Spritz Cookies (Butter Cookies)

Pressing Spritz Cookies

Pressing Spritz Cookies

By Cat, Oct 2014 (Photo, right, from What’s Cooking America (1))

See also: 1. Cookies Menu; 2. Scandinavian Foods Menu

Spritz are iconic at Christmas, especially in Scandinavian homes and church bake sales. My Mom always made dozens for me to take to school, and to give away at the bar.

There are a lot of wannabe recipes out there; you can recognize them because they call for ingredients like milk or baking soda/powder. All it takes to make these melt-in-the-mouth cookies is butter, sugar, egg yolk and flour, plus optional flavoring extracts like vanilla and almond. And, of course, a cookie press.

A Spritz press comes with many designs, but to be authentic you will only use a few of them. One makes an elongated rectangular cookie with ridges; a similar one is used to make an ‘S’ shaped cookie with ridges. The flower pictured above, star and tree are American versions that are popular.

Mom’s Spritz Cookies

My Mom’s recipe is from Home Baking Made Easy, by Virginia Roberts (2). Another, similar recipe with lots of good tips is on the Joy of Baking (3) website, and includes a video. What’s Cooking America (1) also has great tips and photos of the method.

Spritz cookies don’t take much dough for each cookie, so most recipes, like this one, make several dozen. This recipe makes 6 dozen.

Some tips:

  • You’ll get the best result if you use unsalted butter (do NOT use margarine, ‘spread’ or vegetable shortening as the cookies will not hold their shape in the oven.
  • Do not add baking powder/soda, as the cookies will have a slight bitter taste. Spritz cookies are not meant to rise.
  • You can add food coloring (red and green are common), but then you will need more flour. Add one drop at a time, with egg yolks. However, even though food coloring is considered GRAS (safe) by our government, there is a lot of evidence to the contrary in the scientific journals. Especially with red food coloring.
  • To test the dough’s consistency before baking a batch, press a small amount of dough through the cookie press cylinder. If the dough is too soft so that it doesn’t go through the press cleanly, chill the dough for about 15 minutes. … If dough becomes too soft during use, refrigerate dough about 5 minutes or until firm enough to hold its shape (the dough will crumble if it is too cold, and it won’t stick to the cookie sheet).” (1)
  • Keep an eye on the cookies in the oven; you do not want to over-bake them and they will scorch easily.
  • If you place 2 cookie sheets in the oven at the same time, one on an upper rack and the other on a lower rack, exchange their positions after about 5 – 6 minutes.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 3 cups unbleached white pastry flour or unbleached white all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (do not use margarine or ‘spreads’, as the cookie will not hold its shape)
  • ⅔ cup white cane sugar
  • Equipment
  • large and medium mixing bowls
  • electric mixer or wooden spoon
  • cookie sheets
  • cookie press
  • cooling rack


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (some recipes recommend 350°F; use whichever works best with your oven, but remember that spritz dough scorches easily).
  2. Cream butter thoroughly in large bowl; add sugar and cream again. Add yolks one at a time and beat vigorously. *
  3. Sift the flour into medium bowl, then add gradually to the batter, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Put dough into cookie press; form into desired shape(s) by pressing onto dry cookie sheet.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until very delicately browned (light golden in color), 10 – 14 minutes. You will get better flavor if the cookie is not baked too long.
  6. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and place on cooling rack.
  7. Decorate after cooling, as desired, or leave them plain.

* NOTE: if you wish to add a flavoring extract such as 1 tsp real vanilla or ¼ tsp almond with one of the egg yolks.

Similar Spritz Recipes

These two recipes are from Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking, by Ingaborg  Dahl Jensen (4) and The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas (5), respectively. They differ only in ingredient amounts; the method is the same as that for my Mom’s recipe, above, except they both cite a 350°F oven rather than 400°F.

Smaller recipe from Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking (makes 5 – 6 dozen):

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla or ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 2 ½ cups flour

Larger recipe from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (makes 6 dozen):

  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla or ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups flour



  1. What’s Cooking America photo (whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/Spritz3.jpg) and recipe (whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/SpritzCookie.htm)
  2. Home Baking Made Easy, by Virginia Roberts (see Beloved Cookbooks for more)
  3. Joy of Baking recipe and video (joyofbaking.com/SpritzCookies.html)
  4. Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking, by Ingaborg  Dahl Jensen  (see Beloved Cookbooks for more)
  5. The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas, © 1988 by the author

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