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Italian Butter Cookies

A buttery simple Italian Cookie. These Italian Butter Cookies are perfect anytime. Serve them as a holiday cookie or with tea or coffee in the afternoon.

Italian butter cookies in a cookie bowl with 2 cups of expresso

Yes now these are the cookies that every Italian loves and knows how to make.

Sometimes they are dipped in chocolate, sometimes they are made with a cookie press and sometimes made like I make them, rolled and cut with cookie cutters.

I find rolling and cutting the easiest. And that also makes them perfect for the Holidays. These buttery, slightly crunchy cookies are just that and more.

butter cookies four stacked and one leaning

How to make them

  • Beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and combine

mixing the ingredients for butter cookies, sifting the dry and creaming the butter and sugar

  • Add the sifted flour a little at a time, mixing to combine.
  • Form the dough into a ball, then wrap it with plastic and refrigerate.

wrapping the butter cookie dough in plastic to chill

  • Roll the dough on a lightly floured flat surface.
  • Cut out forms with a cookie cutter.
  • Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets and bake.

placing cut out cookies on baking sheet to bake for butter cookies

  • Let cool before serving.

I use salted butter only because I can’t get unsalted in Italy. If you do use unsalted then just add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the flour mixture.

The dough can either be rolled and cut with cutters or rolled into a log and sliced. Whichever you prefer. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar before serving.

How to store them

Let the cookies cool completely before storing. Place the cookies in an airtight container. Place sheets of parchment paper  between each layer to keep them from sticking to each other.

Place a piece of white bread on top inside the container to keep them fresh. White bread helps to absorb the moisture which will keep the cookies fresh.

Keep the container at room temperature, the cookies should last 3-4 days if properly stored.

butter cookies on coffee plates and in a bowl

How to freeze the cookies

Freeze the completely cooled cookies in a freezer safe bag or container in a single layers. If the container is large then separate the layers with a sheet of parchment paper.

The cookies will last up to five months in the freezer.

More Delicious Italian Cookies

So if you are looking to try an Italian cookies this Holiday season I hope you give these Butter Cookies a try. And of course let me know what you think. Enjoy!

butter cookies four stacked and one leaning

Italian butter cookies in a cookie bowl with 2 cups of expresso

Italian Butter Cookies

Rosemary Molloy
A buttery simple Italian Cookie. These Italian Butter Cookies are perfect anytime. Serve them as a holiday cookie or with tea or coffee in the afternoon.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course cookies
Cuisine Italian
Servings 35 cookies
Calories 92 kcal


  • 2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)**
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

*If the dough is too soft then add a tablespoon or two of flour to firm it up. It should be soft and firm but not loose.

    **Be sure to use a good quality butter, apparently this year 2022, store brand butter quality is not what it used to be. Less fat could mean a dry not so tasty cookie.


      • In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
      • In a large bowl on medium speed beat the butter and sugar until creamy approximately 3 minutes, then add the egg and vanilla and combine. Add the sifted flour mixture a little at a time until combined.
      • Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and gently form into a ball (do not over knead). Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
      • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
      • Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and roll (you can use half the dough at a time) to a little thicker then 1/8 inch thick. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges or lightly golden. Let cool 5-8 minutes then move to cookie rack to cool completely, before serving. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!


      The dough can also be formed into a log, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated. Then just slice and bake.


      Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.85g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5.49g | Saturated Fat: 3.39g | Cholesterol: 19.97mg | Sodium: 50.07mg | Potassium: 28.75mg | Fiber: 0.19g | Sugar: 4.32g | Vitamin A: 170.83IU | Calcium: 10.96mg | Iron: 0.37mg
      Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


      1. Hi Rosemary I love your recipies I have been making Italan butter cookies by the dozen I had a stroke in July and baking has been great theripy almost 100% Thank you very much Mike

      2. This is a beautiful recipe! These cookies are so nostalgic capturing my talian childhood Sunday bakery moments in this cookie. I don’t how, but it just does. Please post more recipes.

      3. 5 stars
        Hi there! Probably my third time in one week making these! This time I doubled the recipe and I accidently softened my butter too much, what do you suggest?

        1. Hi Nicole, if the dough is already made then I would chill it for an hour. If not then chill the dough until it hardens up just a bit. Let me know how it goes.

      4. Hi Rosemary, I love your recipes! I’m looking for a shaped lemon cookie. Would it be ok to add lemon zest/juice to this recipe, or would you advise going with something specific for lemon? I can’t wait to try these.

        1. Hi Annie, thanks so much, I do have 2 other lemon cookies that are made for cutting out. Lemon Sugar Cookies – https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/sugar-cookies/ and a Lemon Shortbread – https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/lemon-shortbread-cookies/ . You probably could add a little lemon juice (1 tablespoon) or even lemon extract and for sure zest. Let me know how it goes.

        1. Hi Sonia yes I think that would work, but pulse just to combine, then move to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead into a ball. Let me know how it goes.

        1. Hi Melanie, yes you can leave the dough overnight in the fridge. It will probably be hard, so bring it to room temperature for about an hour or so to soften it up a bit. Merry Christmas.

        1. Hi Mary, to tell the truth I think the egg wash would turn the cookie yellow, I would brush the cookie with milk and then sprinkles rather than an egg wash and then bake. Hope that helps.

      5. 5 stars
        I thought these were delicious and make for a very good coffee cookie!!! Can’t wait to share some with my 85 year old mother who loves coffee and a cookie as much as I do. Five stars in my book!!

      6. 5 stars
        OHHHH my gosh!! I am addicted to these things! I cut the recipe in half as I do when trying a new recipe….and made about 12 of them…but cut them way tooooo skinny….but had to bake this this am and get them out as gifts!!! I could eat the whole pan full…my only advise is be generous w the flour when you roll them out…mine were too oily …and cut them at least 1/4 thick. I cut about 1/16….and so crispy and luscious…..but need to be thicker to bag up and give away…unless you are underweight and are advised to eat butter!! Then go for it…..no need for any other butter cookie recipe…and I am alway trying new recipes even if I think I have the perfect one…I think this is only the 5 or 6th that I won’t change a thing!! thanks!! For sharing…..

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