Buttery Danish cookies or Spritz cookies made dairy-free, but with all the familiar flavour of the classic biscuits you get in a tin! These are great fun to make (especially if you have a cookie press, although it’s not essential) and make wonderful homemade gifts.
I was so pleased with how beautiful and delicious these little vegan Danish butter cookies turned out, when I first created this recipe.
And I have been making them regularly ever since, especially at Christmas.
The three main things I love about this recipe: the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, how fun they are to make and how beautiful they look (for the short while before they’re all eaten).
This post includes a step-by-step recipe, tips and a short guide on how to create a festive gift tin to store them in.
Creating a Danish Butter Cookie gift tin
Aside from eating the cookies, and playing with the cookie press, this is one of the best parts.
I love displaying these beautiful cookies in a tin, regardless of whether I’m giving them away as gifts or keeping them for myself.
You’ll just need the following:
- A batch of these Vegan Danish Butter Cookies (Recipe at the bottom of this post)
- An empty medium round tin with lid (an old cookie tin is perfect)
- Plain cupcakes cases
- Extra sugar for sprinkling
It will depend on the size of your tin, but I used 7 cupcake cases to place around the inside edges of the tin and 1 for the centre (8 total).
Fill each cupcake case with 3-4 cookies.
Sprinkle generously with white granulated sugar.
Now create a second layer on top of those cases and repeat.
Not at all! You can simply roll the dough into small balls and press with your fingers or a fork. If you use this method, refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes beforehand for the best result.
Or, use an icing bag + a star shaped nozzle to create wreath shapes (you can see I’ve used this method for some of the cookies pictured).
This can happen when the weather gets really cold OR if the mixture is overworked or too dry.
If you’re using a piping bag, you can “massage” the bag to warm up and loosen the mixture.
The other solution is to return the mixture to the bowl, and without overworking the dough, mix in a small amount of dairy-free milk, until you have a softer consistency.
If all else fails, chill the dough and roll or cut out shapes instead!
Try chilling your tins beforehand, this usually solves the problem. I put the lined baking tins in the freezer for about 15 minutes before adding the cookies to bake.
Despite being dairy-free, these cookies will be just like how you remember the original.
In fact, many shop bought Danish Butter Cookies are made with vegetable oils, making them more shelf stable and are therefore vegan-friendly.
I recommend a good-tasting vegan butter alternative, such as Naturli block, Vitalite or Earth Balance Buttery. Found in most supermarkets.
If you can’t get hold of a vegan butter and can only find margarine, one of my readers, Maria, has a great tip: Use butter flavouring. It is usually vegan-friendly.
Vegan Danish Butter Cookies
Vaniljekranse aka Danish Butter Cookies are THE essential Christmas cookie, in my opinion. This is a vegan recipe for those who miss this nostalgic taste...
- 200 g / 7 oz dairy-free buttery spread
- 130 g / 4.5 oz confectioner's sugar
- 310 g / 11 oz plain flour
- 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp almond milk, if needed
- 2 tbsp white sugar, for decoration
- Preheat oven to 180C / fan 160C / 350F. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Mix together the dairy-free butter and icing sugar to create a soft buttercream.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the milk, and mix until just combined. If the mixture is too dry, add the 1 tbsp of milk or more until a soft but firm batter is formed.
- Create the cookie shapes either using a cookie press, piping bag or simply dropping a tsp of batter onto the sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, regularly checking to make sure they are baking evenly. Turn your baking sheet around to face the other way half way through, if necessary.
- Let cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack then sprinkle with sugar. Enjoy!
Nutrition InformationYield 60 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 49Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 22mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 0gSugar 3gProtein 1g
I tried making a batch and have 2 questions. How do you get the sugar to stick to the cookies? Also, you mentioned greaseproof paper, is that parchment paper? I used a silicone mat and had trouble with the cookie press because the dough wouldn’t come off the press easily.
Hi Robyn, parchment and greaseproof serve the same purpose but are just made with different materials. I’ve had the problem you described, with the cookies not sticking to the sheet before, but I found that if you chill your lined baking tray (or put it in the freezer for 15 minutes) this really does help the cookies stick to the sheet better.
Regarding the sugar sticking, it doesn’t really “stick”, i just drench it in sugar to keep it fresh in the tin, the majority of the sugar will fall off but a few granules will adhere to the cookies. You can also do this whilst they’re still warm to ensure it sticks better.
Hope that helps!
They are AMAZING! And just like the real thing, I baked them as a gift from my mum and put them in a box I bought in Europe as a gift, she adored them!! My family is not vegan btw :)
I was in Germany when I baked them, I used a margarine that is quite tasteless (ASLAN bio) and added half a bottle (the tiny ones) of butter aroma (Butter-Vanille by Dr.Oetker), they turned out perfect and this butter aroma is a game changer!!
Thank you sooo much for the recipe!! I looked everywhere for these vegan cookies but no one seemed to be selling them. All the best from Argentina!
I’m so pleased they were enjoyed! That is such a great idea for adding the butter flavouring. :-)
Hello ^-^ Do you think it would be good if I added butter extract ?
How much do you think I should add?
Oh I’ve not tried that before but would add a small amount (maybe 1/4 – 1/2 tsp) and taste the batter to adjust.
Heya, I just tried this recipe but as a gluten free version- with a simple store bought plain gluten-free mix:) Just in case I always add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 4 tablespoons of water and leave it to sit for about 5min:)
It worked wonderfully, did my cookies with a piping bag and didn’t need any milk:)
That is so good to hear, Ieva! Thanks for the notes on the gluten-free mix. Glad it worked out well :)
Rachel B says
Made these yesterday in the US with Earth Balance and a cookie press. They turned out AMAZING! We didn’t need any almond milk, and the consistency was spot on. We kept eating them, and I’m surprised any made it to the tin!
Thank you so much for a great new cookie staple!!!
So pleased to hear that, Rachel! Thanks for sharing the feedback :)
I just tried to make these but they melted in the oven. Where did I go wrong?
Hi Mel, did I just speak to you on FB? I’ll reply again here anyway, just in case. The main cause of this is likely to be your oven being too hot. Some ovens just do tend to run a bit hotter, so lowering the heat by 5 degrees should help. You can also chill the piped cookies before baking, to ensure the vegan butter doesn’t melt too fast. You may also benefit from adding an extra tablespoon of flour to the batter, as a last resort.
There is a fine line between a pipe-able consistency and having a good ratio of fats and dry ingredients but you may need to tinker with this if your cookies are melting, and not retaining their shape. Some brands of vegan spread melt reaaaally quickly too. For example, I love baking with Naturli block vegan butter, but their “spread” variety always results in melted cookies for me, as it contains more oil than the block. You can test if the vegan butter is the culprit by seeing how easily it spreads. The harder it is to spread, the better it will be for baking.
So if you’re trying these again… check the consistency – is it firm but still pipe-able? adjust amounts of butter and flour if needed. Try chilling the piped cookies before baking and bake at a lower temperature for slightly longer.