Authentic Easy Japanese Butter Cookies

by momen

This is a simple traditional Japanese recipe of butter cookies. They are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the inside. This contains only 6 ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. To make the cookie dough, all you need to do is place all ingredients in a food processor and mix. You will love the delicate and melt-in-the-mouth texture.

What are the traditional cookies in Japan?

I think there are 2 types of standard Japanese cookies below.

Butter cookies

I often see them at souvenir stores, and at baked snakes corner in every grocery stores. The cookies of this picture is the one from my regular convenience store.

Some people might recognize it as homemade cookies rather than purchasing one. Because you can easily cut into beautiful shapes with cookie cutters. I recently enjoyed making cookies with kids at the house party.

Cat’s tongue cookies (Langues de chat)

The second one is cat’s tongue cookies. Yoku Moku and Shiroi Koibito are very familiar brands in Japan. Cat’s tongue cookies are more buttery and crunchy. My new favorite is soft served ice cream in this cookie. (Here is more about.) You can find them in shopping malls or highway rest area on rare occasion.

The company specializes in cookies

However the most famous Japanese cookie brand would be Aunt Stella. A founder of this company is a man from Pennsylvania back in 1980. He made cookies with his relative Stella’s recipes. Now Japanese president runs the domestic company. They cover around 30 different Japanese styled cookie varieties. In addition, they uniquely have all-you-can-eat-cookies for an hour in some cafe style stores. (If you are interested, continue to read this article.) When you see a lady logo on a cookie shop sign in Japan, please remember the delicious cookie brand.

Let’s talk about this recipe. Firstly, I should mention about my university friend. When we were during the time, she gave me her delicious butter cookies for my birthday every year. It’s unforgettable taste and lately I asked her about her recipe. Then I simplified the recipe with the same ingredients into food processor version that works very well. A hand blender also can be used. I’m very happy to share the best ever butter cookie recipe.

Thank you for reading the post. I’m uploading new recipe every week from Tokyo.

Authentic Easy Japanese Butter Cookies

Servings: 20 Cookies


  • 2 Cup (240g) cake flour substitute for all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup (100g) caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 120 g butter chilled and diced
  • 1 egg well beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Place the flour and sugar into a food processor and pulse until blended. If you use granulated sugar, firstly pour the sugar only into a blender or food processor. Blend the sugar until it is a fine.
  • Add the butter and pulse until sandy. Then add the egg and the vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture until a dough forms. Scraping down sides as needed.
  • Take the dough out. Then knead and form into a ball.
  • Divide the dough in half, and place one of the dough in a bow. Add the cocoa powder and well combine with hands.  
  • Pat the plain dough into rectangle shape. And put the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out the dough to 5 mm thick. Repeat with the remaining cocoa dough.
  • Wrap the 2 sheets of dough in plastic wrap. And refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 C / 325 F / gas mark 3.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough with a knife or cookie cutters into desired shapes and arrange on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Then cool on the baking sheet until firm.


If you use a hand mixer, sift the flour first. Then beat the butter (room temperature) in a bowl and add the sugar. After blending sugar, add the egg and vanilla extract, then mix. Lastly Add the flour, then incorporate with a rubber spatula until a dough forms. Remaining step is the same as original.

Resource about Aunt Stella is here.(Japanese)

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