Danish Butter Cookies

Raise your hand if you have memories of that iconic blue tin of butter cookies always making an appearance around Christmas *hand raised*. Well, you’re going to love this recipe! These Danish Butter Cookies taste just like the ones in the Royal Dansk blue tin; this simple recipe makes the best piped butter cookies and will immediately give you all of the warm holiday feels.

A red tin filled with Danish butter cookies.

Back in September (which seems like a million years ago at this point), I asked readers for holiday recipe requests, and Susan said she would love a recipe for the Danish butter cookies in the blue tin. There was always, always, always that blue tin of assorted butter cookies at my grandma’s during the holidays, and I had totally forgotten about it until she mentioned it.

I immediately put it on my list and started testing some recipes not very long after. I was positively elated when I landed on the perfect combination of butter, sugar, egg, and flour that produced a cookie that tastes exactly like those popular Danish butter cookies!

A glass mixing bowl with the dough for Danish butter cookies.

Ingredients in Danish Butter Cookies

These cookies have a super simple list of ingredients (only six ingredients, to be exact!), it’s all about combining them in the right quantities to give them that ultra-buttery, yet tender and slightly firm texture that we know and love so much. This is all you need:

  1. Butter, which is arguably the most important ingredient! These are butter cookies, so the butter flavor shines; I recommend using a nice quality butter (my favorite is Kerrygold).
  2. Sugar to sweeten things up. I experimented with both powdered sugar and granulated sugar, and much preferred the flavor and texture that regular granulated sugar provides. I also sprinkle a little on the top of the unbaked cookies for a little extra crunch.
  3. Egg to keep the cookies tender and act as a binder. I tried some recipes that did not use an egg, but found them to be too doughy tasting and the texture too crumbly.
  4. Flour to hold everything together and ensure the cookies keep their shape.
  5. Vanilla and salt for an extra punch of flavor and balance.

Danish butter cookies piped onto parchment paper, ready to be baked.

How to Make Danish Butter Cookies

This is an easy butter cookie recipe to mix together; the only extra step is piping the dough into circles, which gives them that characteristic swirl look. Let’s discuss!

Make the Cookie Dough – This dough follows the very familiar mixing steps of creaming together the butter and sugar, then adding the egg, vanilla and salt, then gradually adding the flour. The dough will be quite thick, which the consistency we’re going for.

Pipe the Cookies – This is where the magic happens for these cookies! In order to get that amazing swirl look, the dough MUST be piped. You will need to use a large open-star piping tip (my preferred tip is the Ateco #827, but you can also use the Wilton 1M), and pipe the cookies into 2-inch circles. If you don’t have piping tips, you can simply put the dough into a plastic baggie and snip off the end. It won’t have the same swirl effect, but you’ll get nice circles. Another alternative is using a cookie press to make different shaped cookies out of the dough.

Bake and Cool the Cookies – Before I put the cookies into the oven, I give them a little extra sprinkle of sugar for a bit of crunch that I love. You only want to bake the cookies until they are barely light brown, so as not to make them crisp; you want them to be nice and tender. Finally, allow the cookies to cool completely before you eat them; the cookies will continue to set as they cool, so it’s an important piece of achieving that wonderfully tender consistency!

Danish Butter Cookies on a cooling rack.

Danish Butter Cookies Recipe Notes

A quick recap of all the important tidbits to making the best Danish butter cookies in your own kitchen!

  • Use good-quality butter (my favorite is Kerrygold).
  • You can substitute an equal amount of vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract to give the cookies little flecks of vanilla.
  • My preferred piping tip for these cookies is the Ateco #827, but you can also use the Wilton 1M.
  • You can also use a cookie press to make different shaped cookies out the dough.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before eating or storing them.
  • The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

A plate of Danish butter cookies next to a cup of coffee.

I LOVE receiving recipe requests from readers because they often spark a forgotten memory and allow me to recreate something that I otherwise may never have attempted.

I hope everyone enjoys these wonderfully tender butter cookies this holiday season. Those beautiful buttery swirls will add a little extra pop to your Christmas cookie platters!

If You Like These Danish Butter Cookies, Try These Recipes:

A batch of Danish butter cookies in a parchment-lined tin.

One year ago: 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Cookbooks
Four years ago: Turtle Candies
Five years ago: Panettone (Italian Christmas Bread)
Six years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Danish Butter Cookies

Servings 36 cookies
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:American
Author: Michelle

These Danish Butter Cookies taste just like the ones in the iconic Royal Dansk blue tin; this simple recipe makes the best piped butter cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 1
    cup
    unsalted butter
    (room temperature)
  • 1/2
    cup
    granulated sugar
  • 1/4
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoons
    vanilla extract
  • 1
    egg
  • 2
    cups
    all-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
    (for sprinkling)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheeting with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla and egg, and beat until combined, about 1 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour until mostly combined. Give a final few stirs with a rubber spatula to ensure the flour is totally incorporated (the dough will be thick).

  3. Transfer the dough to a decorating bag fitted with a large open star tip. Pipe the dough into 2-inch circles on the parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Sprinkle with sugar.

  4. Bake, one pan at a time, until light golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing or serving.

Recipe Notes:

  • Use good-quality butter (my favorite is Kerrygold).
  • You can substitute an equal amount of vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract to give the cookies little flecks of vanilla.
  • My preferred piping tip for these cookies is the Ateco #827, but you can also use the Wilton 1M.
  • You can also use a cookie press to portion out the dough.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before eating or storing them.
  • The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition:

Calories: 83kcal
Fat: 5g
Saturated fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Sodium: 18mg
Potassium: 10mg
Carbohydrates: 8g
Sugar: 2g
Vitamin A: 165%
Calcium: 3%
Iron: 0.3%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]