Homemade Danish Butter Cookies | The Recipe Critic

Buttery, tender and unbelievably light these homemade Danish Butter Cookies are so much better than the tinned version. Loaded with flavor, they’ll literally melt in your mouth and are so easy to make.

Just a few slight changes from my Melting Moments Cookies, you’re going to love these. Why not make up a batch to gift to those you love with some Peppermint Meltaways and Snow Kiss Cookies too.

A batch of butter cookies, some chocolate coated, spread over a marble bench top

Homemade Butter Cookies

Danish butter cookies are an absolute classic holiday cookie but why wait for the holidays when you can make them all year round? This recipe takes just 6 ingredients and a few minutes to put together.

There are so, so many reasons to enjoy these cookies;

  • Soft and tender
  • Melt in your mouth
  • Buttery and flavourful
  • Just 6 ingredients
  • Easy to make
  • Pipe or press them into pretty designs
  • Decorate to your hearts content.

A stack of butter cookies, some chocolate coated, sitting next to a glass of milk

Ingredients in Butter Cookies:

With the buttery flavour of shortbread but with a soft melt-away texture, these cookies have definitely earned their name.

  • Butter – a large amount and since this is the most dominant flavour, use a quality brand.
  • Sugar – regular white granulated sugar will do the trick here.
  • Vanilla extra – make sure to use extract (not essence). You could even go the extra mile and use vanilla bean paste or vanilla bean seeds so you get that gorgeous little black speckles.
  • Egg yolk and milk – both are used for richness and they also allow the dough to be soft enough to be piped.
  • All purpose flour – of course you need some sort of flour to create cookies and these ones just need the regular all purpose variety.

How To Make Danish Butter Cookies:

This incredibly simple dough is the work of minutes using a stand mixer, definitely my prefer way to mix this thick dough.

  1. Wet ingredients: mix together the butter, vanilla, egg yolk, most of the milk and the sugar in a stand mixer – just using a paddle attachment.
  2. Add flour: Add the flour in 3 parts, then give it a good beat until it’s forms a soft dough.
  3. Pipe: Transfer the dough to a piping bag, then pipe in any shape you like – see my tips below.
  4. Bake: Bake them at 350F for roughly 14 minutes or until the edges just start turning golden. Let them cool completely before decorating.
  5. Decorate: These are gorgeous dunked in chocolate with some sprinkles. Add any colour to suit the season or whatever you love. You can also sprinkle sugar over them before baking.

3 shots showing dough texture for cookies, piping cookies, then dipping them in chocolate

Tips and Variations:

  • The dough: After adding the flour, you give it good beat for 30 seconds or so until it becomes a nice soft dough and everything is fully combined.
  • Milk: You can add a little more milk if it’s not soft enough to pipe but don’t add too much or they will use their shape as they bake. It should take some pressure to pipe but should not break as you do so.
  • The piping bag: Use a small piping bag. This is quite a thick dough and easier to pipe when you have a small amount to handle at a time.
  • Piping: So they keep their shape, pipe them high with the piping bag completely vertical (not at an angle). Hold the tip ½ inch from the baking tray, use both hands on the bag and press firmly to pipe.
  • Designs: Use a piping bag, cookie press or freeze in logs to make slice and bake cookies. When you pipe use an open star tip like an Ateco 829. Pipe in a small circle so it becomes a rosette. You can also pipe logs of dough or large stars (without making a circle) then add a glace cherry to the centre.
  • Hold down the paper: Quick trick to hold that baking paper down, dot a little of the dough under the corners and it will assist in holding it in place while you pipe.
  • When decorating: Be gentle with the cookies when you’re dipping them as they are very delicate.

A batch of butter cookies, some chocolate coated, next to a glass of milk

How Long Will These Cookies Keep?

These homemade cookies are good at room temperature for up to 7 days. Keep them in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months – perfect for getting ahead if you’re gifting them. Again make sure they are in an airtight container.

  • One last tip: While they’re best known for their pale color, go ahead and ‘over-bake’ a few so they get quite golden – the nutty butter flavor this gives is absolutely amazing.

A batch of butter cookies, some chocolate coated. One being picked up

More Amazing Cookie Recipes:

A batch of butter cookies, some chocolate coated, spread over a marble bench top

Butter Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 14 minutes

Total Time 24 minutes

Author Marie Roffey

Servings 25 cookies

Buttery, tender and unbelievably light these homemade Danish butter cookies are so much better than the tinned version. Loaded with flavour,they’ll literally melt in your mouth and are so easy to make.

  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened (226g / 2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3.5oz / 100g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4-5 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (9.2oz / 260g)
  • 5.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted (3/4 cup, chopped)
  • Sprinkles if desired.
  1. There’s no need to beat the butter mixture too long as it may soften your piped design on baking.
  2. I find a stand mixer best for this thick dough but a handheld electric beater and some elbow grease at the end will work too.
  3. Different brands of flours will absorb different amounts of moisture which matters in this dough. Only add enough milk that, while still requiring pressure to pipe, you can pipe it smoothly. Too soft and you won’t get the defined design on top.
  4. Decorating: You can add a variety of sprinkles to suit the season. You could even sprinkle over granulated or turbinado sugar before baking.
  5. Piping: You don’t have to pipe these cookies. You could just scoop like regular cookies, or use a cookie press. You can also roll the dough into logs and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Later, slice and bake.

Nutrition Facts

Butter Cookies

Amount Per Serving (31 g)

Calories 154

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.




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