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Classic Butter Spritz Cookies

Classic Butter Spritz Cookies are the cookies you remember from your childhood. They are made with all butter and no shortening for that delicious buttery flavor. They bake up with a tender buttery bite. A cookie press makes easy work of baking up a batch of impressively shaped cookies.

Classic Butter Spritz Cookies displayed in a crystal dish by

This is a cookie that I’ve been making since my childhood.

I don’t remember what recipe we used back then, but this is now my go to for Classic Butter Spritz Cookies.  I made sure to put butter in the title because some recipes use shortening. 

This one is made with all butter and has a wonderful tender texture and delicious buttery flavor. (Bonus!  It’s also made in one bowl with no chilling required!) 

You know how you often see cookies at a bakery or on a cookie tray that are pressed cookies and you think, hey, that looks good!  Then you bite into it and it is dry, crumbles in your mouth and has no flavor? 

Yeah, really disappointing.  I hate to waste a cookie bite on a bad cookie.

What is a spritz cookie?

A spritz cookie a traditional butter cookie, shaped by pushing soft cookie dough through a cookie press. 

The name “spritz” comes from the German verb “spritzen” which means “to squirt” in English. 

So, yes, we’re “squirting” dough shapes through a cookie press, but I think we’ll stick with “spritz” for the name and “press” when we’re talking about extruding that dough ;) 

In fact, we are “pressing” that dough through the cookie press. 

Classic Butter Spritz Cookies on parchment paper with garland by

These cookies are full of classic buttery vanilla flavor with just a hint of almond in the background to make them taste that much more like a holiday cookie. 

These are the cookies, once put on a tray, that quickly become the ones you eat one after the other. They’re small so there’s no huge commitment. 

Then you taste one and you think, mmm, buttery… perhaps I should go grab myself a cup of tea or coffee, because I think I might need another cookie to go with it. 

Not that you need a hot beverage to wash down these little lovelies, but because you want to settle in and make it an “event.”

Uncooked Classic Butter Spritz Cookies with sprinkles on a baking sheet by

I make two shapes, a snowflake and a tree. My kids love to help decorate these before they go into the oven, showering the little trees with sprinkles and pushing the chocolate chip in the center of the “snowflakes.”  

Now, I know that the snowflake is actually a flower, and the chip certainly doesn’t help the illusion. But somewhere along the line we started calling them snowflakes, and the name stuck. 

I took photos of each of the kids decorating the snowflakes.  My daughter asked if she should just put the chip in the cookie like she normally does. 

I told her, yes, I’m just going to take a picture while you’re doing it…then I joked, but do it with “pretty” hands :) So she teased me back with her pinky in the air hand drama. 

My son just went on his merry way, getting his tray done and then asking if he could have some of the chips for a snack (cookie priorities.)

Placing chocolate chips on Classic Butter Spritz Cookies on a baking sheet by

Remember when I told you I make loads of cookies this time each year?  Well, if I double the batch, these cookies are usually good for about 240 of that number. 

And my secret to pressing out all of those cookies is an electric cookie press that I don’t think you can even buy anymore. 

It was lovingly handed down to me in all of it’s avocado green and white glory and I have made very good use of it.  That thing can press out 240 cookies in no time flat. 

I had to record the process just to show you how this little cookie factory helper actually works. (Hey! It’s my first video!) 

It’s kind of intimidating until you get your timing down, but once you’ve got a rhythm going, you’d better make sure you have extra cookie sheets ready to receive, because it goes really fast!

Well, it goes fast if you have an electric press. A manual press will be a much slower and controlled process.

I hope this press lasts forever because I can’t imagine going back to the manual method.

What is a cookie press?

A cookie press is a device for making pressed cookies. It consists of a cylinder with a plunger on one end, which is used to extrude cookie dough through a small hole at the other end. Typically the cookie press has interchangeable perforated plates with holes in different shapes. 

The snowflakes might be our favorite spritz cookie because of that little chocolate chip in the middle.  It tastes like chocolate dipped shortbread in one perfect little bite. 

The green Christmas trees are a festive tradition and help support the whole snowflake ruse ;)  These cookies bring back memories from my childhood, and I love that now I get to make them with my own children. 

I do need to branch out and use some of the other shapes and play with flavors,

Classic Butter Spritz Cookies displayed on parchment paper and garland by

but it just wouldn’t be the same without our flower shaped “snowflakes” and classic sprinkled green trees.

