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Easy to make butter cookies melt in your mouth and have amazing butter flavor! With crisp edges and a tender center, they are not only a holiday classic but delicious year round.

Close up of butter cookies.
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Buttery Melt in Your Mouth 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. Only easier might be these gooey butter cookies with cake mix!

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!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Seven ingredients. That’s it and you probably already have most on hand already!
  • Flavorful. Butter adds so much rich decadent taste!
  • Versatile. Make drop cookies, use a cookie press, or even slice and bake.


This recipe is simple and doesn’t require anything that you’d only use once and then never use again.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements 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

These are so easy to make with the best buttery flavor and ready in less than 30 minutes!

  1. Make dough. Start by creaming the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment 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 into cookies. 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.


  • 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, this will resemble a Danish butter cookie.
  • 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.
  • Slice and bake. Roll dough into two logs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours up to a day. Then slice and follow baking instructions.

Ways to Decorate

  • 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.
  • 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 or try buttercream frosting from my sugar cookie bar recipe.
Pressing fork onto a cookie.

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

Expert Tips

  • Measure flour correctly. A scale is best for accurate measurements as too much flour will affect the texture of these cookies.
  • Extract. Pure vanilla extract is best for taste as the rich vanilla flavor will shine through! Add a pinch of butter extract, too, if you want an additional pop of butter flavor.
  • Use a cookie scoop. This ensure each cookie is the same size and will bake evenly.
  • Don’t overbake. Remove from the oven when the edges of your butter cookies are just barely golden brown, even if the center doesn’t look done. The cookies will solidify as they cool.

Recipe FAQs

Can I freeze these?

Yes! Freeze your baked cookies in an airtight container or freeze safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy!

Are butter cookies and shortbread the same?

While both use mostly butter to get their taste, they are not the same. Butter cookies contain egg whereas shortbread does not. The texture is less crumbly than shortbread as well.

Should I chill my cookie dough?

Yes! Make sure to chill the dough for at least 10 minutes to make the cookies thick and hold their shape.

What type of butter should I use?

A high quality dairy butter (cows milk) is best to use in this butter cookie recipe. Unsalted butter is best when baking as different brands vary the amount of salt they use.

How To Store

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.

Close up of butter cookies.

More easy holiday cookie recipes we love include these snickerdoodle cookies, cake mix cookies, and chocolate chip cookies with sprinkles.

More Christmas Cookies

Browse all

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butter cookies recipe

Butter Cookies

5 from 22 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Easy to make butter cookies melt in your mouth and have amazing butter flavor! With crisp edges and a tender center, they are not only a holiday classic but delicious year round.
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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