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Danish Butter Cookies

Danish Butter Cookies are a classic! Skip the blue tin this year and make them homemade, they’re easier than you think! Melt in your mouth cookies with crisp, buttery edges, these swirled cookies are fun to make at home.

Why You’ll Love My Danish Butter Cookies Recipe

  • Classic! These Danish Butter Cookies are an absolutely classic. That blue tin brings back so many memories! My grandma used her old tins to store her needlepoint supplies, but of course before that they housed butter cookies. Who else has childhood memories of those blue tins?
  • Only 4 Ingredients! You might be surprised that there are only 4 simple ingredients in this cookie recipe. The dough is very easy to make and
  • Great To Make Ahead! Those blue tin cookies never seemed to go bad. Of course, homemade cookies have a shorter shelf-life, but they are great for about a week at room temperature. Plus, these are the perfect freezer cookie and thaw beautifully!
  • Gifting Goodness! I shared my recipe to make these cookies as classic swirls, but you can use different piping tips, or even a cookie press to make this dough into different shapes, making them perfect to package up and give as gifts or on a holiday cookie tray!

Are All Danish Butter Cookies the Same?

When you open that blue tin you see all those pretty shapes! Some are round, some look like a pretzel, some are pretty swirls…but let’s get down to it…do they all TASTE the same?

Well, yes. They are all essentially the same cookie baked into different shapes. BUT beyond that noticeable difference, some are coated in crunchy sugar, some have a little added coconut, some are round, some are rectangular…but at the heart of it, yes they are basically the same type cookie.

Butter Cookies on a plate with sprinkles


You will notice that the ingredients for these cookies are very similar to a classic shortbread. And yes, the two cookies are very similar. For the full ingredient list and recipe scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Butter. I use salted butter for these cookies because the recipe doesn’t call for any additional salt, and I prefer the taste, BUT this is a personal preference on my part and traditional Danish Butter Cookies use unsalted butter.
  • Powdered sugar. The use of the powdered sugar in this recipe adds to the melty texture of the cookie.
  • Vanilla. This is purely for flavor. You could also use almond extract!
  • Cake flour. Using cake flour also adds to the melty texture of the cookie. If you prefer to use all purpose flour, that is fine, just add in 2 tablespoons less flour.
A swirl of butter cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet about to go into the oven.

Tips and Tricks:

I’ve made these cookie in the prettiest of shapes: the swirl! Here are a few tips that make piping the cookie dough easier:

  1. Use a large tip to pipe, like a Wilton 1M, Ateco 9, or a Ateco 826
  2. A sturdy pastry bag, disposable or reusable is recommended. The dough is thicker than frosting, so you don’t want your bag to break!
  3. Make sure the dough is the right consistency. If you notice the dough is too thick to pipe, or if you are getting jagged edges, remove the dough from the bag, place it back in the mixer and add in 1 tablespoon of milk and mix. Add more milk until the dough is soft enough to pipe.
  4. Add sprinkles! If you would like to add sprinkles or coarse sugar to the cookies, add these before baking!
Danish Butter Cookie broken in half

How To Store Danish Butter Cookies

Butter cookies store well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days for best freshness. You can freeze these Danish cookies airtight for up to 2 months. Simply thaw them at room temperature and enjoy!

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Danish butter cookies in paper wrappers, tucked inside a metal tray.

Danish Butter Cookies

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  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chill Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


These Danish butter cookies are melt-in-your-mouth and crisp with buttery edges, just like the ones in the Royal Dansk blue tin! Make perfect piped butter cookies with only 4 ingredients.


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together on medium speed for 5 minutes until light in color and whipped, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Alternately you can use a bowl and a hand mixer.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add in flour, mixing until just combined. The dough should be smooth and soft.
  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star attachment. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet in a circle or rosette shape.
  5. Place the baking sheet in a refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill the dough slightly.
  6. Preheat the oven to 300°F and bake cookies for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Store airtight at room temperature for up to 7 days
  • Freeze airtight for up to 2 months for best freshness. Thaw at room temperature

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7 comments on “Danish Butter Cookies”

  1. Jennifer Acevedo

    Tried to make these cookies twice – followed the recipe to a “T”. Each time the exact same result, flat fried sweet flour. So sad. We made them a second time to make sure it wasn’t us. Mise En Place first, then started mixing and piping. The positive part of the whole situation is my 13 year old daughter has some fantastic rosettes now.

    1. sounds like your dough was a little too soft. Not sure why they would seem fried? But if you try them again add a few tablespoons of flour and see if that helps 🙂

  2. I don’t have cakeflour – is regular flour ok to use instead – look forward to making these cookies

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