The Best Butter Cookies Recipe

Basic Butter Cookies are a classic cookie recipe that never goes out of style and works perfectly for any menu, celebration or just because!

Butter Cookies Recipe | ©


Lately, I’ve been making the butter cookies with dollops of delicious buttercream on top for birthdays, graduation parties, and such. From fluffy white buttercream, my strawberry buttercream, and then my chocolate buttercream, it all works perfectly!

Butter Cookies Recipe | ©


The cookies are so easy to make and elegant for showers, tea parties, and so many other special occasions.

My butter cookies recipe makes four dozen small cookies and two dozen larger sized cookies, letting you decide just what size you need for your get together.


Butter Cookies Recipe | ©


Now, I am far from a professional cake or cookie decorator and I have to remind myself not to be overly critical of my frosting swirls on top of these cookies.

As I walk in to any party that I’m bringing them to though, no one else seems to care that the swirl isn’t just perfect on top.


Butter Cookies Recipe | ©


I love folks like that.

Here’s my butter cookie recipe. It seriously will become a favorite! Hope you love it!


Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Butter Cookies Recipe

Butter Cookies make the perfect addition for easy, elegant entertaining. From showers, birthday parties, graduations, weddings, to family picnics, these butter cookies will become a favorite!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time17 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter cookies, cookies
Servings: 3 dozen
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup butter), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg until well-combined. Slowly spoon in flour mixture mixing on medium speed until well-combined, then add vanilla and mix just until combined.
  • Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon onto a large baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each cookie. Press down on cookie dough ball lightly with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass until about 1/2-inch thick. Bake 10-13 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Cool completely.


For the roundest of cookies, you can roll them between your palms before dropping onto the baking sheet. Then, lightly press as directed before baking.

Robyn xo

69 comments on “The Best Butter Cookies Recipe”

  1. It’s just going to be ruined once it gets in my mouth, which is where I really want it to be. Anything covered in chocolate is pretty impressive. That being said, I think your swirls look lovely. Can’t wait to try these cookies.

  2. Butter cookies! I have actually never made them and I have no idea why! I mean these look delicious and I love the chocolate buttercream on top!

  3. Oh my gosh! I’ll take a dozen. I bet they just melt in your mouth!

  4. Oh my word, I remember most of my childhood by the times I devoured way too many of those butter cookies with the holes in the middle. 🙂 I can’t even imagine how much more amazing these must taste — especially with that pretty little dollop of frosting on top!

    • I used to wear those cookies as rings as I nibbled the edges. Love those things! If you loved those butter cookies as much as I did, you are definitely going to love these! And the frosting on top doesn’t hurt the situation any either! 🙂

  5. Oh, with buttercream? That’s a new idea, I like it! Yum!

  6. Can’t wait to try them with your delish chocolate or strawberry buttercream. Salted or unsalted butter for the cookie?
    Thank you

  7. Your photos are so great, I can just imagine how soft those cookies are!

  8. Robyn, I am enjoying your blog so much. I regret that I only learned about it recently!
    I made your Vidalia Onion DIp Saturday night- I used to make it all the time and I have no idea why I ever stopped… but it is just as yummy as I remembered!
    These butter cookies take me back to very happy childhood days spent shopping with my mother and grandmother. Stopping by the Rich’s bakery was always my favorite treat, and although I think their cookies had nuts, they looked just like yours! Maybe I will make them this for the Fourth!

  9. Hi love the cookie recipe but would you have the recipe for the chocolate frosting you used please? thanks.

  10. Robyn can you roll these out for cut-outs? Is the dough to soft for that…and does it spread much…

  11. These look so much better than any bakery!

  12. Please give me a boiled friut cake reciepe

  13. Since I love to use Danish Butter Cookies as crust for my cheesecakes, do you think this recipe could be used for such a purpose? How do you think it would need to be modified?

  14. Pingback: Maple Buttercream Frosting Recipe - Cooking | Add a Pinch | Robyn Stone

  15. I would love to make these, I was wondering if you can use the metal cookie stencils on them?

  16. Pingback: Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe - Cooking | Add a Pinch | Robyn Stone

  17. I don’t have any expresso powder nor can I find any within my local stores but I want to the make the icing today… Would the icing be terrible if I didn’t use the expresso powder this go around? Anything I can substitute the expresso powder for?

  18. Hi Robyn , planning to do cut out cookies decorating with fondant, do you think putting your this dough in the fridge help? You have beautiful pictures!

  19. Hi Ms. Robyn!

    I made these the other day and they are absolutely wondrous! I accidentally forgot the baking powder (I guess because I had a hard time finding it in my cabinet -), after looking high and low for it and finally finding it. The cookies still turned out perfectly without it.

    I have a lot of fresh globe basil in my garden now, and I got a wild idea to add some to the cookie batter before I added the dry ingredients. I suppose I added about 3 teaspoons of the fresh coarsely chopped basil to the recipe. A great little subtle surprise that goes well with the existing flavor of the cookie.

