Danish Butter Cookies Recipe

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With this Danish Butter Cookies Recipe, you’ll get cookies that are buttery, crisp, and taste better than those from the famous blue cookie container! These cookies are easy to make too and only require 4 basic ingredients!

Danish Butter Cookies on a serving platter

These traditional Christmas cookies are perfect for the holiday season or sharing with friends and family.

There’s something special about self-sufficient cookies. That is cookies that need no icing. Enjoying these homemade Danish butter cookies with a cup of tea, a little milk, or coffee is the perfect way to curb the afternoon slump.

These cookies need no icing, decoration, or bells and whistles. The butteriness speaks for itself. But you could dip them in melted chocolate if you want to and add some sprinkles for more oomph.

My kids and I enjoy these Danish cookies so much! Friends, I have been making a lot of cookies these days. Something tells me my freezer will be filled with homemade cookies soon!

If you love this butter cookies recipe, you’ll also love classic shortbread cookies and lemon shortbread cookies. Also, try our chocolate chip cookies.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Delicious Danish Butter Cookies make the perfect Christmas gift! These are the cookies to make and share with neighbors and friends! They are so tasty! I love them with a steaming cup of tea!
  • They taste like shortbread cookies. I adapted this easy recipe from my Homemade Shortbread Cookies recipe. I just added egg and vanilla extract. I also used granulated sugar instead of icing sugar in this one for some texture.
  • They are perfect for baking with kids! This is the danish butter cookie recipe to make. If you have kids, make these cookies with them. So much fun!
  • They are pretty and make a great presentation. Iconic Danish butter cookies are so pretty. Look at all those swirls! They will look great on any Holiday table. I made them for Thanksgiving this year (2022), and they were a hit!
Butter Cookies in a cookie tin

What Are Danish Butter Cookies?

Danish Butter Cookies are popular cookies typically sold in a round blue tin from the brand Royal Dansk Cookies and are quite common. With this recipe, you can recreate the delicious store-bought version. As the name suggests, the most important ingredient in the Danish Butter Cookies Recipe is butter. The cookies are notably buttery.

Danish Butter Cookies are said to have originated from a bakery in a small village in Denmark. The name ‘Danish’ indicates origins from Denmark. These Buttery Cookies are served at Christmas time in North America and Europe.

Ingredients for Danish Butter Cookies

The four simple ingredients needed to make your own Danish Butter Cookies are butter, sugar, egg, and flour. Adding vanilla extract for flavor and salt to create a balanced flavor profile takes the cookies to the next level! Here are some notes about the ingredients:

1. Butter. Use high-quality butter here. It makes a huge difference! My favorite butter to use is the European grass-fed butter called Kerrygold. The more flavorful the butter, the more flavorful the cookies will be since the butter makes up a significant part of the cookies; you need 1 cup butter if you make the full recipe.

2. Sugar. Use granulated sugar for more texture as opposed to using powdered sugar.

3. Egg. One egg adds richness and makes the butter cookie dough pipeable. Without adding the egg, the dough will be tougher to pipe out of the piping bag.

4. Vanilla Extract. Enhance the flavor of butter cookies by adding good-quality vanilla extract to the dough. You could substitute vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste; you only need a little bit for the flavor to shine.

5. Flour. You need good quality all-purpose flour, also known as plain flour, for this recipe. Do not use cake flour because it will turn out differently.

6. Salt. Salt is needed to balance the sweetness, especially if you use unsalted butter. And salt just makes baked goods taste better!

See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.

Landscape photo of Danish Butter Cookies

How To Make Danish Butter Cookies

1. In a large bowl, cream together room-temperature butter and sugar. You can make them by hand, use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer. Cream the components on low speed, and then work up to medium-high speed, beating until fluffy.

2. Add eggs and vanilla flavor extract and mix.

3. Add flour and salt, then mix until the dough forms. If using a stand mixer, make sure to incorporate the flour at a low-medium speed so it doesn’t spill over. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula between mixing, too.

Butter cookie dough in a bowl

4. Place dough into a pastry bag with a large piping tip. Use a large open star tip or closed large star tip for best results.

5. Pipe the dough onto a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Avoid using aluminum foil here. Parchment is much better. Pipe the cookies with the large tip into 1-2 inch circles with swirls to create shaped cookies. You need them to be in a single layer with space in between.

Hand piping butter cookies unto baking sheet

6. Place the cookie sheet with unbaked cookies in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven and bake cookies for the suggested baking time, 12 to 15 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Do not use a higher temperature oven because the edges will burn.

Freshly bakes butter cookies on baking sheet.

7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet then serve. You can also move them to a cooling rack once they firm up a bit.

Chef’s Tip: Make sure your butter is softened so that the dough is pliable enough to pipe easily. The butter for these cookies should be softened, not melted.

Butter Cookies served with tea


  • Sugar Garnish: Before moving the cookies to the oven, you can add a little sprinkle of sugar on top. Use coarse sugar because once the treats come out of the oven, they will have that crunchy sugar coating on top! Yum.
  • Decorate Them: Experiment with other decorations, such as festive sprinkles. You can also melt down chopped chocolate (either milk chocolate or white chocolate) and drizzle lines over the baked cookies for a fancier presentation. I suggest doing this on a wire rack with parchment underneath.
  • Baking Extract: Use different baking extracts to create different flavored butter cookies. I suggest trying either almond extract or lemon!

