Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Klassiske Vaniljekranse – Danish Butter Cookies

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I’m sure a lot of folks are like me, who loves to eat Danish butter cookies by Kjeldsens. This was long before we have Famous Amos and Mrs Fields cookies in the malls, and even longer before Betty Crocker premixes made it to the shelves of supermarkets. I love Kjeldsens since I was a small boy, and became so addicted to them after sampling a few pieces in our very first tin given by a family friend. Precious they were, my sister and I were only allowed 2 pieces each day. And we often bickered on which to choose. The oblongish ones studded with granluated sugar was an obvious favorite. We would also be looking out for these round blue tins filled with crumbly morsels of buttery goodness whenever my mother brought us to departmental stores like Yaohan or Oriental Emporium, pestering her to buy them for us. But they were so expensive then, and personally I feel they still are! Those retail joints no longer exist, becoming ghosts of the yesteryears, but Kjeldsens is still going strong, becoming a household name and often benchmark to other Danish butter cookies that became available later.

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Recently in my cyber circle of baking afficionadoes, there was a little hype over baking Danish butter cookies. That sparked a desire and brought me back to my childhood, to recreate these delicious cookies we used to enjoy so much. There were a few recipes floating around but I wasn’t exactly keen. I was more interested in Danish butter cookies made by the Danish themselves! Surely nothing can be more authentic than that? After some searching around, I found this really lovely video published on youtube, of whom I presume to be a local pastry chef demonstrating how Danish butter cookies, better known as “Vaniljekranse” in their native tongue are made. The recipe is incredibly simple, with everything being thrown into the mixer all at once.  I love the French track “Le Festin” by Camille playing the background. It is from the soundtrack of one of my favorite Disney productions “Ratatouille” by the way! I love  her gigantic mixer, and I love the whole “mood” of the video to show how leisurely and relaxed it can be done. Most of all, I love love love her swift and sharply executed piping skills, which I tried to replicate with my own batch of cookies🙂

Klassiske Vaniljekranse (Danish Butter Cookies)

adapted from here (IMPORTANT UPDATE – Do remember to click on the link under “related posts” for a more updated discussion on this cookie)
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1 egg (60g)
200g butter
130g icing sugar
320g flour
2 tbsp of vanilla paste (appro. 30g)
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Place everything in a mixing bowl and mix evenly using a paddle attachment on the lowest speed possible.
Pipe wreaths onto greased cookie sheet or baking tray using an open star tip. I used Wilton 1M but I think the lady in the video used a smaller one
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 7-8 min
Leave to cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.
Transfer cookies into airtight container after cookies are at room temperature.

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It is very important to ensure all ingredients at room temperature. Using softend butter helps the ingredients to amalgamate very quickly. Do not be tempted to heat the butter over the stove to melt it. That would create a messy cookie dough that oozes butter all the time.

Using the lowest speed possible helps one to monitor the progress of the cookie dough formation so as not to overwork it. Having said that the recipe is very forgiving, with little fear of the starch glutening. If one doesn’t have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients by hand with the aid of a hard spatula. Avoid using a hand blender.
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The video, vanilla/vanilin powder was used. I used vanilla paste from Nielsen Massey vanilla paste which is far more fluid. Thus, I’d increased the flour and icing sugar amount slightly to compensate. If scraped seeds from vanilla beans are used, I think it is ok to stick to the original recipe. I’d also noticed that the baked cookies could hold their shape better with the slightly increased ratio of dry to wet ingredients. But be assured that they are no less crumbly and buttery.

Having said that using good butter is very important of course. I’d used Elle et Vire Gastronomique Doux, which is essentially unsalted butter used specifically for culinary purposes and not as as a spread. It is good enough for me. One could of course go that extra mile to use Lurpark butter for a truly authentic Danish experience, but I felt that French butters do the job really well, if not better🙂

No creaming of butter, no chilling of dough, no waiting time at all, this must surely be the easiest cookie recipe I’d attempted to date! And I must say that its one of the most delicious one too!
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Have a lovely weekend ahead and if you have the time, do give this recipe a try!🙂

Related post

Vaniljekranse – A Long Update…

80 responses

  1. wow… looks so good! I believe everybody will start trying this out and I’m definitely one of them! Lol!

    December 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi Wendy! these are so easy to make I hope that everyone would try them too!

