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These Buttermilk Cookies are soft & buttery and topped with a smooth vanilla frosting. Keep them as-is or add sprinkles for a fun flair!

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Frosted Buttermilk Cookies stacked on each other with plates in the background.

I grew up just down the road from my paternal grandparents and it was THE BEST. We’d ride our bikes or 4-wheelers down the gravel road to see Grandma & Grandpa and have a snack. Grandma would almost always have a container of Kolaches, frosted oatmeal raisin cookies or these homemade buttermilk cookies on the counter or at least in the freezer.

We were spoiled. And though Grandma doesn’t bake anymore, I’m SO thankful these recipes have been passed on for us to enjoy for years to come! I hope you enjoy this buttermilk cookie recipe as much as the fifteen Gent grandchildren do! 🙂

Ingredients needed to make Buttermilk Cookies with Frosting.

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter – I use salted butter.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs – I use large eggs.
  • Vanilla
  • Buttermilk – This recipe is great for using up leftover buttermilk. However, if you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own (see below).
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Frosting Ingredients – Powdered Sugar, Butter, Vanilla and Milk

How to Make Buttermilk

If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, no worries. Making your own is really simple. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar OR lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Add milk until you reach the 1 cup line. Give it a stir and you’ve got buttermilk!

Frosted Buttermilk Cookies stacked on each other with white plates and a glass of milk in the background.

How to Make Buttermilk Cookies?

First, you’ll cream together the butter and sugar. I find it easiest to use a stand mixer, but you can also use a hand mixer or the power of your arms! 😉

Then it’s time to mix in the eggs and vanilla.

Dough mixing in a stand mixer.

Next, you’re going to alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk.

You’ll want to use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to make sure everything is well-incorporated.

Dough mixing in a stand mixer.

Once everything is combined, it’s time to chill the dough. I do NOT recommend skipping this step or you won’t have the delicious cake-like texture you’re going for with this cookie.

Cookie dough ready to be baked on a silicone baking mat.

Now that your dough has had a chance to chill, it’s time to bake. I recommend using a cookie scoop to make evenly-sized cookies and be sure to give the cookies some space to expand as they bake. The baking time is just 8-10 minutes on a lined baking sheet (though ovens vary and might be more like 10-12 minutes for some).

Frosting mixing.

Once the buttermilk sugar cookies have cooled, you’ll make a thick frosting and lather it on for the most delicious soft buttermilk sugar cookie!

What Does Buttermilk do to Cookies?

You’ve probably seen buttermilk in a variety of recipes – you’ll see it in buttermilk biscuits, cookies, cakes, etc. When buttermilk is combined with baking soda or powder, there is a chemical reaction that gives off carbon dioxide gas and therefore adds an airy texture to your baked goods. For this recipe, the buttermilk is going to give a very subtle tangy, amazing flavor and an incredible cakey cookie.

Buttermilk cookies that are frosted and in a silver bowl.

How to Store Buttermilk Cookies

These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature, up to 5 days in the fridge and 1-2 months in the freezer. I recommend adding a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper between layers of cookies so they don’t stick together.

I hope you love these little tender treats!! Bring them to family gatherings, add them to cookie trays….or just hide them and keep them to yourself! I won’t tell. 😉

Two buttermilk cookies (top one has a bite out of it) on a piece of wax paper with a glass of milk in the background.

Other Favorite Cookie Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Waffle Cookies

Double Chocolate Crackle Cookies

White Chocolate Biscoff Cookies

Blueberry Cookies

Buttermilk Cookies in a silver basket with milk and plates in the background.
5 from 4 votes

Buttermilk Cookies

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 28 minutes
60 cookies
These Buttermilk Cookies are soft & buttery and topped with a smooth vanilla frosting. Keep them as-is or add sprinkles for a fun flair!

Ingredients
 

Cookies

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Instructions

For the Cookies

  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Add 2 cups of the flour, the baking soda and salt; mix until just combined.
  • Add about half of the buttermilk and stir.
  • Add the remaining flour; mix; scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Finally, stir in the remaining buttermilk.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Do NOT skip the chill time!
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until very a very light golden brown around the edges.
  • Remove from the oven; let set for 5 minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack.

Make the Frosting

  • In a large bowl, mix the butter until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk; stir.
  • Add additional milk if needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Spread frosting over the cooled cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 125.17kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.51g | Protein: 1.24g | Fat: 4.81g | Saturated Fat: 2.91g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.24g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.38g | Cholesterol: 17.72mg | Sodium: 53.59mg | Fiber: 0.22g | Sugar: 13.04g | Calcium: 8.87mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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9 Comments

  1. Going to try this recipe sound yummy! Want to know more about the frosted oatmeal raisin! My family loves oatmeal raisin.

    1. I’ll be posting those hopefully in the next couple of weeks!! 🙂

  2. Laura Kirk says:

    I plan to bake these cookies soon. You did not specify what size cookie scoop. Can you help me?

  3. Millie Mintzer says:

    5 stars
    Very easy to make and very tasty, tender cookies. Yum!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the exact recipe my mother used to make Christmas cookies. She would use the Christmas cookie cutters. We would help frost with colored frosting and sprinkles. So soft and chewy. I love them. I’ve made these for years, carrying on the tradition.

  5. 5 stars
    Just plain decadent.
    Recipe easy to follow.
    BEST made while dancing to Donna Summer and The Bee Gees.

  6. 5 stars
    Exquisite cookies! My son and daughter-in-law made these for me for Mother’s Day and I immediately had to have the recipe. They have a wonderfully tender consistency and light flavor that makes you want to keep eating them until they’re all gone. The glaze is terrific and I also think they’d be good as sandwich halves with a cream cheese filling. These are definitely going into my rotation!

  7. I plan to make these cookies for my twin boys first birthday. These are delicious. I added sprinkles to the frosting and it made so festive. These are hands-down the best cookies I’ve ever made.