Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2024)

Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (1)

Jamielyn Nye

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This easy to make butter cookie recipe that 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.

Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2)

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Table of Contents

  • Buttery Melt in Your Mouth Cookies
  • Why This Recipe Works
  • Ingredients
  • Variations
  • How to Make Butter Cookies
  • Ways to Decorate
  • 5 star review
  • Expert Tips
  • Recipe FAQs
  • How To Store Butter Cookies
  • More Cookie Recipes
  • Butter Cookie Recipe Printable Recipe

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, are thicker like Swig cookies and are a little more firm than ashortbread 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. You can even turn them into a linzer cookie or thumbprint cookie recipe with a little jam! 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.
  • Make ahead. Make ahead the dough in store in the refrigerator or freezer for an on demand treat!


Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (3)

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

Find thefullprintable recipewith 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 .


  • Pipe the dough. Instead of rolling the dough into balls, you can also use a piping bag and large 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.
  • Feed a crowd. No time for cookies and need to feed a crowd? The same buttery taste is also in this gooey butter cake!

How to Make Butter Cookies

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

Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (4)
  1. Make dough. Start by creaming the room temperature butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Chill dough. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Chill the dough for about 10 minutes.
  3. Shape into cookies. Scoop and roll into balls and place on a lined baking tray. Then use a fork or use 3 fingers to press the tops down. You can also use a cookie press to make different shapes or pipe cookies into a fun swirl shape like I did above.
  4. Bake. Bake at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are barely golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (5)

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.

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. If you are not piping the cookies into the swirls, use a cookie scoop as 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.
  • Cookie tin crunch. If you love the butter tin cookies that are slightly crunchy you can dehydrate your cookies slightly by leaving them in the oven after baking. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly open until your cookies have cooled.
Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (6)

Recipe FAQs

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes! You can either make the dough of ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap up to 3 days. You can also freeze the cookie dough after piping it. Freeze the unbaked piped cookie dough on a baking sheet, transfer to the freezer and when ready to bake just add a few minutes to the baking time. No need to thaw first.

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.

Why should I chill my cookie dough?

Chilling your dough intensifies the flavor as well as solidifies the butter. It prevents spread and makes for more flavorful cookies. 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 Butter Cookies

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

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

Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (7)

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

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Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (12)

Butter Cookie Recipe

5 from 48 votes

↑ Click stars to rate now!

Author: Jamielyn Nye

Easy to make butter cookie recipe that 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 minutes mins

Cook Time: 6 minutes mins

Chill: 10 minutes mins

Total Time: 26 minutes mins

Servings: 36




  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt , 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Optional: Powdered sugar icing, Sprinkles


    • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Mix in sugar 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.(*see notes if piping cookies instead of pressing)

    • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    • With the mixer on, gradually add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until combined. Cover and chill dough 10 minutes.

    • Roll dough into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Using 3 fingers, a fork, or a cookie press, press dough balls flat.

    • Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are just barely turning golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    • Enjoy plain or topped with powdered sugar icing and sprinkles.


    Pipe the dough: This dough is so pretty when piped and it isn’t hard to do.

    • Add 2 Tablespoons milk when you add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture. If the dough is too thick to pipe, add 1 more Tablespoon milk to soften it up.
    • In a piping bag fitted with an #826 open star pastry tip, add the dough. Pipe cookies in circles onto the baking sheet and follow instructions from there.

    Storage: These cookies will keep in a covered container on the counter up to 4 days.

    Freeze: Store in a freezer-friendly container in the freezer 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.

    Categorized as: American, Christmas, Cookies, Desserts, Freezer-Friendly, Holiday Cookies, Kid-Friendly, Nut-Free, Vegetarian

    Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (13)

    Jamielyn Nye is the founder and recipe creator at I Heart Naptime. She is also the author of the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. Here you will find easy family-friendly recipes for every occasion.

    More about Jamielyn Nye

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    Add a comment


      • Cait

      Hi! These sound so good! Is there a way to make these cut out cookies? Any recipe modifications? I love would like to make cookies with my sons for Teacher Appreciation Week and they like to help decorate the cookies and I don’t want to do a sugar cookie. Thanks!

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        Hi Cait, I haven’t tested these as a roll out cookie. They may be too sticky, but I think they could certainly decorate them just as circles.

        • Reply
      • Andrea

      Love the flavour! Have a question; I added the extra milk so I could pipe them, but found after they were baked the pattern melted down quite a bit. I can still see they were piped; but any ideas…? Thanks for any thoughts

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        Hi! It’s hard to say without being there, I’m guessing maybe too much liquid was added. You could try chilling the cookies after they are piped as well.

        • Reply
      • Tillie
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (18)

      Sooooo good! I inhaled 3 right out of the oven – good thing I have neighbors! Excellent recipe – no modifications needed.

      • Reply
        • I Heart Naptime

        Thanks for the 5 star review! So glad that you loved these butter cookies.

        • Reply
      • Mary Walker
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (19)

      Love these easy to make cookie. I do split the vanilla half and half with almond extract for added flavor, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Just a flavor I love.

      • Reply
      • jess
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (20)

      these taste just like the cookies my father loved to make when I was younger and I cannot thank you enough for bringing these back into my life

      • Reply
      • Meghan
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (21)

      These were so good and buttery!

      • Reply
      • Jessica
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (22)

      These were incredible! Best butter cookies I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing.

      • Reply
      • Robin Schmalzried
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (23)

      Perfect cookies and so easy to use in a cookie press. I increased the sugar to 1 cup but kept the rest of the recipe as directed.

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        Glad to hear they worked well for you!

        • Reply
      • Aileen
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (24)

      My new go to! Made 3x now 😊

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        So glad to hear! Thanks for your review Aileen :)

        • Reply
      • Violet
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (25)

      It’s in the fridge for a 10 minute cool then onto the next stage

      • Reply
      • Linda

      Should the butter be at room temperature or cold?

      • Reply
        • Jamielyn Nye

        I typically like it barely softened :)

        • Reply
      • Sheila
      • Butter Cookie Recipe - I Heart Naptime (26)

      I did and it’s soo yummy

      • Reply

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