Frosted Animal Cracker Cookies
These homemade frosted animal cracker cookies are such a nostalgic treat—and they taste even better than store-bought! Sweet & crunchy animal crackers, dipped in a simple 2-ingredient icing & covered in sprinkles. Start with a batch of homemade animal crackers to make this frosted animal cookie recipe totally from scratch, or you can use store-bought animal crackers if you want a simplified version.
What is the difference between animal crackers and animal cookies?
Animal crackers straddle the line between cracker & cookie. Technically, Stauffer’s are more like traditional crackers because they’re “docked” before baking (tiny holes are poked in the back), so they puff up & become crunchy. Whereas Barnum’s are more like crisp shortbread cookies that spread instead of puff up. But to me, the only true animal cookies are pink and white FROSTED animal crackers!
I would beg for these as a kid, so this frosted animal cookie recipe is like my childhood dream. Since they’re made from scratch, these iced animal cracker cookies are lower in sugar than store-bought & free from additives like high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. And honestly, they taste even better than the cookies I remember! All you need to make them is a batch of animal crackers, powdered sugar, milk, food coloring (if desired), & sprinkles.
Homemade Frosted Animal Cookies Ingredients
- Homemade Animal Crackers. To make your own pink and white animal cookies totally from scratch, you’ll first need to bake a batch of animal crackers, which you’ll then dip in icing. The process of making each individual animal cracker takes some time & patience, but the result is so satisfying! If you want a simplified / semi-homemade way to make this recipe, you can use your favorite store-bought animal crackers instead.
- 2-Ingredient Frosting. Powdered sugar + a splash of milk = the easiest-ever frosting! I love this simple icing because it hardens & sets within just a few minutes. It adds a sweet, crisp coating, but it also slightly softens the cookies—which I love. (Sort of like vanilla wafers after sitting in banana pudding!)
- Red Food Coloring. I wanted to make frosted animal cracker cookies in the classic pink and white colors, so I used a drop of red food coloring to make a batch of pink frosting. Yes, this adds some artificial colors to my cookies, but the festive flair & nostalgia is worth it for me! If you want a natural coloring alternative, you could macerate or puree strawberries, then add 1-2 Tbsp of the juice to your icing. (Just don’t add too much juice, because your icing won’t set/harden if there’s too much liquid in it!)
- Nonpareil Sprinkles. To give your copycat iced animal cookies their classic, colorful flair, be sure to add some rainbow nonpareil sprinkles!
How to Make Frosted Animal Cracker Cookies at Home
- Make your own animal crackers from scratch and let them cool completely (or buy some of your favorite packaged animal crackers).
- To make white frosting, whisk together ½ cup of powdered sugar and a splash of milk, until the mixture is smooth. I recommend starting with less milk at first for a thicker glaze, then gradually add more milk to thin it out to your liking.
- To make pink frosting, use a separate bowl to whisk together ½ cup powdered sugar, a splash of milk, and 1 drop of red food coloring. (You don’t need much—a single drop was enough to make my pink icing!)
- Dip animal crackers into the frosting. Using 2 forks, submerge each cracker in the frosting, lift it out, and transfer them to a wire rack to let any excess icing drip off. Then decorate your frosted animal crackers with sprinkles before the icing hardens!
- Transfer animal cookies to a plate to set completely (so the wire rack doesn’t imprint lines in the backs of your cookies). You can store your iced animal cracker cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days, or keep them in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Frosted Animal Crackers Recipe
- 60-65 homemade animal crackers, (or store-bought)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, divided, (120g)
- 1-2 Tbsp milk of choice
- 1 drop red food coloring, (for pink frosting)
- 2-3 Tbsp nonpareil sprinkles
- For white frosting: In a bowl, whisk together ½ cup powdered sugar and a splash of milk until smooth and drizzly. (Use less milk at first to make a thicker glaze, then add a splash at a time to thin it out as much as desired.)
- For pink frosting: In a separate bowl, whisk together ½ cup powdered sugar, a splash of milk, and 1 drop red food coloring.
- Dip homemade animal crackers (or store-bought) into desired color(s) of frosting. Use 2 forks to dip each cracker into the frosting, lift it out, and transfer to a wire baking rack to let the excess drip off. Add sprinkles while frosting is still wet.
- Transfer frosted animal crackers to a plate to set completely. (This will prevent the lines of the wire rack from imprinting into the backs of your crackers.)
- Store iced animal crackers in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days, or in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- Yields~60-65 frosted animal cracker cookies.