Butter Cookies are buttery, tender cookies that can be enjoyed as-is with a cup of coffee or tea or as a base for decorating holiday cookies. These are piped out into a swirl shape and are similar to spritz cookies. Both can be customizable to your festivities or occasion.

Tray of Butter Cookies on a Counter with Some Cookies off to the Side.

Butter Cookies

Butter Cookies are synonymous with Christmas cookies (remember the blue tin?), and I wanted to find a recipe as easy as possible. Once I saw OwlBBaking’s soft butter cookies, I knew they were a winner. I know how busy the holiday season can be, so a cookie recipe that does not take all day with no chilling time works for me (and it will for you)! However, you will still get a buttery cookie that is sturdy enough to decorate. I plan to dip each cookie in chocolate ganache made with butter with some added sprinkles, which I plan to add to my Christmas dessert charcuterie board.

Piping a butter cookie.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Butter: Since these are butter cookies, you will need butter, of course! In fact, you will need 2 sticks of unsalted butter. The ratio of butter and all-purpose flour is the perfect combination for a solid cookie recipe.

Sugar: Granulated sugar is creamed with butter until light and fluffy.

Eggs: You will just add egg yolks to the cookie dough; it helps make the dough easier to work with. But, don’t waste the egg whites, which can be used in another recipe like Fried Ice Cream.

Milk: Add about a tablespoon of milk at a time to the dough, or until the dough is pliable, but still sticky.

Many Butter Cookies on a White Counter.

Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?

Sure! If you want to get the cookie dough made in advance, you can store it in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Or, freeze the dough. To freeze, first, get the dough mixed together. Next, pipe out the cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet. Then, place the sheet of cookie dough into the freezer until solid (1-2 hours). Once solid, store the piped cookie dough in a freezer-safe bag that is labeled, dated, and includes the baking instructions. When ready to bake, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time, no need to thaw first.

Can I Make Butter Cookies Without a Piping Bag?

Yes! If you don’t have a piping bag, you could simply add dollops of the dough onto the lined baking sheet to bake. They won’t have the lovely swirl shape, but will still be delicious and easy to decorate!

A Stack of Butter Cookies with One Facing the Camera and Close So Details Can be Seen.

How to Store Butter Cookies

Once the cookies have been baked, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last up to a week. You can also freeze the baked cookies. First, let them cool completely. Then, store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. They could possibly last longer, but the taste may be affected the longer they are stored. For more tips, check out my Guide to Freezing, Baking, and Storing Cookies.

Tray of Butter Cookies on a Counter with Some Cookies off to the Side.
4.70 from 10 votes

Butter Cookies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Butter Cookies are buttery, tender cookies that can be enjoyed as-is with a cup of coffee or tea or as a base for decorating holiday cookies.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature (which is slightly cool)
  • cup (133 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Working 1 tablespoon at a time, add milk until the mixture is sticky, thick, and well combined. Set aside.
  • This is a very thick batter, so you will need a heavy-duty piping bag, or you can use the double bag method. To do that you will need two piping bags, one fitted with a large star tip and one that has not been cut. Transfer the batter to the piping bag with no tip. Clip the tip of that bag and place it inside the second piping bag that is fitted with the star tip.
  • Pipe the batter into a circular pattern onto the lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch in between each cookie.
  • Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating.


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. This was a great tasting cookie but I couldn’t pipe it. In the end I rolled it into balls and sqishing with a fork.

    1. I would love to make these cookies. They look so pretty. I pipe cupcake frosting all the time but am skeptical about piping a thick batter. Which piping tip did you use?

  2. I’m going to try the same. I just don’t know about it being sticky. I’m going to try and roll them in a little sugar as I go? That’s my plans as of right now. I’ve got it in the fridge right now then I’ll try rolling them

  3. Great recipe, it tastes as good as the ones from the store, dare I say better! Goes amazing with some coffee and are sweet treats that are easily gift-able. Concerning piping though, I truly suggest warming the batter before piping in order to make it easier. I split the batter into two batches, piped one cold and piped the other while taking breaks (before and during the process) to run hot water over the bag. The second batch was amazing concerning pipe-ability and as long as it’s not too hot, it should keep its ridges from the piping tip! If you’re too worried of the cookies melting though, I suggest putting them into the fridge again to chill and then baking them after, just don’t use a glass dish in that case 🙂

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