Buttery Classic Vanilla Spritz

Buttery Classic Vanilla Spritz

Yield: 120 cookies (approx.), depending upon the size of your cookie die


  • 1 1/2 cups salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • food coloring, optional
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For decorating:

  • assorted sprinkles
  • semi-sweet chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds, until butter is softened.
  3. Add sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping bowl.
  4. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extracts until combined. If you are tinting your dough, read notes below.
  5. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, stirring the rest in with a spoon, if necessary.
  6. Force unchilled dough through a cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Decorate with sprinkles or chocolate chips as desired.
  8. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until sides are firm but not brown.
  9. Allow cookies to cool on pan for 1-2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.


*I normally make a double batch and dye one green. If I'm adding food color to an entire batch, I like to add it in with the egg and vanilla. For this recipe, I divided the dough in half and then added coloring after dough had been mixed.

*Update 12-24-17: It's important to measure your flour correctly to insure the proper consistency for pressing the cookies. I use the spoon and sweep method which requires fluffing the flour by stirring it and making sure it’s not compact. Then, it’s lightly spooned into the measuring cup and leveled by scraping the back of a knife, or other straight edge, across the top of the measuring cup. (This is assuming that your measuring cup takes the measurement at the top edge of your measuring cup.) This should yield a cup of flour that weighs approximately 4.25 ounces. Since this recipe uses 3 1/2 cups of flour, an over measurement of one cup gets multiplied 3 and half times yielding much more flour than is required in the recipe.

Recipe source Better Homes and Gardens The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2014

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Sunday 24th of December 2017

This dough was way too thick for my cookie press, although the flavor was good; similar recipes in cookbooks used less flour. I cut the recipe by one third since I didn't want too many cookies. I ended up having to roll out the dough and make cut out cookies.


Sunday 24th of December 2017

Peggy, this dough shouldn't be too thick to press. Generally, that's an issue of over measuring flour. I use the spoon and sweep method which requires fluffing the flour by stirring it and making sure it's not compact. Then, it's lightly spooned into the measuring cup and leveled by scraping the back of a knife across the top of the measuring cup. This should yield a cup of flour that weighs approximately 4.25 ounces. If your cup of flour weighed much more than that, and was multiplied by the number of cups in the recipe, then yes, there would have been too much flour used. The dough should be quite soft and pliable. I'm glad you were at least able to salvage the dough with cut out cookies.


Friday 22nd of December 2017

Just made this excellent recipe. I don't have a cookie press, but I do have a frosting gun I bought at Michaels. I just pressed in the dough really firmly into the tube, and then sliced off a round using a palette knife at the end with no attachment. Made very nice one inch discs. And they taste delightful. Thanks for the recipe!


Friday 22nd of December 2017

You're welcome, Ashley! Thanks for sharing your success with a frosting gun. Some have asked if there were other options, so it's good to know one more option that works out well. Thanks for the kind comment :)


Saturday 16th of December 2017

My dough seemS to be to soft and comes through the press without a shape, it oozes out.I NEED HELP.


Saturday 16th of December 2017

Hi Mert, did you start with cold butter? In this recipe, the butter is cold and then beaten with a mixer to soften it up. So, I'm guessing either your butter is too soft or your flour measurement is off. You can try chilling the dough just until it is firm enough to press. It should definitely not ooze. It should be firm enough to roll a ball but still soft and pliable, sort of like play doh. Don't chill it too long or it will be so firm it will be difficult to press.

Little Wolf

Monday 11th of December 2017

Hello everyone, I used this recipe this evening and used a small scoop instead of a cookie press. Put 1/2 a maschino cherry on top and cooked for approximately 17 min. Turned out amazing. Rolled some in small sprinkles and flattened. Cooked the same amount of time. Turned out amazing.

Thank you!!



Tuesday 12th of December 2017

MaryAnne, Thanks for sharing your success for using this recipe without a press. Love the addition of the cherry!


Saturday 9th of December 2017

How do you make them without a cookie press?


Saturday 9th of December 2017

Lindsey, I've only ever used this recipe with a press, but you can try piping them onto the baking sheet using a piping bag and your choice of tip. I've never tried that so I'm not sure how difficult it would be to manually squeeze the dough through the tip. When I have bits of dough left over that no longer can go through the press, I'll roll them into balls and flatten them with my palm and add the same decorations as I would with the pressed cookies. Those bits of leftover dough become our "samples." They still taste good, but don't have the pretty shapes that the pressed cookies do.You could dress them up a bit by pressing a fork into the balls of dough to flatten them as you would with a peanut butter cookie, or get creative with fork patterns and decorations. I will also say that there is a slightly different texture to the pressed cookies vs. the pressed balls of dough. The hand flattened balls of dough are more compact and dense from compressing them, not quite as light as the pressed cookies, but as I said before, still tasty because, after all, we're still talking about butter and sugar. In any case, you really have to experiment to see what could work. Or, maybe just pass on the spritz and choose a buttery sugar cookie recipe that doesn't require a press.

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