Expert Tips

  • If you have leftover cookies, keep them in an airtight container so they stay fresh. You can also make the dough ahead of time, pipe it, and freeze the unbaked cookies. First, stick the tray in the freezer so they can set up. Then, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer-safe bag to prevent freezer burn. Bake them directly from frozen, adding a couple extra minutes of baking time.
  • You can easily double this recipe if you wish. If you’re hosting a party, consider making the cookies with different shapes. You can make the first batch as usual and then use a different star piping tip for the next batch to create versatility.
  • You can also use a cookie press or even a small cookie scoop for the dough if you don’t want to pipe it! For a scoop, I recommend pressing the dough balls down slightly with your hand afterward.

Piping Tips For Butter Cookies

Piping Butter Cookies is really easy. Follow these tips for the best-piped cookies:

  • Ensure the butter used in the cookie dough is at room temperature so the dough is easily pipeable.
  • If using a disposable piping bag, ensure that you double the bags to avoid the bag breaking.
  • Just draw circles with the dough using the piping tip for easy butter cookies.
  • For rose-like-looking cookies, start at a center point then pipe the cookie dough into a simple swirl circle, leaving a small hole in the middle.

Recipe Frequently Asked Questions

Are Danish butter cookies the same as shortbread cookies?

Danish butter cookies and shortbread cookies are very similar in taste and texture. However, shortbread cookies have a more crumbly texture as they do not contain whole eggs or egg yolk while Danish butter cookies contain eggs and have a softer texture.

Another thing that makes both cookies similar is that they both contain a lot of butter and do not contain any baking powder or baking soda, unlike sugar cookies.

What if I do not have the right piping tip to pipe butter cookies?

If you do not have the star piping tip, put the cookie dough into one side of a Ziploc bag. Using your hands push the dough toward the pointed tip of the same side of the bag as the dough. Using a pair of scissors, cut the tip of the bag, then pipe the cookie into circles. They won’t have the swirls, but they’ll be delicious!

Can I cut butter cookies with a cookie cutter?

Yes, you could cut Danish biscuits using a cookie cutter of your choice. If you intend to use a cookie cutter, first chill the cookie dough for one hour, then place the dough between two parchment papers and roll it out to a quarter-inch thickness. Cut using cookie cutters, then proceed to bake.

Why are they called Danish butter cookies?

Because they originated in Denmark.

If you love this butter cookies recipe, also check out these recipes for:

Watch How To Make Butter Cookies

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If you make this Danish Butter Cookies Recipe, please consider leaving a comment and star review below. I love hearing from you!

Danish Butter Cookies on a serving platter

Danish Butter Cookies

5 from 8 votes
Danish Butter Cookies are buttery, crisp, and easy to make with only 4 ingredients! They have amazing flavor!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 cup butter (16 tablespoons or 230g) softened and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (250g) spooned and leveled to measure
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. About 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract then beat to combine.
  • Add in the flour and salt, and beat to form a dough. It will take a while but keep beating just until the mixture comes together.
  • Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with an open star piping tip or a closed star piping tip.
  • Pipe the cookies into 1-2 inch swirl circles or roses, leaving at least one-inch of space between each cookie.
  • Bake one sheet of cookies at a time in preheated oven for 15 minutes until slightly golden brown. Start checking around 12 minutes. The cookies might be ready around 12 minutes if you made them smaller than mine. But if you made them larger than mine, there might need a few more minutes in the oven.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container.


1. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Cookies can also be frozen for up to a month. Let them cool completely then put them in a freezer-safe airtight bag and freeze them.
2. To secure parchment paper onto the baking sheet, use some of the cookie dough as glue to glue the parchment paper on 4 spots (close to the sides) of the baking sheet.


Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 739IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Western
Calories: 376
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.

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Recipe Rating


  1. professional baker here, well retired, but these are great, very delicious has that taste that only those cookies have. These can be piped with the smaller but open decorator tips, they are a firm dough (I refrigerated after piping) holds even the slightest lines in the dough, so if piped with say a star tip with many points it will hold those and not loose them in baking. I did thin rings so they defiantly can be piped thin and still taste great. I would even try a cookie press with these, maybe next time, I used a bakery style Italian sprits dough for years I love my recipe for that, but I like these a little better and they are likely just as versatile a recipe, thank you!!

  2. I was just wondering why the dough was so thick? I couldn’t pipe them.
    They are delicious, just wished I could have piped them.

    1. Hi Lori! Maybe it could be because the butter didn’t soften enough.
      In any case, the cookie dough has a thicker consistency and requires a bit of elbow grease to pipe.
      Glad you were still able to enjoy them!
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I made those cookies tonight. They were delicious and so easy to make. I was planning on having them for a Christmas Eve cocoa or tea but they are all gone!

      1. Hi Felicity, you can definitely add nutmeg for flavor but don’t add baking powder as you absolutely do not need it here.