Bakery-Style Circus Animal Sprinkle Cookies are fantastic and perfect for kids and adults alike! Packed with rainbow jimmies, white chocolate chips and chopped circus animal cookies, these colossal soft and gooey sugar cookies are a MUST make!

Prep Time35 mins

Cook Time13 mins

Total Time48 mins

Course: Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: American, Dessert

Servings: 9 cookies


  • 1 cup COLD unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups frosted circus animal cookies, roughly chopped like by Mother’s brand
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup rainbow jimmies sprinkles


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cubed cold butter and the granulated sugar with the paddle attachment on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 30 seconds. Lastly, increase the speed to high and mix for another 30 seconds until butter mixture is fluffy and light.

  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, until mixture is combined. Lastly, add in the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cake flour, and all-purpose flour, mixing until incorporated. Lastly, stir in the chopped frosted circus animal cookies, white chocolate chips and the sprinkles until fully combined. Refrigerate the dough to chill for 20 minutes.

  • Preheat your oven to 400° degrees F. Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a digital cooking scale, weigh out 6 ounces of dough and form it into a loosely packed, rough textured ball – I like to form my cookie dough balls kind of on the taller side. Place staggered 3″ apart, 4 dough balls per sheet, on the baking sheet.

  • Bake in the center rack of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 10-13 minutes or until light golden brown and the exterior looks dull and dry. The centers should be gooey and underbaked. You can always test bake one cookie first to gauge what your best timing is. Remember, the cookies will continue to finish cooking as they cool on the baking sheet, so do not over-bake. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for up to 30 minutes as cookies are quite fragile after being baked. Keep remaining dough refrigerated while other cookies are in the oven.

author holding a cut open circus animal sprinkle cookieYou guys are going to LOVE these fun cookies!

levain bakery style circus animal sprinkle cookies photo collage

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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