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How to Bake Vanilla Cookies?

How to Bake Vanilla Cookies?

My kids love my vanilla cookies, and I usually make a new batch every month for them. The recipe is fast to prepare, the cookies are simply baked, and they taste really yummy. 

As I’ve had so many people ask me for my recipe, I decided to put together a little article with all my tips and tricks on baking delicious vanilla cookies. 

All you need to bake your own vanilla cookies is some butter, flour, an egg, baking powder, some sweeteners, some extra water or milk, and, of course, some qualitative vanilla extract. 

Keep reading this helpful recipe article and learn how to bake your own vanilla-flavored cookies in no time at all!

Basic Vanilla Cookie Recipe

an image of plain vanilla cookie on a green tray

Ingredients (will give you 12-18 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter)

  • 3oz (75g) unsalted room-temperature and diced butter
  • 10oz (275g) plain all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5ml) baking powder
  • 3 1/2oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp (2,5ml) vanilla extract
  • extra water or milk if necessary

How Do You Bake Vanilla Cookies?

a vanilla cookie dough ball in a bowl

Step 1

Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Step 2

Add the butter and mix the ingredients until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Step 3

Mix the egg with the syrup and the vanilla extract. Add them to the mixture.

Step 4

Mix well until you have a ball of dough. If the dough is too crumbly, add a tablespoon of water or milk and knead the dough well. 

Step 5

Wrap the dough in a plastic film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 6

Preheat your oven to 325°F/160°C/Gas 3.

Step 7

Roll your dough on a lightly floured surface to 0.2 inches (5mm) using spacers if necessary.

If the dough is still too crumbly, add a tablespoon of water or milk and keep kneading it. Repeat the process until the dough holds together and spreads easily. 

Step 8

Use cutters to stamp out your cookies and place them on a baking sheet. Knead again and re-roll the trimmings together to use up all the dough.

Step 9

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are lightly colored and firm but not crispy.

Step 10

Leave the cookies on a tray for 2 minutes and turn them upside down to make sure they remain flat on the upper side if you want to pipe them. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

How Do You Know if Your Butter Has Room Temperature?

  • It has stayed on the kitchen counter for 1 to 2 hours
  • When you poke at it with your finger, it leaves an indent but doesn’t sink into it
  • The butter is not shiny nor greasy

Tips to Quickly Bring Your Butter to Room Temperature

Alternative 1

Cut your butter in small chunks and save it. Warm a cup of water for 2 minutes in the microwave. Remove the cup of water from the microwave and place instead your bowl with butter. Close the microwave door and let the butter sit in it for 10 mins.

Alternative 2

Warm some water in your electric kettle. Pour the boiling water into a large cup and let it sit a minute to warm up the cup properly. Pour out the water and place your empty cup upside down over your butter. Wait 5 minutes and check.

What Can You Use Instead of Golden Syrup?

  • Light corn syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 1/2 oz caster sugar 

What Can You Use Instead of Caster Sugar?

Granulated sugar works just fine (1:1 ratio), but you might see grain shapes in your dough as it has larger crystals than caster sugar. You can do caster sugar from granulated sugar by pulsing and blending it in a food processor.

Icing sugar works well too, but it might contain cornflour and consequently taste less sweet.

What Can You Use Instead of Unsalted Butter?

You can use plant-based butter or lactose-free butter. Don’t use spreadable butter, as it might affect the consistency of the dough.

Helpful Tips When Baking Cookies

an image of vanilla cookies in different shapes topped with colorful icing

Try to leave space between your cookies on the baking sheet and bake cookies of similar size together to avoid overbaking smaller cookies.

Keep an eye on your cookies in the oven. Every oven is different and needs more or less time to achieve the same results.

You can store your uniced cookies for up to one month in an air-tight container in the freezer. Icing them can take some time; this way, you don’t have to stress about that part and can do it whenever it’s convenient for you.

Related Recipe

three delicious vanilla cupcakes

World's Best Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

This is a recipe for 12 of the most delicious and fluffy vanilla cupcakes you've ever tasted! One secret ingredient will give it the most amazing vanilla flavor, so be sure to check it out!


  • ½ cup (80g) of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (125g) of soft, unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda



  1. Beat the butter and sugar till the mix gets fluffy and pale
  2. Add the eggs one at a time
  3. Add milk and vanilla extract
  4. Add the sifted dry ingredients but don't overmix
  5. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan


  1. Sift self-raising flour into a mixing bowl with sugar and baking soda
  2. Add softened butter and eggs
  3. begin to beat on low...then turn up to medium for a minute or so
  4. While mixing, add milk and vanilla extract
  5. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds
  6. Pour batter into the cupcake pan

Bake for 22 minutes in the oven at 340° F / 170° C


All the ingredients should be at room temperature.

To bring eggs to room temperature faster, place them in a bowl of warm tap water for a few minutes.

Alternative to raising flour:: 1cup flour (120g ) + 2tsp baking powder

Don't overbeat your batter! This will add too much air to your mix, which will lead to deflated cupcakes during the cooling down process.

Do you think your cupcakes taste too eggy?

To minimize the eggy smell or taste, it is best to use fresh eggs or to run the yolks through a sieve. Just make sure to let them run down freely to get rid of the membrane around the yolk.

Is there no taste of vanilla in your cupcakes?

Avoid using cheap vanilla essence. Some of them work, but often, you need to use more than the recipe calls for. It is best to use extract (look for the seeds), as it will give the batter a lovely vanilla flavor.

How to test if your cupcakes are done?

Do the toothpick test! Stick a toothpick into one of your cupcakes. If it comes out clean and dry, the cupcakes are done. If it comes out sticky and wet, they'll need more time!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

Nutrition Disclaimer

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