Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style)

5 from 8 reviews

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This simple Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style) is just like what we buy in Italy from the local bakery shop, but better! This cookie recipe requires seven basic ingredients and takes 1 hour to make. You can’t beat these soft, rich, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies.

They make the perfect holiday season cookie (or sweet treat any time of year)!

tray of Italian butter cookies with chocolate and jam
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More traditional Italian cookies you will love: Homemade Italian Ladyfinger Recipe (Savoiardi), Soft Amaretti Cookies (Italian Recipe), Italian Fig Cookies Recipe (Cucidati), Italian Pignoli Cookies Recipe (pine nut). BEST Italian Wedding Cookies (Anginetti), pignoli cookies, and Italian Classic Almond Biscotti Recipe (Cantucci).

Italian Butter Cookies Recipe Inspiration

After making my husband’s favorite Soft Butter CookiesBest Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe (with frosting) from his side of the family, I realized I needed a homemade version of our classic Italian butter cookies.

After making these from scratch, you will never think about buying the butter cookies in the tin can again! These are too easy and scrumptious. You are in for a real treat.

These no-fuss homemade butter cookies melt in your mouth every time! They are so fun to make. You can dip them in your favorite chocolate and top them with colorful sprinkles, or sandwich them with jam (a personal favorite), or Nutella!

Simple Ingredients

There aren’t many ingredients in this recipe, so it’s important to use high-quality products. I prefer European butter for extra flavor in all our pie and cookie recipes. You likely have all of these other basic ingredients on hand.

ingredient shot for recipe
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Butter, softened
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs, room temperature
  • Raspberry or strawberry jam (if making sandwich cookies)
  • Chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate, melted (if dipping cookies)
  • Rainbow sprinkles (optional) 
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to make Italian Butter Cookies Recipe

These cookies are easy and fun to make! The dough comes together in a little time with the use of an electric mixer or stand mixer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie trays with parchment.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer.

Add the eggs on low speed, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla extract, then mix on medium speed until well combined.

dough in a mixing bowl with rubber spatula.

Slowly add the flour to the mixture and mix until a dough forms. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until a semi-soft, sticky dough is formed.

cream the wet ingredients. process shot.

Pipe out the dough first and stick your baking sheets in the refrigerator to cool the dough before baking.

put batter in cup with piping bag.

I like to fill the piping bag in a tall glass to keep it stable while I fill it with the dough. Remember to add the star tip before filling the bag!

cookie dough on baking sheet ready to bake.

Bake cookies on prepared baking sheets for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for minutes before dusting with confectioners sugar, assembling, or dipping.

See the assembly instruction below for piping cookies.

Top Tip: Chill the dough for the best results.

How to assemble Italian Butter Cookies

Italian Sandwich Cookies

As much as I love to make eat these kinds of cookies plain. They are so fun (and incredibly delicious) to sandwich with chocolate, Nutella, or jam!

For Italian bakery-style sandwich cookies, pipe the cookie dough into 2″ strips, leaving 1 ½ inch between each cookie. The butter cookies spread a bit while cooking even if you refrigerate them, so leaving room in between them is important.

These butter cookies have a tender crumb, a softness without remaining chewy, and a rich butter flavor. The perfect elements to a wonderful and traditional Italian butter cookie.

Whether you make these for your Christmas cookie tray during Christmas time or turn on the oven in the summer for a craving for traditional Italian cookies- this will be your favorite Italian butter cookie recipe!

piping bag with dough. Pipping shapes on cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For circle-shaped cookies, hold the piping bag vertically and squeeze until your circle shape is about 1 inch in diameter.

finished Italian butter cookies on baking sheet ready to cool.

Chocolate Dipped

Dipping the cookies is fun for little helpers in the kitchen. Time to get creative and have fun.

Chocolate Ganache– Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a small microwave-safe bowl at 15-second intervals (stirring well in between each segment) until melted and smooth. If you want to make it glossy add a dab of butter and stir until combined.

Dip one end of the sandwich cookie in melted chocolate and lay it on a rack. Add sprinkles and allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

dipping chocolate and sprinkles for Italian butter cookies.

Italian Jam Cookies

I must admit, I love these cookies with this special fig jam we buy in Sardegna. It is a jam we buy in the summer after the first harvest of sweet fresh figs. We bring the jam home to Bountiful, Utah, and enjoy it and remember our Italian summer with family.

The fruit stand where we buy the figs makes the jam right there. It is a special and nostalgic treat. You can use any jam or preserves you like! Here are a few ideas:

  • Strawberry preserves
  • Raspberry jam
  • Orange marmalade
  • Apricot jam (try it in our homemade crostata recipe)
  • Any homemade jam, marmalade, or preserve!

