Vanilla cookies recipe

(1645 ratings)

Melt-in-the-mouth cookies with a lovely hint of vanilla. This vanilla cookie recipe is the perfect base for any decorations you wish to try

Vanilla cookies
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins (plus 15 mins chilling)
Cooking Time20 mins (plus cooling time)
Total Time35 mins (plus chilling and cooling time)
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories98 Kcal5%
Fat4.5 g6%
Saturated Fat3 g15%

This is a basic recipe for foolproof, perfect vanilla cookies, which you can then decorate with as much creativity as you like.

If you're making iced biscuits, you need the perfect base to start with. And this is it. These biscuits are so easy to make. Apart from the chilling and cooling times, you only need a little over half an hour to make them. They have a delicate vanilla flavour, which is the perfect accompaniment to a slick layer of icing. You can go plain with the icing, or use lemon juice instead of water to make it up. This will give it an extra zing. This recipe makes between 15 and 25 biscuits, depending how larger your cutter it. To get a perfect light bake all over, rotate the tray in the oven twice during cooking.


  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 250g (8oz) plain flour

You will also need:

  • Baking sheets, lined with non-stick liners or baking parchment




  1. To make this cookie recipe, set the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. You can refer to our how to cream butter and sugar guide here to ensure you're creaming correctly.
  3. Beat in the egg and then the flour until the mixture binds together to form a dough. If the dough is very soft, wrap it in a plastic bag and chill it until it’s firm enough to roll out.
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 3-4mm (nearly ¼in) thick and use cutters to cut out shapes, re-rolling trimmings as necessary until all the dough is used.
  5. Place the cut-out shapes on the lined baking sheets. If there is time, chill the shapes for 10-15 mins before baking.
  6. Bake the biscuits in the centre of the oven for 15-20 mins, or until the cookies start to turn golden at the edges. Remove the baking sheets from the oven.
  7. Leave the cookies to cool for a few mins on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely and decorate as you wish.

Top tips for making vanilla cookies:

To make these chocolate flavoured, reduce the amount of flour to 200g and add 50g cocoa powder to the dough.

Try to re-roll the dough as few times as possible, as the more you work it, the tougher your biscuits will get. Make sure you get the most cut outs from each roll, cutting them as close together as possible.

To freeze: The cold cookies may be packed into a plastic container and frozen for up to 3 months. After defrosting, they may be “refreshed” in a hot oven for a few mins to re-crisp them.

You might also like: 

Chocolate chip cookies

Sugar cookies recipe

Peanut butter cookies

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to kitchen appliances, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends some of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family including her two lucky children.