      December 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

  2. aiyoh, when my mom buy those tin biscuits when we were kids, me and my siblings always fight for this shape one…..haha…now can make at home. Looks doable enough but what sort of special butter you using in the pic?

    December 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Sharon, just get something really buttery! Lurpak is authentically Danish, but I used Elle et Vire which is french. I’m sure there would be be people using other brands too. I would recommend Emborg, President or any European butter you can find over there. Just don’t use the Australian ones like greenfields or worse still… butterspreads like buttercup.

      December 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

  3. How lovely! I remember loving Danish butter cookies when I was a kid. Would definitely bookmark this recipe to try!

    December 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      we baked almost the same thing🙂 saw your chocolate wreaths

      December 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

  4. Vaniljekranse – I am sure you must have figured out. vanil –vanila, kranse=is the shape of the cookie. round. Kind of like the x-mas decoration one hangs on the door.

    December 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      yes, its like a wreath🙂 but thanks for reminding!

      December 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  5. Looks beautiful and so authentic!

    December 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

  6. Lækker!🙂

    December 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  7. Looks so buttery and good.

    December 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thanks Chris!

      December 12, 2012 at 1:04 am

  8. Yum!!! I shall try making this using Lurpak!

    December 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      haha that would make it really authentic!

      December 12, 2012 at 1:03 am

  9. Wow, I’m gonna try this! Perfect for Xmas gifts for the tuition teachers & my friends, lol! Thanks ya!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      yes! very simple and yet so delicious!

      December 12, 2012 at 1:03 am

  10. Did your palms hurt after piping them out?

    December 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      no leh… the trick is to grasp the piping bag with one hand and to squeeze with the other near the base where the nozzle is. That way, the pressure required is much smaller🙂

      December 12, 2012 at 1:02 am

  11. This cookie is my favorite of all types in the tin…very easy recipe indeed…bookmarking for future bake:D

    December 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

  12. Ivor Waldron

    Thank you so much for putting this up! I’ve been looking for the recipe for making these for quite some time. I’m in childhood memory heaven now!

    December 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      My pleasure, Ivor! I think this is a childhood treat for many of us as well🙂

      But do look out for a post which I’ll be posting soon. Its an update to this cookie with some details on making it easier and hopefully better🙂

      December 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      • Sophie

        Looks really good. Am I right that the cookie batter can’t be cut into shapes using a cookie cutter? Was hoping to make into cute shapes for my kid

        December 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

  13. Pingback: Vaniljekranse – A Long Update… « travellingfoodies

  14. Zipfly

    Seasons greetings! Lovely cookies.. just like those from that classic lovely blue tin.❤ May I ask why do you recommend using spatula to hand mix instead of the hand held mixer? I'm new to baking.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:49 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      Hi there and Happy New Year! The beaters on handmixers turn really fast, thus making it more prone to overworking the dough. This can result in really hard and compact cookies in the end. A spatula gives one greater control over speed and degree of mixing, as one can easily monitor the progress of the dough coming together, stopping when all the flour had JUST being incorporated. You can read more about the making of these cookies in a recipe “update” and analysis in the link below:


      January 2, 2013 at 6:38 am

  15. Pingback: Aspiring Bakers #26 – Creative Christmas Motif Bakes! (Round Up) « travellingfoodies

  16. teo ai li

    Hi, can I use vanilla essence? Do I still use 2tbsp? Thanks!

    January 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi Ai Li, vanilla essence can work too but it would probably not be as fragrant compared to real vanilla extract. If you use essence, increase the flour by another 15-20 g.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  17. teo ai li

    Thank you and appreciate your prompt response!

    January 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      no problem! hope you have good results with this recipe!

      January 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

  18. Sabrina

    Thank you for the lovely post! Personally I lurve the oven in the video. Big, cool and it rotates! Bakers’ dream.

    January 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm

  19. teo ai li

    Alan, I don’t have a paddle attachment. Does hand held mixer at the lowest speed work? You think its ok to just use a spatula and mix till no trace of flour? I intend to bake this tomorrow for Chinese New Year and am getting a little jittery now….Thanks for coming to my rescue!

    February 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      sorry for replying so late. I would refrain from using a hand mixer. Use a spatula instead and mix until no more trace of flour is a good trick🙂

      February 7, 2013 at 12:36 am

  20. teo ai li

    Thank you, Alan! Appreciate you answering my query!

