Cookies & Cups > Recipes > Cookies > Easy Butter Cookies

Easy Butter Cookies

Crispy on the outside and tender in the center, decorated with colorful sprinkles, this Butter Cookies recipe is always a hit! A simple, classic cookie recipe that’s quick and easy to make.

Why I Love This Butter Cookie Recipe

Once you try these homemade butter cookies, they will definitely find a permanent place on your favorite-cookie-recipes list.

  • Texture: These butter cookies will melt in your mouth like, well, butter. The exterior is crispy, sure, but the centers are so soft and tender. When you’re craving something sugary, these cookies absolutely hit the spot.
  • They’re Small: So you can eat a bunch of them! I guess this quality is kind of a double-edged sword, but I love that I can eat a couple of these cookies throughout the day without feeling too guilty.
  • Making Them is Really Simple: Instead of piping the cookies, you just roll the dough into a log and slice it. Easy peasy!
  • They’re So Easy to Decorate: Butter cookies can be decorated for literally any time of the year! Break out your red and green sprinkles when it’s Christmastime, use pink ones on Valentine’s Day, and keep coarse sugar around for when you just need a sweet treat.

I could go on and on, but then you wouldn’t get to make these cookies, and I can’t be responsible for that. So let’s get to it!

Looking for more classic cookie recipes? Try my Danish Butter Cookies, Classic Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Linzer Cookies.

Stack of 3 butter cookies on a cooling rack.

What You’ll Need

Time to talk cookie ingredients. You’ll only need 8 of them – how’s that for a short shopping list? Or, and this is likely, maybe you’ve already got everything sitting in the pantry. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for measurements.

  • Butter: Salted or unsalted. Let the butter come to room temperature before starting.
  • Sugar: I just use regular granulated sugar for these cookies.
  • Egg Yolk: To bind the cookie dough together.
  • Vanilla Extract: To add sweet flavor!
  • Kosher Salt: Regular salt will also work, I just like using kosher salt for desserts.
  • Baking Powder: To give the cookies a little lift.
  • All Purpose Flour: You’ll want to add the flour in small portions so that it doesn’t end up all over the counter.
  • Decorations: You can use coarse sugar or sprinkles for rolling the dough.
Stack of 3 butter cookies rolled in coarse sugar.

How to Make Butter Cookies

Making butter cookies is a pretty simple process. It really comes down to mixing the dough together, rolling it into a log, slicing, and baking. Scroll down to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

A butter cookie log in a plate of sprinkles, and a butter cookie log in a plate of coarse sugar.
  • Make the dough: Mix the butter and granulated sugar for 2 minutes, then add in the egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour.
  • Form a log. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log. Roll in coarse sugar.
  • Chill. Wrap the dough logs in plastic and refrigerate for up at least an hour.
  • Bake. Slice each log into 1/4-inch rounds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool for 3 minutes on a baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack.
Sliced butter cookie log.

Tips for Success

See? Easy.

But, even so, here are a couple of tips and tricks that will help you bake the best butter cookies that you can:

  • Don’t Burn the Cookies! Take them out when the edges are golden brown, even if you think the centers could use a little more time. The cookies will finish baking on the warm pan and solidify as the cool.
  • Carefully Measure Your Flour: Adding too much will mess with the texture of your cookie. The most accurate way to measure your flour is with a scale.
  • Use Pure Vanilla: I’ve found that pure vanilla extract tastes the best here – rather than an artificial version – because its sweet, rich flavor really shines.
  • Other Decorating Ideas: If you’re not a big fan of sprinkles, bake the cookies without them and dip them in melted chocolate after they’ve cooled. They’re just as delicious this way!
Stack of 3 butter cookies with sprinkles on the edges

How to Store Butter Cookies

  • Room temperature. Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days – but I doubt you’ll need that long!
  • Freezer. Freeze butter cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter.
Pile of butter cookies with a bite taken out
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Plate of butter cookies with their edges coated with sprinkles.

Butter Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.3 from 13 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes + chill time
  • Yield: 40 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Dessert


Crispy on the outside and tender in the center, decorated with colorful sprinkles, this Butter Cookies recipe is always a hit! A simple, classic cookie recipe that’s quick and easy to make.


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coarse sugar or sprinkles for rolling


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and granulated sugar together for 2 minutes. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla, salt, and baking powder, and mix until combined and smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. 
  2. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour until just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 1 1/2- inch thick log. Sprinkle the coarse sugar onto a clean counter and roll each log into the sugar, coating evenly. 
  3. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  5. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and slice each log into 1/4- inch rounds. Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheet 1- inch apart. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 


Store airtight at room temperature for up to 7 days.

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33 comments on “Easy Butter Cookies”

  1. Amazing cookies & Mmm the butter melts in your mouth. Easy to make.
    Don’t change the recipe, it’s perfect. Thanks for sharing this winning recipe.


    Here’s a photo of my cookies….I wasn’t able to upload earlier with my comment. They’re not as pretty as Shelley’s but they are really good!!!


    EASY AND TASTY!!! I have a family recipe for very good butter cookies that require rolling the dough (I don’t have a cookie press). I didn’t feel like rolling dough, so I happened upon this recipe. And glad I did! I doubled the batch and rolled 4 logs. Each log had a different surgery color. Red, green, chocolate gimmies, and red and green sprinkles mixed. I froze the logs for 2 hours….that’s when I was available to bake them. I took one log out of freezer at a time. I cut log into 1/4 inch slices and placed on parchment paper on baking tray. Baked at 325 for 15 to 18 mins. Initially, I baked them a little too long so some are darker than others. But still very tasty. As you can see by the photo, the cookies are quite small…..bite size. I expected them to spread more but they don’t spread. I’m ok with the small size. It feels like you’re not eating as much! My family enjoyed them and I will definitely keep this recipe in my rotation. Thank you for sharing Shelly. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  4. Amazing! This recipe reminds me of a long-lost recipe that my mom used to bake around Christmas. The only difference is that her recipe had crushed walnuts in it. Any suggestions if I wanted to add the walnuts? Substitute ½ cup of flour for ½ cup crushed walnuts? Thanks!

  5. Jeannette Bovard

    I made these cookies last week – and my husband and I ate most of them. I took the rest to our daughter’s house yesterday and our granddaughter declared them “the best cookies ever.” She’s only 3, but she knows a good cookie when she tastes one! I just made two more batches, which I will bake for Christmas and try to resist. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!

  6. These are so easy to make and so delicious. I had trouble getting the sprinkles to stick so after I rolled the dough into a log, I brushed it with egg white. Thanks for a great recipe.

      1. Thank you! I know your recipe stated coarse sugar so I wasn’t sure if Turbinado cane sugar was the same.

  7. Marilou G. Angelastro

    I do not have stand mixer and so of course, no paddle. Can I use my hand mixer? So many of your recipes call for a stand mixer with a paddle

    1. Yes you can! I test all my recipes with a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, which is what I recommend, but you can certainly use a hand mixer!

  8. Hi Shelly
    Can we add chocolate sprinkles to the edge, prior to cutting/baking? Or should we only use sugar sprinkles?
    I’m loving your daily cookie recipes. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Thanks for this great recipe! I really want to make these! How long is each roll supposed to be? It says 1 1/2 inches! Thanks!

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