A close up shot of a cupcake with a pink wrapper, frosted and decorated with a Circus animal cookie and sprinkles

Circus Animal Frosting

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes


Circus Animal Frosting is a creamy vanilla buttercream loaded with crushed circus animal cookies and sprinkles.


  • 1 1/2 cups (130g) Circus Animal Cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 3 1/24 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons  (30ml) milk or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons non-pareil sprinkles
  • 24 baked cupcakes


  1. Place Circus Animal Cookies in a large Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush cookies into small pieces. Set aside. Or pulse in a food processor.
  2. Cut the butter into 1 tablespoon size pieces . Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter until it’s super whipped.
  3. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time and mix on low speed until incorporated into the butter then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  4. Next, add an additional 1 1/2-2 cups of powdered sugar along with the heavy whipping cream and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes until super light and fluffy.
  5. Add the crushed animal cookies and sprinkles and beat until incorporated, or fold by hand.
  6. Scoop frosting onto cooled cupcakes using a large cookie scoop. Top with additional sprinkles and garnish with leftover cookies.


  • This frosting would pair well with my vanilla, chocolate or yellow cupcakes
  • Storing frosted cupcakes: These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and are best consumed within 2-3 days. If you live in a warm climate, you might need to refrigerate these cupcakes (in an airtight container), but be sure to serve at room temperature for best results.
  • To prepare frosting in advance: If you’d like to prepare this frosting in advance (up to 2 days), I suggest preparing the vanilla frosting first and storing it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use this frosting, rewhip it with a mixer and then fold in the crushed cookies and sprinkles. This will give you the best results. 

Nutrition Information:
3 tablespoons
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Mixer
  • Cuisine: American