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French Butter Cookies

Soft French Butter Cookies that melt in your mouth! These can be rolled in a variety of colored sugar for Valentine’s Day, Christmas cookies or more!

Stack of 4 French butter cookies that were rolled in pink and purple sugar

French Butter Cookies Recipe

I’m so excited to bring you these French butter cookies!

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and these cookies are the perfect treat for your loved ones.

These soft and buttery cookies have a delicate vanilla flavor and the tiniest bit of tang from cream of tartar.

Imagine sugar cookies and snickerdoodles had a baby – these French butter cookies would be it!

Small plate of French butter cookies rolled in red, pink, purple sugar

We call them French Buttercream Cookies at our house.

I’m not sure what makes them “French” but they sure do melt in your mouth like buttercream!

They’re so easy to make – no rolling, cutting or frosting involved – yet they still look cute and festive.

If rolling and cutting sounds like a fun project for you, definitely check out my Chocolate Dipped Butter Cookies. They are sooo pretty!

These buttercream cookies are not just for Valentine’s. You can customize the color of the sugar for any event.

French butter cookies rolled in red and green sugar on cooling rack

We always make them red and green for Christmas.

Also, instead of rolling in colored sugar you can tint the dough whatever color(s) you want.

You can also use sprinkles like my buttery Mantecaditos (Puerto Rican shortbread).

So many cute options!

These cookies are super easy to make, but there are a few things you should know.

Ball of raw French butter cookies rolled in red sugar on cookie sheet

Tips for the best French Butter Cookies

  1. Measure the flour correctly
  2. Chill the dough
  3. Line the cookie sheet

Stack of 4 French butter cookies that were rolled in red and green sugar

For the flour it’s important to measure correctly – lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level off.

You will need to chill the dough for 1 hour before scooping into balls.

You could probably get away with 30 minutes of chilling, but I usually go long than an hour.

After rolling the cookies, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

This prevents the cookies from spreading too much and from sticking.

And that’s it! Happy Valentine’s Day!

French butter cookies rolled in red, purple, pink sugar on cooling rack

These cookies were baked in support of Cookies For Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit focused on pediatric cancer. I’ve joined many other bloggers today to raise awareness with our Valentine cookies. 

Cookies for Kids' Cancer

Did you know that cancer is the #1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S.? There are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer right now and less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget going to all childhood cancer combined.

Help us make a difference by donating to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! These three companies: Dixie Crystals, Mediavine and OXO will match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000 each!

Donate here.

French butter cookies rolled in red, purple, pink sugar on cooling rack

French Butter Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Soft and tender French butter cookies that melt in your mouth!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Colored sugar, for rolling
  • Food dye (optional)


  1. Measure flour by lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cup and then level off. Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tarter and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar on low. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients.
  4. If desired, dough may be tinted with a few drops of food dye (optional).
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  6. Shape 2 teaspoons of dough into ball. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 6-8 minutes, or until set around the edges. Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget

You may also like these sweet treats!

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting (super easy to make!)

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the chocolate lovers…Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies - so soft and chewy with a hint of sea salt! #christmas #christmascookies #dessert


Friday 15th of March 2019

Thank you so much for participating this year! You're amazing!


Monday 18th of March 2019

I love supporting this event!


Friday 8th of February 2019

Hey Rebekah! Thank you for a beautiful recipe for such a worthy cause! Your Mediavine swag is on the way and should be to you soon. It's just a small token of our appreciation for your time and efforts to wipe out pediatric cancer. — Susannah at Mediavine


Saturday 9th of February 2019

Mediavine is the BEST! Thank you for Mediavine's matching contribution towards this cause!

Nancy Strathearn

Tuesday 5th of February 2019

I want to make the Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I don't see where the size of the box of instant chocolate pudding is listed.


Tuesday 5th of February 2019

So sorry about that! It's a small box - 3.4oz

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