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Italian Butter Cookies

Imagine biting into a cookie that’s so buttery and tender, it practically melts in your mouth. That’s the magic of Italian Butter Cookies. Their rich, velvety texture combined with a hint of vanilla is pure bliss.

The best part? They’re surprisingly easy to make. You can whip up a batch of these elegant melt-in-your-mouth delights with just a few ingredients.

Perfect for pairing with your favorite coffee or tea!

A plate of Italian butter cookies dipped in chocolate with colored nonpareils.


The ingredients for Italian butter cookies are very simple – unsalted butter, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and all-purpose flour.

Ingredients for Italian butter cookies shown in bowls.

Ingredients are simple: Butter, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and all-purpose flour.

Although the flavoring for these cookies is simple (vanilla extract), feel free to substitute with lemon, almond extract, or even fresh orange or lemon zest.

How to Make

Begin by creaming together butter and sugar:

Butter and sugar in mixing bowl.
Butter and sugar creamed in white bowl.

Add your eggs and vanilla and combine well:

Add flour and mix only until combined:

Adding flour to egg butter sugar mixture.
Finished cookie batter in white bowl.

Add batter to piping bag and create shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet:

Two pastry bags fitted with star tips ready to pipe Italian butter cookies.
Piped cookies unbaked on parchment-lined baking shet.

Expert Tips

To ensure your Italian butter cookies they turn out perfectly, here are some expert tips:

Quality of Butter: The key to these cookies is the butter. Use high-quality, unsalted butter for the best flavor. Make sure it’s at room temperature for easy mixing.

Measuring Ingredients Accurately: Precision is crucial in baking. Measure your ingredients carefully, especially the flour and sugar, to ensure the right texture.

Chill the Dough: Chilling the dough is essential. It makes the dough easier to handle and helps maintain the shape of the cookies while baking.

Piping the Dough: If you’re using a piping bag to shape your cookies, choose a large star tip for a classic look. Pipe with even pressure for uniform cookies.

Adding Dough to the Piping Bag: To quickly and cleanly fill the piping bag with dough for Italian butter cookies, place it in a tall glass with the tip down, transfer the dough using a rubber spatula, and twist the top closed to prevent any oozing while piping.

Corner of baking tray with Italian butter cookies dipped in chocolate.

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📖 Recipe

Italian butter cookies dipped in chocolate.

Italian Butter Cookies

Italian butter cookies have a rich, velvety texture with a hint of vanilla. Whip up a batch with just a few ingredients!
5 from 1 vote
Author: Marie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 96 kcal


  • piping bag or cookie press fitted with star tip
  • parchment lined cookie sheets


For the Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 (36 g) egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour TIP: for each cup of flour, replace two tablespoons with cornstarch for crumbly cookies that don't spread as much

For Decorating (your choice):

  • maraschino cherries for centers of ring cookies
  • jam (cherry, apricot, or what you like) for centers of ring cookies
  • multicolored nonpareils or sprinkles
  • semisweet chocolate
  • chopped pistachios


Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).

Prepare Cookie Dough:

  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add Egg Yolks and Vanilla:

  • Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract until well incorporated into the mixture.

Mix in the Flour:

  • Gradually add the all-purpose flour (and cornstarch if using) to the mixture and stir until a smooth cookie dough forms.

Use a Cookie Press or Piping Bag:

  • Transfer the cookie dough into a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle.

Pipe the Cookies onto Cookie Sheet:

  • On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, pipe out the dough to create various shapes such as horseshoes, sticks, S's, and rings, leaving space between cookies.
  • Before baking, you can top rings with sprinkles or jam or maraschino cherries in centers prior to baking.


  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 12 to 15 minutes OR until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden.


  • Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • While they cool, melt the chocolate using a bain-marie or by microwaving the chocolate in short intervals until it's smooth and liquid.
  • Dip or drizzle the cookies with the melted chocolate, making sure to decorate them with sprinkles or nuts if desired before the chocolate sets.


The nutrition estimate doesn’t include decorations like sprinkles, nuts, chocolate, jam, etc. 
For Piping Bag:
  1. Place the piping bag in a tall glass or cup with the tip facing down. This makes it easier to fill the bag without getting dough all over your hands.
  2. Transfer the dough into the piping bag using a rubber spatula. This helps keep your hands clean and ensures all the dough gets into the bag.
  3. Twist the top of the piping bag closed to prevent the dough from oozing out the top while you pipe the cookies.
For Cookie Press:
  1. Ensure your cookie press is clean and dry before loading the dough.
  2. Roll the cookie dough into a log shape that fits the length of your cookie press barrel for easy insertion.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading the dough into the cookie press. It may involve removing a cap or using a plunger.
  4. Secure the cap or plunger firmly to prevent the dough from leaking out while pressing.


Calories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 1mgPotassium: 12mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 172IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.4mg
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