Danish Butter Cookies
These cookies taste just as amazing as the Royal Dansk Danish butter cookies, and they’re super customizable! They can be piped into all different kinds of shapes and sizes, or even pressed with any shape cookie press. You can also top them with anything you like!
I remember growing up, it was always a mini party whenever my dad brought home a tin of Royal Dansk Danish butter cookies. But blink, and you would miss the cookies! THAT’s how much we loved them!
And then … the blue cookie tin would turn into a blue sewing tin. I’d always get excited to have some cookies, but instead find them replaced with yarn. Anyone else had that?
Danish butter cookies are a really fun project to make at home (especially around Christmas time). And I use the word “project” very loosely, because they are ridiculously easy to make!
The pipeable butter cookie batter comes together in a flash, and you’ll just need to dedicate a bit of time to actually pipe the cookies. But I find it just makes it that much funner to make (especially with family)!
If you do want to speed things along, a cookie press can make the piping much quicker, and you can also get some unique shapes out of it. This cookie press is on my wishlist!
Danish butter cookie ingredients:
Danish butter cookies are made with a simple group of ingredients. To make these cookies, you will need:
• unsalted butter: the softer, the better! It makes it a million times easier to pipe the cookies if the butter is extremely soft
• sugar: I like to use powdered sugar because the cornstarch in it helps the cookies keep their shape without the need to chill them before baking!
• egg: also at room temperature to make it easier to incorporate
• vanilla extract: for flavor! But you can also substitute it for other extracts like almond, peppermint, citrus, you name it!
• all-purpose flour
• milk: depending on the temperature of your butter, you may or may not need to add milk. The milk is just to make it easier to pipe the cookies (if using a piping bag). Using a cookie press, I’ve never actually had to add milk.
The best way to test if you need milk is to actually try to pipe the cookies. If they break, then you’ll need to add some milk. But the dough is going to be somewhat stiff (to hold its shape). So it’s perfectly natural for the cookies to need a bit of pressure to pipe out, but they should pipe smoothly
How to get soft or crunchy cookies:
This same recipe can be used to make soft Danish cookies or crispy cookies! The only difference is in the bake time.
For softer cookies, bake for closer to 15 minutes. The cookies should still be a light golden brown color on the edges and top. For crispier Danish cookies, bake for closer to 20 minutes, or until a deep golden brown color on the edges and top.
How to store Danish butter cookies:
Storage differs slightly depending on if you made your Danish cookies soft or crunchy.
For soft Danish butter cookies, treat their storage like soft sugar cookies: keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure the container is sealed well to keep moisture in! They’ll keep for up to 1 week.
For crunchy Danish butter cookies, store them like you would shortbread cookies: keep stored in a container that lets a bit of air through. The air will keep them crisp! You can do this by either leaving the lid slightly ajar or loosely tinting the container with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. They’ll also keep for around 1 week.
If you liked these Danish butter cookies, check out some of these other Christmas cookie recipes!
Danish Butter Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk * see notes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Cream together for about 2 minutes, or until the powdered sugar is fully worked into the butter and it's slightly pale in color. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter/sugar mix, and whisk until combined.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl in 2 to 3 additions, stirring well to incorporate after each addition. Transfer some batter to a large piping bag fitted with an open star tip. Test pipe a cookie onto your baking sheet in your desired shape. If it cracks or breaks, gradually add milk to the cookie dough until you're able to pipe smooth cookies. The dough should still be quite thick and need some pressure to pipe.
- Pipe cookies in any shape or pattern you like on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch of space between each cookie. (NOTE: Larger cookies take longer to bake) ** (see notes)(Optional) Before baking, top cookies with granulated sugar, coarse sugar, or sprinkles for added shine, texture, and color!
- Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a light golden brown color along the edges. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.