Danish Butter Cookies

5 from 9 votes
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Danish butter cookies are a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie that is incredibly popular during Christmas! Coated in crunchy coarse sugar crystals, these cookies are perfect for any cookie platter!

They are similar to a Scottish shortbread, but more light like whipped shortbread, falling somewhere between the two cookies.

Danish butter cookies in white wrappers

Danish Butter Cookies

Danish butter cookies are famous for their blue tin that every Grandma had, but you don’t have to buy them in the store!

Instead of the classic cookie texture, butter cookies have a much more melty, crisp texture and are probably closer to the modern definition of a biscuit than a cookie.

Despite this slightly confusing description, Danish butter cookies are rich, filling, sweet, and endlessly buttery!              

Danish Butter Cookies Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

• Salted butter

• Confectioner’s sugar

• Large egg

• Vanilla extract

• All-purpose flour

• Cream

• White sugar

How To Make Danish Butter Cookies

• Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside

• Fit an icing bag, or a decorating bag, with an open star cake decorating tip and set aside

• In a large bowl attached to a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until fully combined

• Add in the flour and mix in using the lowest speed until it is just combined

• Fill the icing bag 2/3 full

• Pipe the dough in 2-inch circles onto the parchment paper

• Brush each cookie with the cream, sprinkling white sugar on top

• Bake for 15 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit, or until the cookies are golden brown on top

• Remove and cool completely

What Kind Of Texture Are You Looking For With These Danish Butter Cookies?

A common problem for people making butter cookies for the first time is not understanding what kind of texture they should be going for.

While regular cookies that most people are comfortable with making have a variety of different desired textures, there is really only one texture with a butter cookie that you are looking for – crispy and tender.

Normal cookies can be crispy, chewy, tender, and soft, or any kind of combination of the above, but the Danish butter cookie is meant to be enjoyed crispy yet still a little bit tender.

The crispiness comes from the plenty of rich butter in the recipe, while the tenderness comes from the cream and egg. This means that when you bite down into the cookie, it should break off in your mouth in a crisp bite and then crumble and melt in your mouth straight afterward.  

How To Store Your Danish Butter Cookies

The trouble with these cookies is that they do not tend to hold up well to long-term storage. The reason is the huge amount of butter in the recipe – it will tend to either go stale or even develop mold.

So, to store your Danish butter cookies, keep them in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. To try and fight off against staleness, break off a piece of unwanted bread and store it in the container. The bread will wick any moisture from the air inside the container, helping to fight off staleness.

To enjoy these even longer, keep your Danish butter cookies in the freezer. As long as you tightly wrap them in some plastic wrap and then keep them in a freezer-safe bag that is tightly sealed, they should last at least 3 months in the freezer.

Looking for more delicious Cookie recipes? Try these out:

The Best Glazed Orange Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

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Danish Butter Cookies

Danish butter cookies are a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread type cookie coated in crunchy coarse sugar crystals that are perfect for any cookie platter!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Christmas Cookies, Dessert
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup coarse white sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 350 °. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Fit an icing/decorating bag with a large open star cake decorating tip and set aside.
  • In a large bowl attached to a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat the butter sugar, egg and vanilla until fully combined and it’s light and fluffy.
  • Add in the flour and mix in using the lowest speed until just combined.
  • Fill the icing bag with dough 2/3 full. Pipe the dough in 2 inch circles onto the parchment paper.
  • Brush each cookie with the cream, then spinkle the coarse sugar on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 14-15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on top.
  • Remove and cool on the sheets completely.
  • Store in a closed container at room temperature for up to 3-5 days, or in the container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Play around with the shapes you pipe, you can make shapes like the cookies that come in the famous blue tin
  • You can use a cookie press for shapes as well 

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Jackie Bryant says

    Hi Karlynn, regarding the cream on top of the danish cookie, do you mean like carnation milk in the can? Thanks so much!

  2. Susan says

    Can you put cocoa in the batter to make them chocolate?

    • Kathi says

      I increased the sugar from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup and then added 1/8 cup Unsweatened Coco Powder. I just rolled them out and cut them with a square cookie cutter. OMG – they were fantastic.5 stars

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