This buttermilk cookie recipe creates cakey, sweet, and soft cookies. Found in a handwritten vintage recipe book, this cookie has a delicious vanilla flavor that doesn’t need any icing or glaze.
If you have buttermilk to use up, you may also like homemade buttermilk biscuits or 4 ingredients Irish soda bread.
This recipe is a drop cookie recipe like cream cheese pecan cookies which means you don’t need to roll out any dough or slice it into individual cookies. It makes cookie-making faster.
In This Post: Everything You Need to Know for Buttermilk Cookies
I love an old cookbook and that’s exactly where I found this vintage recipe. I found a few new to me cookbooks recently at an Amish store. This recipe comes not from the printed pages but was handwritten into the pages. These cookies remind me of the light and cakey cookies my great-grandma used to make to fill her cookie jar. I think you will love them as much as I do.
- Granulated Sugar – this unsurprisingly gives the cookies their sweetness
- Lard or Butter – the original recipe called for lard, I used butter because that’s what I have on hand. The butter adds a little more flavor but does make the cookies dense than using lard would
- Eggs – Use large eggs in recipes unless otherwise specified.
- Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can mix 3/4 cup of milk with 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice
- Baking Powder – One of the two leavening agents that helps to give the cake its light texture
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour
- Baking Soda – Another leavening agent to help the cake rise
- Vanilla – The original recipe didn’t share how much vanilla to add, I used 1 teaspoon like typical cookie recipes and it turned out great.
- Salt – Salt helps to elevate all the flavors
How to Make Buttermilk
Buttermilk is very easy to make if you don’t have any on hand! For every 1 cup of milk, add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add to the recipe as directed.
Variations and Substitutions
Lard Substitute -Shortening is probably the closest swap for the lard. Shortening is also 100% fat made from vegetable oil instead of animal fat. Butter is the easiest substitution and is what I used in this recipe. It gives a buttery flavor to the recipe. I used a one-to-one ratio for butter.
Add frosting – The original recipe calls for no glaze or added frosting and that’s how my family prefers this simple cookie. If you prefer adding frosting I recommend homemade chocolate icing or this sugar cookie icing without corn syrup to top these cookies. Top the frosting with sprinkles or chopped walnuts.
How to Make Buttermilk Cookies
- In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until creamy. This is a very important step when making cookies! You need the butter and sugar to become one unit.
- Add 2 eggs and mix on medium speed. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and stir until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients string slowing until well combined.
- Using a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon, gently spoon onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350˚ F oven or until the top just starts to crack or the edges are just starting to turn brown. let cool on a cooling rack.
Creaming the Butter and Sugar: Really beat together the softened butter and sugar until it feels grainy and soft. Beating the air into the butter and sugar helps to create a light and airy cookie. Typically it takes 3 minutes of beating them together at high speed to get the desired result.
Don’t over-bake your cookies. The cookie should not show any light golden brown on the top of the cookies. If it does, you have overbaked them and they will be drier in taste. You want to bake the cookie until it just looks done which is a very light golden edge starting on one side.
Watch the timing of the cookies. Set your oven timer to 7 minutes and start checking the cookies every minute. Every oven is different and heats differently. Even a different batch in the same oven can be different so check every time you put a pan of cookies into the oven.
Don’t bake more than one rack of cookies at a time. If you overcrowd the oven, it does affect the results. Cookies need to be baked on one rack only if you want optimum results and even baking. Do not use convection heat as that circulates the air and will bake the cookies on the outside before the inside has had a chance to rise and bake.
More Delicious Drop Cookies
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Cup salted butter
- 1 large eggs
- 3/4 Cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350˚ F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until creamy. Add 2 eggs and mix on medium speed. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and stir until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients stirring slowing until well combined.
- Using a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon, gently spoon onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the top just starts to crack or the edges are just starting to turn brown. Let cool on a cooling rack.
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