Danish Butter Cookies

It only takes a short list of ingredients to make these delicious Danish Butter Cookies!

Danish Butter Cookies on a red-rimmed white plate

For years, I wanted to make my own Danish Butter Cookies. I’ve had my fair share of the kind in the tins at Christmas time, but I really wanted to try baking them myself.

So, as I tend to do, I did a good bit of reading about different ways to make them. And let me tell you that there are a whole lot of opinions out there, from the type of butter to use to how to shape them and a whole lot in between.

Ultimately, I feel that these should be very simple cookies. A short list of ingredients and a no-fuss method are what make them so good.

overhead view of Danish Butter Cookies on a red-rimmed white plate

Of course, quality ingredients are always key, especially when the ingredient list is short. Some bakers prefer to make these cookies European butter, which has a higher fat content. I generally don’t bake with anything other than standard butter, and I imagine that is what most home bakers use. However, either kind should serve you well for this recipe.

When it comes to how to shape the cookies, I like to pipe them in simple circle with a large star tip. I’ll be the first to tell you that my piping skills aren’t great. But this is a simple shape that even I can manage to make. I use a Wilton 1M open star tip, and I highly recommend you not try to use anything smaller than that. The dough is thick but that size tip works fine with a little effort. Experiment with other tips and shapes if you like. Have fun!

Danish Butter Cookies on a red napkin

Don’t be shy when sprinkling the cookies with sugar. The cookies themselves aren’t very sweet, so you need that extra sugar for sweetness. You can use granulated sugar, sanding sugar, or a combination of the two. If you’re looking for something more festive, try a colored sanding sugar.

One last tip I’ll offer is to be careful not to over-bake these cookies. It’s very easy to do that. Take the cookies out of the oven just as they’re beginning to brown around the edges.

I’m a complete convert for these homemade Danish Butter Cookies! They are SO much better than the cookies in the tin. And you’ll love how easy they are to make! This is one cookie recipe I’ll be making for years to come!

Find more cookie recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Cookie Recipes with a Short List of Ingredients

Yield: about 36 cookies

Danish Butter Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes

Danish Butter Cookies are made simply and easily with a short list of ingredients!

Danish Butter Cookies on a red-rimmed white plate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (110g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • about 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or sanding sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour, mixing just until combined.
  5. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.* Pipe the dough into circles about 2 inches in diameter. Leave about 2 inches between cookies.
  6. Sprinkle each cookie with granulated sugar or sanding sugar.
  7. Refrigerate the pans of cookies for 15 minutes.
  8. Bake, one pan at a time, 14 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are just browned.
  9. Cool on the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

*The cookies pictured were made with a Wilton 1M tip. Most any tip at least that large should work. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped instead.

Recipe slightly adapted from McCormick.

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