Looking for a soft, cake-like cookie that is easy to make? These Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cookies are just what you need. Pillowy soft and topped with a simple sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, these tender cookies are a deliciously sweet treat that are easy enough to bake (and enjoy) any day of the week.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions for making a baking a batch of these comforting buttermilk cookies at home.
Why This Recipe Works
- A short list of wholesome ingredients comes together quickly to create a satisfying and comforting batch of cake-like cookies.
- Buttermilk gives the cookies a subtle tang and lots of tenderness in texture.
- They are incredibly easy....no frosting or glaze necessary! Just a simple sprinkle of cinnamon sugar which is a perfect compliment to the soft buttermilk base.
- All purpose flour forms the base of the dry ingredients for the recipe. Baking soda serves as the leavener and salt brings a balance to the sweetness of the cookie.
- Butter brings rich flavor and an egg provides structure.
- Granulated sugar serves as our sweetener, and vanilla extract brings its familiar floral notes to the recipe.
- Buttermilk provides moisture and its acidity brings a bit of tang and a lot of tenderness.
- A mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar brings warm, comforting flavor to the top of each cookie.
How to Make This Recipe
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until fully incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk. Mix on low until the dough just comes together.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Scoop tablespoon-sized portions of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, about 12 evenly-spaced cookies per sheet.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar together for the topping. Sprinkle over the top of the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are puffed but not brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Be sure to use room temperature butter, egg and buttermilk to help the dough come together nicely. Need to warm an egg to room temperature quickly? Simply let it sit in a bowl of warm (not hot) water on the counter for 10 minutes and it will be good to go.
- Don't skip the chill time! It's essential to fluffy, pillow-like cookies and will make the dough easier to scoop.
- A spring-loaded tablespoon size cookie scoop makes portioning the cookies a breeze!
- Don't over bake! the flavor of these cookies is best when they aren't browned.
To make buttermilk at home, simply add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk. Stir to combine and let it sit for 10 minutes. The vinegar or lemon juice will acidify and thicken the milk creating an easy buttermilk substitute!
They are quite moist so if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature, be sure to put a layer of parchment or wax paper in between each layer of cookies. The will tend to get almost damp (as quickly as overnight) when stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so for best results I recommend freezing the cookies you wish to enjoy at a later time (see next FAQ below).
Once the cookies are completely cool, store them in tightly sealed freezer bag or other freezer-safe storage vessel. They will keep for about 2-3 months. I take out a cookie or two and just pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they are just as good as the day they were baked!
Play around with the spices (consider adding a little cardamom to the mix, for example) or skip the cinnamon and sugar and frost the cookies instead! You could even add a quick lemon glaze like the one I use in this lemon cookie recipe.
Looking for more comforting and delicious cookie recipes? Give these a try:
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cookies
For the cookie dough:
For the topping:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue to mix until fully incorporated.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients followed by the remaining buttermilk. Mix until the dough just comes together.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough just comes together. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping together in a small bowl. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Scoop tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets leaving at least 2 inches of space between each cookie (about 12 cookies per sheet). Sprinkle the top of each cookie with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and set and not brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cookies and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #truenorthkitchen and tagging me @true_north_kitchen.