Cookies

Festive Danish Butter Cookies

4.75 from 62 votes
My Festive Danish Butter Cookies recipe is for shortbread cookies that are light, simple, buttery with a vanilla flavor, and they just melt in your mouth.
A top-down view of my Danish butter cookies in a tin.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Around Christmas time, it isn’t unusual to find squat, round tins around in the shops, filled with delicious looking Festive Danish Butter Cookies. But my homemade Danish Butter Cookie recipe is so unlike those unfilling store-bought cookies! And they would make an even better gift for family and friends! 

These shortbread cookies are light, simple, buttery with a vanilla flavor, and they just melt in your mouth. They are so incredibly tender on the inside, and they have just a slight crisp on the outside.

[ Looking for my German Spritz Cookie recipe? Click here! ]

Were you ever the kid who was excited to see a tin of these at your mom’s or grandmother’s house — only to open it up and realize that it was just full of sewing supplies? These Danish butter cookies taste the opposite of how that felt! 

What Are Danish Butter Cookies?

They are a crispy, vanilla-flavored cookie that gets their crisp texture from the amount of butter and sugar used in the recipe. They come in many shapes and sizes, depending on who controls the piping bag, and can be flavored or topped with other sweets like chocolate or coconut.  

A tin of my danish butter cookies.

What You Need To Make Danish Butter Cookies

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Electric mixer
  • Piping bag with large star tip
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper

How To Make Danish Butter Cookies

Making these homemade Danish butter cookies is easier than prying the lid off of those store-bought tins! (Why do they make them so difficult to open?) Here’s how you make them (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. To make the dough, beat the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and the egg and beat until it is combined.
  4. Gradually add in the flour and beat until just thoroughly combined.
  5. Scoop the dough into a pastry bag that is fitted with a large, open star tip. Pipe about 2-inch (5cm) circles onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the granulated or sanding sugar.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through until the edges are light brown. Allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

A close-up of my Danish Butter Cookies.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Danish Butter Cookies

  • Keep an eye on the cookies while you are baking them. They should only be a very pale golden when they are done.
  • These cookies make great gifts! Line a tin with paper cupcake liners and stack two or three cookies in each liner. It will look just like a classic tin of Danish butter cookies!
  • The primary flavors in this cookie are butter and vanilla, so you’ll want to use good quality ingredients! 
  • Use colored sanding sugar for a festive touch!
  • You can dop these cookies into melted milk, dark or white chocolate.
  • Go big on homemade! Make them with homemade vanilla extract and handmade butter!

How Do I Store Danish Butter Cookies?

These cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost the cookies at room temperature for an hour before serving.

A danish butter cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Make More Cookies At Home!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Festive Danish Butter Cookies Recipe

4.75 from 62 votes
My Festive Danish Butter Cookies recipe is for shortbread cookies that are light, simple, buttery with a vanilla flavor, and they just melt in your mouth.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 35 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
My Festive Danish Butter Cookies recipe is for shortbread cookies that are light, simple, buttery with a vanilla flavor, and they just melt in your mouth.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 35 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) butter, softened
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
  • Granulated or sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the egg, and beat until combined.
  • Gradually add the flour until just thoroughly combined.
  • Scoop dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip and pipe 2-inch (5cm) circles onto the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with the granulated or sanding sugar.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until the edges are light golden brown. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  • These cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for an hour.

Submit your own photos of this recipe

14 Images

Saj Uvais

Lydiamp

Etel Infante

Wendy Watson

Emily Lines

Vicki Sandstrom

guest
116 Comments and Reviews
most useful
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Helle Petersen
Helle Petersen
1 month ago

Oh it makes me so happy to see a Danish cookie recipe. This is a stable in our Christmas baking.
If you would like a traditional Danish recipe, for the original Danish version, just let me know 🙃

Jeanne Stone
Jeanne Stone
1 month ago

Can you use a cookie press for this recipe?

Ruweena Deen
Ruweena Deen
1 month ago

Oh so happy I finished making the best ever butter cookies. They came out well. Thank you Gemma for giving us these recipes.

1 month ago

Turned out perfect on the first try!!! love ur recipes Gemma.. they always work out 100% for me.

Arooj
Arooj
1 month ago

Hi Gemma… Is there no video of these cookies?

Kristal Robb
Kristal Robb
1 month ago

Too thick not happy its impossible to squeeze

JimmyB
JimmyB
12 days ago

I don’t have a piping bag. Do you think I can roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter?

Eileen
Eileen
20 days ago

Made these for Christmas. We loved them so much, we made them for New Years as well. I also had the same issue as many, could not pipe the dough. I whipped my butter well, but still had issues. No worries, I scooped the dough into Christmas cookie cutters and carefully took the dough out to hold the shape. My kiddo sprinkled colorful sugar on top and we baked them, turning the sheet half way. We had to keep them in the oven longer than the directions, but they came out perfect and delicious. It is our new favorite cookie.

Kristine
1 month ago

Love it! Thank you so much!!

Meredith
1 month ago

Why was my dough too heavy to get all the way to the end of the bag and into the tip? They made great tasting sugar cookies, though!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

Buy the Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook by Gemma Stafford