    February 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

  21. Pingback: Back to Basics : Klassiske Vaniljekranse (I can’t pronounce either) | The Sweet Spot

  22. Pingback: Danish Butter Cookies | SERREENA

  23. Sara

    I just pulled a batch out of the oven, heavenly! I made them using a gluten free flour for my husband who has celiac disease. These also were his favorite cookies as a child so he is loving them.

    October 15, 2013 at 7:31 am

  24. I tried baking those cookies for my bf’s birthday, followed every instuction carefully and used everything at room temp…however, the cookies melted in the oven appearing flat as small pancakes…help😦

    November 9, 2013 at 1:58 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hmm.. that didn’t happen to me. Perhaps you would wanna consider chilling the piped cookies on the tray for about 30 min before sending them into the oven… hope that helps!

      November 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hmm.. that didn’t happen to me. Perhaps you would wanna consider chilling the piped cookies on the tray for about 30 min before sending them into the oven… hope that helps!

      November 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

  25. tazi

    I’m having the opposite problem: my dough is too thick/dry. It won’t pipe through. How can I add moisture without affecting the recipe.
    Thanks for the post! (btw, yours are perfection!)

    November 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

  26. alac

    Lovely lovely cookies! I love those raisin butter cookies in the tin, can I just use the same recipe as yours and add raisins? Any idea if I should be using a round piping tip to pipe out then? thanks!

    December 13, 2013 at 9:08 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      if I am not wrong, those are not raisins but dried blackcurrants which are much smaller after dehydrating and also a tad more sourish than raisins. If you wanna make those, I would advise on chilling the dough for a few hours and cutting it after that into disks instead. the blackcurrants may get stuck in the piping bag, so piping isn’t that workable I think. Hope this is of help Let me know how your cookies turned out🙂

      December 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

      • Alac

        Thank u for prompt reply and highlighting the part about the dried black currants! Otherwise I may have blindly used raisins instead. It’ll be my first time baking butter cookies and your pointers and tips will be so helpful. Will come back again when I get down to making them! Thank u once again!😀

        December 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

      • Alac

        Couldn’t find dried black currants at local stores and bought dried blueberries instead. The flavor was good but the texture of the cookies was somewhat tough, not crunchy. I’m thinking I must have worked the dough a bit too many times to mix well, even though I only mixed manually with a hard spatula as I didn’t have a paddle attachment for my mixer. I didn’t have time to chill the dough and just “pinched” and placed them on the tray after mixing in the dried blueberries. If the dough looks over mixed, is it a hopeless case or does chilling the dough help make the cookies more crunchy?

        December 16, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      • Alan (travellingfoodies)

        It could be… I would really advise working the dough as little as possible.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      • Alac

        I tried to work as little as I could but it was tough getting the flour to mix well with the wet ingredients with too few turns of the spatula :D should I chill the dough if it looks overworked and looks like it’s melting?

        December 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

  27. Angie

    Have tried & very crunchy, thanks for the recipes. May I know how long can I keep those cookies in the air-tight container? Think to do some for this coming Chinese New Year🙂

    January 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I think they are best consumed within a week. May sure that the containers are really airtight!🙂

      January 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

  28. Try to replace some of the regular flour with almondflour, which they do in some of the recipes for “vaniljekranse”.
    It gives the cookies a hint of almond.

    January 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

  29. YY

    Hi Alan,
    if using KA stand mixer at the lowerest speed 1, how many minutes to complete the mixing step? thanks, YY

    January 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hmm… it should be done in less than a minute! work the dough as little as possible to prevent built up of gluten which causes the cookies to harden

      January 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

  30. Your Danish butter cookies look very authentic. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    January 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      thanks Veronica🙂

      January 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

  31. Lyn

    May i know how to adjust the recipe to chocolate cookie??

    April 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      You can try to do a partial substitution with cocoa powder for the plain flour, i.e 15-30 g of cocoa powder to replace an equivalent mass of plain flour. You can also add small chocolate chips to your batter. I will not encourage the use of melted chocolate directly into the batter as it would alter the moist level and cause the cookies to spread too much during baking. Hope this helps.

      April 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      • Lyn

        Thx!! May i know if i can add cornstarch/cornflour? As i want the melt-in-mouth texture

        April 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm

  32. MajaRaco

    Hi Alan! Do you know if these cookies can be rolled out to use with cookie cutters? I’d like to make these and the “oblongish ones studded with granluated sugar”. I’m thinking that chilling the dough would be enough for these to keep the consistency for shaping.

    April 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      i think you can. but best to roll our your cookie dough, chill it for a good 30 min or more before cutting cookies out of it🙂

      April 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

  33. Reblogged this on d'liteful cravings.

    June 3, 2014 at 8:51 am

  34. Pingback: Danish Butter Cookies | The Hungry Yummy Mummy

  35. Pingback: Danish Butter Cookies (Klassiske Vaniljekranse)

  36. ¡Saludos! Muy útil consejos dentro de esta poste !
    Es la . Gracias por compartir!

    December 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

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    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, wonderful blog!

    December 29, 2014 at 10:11 am

  38. Iris

    Your cookies look gorgeous! My dad had recently bought one of those blue tins filled with buttery cookies when I stumbled upon your recipe and thought that it would be a lovely idea to bake some fresh home made ones for him. Unfortunately I have failed in trying to make the dough with both attempts ending with a very dry mixture. I have mixed it as little as possible but the amount of wet mixture to dry seems overwhelmingly little. Is there anyway to incorporate more liquid into the mixture somehow? Or is my mixture too dry due to poor quality butter?

    April 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      hi Iris. The butter has to be a room temperature and very very soft when you prepare the cookie dough. And try to pipe in smaller quantities. You may want to refer to this update I wrote, as well as a consolidation of the pointers and reflections made on the various ingredients used. Many of my friends have made it successfully, and I’m sure you would be able to as well🙂 https://travelling-foodies.com/2012/12/25/vaniljekranse-a-long-update/

      April 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm

  39. Iris

    I tried the recipe again today and left the butter out for a good 8 hours before touching it this time and it worked! And boy are they delicious! I guess I was just too impatient last time (but who could resist with your lovely pictures).
    Unfortunately I didn’t keep a close enough eye on the first batch so they turned out a little burnt on the bottom, but still delicious. I can’t wait for my family to try them. Thank you for a the wonderful recipe and for replying to my sad first attempt (:

    May 9, 2015 at 7:48 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I’m glad it worked out for you finally. Piping in smaller batches definitely help. Except for meringue based ingredients, I usually don’t fill up the piping bag more than half full. it allows much better control as well during piping, apart from requiring a smaller force. Thanks again for trying out the recipe🙂

      May 9, 2015 at 7:55 am

  40. rika

    If i want use vanilla extract how much flour and icing sugar that i have to add into my mixture?? thanks^^

    June 18, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      it shouldn’t change very much. just add the equivalent amount of vanilla extract.🙂

      June 18, 2015 at 8:04 pm

  41. CY

    hi, may I know do you use the up and down heating element? I tried making some yesterday using lower one but the top does not brown. Also, where to get the star tip pipe? thanks

    September 13, 2015 at 8:26 pm

  42. Pingback: Alternatives to Jenny Cookies | Tompang the World

  43. Pingback: Whats For Dinner Mommy | » 10 Yummy Cookie Recipes To Hide From Your Kids

  44. KT

    Greetings! How many pieces of cookies does this recipe yield?

    January 27, 2016 at 6:05 pm

  45. Emily

    Hi Alan,

    My cookies do not have strong butter flavour even when it is fresh baked. And it become worse, that is no butter flavour at all after i keep the cookies for 2 weeks in air tight container.
    Is it due to the butter quality? I use Anchor brand.



    February 1, 2016 at 2:09 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      I don’t use Australian butters like Anchor. They don’t smell and taste as good as the European butters like lurpak, president or echire. Golden churn is a good butter to try for these cookies. And the good thing is they can be stored at room temperature. Get a can and try.🙂

      February 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

  46. Imelda

    Thanks you for sharing the recipe 👌. I tried it and it’s come so perfectly… Love it!!!

    May 19, 2016 at 7:49 pm

  47. Pingback: Where Can I Buy Danish Butter Cookies | Drowkiller1

  48. Saidani

    Merci pour cette recette par quoi peut on remplacé la pâte de vanille ( 39 gr)

    August 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

  49. Sueki

    Tried the recipe! Seriously fool-proof, even for someone who bakes for the first time! Thx for sharing this!

    October 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm

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