    I was going to make your chocolate buttercream, but decided to make thumbprints from your recipe with Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips: about a half bag or so. I melted them down slowly over low heat and added about half a stick of unsalted organic butter, along with some freshly chopped mint from my garden (approx. 7 large leaves). Then after dolloping the half-cooled chocolate mixture onto the centers of the thumbprints, my husband kept eating them…’will make a double recipe next time.

    Thanks a bunch! I’ll be making these again real soon, and probably with your buttercream recipe.

  20. Hello Robyn,

    Just made your cookies and they turned out great!! Only change I made was, instead of the chocolate buttercream, I used quince jam and also on some dulce de leche!!! (I’m from Argentina and we love this down there 😉 ) They did not last in the plate! I guess any jam would go with these cookies… Thank you for shearing!!!

  21. Well I really hope that I can make these awesome looking cookies soon!

  22. Robyn, Can I make these cookies with confectioners sugar instead of regular granulated sugar?

  23. Can this cookies be cut into shapes for decorating?



  24. Made these with my kids tonight. Was craving a homemade butter cookie and these hit the spot!
    Easy to make. I did add just a bit more butter. And no icing for me – perfect without.

  25. Hi… I tried the recipe and it was awesome. I just modified the recipe by replacing the butter with garlic butter with mixed herbs and reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup…they tasted so heavenly…just like garlic bread but cookies

  26. Great recipe

  27. Made this recipe with a mix of coconut oil in the butter and confectioners sugar on top when serving.

  28. I just made these and they are flat! I followed thr recipe to the letter, I don’t know what happened? Help!

    • Hi Colleen,
      I’m sorry your cookies turned out flat. I’ve not had that problem the many times I’ve made them, so I am not sure what could’ve happened, but a few possible reasons that they may turn out flat could be if the baking powder was not really fresh, the butter was left out too long to soften/got too warm or the mixture was beaten too much. None of these may be the case with your cookies, but I wanted to share in case any of these could have happened.
      Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy the cookies if you try them again. xo

  29. Hi, the vanilla mean the vanilla essence or extract?

  30. Hi if i need to replace the egg what can i use instead of egg

  31. Your website is fast becoming a problem for me. The problem is that I cannot just pin one recipe. Every yummy, delish looking offerings leads me to more very desirable pins. Seriously though, I’m a huge fan and thank you for all your tasty treats and the photos that precede them. ??

    • Oh thank you so much, Bee! I’m absolutely thrilled that you are finding many recipes to try! I love hearing from you and thank you for your kindness!
      Thanks! xo

  32. Do you have to use vanilla extract

  33. Going to be using this recipe for my science fair project and I can’t wait to try it!

  34. Class I loving them! I asked who wanted to taste them, I was crouded by kids trying to get a sample! Thanks for the great recipe! 🙂 <3

  35. No cookies left for me! XD

  36. A lot of thoughd did not work. Sry!

  37. Have you ever tried these with nutella buttercream? AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. I tried these cookies last weekend and I’m telling you these are the best cookies,I topped them with the chocolate buttercream frosting and then topped some with sugar, my family LOVES them. They are very easy to make.

  39. I added 2 tsp of almond flavoring and topped em off with a whole almond. Yum!!

  40. Hello:
    I am not a ‘baker’.  I can cook – no problem.  I thought I’d be ‘brave’ and try a simple butter cookie recipe.  Brave little me went to the market yesterday and bought all the ingredients needed for this recipe.  
    Today was the big day.  I followed the recipe to the letter and the cookies turned out wonderful.  For me this is a big deal.  I have some confidence now and won’t be apprehensive next time.  

    • You have no idea how happy this makes me to read, Cathy! I’m so excited to hear that you have that “baking confidence” and that you enjoyed the process! Oh – and I’m happy you liked the cookies too!
      Thanks so much! xo

  41. How much butter?? It says 1 and 1/2 sticks 3/4 cup. Is it 1 1/2 + 3/4? 1 1/2 does not equal 3/4.

    • Hi Dawn,
      I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear. I’ve given the butter amount in the recipe both in stick version and cup version. Either 1 1/2 sticks of butter, or 3/4 cup, which equals the same amount. I’ve edited the recipe to put parentheses around 3/4 cup. I hope you enjoy the cookies. Thanks so much!

  42. Should I use salted or unsalted butter? I want to make these for a cookie exchange at my work. I am very excited.

  43. Hi Robyn,

    This looks really good! I’d like to try making these for the holidays. Can I make this with half the amount of ingredients? I’m worried 1 egg might be too much if I do (can’t really cut an egg in half, lol). 


  44. Amazing!  My family and friends ate them up so fast I only got one or two.  And that was just the plain ones.  Tonight I am going to make some and dip them in chocolate one side and try a few with a dollop of seedless raspberry jam (like a thumbprint cookie).  I would give these a 10 out of 10 they are not too sweet, but just perfect with a cup of tea.

  45. approx how many cookies does this recipe for butter cookies make?

  46. Best cookies ever, thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *