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Butter Cookies are simple, flavorful cookies loved for holidays and parties. Soft, delicious homemade cookies that are easily made and are always a classic favorite.

Butter Cookies Recipe | ©

The Best Butter Cookies are a classic cookie recipe that never goes out of style and works perfectly for any menu, celebration or just because! I have made them for years for everything from showers to birthdays to Christmas parties. Butter Cookies are perfectly delicious and appropriate for so many types of entertaining!

Butter Cookies Recipe | ©

Butter Cookies

If you have the image in your mind of those hard little round cookies from the grocery store, then you are in for a pleasant treat when you make these butter cookies. These are rich, buttery, delicious and somewhat addictive in the way that it’s hard to stop at just one!

While they are also delicious without the buttercream, they are just a bit more festive with a dollop of buttercream in colors and flavors to suit the occasion or the season. My fluffy white buttercream  is beautiful at Christmas or for a wedding shower. The strawberry buttercream, looks beautiful for baby showers, Mother’s Day, birthdays or Easter. And then there’s chocolate! Personally I think my chocolate buttercream is suited to any kind of party or celebration – or just because. It’s amazing!

These cookies are so easy to make too! Yet despite how simple they are to make, the little bit of frosting on top makes them so elegant.

My butter cookies recipe makes four dozen small cookies or two dozen larger sized cookies. This is so helpful so that you decide just what size you need for your event. And it’s also a perfect amount for having them to include on Christmas Cookie Trays or cookie gift boxes to share with friends.

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. But as I walk in to any party with them in hand, no one else seems to care that the swirl isn’t exactly perfect on top. I love people like that! 🙂

Butter Cookies Recipe | ©

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

4.85 from 13 votes

Butter Cookies Recipe

Dessert 17 mins

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 36 cookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
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!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 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.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

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Cookie Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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Recipe Review


  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.

    1. Thank you for being sweet about my swirls! These cookies are ah-mazing. Can’t wait for you to try them!

  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 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

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

    1. You can use unsalted butter if you prefer, Carol. I’m a salted butter when baking sorta gal! 🙂

  5. 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!

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

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

    1. You should be fine to omit it, Hope. It just enhances the chocolate flavor similar to how vanilla does so many other recipes.

  10. 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!

  11. 5 stars
    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.

  12. 5 stars
    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!!!

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    1. 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

  15. 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. ??

    1. 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

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I have never made these without vanilla extract and I do think it is important to the flavor of the cookies. Thanks!

    1. You are such a nice person! You respond to everyone! Wish I could do that with my website but I have school!

      Eh, I’ll be able to someday. 🙁

  16. 5 stars
    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

    1. Sorry am just testing out the emojis you can do on here. I know, very imature but I CAN’T RESIST!!!

      🙂 🙁 <3 [:( ]:( [:) ]:) 😮 😉

  17. 5 stars
    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.

  18. 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.  

    1. 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

    1. 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!

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

  20. 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). 


    1. You can cut the recipe in half, but still use one egg (it won’t be too much). Enjoy them Patty! xo

  21. 5 stars
    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.

  22. 4 stars
    OMG, these cookies came out amazing! I made these at home a few times and every time they came out marvelous. Am really looking forward to making more of you fantastic recipes!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these cookies and hope you find many more recipes you like. Thank you.

  23. 5 stars
    Simply delicious! It was the perfect dessert for our family cookout. The colors were soft, not too sweet and definitely addictive. Family hit!!

    1. That is great, Tasha. So glad they were a hit with your family. A family cookout sounds like fun.