photo of white ceramic mug near cookies

German Butter Cookies (Butterplätzchen)

The crumbly and buttery Butterplätzchen is a German Christmas classic and perfect for making with children.

German Butter Cookies (Butterplätzchen)

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: DessertCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Simple


Prep time


Baking time





Crumbly and buttery German Butterplätzchen is a classic Christmas recipe and perfect for making with children.


  • Cookie dough
  • 300 g all-purpose flour

  • 200 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 100 g sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • Egg wash
  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and knead by hand until it comes together and forms a smooth, soft dough. If the dough is still very sticky add a little bit more flour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured workspace and press it into a disc. Don’t knead. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough about 5mm / 0.2 inches thin, on a lightly floured surface and with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut out cookies with your favorite Christmas cookie cutters and place them on the prepared baking trays.
  • Mix the egg yolk and the milk and brush the cookies with the mixture. Sprinkle with sprinkles. This step is optional. See notes below.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 7 – 10 minutes until only lightly golden. Allow to rest on the tray for 5 minutes, then pull the cookies together with the parchment paper from the baking sheet onto a cooling rack.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining dough to make more cookies.


  • You can also leave them plain and decorate them with sugar icing (and sprinkles) after baking and cooling. To make the icing, mix about 150 g/ 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or water to form a thick paste.
  • Use only good quality butter like Kerrygold, Plugra or Finlandia.
  • For an extra kick of flavor add a pinch full of pure ground vanilla, e. g. Beyond Good Madagascar Pure Ground Vanilla.

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