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These easy Butter Cookies, also called Danish butter cookies, are a holiday classic. The dough is formed into a log, coated with coarse sugar, and then all you do is slice and bake the cookies. They’re simple but so delicious they literally melt in your mouth.
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Best Danish Butter Cookies Recipe
It’s that time of year when you start seeing those tins of Royal Dansk Danish cookies showing up in the stores, but this year you can skip them and make your own homemade Danish butter cookies!
I hesitate to call these a copycat recipe because they are so much better than the store-bought ones. This is the best butter cookie recipe – buttery, sweet, and every bite melts in your mouth.
If you’re looking to change out those holiday sugar cookies for something even more unique, this easy recipe is for you! The full recipe has just seven ingredients, and I bet you have them on hand already.
They’re made with butter, so they have a fantastic flavor and egg yolks add some richness, too. Plus, they’re easy to slice and bake butter cookies –make the dough, form it into a log, chill it, and then slice and bake.
Ingredients in Slice and Bake Cookies
Butter: Start with softened unsalted butter. To substitute salted butter, reduced salt in the recipe to 1/4 teaspoon.
Granulated Sugar: Gives these just the right amount of sweetness and crunch.
Egg: You just need one large egg yolk for this recipe.
Baking Powder: Helps them get that delicate texture.
Salt and Vanilla extract: For flavor
All-Purpose Flour: Be sure to measure it correctly.
Sanding sugar: For decoration, this is optional.
Tip: For the best cookies, use ingredients that are room temperature.
How to Make Butter Cookies
- Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl and hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for one to two minutes.
- Mix in the egg yolk, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until the butter mixture is smooth. At low speed, mix in the flour until the dough forms.
- Divide the cookie dough in half and roll each into a six to seven-inch long log approximately one and a half inches wide. This is the size I prefer, but you can make them bigger or smaller just keep in mind the baking time will vary.
- Pour some sanding sugar on a large flat surface (a baking sheet works well) and roll each log in the sugar. Lightly press the sugar, so it adheres to the dough. This step is optional but adds a nice touch. When the cookies are baked, the edges will have a sweet, crunchy coating.
- Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least two hours or overnight. For perfectly round cookies, stand the logs upright in tall glasses. This will prevent them from flattening on one side.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Slice the logs into ¼”-thick slices and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden brown around the edges and no longer glossy. Cool them on the sheet and then store them in an airtight container.
Tip: Check on your cookies halfway through the baking time and rotate the pans. This will help them bake and brown evenly.
Ways to Decorate Butter Cookies
The butter cookies are delicious plain, but it’s easy to add decorations to make them more festive.
- Sugar: Coarse sugar or sugar in different colors works great. Roll the logs in the sugar before you chill them.
- Sprinkles: Instead of sugar, roll the logs in sprinkles.
- Chocolate: Another nice way to dress them up is with chocolate. Melt some in the microwave and then dip the cooled cookies in it. Lay them on parchment paper until the chocolate sets.
How to Store Butter Cookies
This old-fashioned butter cookie recipe stores well, making them an excellent option for cookie platters and gifting. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. Or you can freeze them for up to three months.
This easy all-butter cookies recipe needs to be on the list if you are trying new cookie recipes this year. So, break out those Christmas tins and make a batch – everyone will be thrilled to get a batch!
No, I don’t recommend using shortening. It will completely change the flavor of the cookies.
There isn’t a substitution. Butter is the key to making the best Danish cookies.
A cookie press won’t work with this recipe. Normally cookie press cookies have more egg, so they are a thinner dough that will move through the press.
They might look similar, but they aren’t the same. Butter cookies are made with egg yolks, and shortbread cookies don’t have eggs.
If you want to make more cookies you can double the recipe easily.
Danish cookies are sweet with a rich buttery flavor. There are hints of vanilla, and the texture is lightly crispy.
The dough won’t pipe well, so it’s better to slice and bake the cookies. You can also roll out the dough to ¼” thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.
More Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Pecan Pie Cookies
- Easy Peppermint Blossom Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Have you made this recipe?
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Easy Butter Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup (134g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
- Sanding sugar for rolling, optional
- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy in a large bowl using a hand or a stand mixer, about 1-2 minutes.
- Mix in egg yolk, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract until smooth, then mix in flour until dough forms.
- Divide dough into two sections. Roll each into a log that is about 6-7-inches long and approximately 1 ½-inches in diameter. (You can make these any size, larger or smaller, if you prefer.)
- Place sanding sugar on a large flat surface. Roll each log carefully in sugar and press lightly to adhere it, then wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before slicing, or up to overnight. Tip: Place the logs standing up in drinking glasses so they stay circular.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Slice cookies desired thickness, no more than ¼-inches. Place on cookies sheets covered with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until they’re light golden around the edges and no longer glossy. You may want to check part way through baking to see if you need to rotate your pans in your oven, even if you normally don’t. These are delicate cookies and may brown in different areas quicker or slower.
- Cool on cookie sheets then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.
If you’re looking for a new go-to holiday cookie recipe – try these Easy Butter Cookies! The recipe needs just seven ingredients, and I bet you have them on hand already.