Italian Bakery Style Butter Cookies

Italian butter cookies are an obsession of mine, the smell reminds me of walking the streets of Cagliari with my nonna as a young girl and walking by the bakery shops with freshly made buttery cookies in the window. Every Italian bakery carries these classic cookies.

These are authentic Italian butter cookies you will crave time and time again! This is one of those simple recipes that create nostalgic memories the more you make them in the kitchen with loved ones. Enjoy!

Little hands alwasy love to make and decorate these soft and delicous butter cookies. I love to see what my little ones create.

Variations

The best part about these cookies is all the variations and options you can create with one simple cookie batter recipe. Sort of like my Traditional Italian Biscotti Dough.

Here are some additions you can play with as your taste buds

  • Add maraschino cherries to the center of the star-shaped cookies.
  • Use white chocolate instead of the semi-sweet variety.
  • Add chopped nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts on top of the melted chocolate.
  • Decorate simply with powdered sugar.

Suggested Tools

suggested tools for butter cookies

You’ll need large, heavy-duty piping bags or a pastry bag to pipe out the cookie dough and a large open star tip (or, another piping tip of your choice) to achieve the shape of the cookie.

Another option is using a cookie press.

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Top tips

Use room ingredients

Using room temperature ingredients (especially butter and eggs) for the butter cookies ensures a soft and uniform cookie dough. They will also bake more evenly this way.

Chill cookie dough before baking

Make sure to chill the piped cookie dough before baking to make sure the cookies hold their shape.

Do not over-bake

You’ll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t get too brown. I baked them for about 10-11 minutes to achieve a very soft, light golden brown on the edge. That way, they stay nice and soft. This is key to achieving the beautiful bakery-style cookie look ad taste.

Italian butter cookies on a cake platter.

Italian Butter Cookies FAQ

How to Store Italian Butter Cookies

Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container once completely cooled so they stay fresh.
You may also freeze these cookies in a sealed freezer-safe bag or container for up to 4 months.

More delicious Italian dessert recipes

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cover photoItalian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style)

Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style)

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5 from 8 reviews

This simple Italian Butter Cookies Recipe (bakery style) is just like the kind we buy in Italy from the local bakery shop, but better! This cookie recipe requires 7 basic ingredients and takes 1 hour to make. You can’t beat these soft, rich, melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies.

  • Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jam (if making sandwich cookies)
  • 4 ounces chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate (melted)
  • Rainbow sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie trays with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  3. Add the eggs on low speed, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla extract, then mix on medium speed until well combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour to the mixture and mix until a dough forms. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until a semi-soft, sticky dough is formed. 
  5. Transfer the dough to a heavy-duty piping bag with a large open star tip. I like to put my pastry bag with the tip in a tall glass and fold the open bag on the outside of the cup to hold the bag steady as I fill it with the dough. 
  6. For sandwich cookies, pipe the dough into 2″ strips leaving 1 ½ inches between each cookie. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges to make a clean edge.
  7. For circle cookies, hold the piping bag vertically and squeeze until your cirlce shape is about 1 inch in diameter. *For circle cookies WITH sprinkles* decorate with sprinkles BEFORE baking. You can also create a small hole with you index finger if you want to fill the cookies with chocolate or jam.
  8. Refrigerate the piped cookie dough for about 30 minutes before baking. 
  9. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they are light golden brown on the edges. Do not over-bake. 
  10. Cool the cookies on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar or assemble as desired. 

Assembly- Sandwich Cookies

  1. For sandwiches, spread a little less than ¼ teaspoon of jam, Nutella, or other desired filling onto one side of the cookie. Sandwich together with another cookie.

Assembly- Dipped Cookies

  1. Chocolate Ganache- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a small microwave safe bowl 15 second intervals (stirring well in between each segment) until melted and smooth. If you want to make it glossy add a dab of butter and stir until combined.
  2. Dip one end of the sandwich cookie in melted chocolate and lay on a rack. Add sprinkles and allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Notes

Use temperature ingredients for best results 

How to Store Italian Butter Cookies

Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container once completely cooled so they stay fresh.

You may also freeze these cookies in a sealed freezer safe bag or container for up to 4 months.

  • Author: Elena
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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22 Comments

  1. I noticed that you use whole eggs but most butter cookies use only the egg yolk. will they make the cookies spread too much? Most recipes are the same ingredirnts except you use whole eggs. what is the difference between using whole eggs or egg yolks in butter cookies ? I will be making them but wanted to make sure. thanks

    1. Hi Cathy, I tested this recipe many times with different variations. I liked the whole egg since it makes the cookie feel “lighter” and less dense. I do chill the dough (preferable after piping) and this lessens the spread of the cookie. Usually, cookies spread because of butter ratio.