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Vanilla Cookie Recipe

An absolutely delicious recipe that has the perfect flavour balance when using royal icing!

These cookies are not as sweet as a sugar cookies, The texture and taste is verging on the shortbread family side. An easy recipe to work with, easy to bake and will make your taste buds dance every time !

Download Printable Recipe


2 & 1/4 cups plain flour

3/4 cup icing sugar

185g unsalted butter

3 egg yolks ( keep the egg whites to make royal icing at home)

1 – 2 tsp vanilla essence (or to taste)


Preheat oven to 165 degrees (150 degrees fan forced) All ovens vary so adjust time and heat accordingly

Add the flour, icing sugar and butter in your food processor (I do not sift, but you can if you wish.

Turn on to high speed for about 1 minute or until the mixture combines and resembles fine bread crumbs.

While processor still on, add the egg yolks and the vanilla essence and continue processing for another minute or two, or until a dough begins to form.

Remove the dough from the food processor onto a non-stick workboard or a lightly floured bench and bring together until it is smooth. Don’t knead it, just mix together gently. Do not worry if all the flour is not totally combined, bring it together using your hands.

Roll dough between 2 pieces of baking paper and use your rolling guides to achieve the perfect cookie thickness. Using baking paper eliminates adding more flour to the mix and makes light work of moving your dough around.

You can certainly bake your cookies from bench to oven. You may find a little cookie spread. As the butter is soft and dough warm, the heat reacts quicker with the dough causing spread. So, for little to no spread, place your dough slab in the fridge for at least 20 mins, whilst rolling other batches. 

To cut cool cookie dough is by far the easiest way to handle cookie dough. Cut desired shapes.

For warmer climates or those using very soft butter, freezing your cookie shapes by far is has the best results. NO SPREAD whatsoever. Place shapes into freezer about 20 -30 mins or as long as you can, before baking in the oven to ensure your dough doesn’t spread 

(When freezing any dough laying on top of each other, ensure 2 pieces of baking paper is between each cookie dough layer. When the dough is cold it adheres to each other, making it difficult to separate)

Place cookie shapes straight from freezer into oven for approximately 13 – 13.5 minutes (medium sized cookie) or until light, golden brown. Ovens vary.

Leave on baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. If you are making larger cookies, bake for a minute or two longer and/or reduce oven temperature slightly to avoid browning edges and being raw in the middle.

Additional Notes

I have baked straight from bench to oven without chilling and has spread about 2mm in size. This is totally fine if decorating with royal icing, but if using fondant, I’d rather have the cookie exact, so I would prefer to freeze dough.

If freezing cookie dough for another day, ensure the dough properly wrapped in glad wrap or is in an air tight container. I recommend to leave baking paper between the layers so no imprints from the glad wrap can transfer.

All ovens bake and heat differently, so adjust your baking time and temperature needed to get your desired result.

Use a fondant smoother and lightly swirl over the top of your cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. No pressure required. Just light, swirling actions. This eliminates any air pockets, lumps or bumps that may have been caused whilst baking. I do this every time with the best results.

Freeze baked or unbaked cookies up to 3 months.

What You’ll Need From Cutter Craft

30cm Rolling Guides or 60cm Rolling Guides 

2mm, 3mm, 6mm, 8mm thicknesses available

23cm Rolling Pin 

Cookie Cutters 

Fondant Smoother 

Beginners decorating cookie kit available online

Other tools and equipment required

Food processor 

Mixing bowls

Digital scales

Baking paper

Baking trays

NB: You can use a mixer if you do not have a food processor. Combine first the butter and wet ingredients, then add the flour as not to overwork the dough. Using a food processor is much quicker.

Download Printable Recipe