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Soft butter cookies that melt in your mouth and have an amazing butter flavor! Perfect for any occasion and a great addition to your holiday goodie plate.

Close up of butter cookies.
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Buttery Soft Cookies

These butter cookies have that delicious butter taste and are super soft in texture. They’re not as sweet as your traditional sugar cookies and are a little more firm than a shortbread cookie. They take less than 30 minutes to make and turn out amazing every time!

I love to make butter cookies during the holidays. They are the perfect Christmas cookies for holiday parties, cookie exchanges or Christmas dessert boards. It’s so fun to use a cookie press to press them into cute Christmas shapes and decorate them with festive sprinkles. So adorable and absolutely delicious!


What I love about this recipe is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand. The recipe is simple and doesn’t require anything that you’d only use once and then never use again. Amounts included in printable recipe below.

  • Butter: Unsalted butter is best so that you can control the amount of salt in the cookies. If using salted butter, I would omit the extra salt included in this recipe.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar gives them the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Egg: This helps the cookies hold their shape (especially when using a cookie press).
  • Vanilla: Add in vanilla extract for an extra boost of flavor. Almond extract would also taste delicious.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works best.
  • Baking powder: A leavening agent that helps the cookies rise.
  • Salt: Since we’re using unsalted butter, I add in a little salt for another layer of flavor .
Mixing butter cookie dough in mixer.

How to Make Butter Cookies

  1. DOUGH. Start by creaming the butter and sugar together until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Then beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then slowly add into the wet mixture. Chill the dough for about 10 minutes.
  2. SHAPE. Scoop and roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Then use a fork to press the tops down. You can also use a cookie press to make different shapes.
  3. BAKE. Bake at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are barely golden. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Storing + Freezing

These cookies will stay fresh for up to 1 week in an airtight container or about 3 months in the freezer. You can also prepare the dough a few days in advance and let it chill (covered) in the fridge until ready to bake.

Pressing fork onto a cookie.

Tips + Variations

  • Roll in sugar. You can roll the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar for an extra sweet touch. Or simply sprinkle some extra sugar on the tops after pressing down the dough with a fork.
  • Chill the dough. Make sure to chill the dough for at least 10 minutes to make the cookies thick and hold their shape.
  • Pipe the dough. Instead of rolling the dough into balls, you can also use a piping bag and tip to pipe the cookies into circles.
  • Dip in chocolate. After they cool, feel free to dip half of the cookies in melted chocolate (we also add sprinkles on top of the wet chocolate).
  • Frost. These cookies taste delicious with a drizzle of powdered sugar icing.
  • Spritz version. Spritz cookies are a variation of butter cookies and are pressed with a cookie press into different Christmas shapes and decorated with different types of holiday sprinkles or colors.

5 star review

“Very subtle flavor. Wonderful with a cup of tea. As stated, not as sweet as a sugar cookie, not as dry as shortbread! Thanks for the recipe!”

– Tina
Close up of butter cookies.

More Christmas Cookies

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butter cookies recipe

Butter Cookies

5 from 16 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Soft butter cookies that melt in your mouth and have an amazing butter flavor! Perfect for any occasion and a great addition to your holiday goodie plate.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 6 mins
Chill: 10 mins
Total Time: 26 mins
Servings: 36


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

Optional: Sprinkles


    • Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. 
    • In a separate bowl, whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually mix into the sugar mixture. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
    • Then use cookie press or roll into balls and use 3 fingers or a fork to press down. Then place cookies on the pan. 
    • Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the edges are just barely turning golden. Remove from oven and onto a cooling rack. 
    • Enjoy plain or with powdered sugar icing. Store in a covered container for 3 days.


    Storage:  Store in a covered container for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat remove from the freezer and let thaw on the counter. 


    Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Adapted from All Recipes.

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