Danish Butter Cookies Recipe

Danish butter cookies

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 17 mins
Total: 37 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 32 to 34 Cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
276 Calories
17g Fat
28g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 46mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 66mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Do you love the classic ring-shaped Danish butter cookies sold in decorative tins during the holidays? Now you can learn how to make your own homemade version of these iconic treats. Everyone will appreciate the time and thought you put into making and sharing these edible gifts.

The key to making homemade Danish butter cookies is a dough that is soft enough to be piped into the signature ring shape, but doesn't spread too much when baked. The delicate texture of these cookies is the result of a combination of two different flours: all-purpose and almond flour.

The subtle vanilla flavor of these cookies is achieved by using vanilla sugar to flavor the dough, a commonly used ingredient in Danish baking. It is made when granulated sugar is flavored with vanilla beans or sugar is mixed with vanilla extract. If you can't find vanilla sugar in your local grocery store, it's easy to make a homemade version. Alternatively, you can use one teaspoon of vanilla extract in this recipe, mixing it into the batter at the same time as the egg and salt.

"Danish Butter Cookies are my absolute favorite, and this version was so tasty, and not too sweet! Be sure to refrigerate the cookies for at least 40 minutes, preferably longer, so they don't spread too much and they retain their swirled shape." —Diana Andrews

Danish Butter Cookies Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/4 cups (10-ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 1/4 cups (292 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup (87 grams) almond flour

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Danish butter cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Position 3 racks in the upper, middle, and lower parts of the oven and heat to 350 F. Prepare 3 cookies sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    Three baking sheets lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Alternatively, us a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

    Butter and sugar in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Mix in egg and salt.

    Egg and salt added to the butter-sugar mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and vanilla sugar. Gradually add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture, mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Adding flour, almond flour, and vanilla sugar mixture to the butter mixture gradually

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Spoon cookie dough into a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. 

    A pastry bag fitted with a star tip filled with cookie dough

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Pipe into 2-inch circles onto the prepared cookie sheets, about 2-inches apart. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 40 minutes. Bake, rotating cookie sheets in the oven half way through cooking time, until light golden on the edges, 16 to 18 minutes total.  

    Rings of cookie dough piped onto baking sheets

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Cool on a wire rack. Serve.

    Danish butter cookies cooling in a wire rack

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati


  • Prepackaged vanilla sugar is common in Scandinavian grocery stores, but may be more difficult to find outside of Europe. Don't worry, because it can easily be made at home. Add one or two whole vanilla beans to an airtight jar filled with one or two cups of sugar. Allow the sugar to sit for at least two weeks so the flavor of the vanilla bean can infuse into the sugar. If you have already split a vanilla bean and scraped out the seeds for another use, this is a great way to utilize the remainder of the vanilla bean pod in a useful and flavorful way. Vanilla sugar is also a delicious addition to your morning coffee. Once you have a jar of vanilla sugar on hand you will continue to find creative ways to use it in the kitchen.

How to Store

  • Store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 7 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.