Amish Buttermilk Cookies Recipe

Buttermilk Cookies Amish recipe

Amish Cookies Buttermilk

Once again, buttermilk and baking powder work their magic to produce some of the most delicious old-fashioned cookies that may transport you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. These Amish buttermilk cookies are so delightfully soft and irresistible.

Some of you may enjoy these cookies without any icing on the top. But let me assure you that the caramel-flavored icing drizzled over the top takes these cookies to another level. It adds so much flavor!

Recipe for Buttermilk Cookies

What is buttermilk and why is it used? Years ago, many housewives churned their butter from the cream that settled on the top of fresh cow’s milk. And buttermilk is just the milk that’s left behind after cream is churned into butter. But not too many of us make homemade butter anymore.

And store-bought buttermilk is usually made from milk treated (or “cultured”) with lactic acid bacteria. The result is a delicious ingredient that gives baked goods a lofty rise.

Buttermilk brings a pleasant tang to cakes, biscuits, and other family favorites while adding very little fat. Like yogurt and sour cream, this acidic ingredient also helps tenderize gluten, giving baked goods a softer texture and more body.

I love to bake with buttermilk. It adds such a wonderful flavor and fluffy texture.

Typically, I like flat (at least not fat) chewy cookies. But these buttermilk cookies are puffy and more cake-like. And this cookie recipe calls for simple old-fashioned ingredients, which is my favorite kind of recipe. 

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have Buttermilk?

The good news is that you can make these cookies even if you don’t have store-bought buttermilk. You can make buttermilk with ingredients you probably already have.

Add about two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup and fill the cup with whole milk. Let it sit for five to ten minutes. It will curdle and thicken, producing homemade buttermilk.

I have made buttermilk with 2% milk before, and it works ok. However, 1% milk will not work because there’s not enough fat.

Amish buttermilk cookie dough

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies

These Amish buttermilk cookies are basic vanilla cookies that are very versatile. I drizzle or spread them with an easy homemade caramel glaze because it adds an amazing flavor, which I happen to love. But feel free to ice them with your favorite cookie icing.

You can also sprinkle the top of the glaze with chopped nuts for an added crunch.

Or you can even add different extracts to change the flavor of the buttermilk cookies. If you love lemon, substitute the vanilla extract with lemon extract or lemon juice. Add some lemon zest and ice the cookies with lemon frosting.

Have fun and get creative with this old-fashioned buttermilk cookie recipe.

Amish buttermilk cookie balls ready to bake

Yes, you can freeze this Amish cookie dough! This recipe works beautifully from frozen. Simply prepare the recipe as directed, scoop out the dough (using a cookie scoop helps to create uniform-sized balls, *affiliate link) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then freeze for about an hour. After an hour, remove from the freezer and place all of the solid cookie dough balls into an airtight container or freezer bag. Label the bag with the recipe name, date, and baking instructions, and freeze for up to two months.

Can I Freeze Buttermilk Cookies after they are Baked?

Yes, you sure can freeze buttermilk cookies. I always freeze some of mine because it keeps them fresh. And while nothing replaces a warm cookie fresh out of the oven, I prefer having the cookies baked because they’re so handy to grab for a snack or lunchbox.

Cool and ice or glaze the cookies, then store them in an airtight container. And since they are iced, you’ll want to put parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.

tray of Amish buttermilk cookies

Cookies are amazing! And I think it’s probably safe to say that they are one of the most loved treats in the world. There are so many different choices, and the flavor variety and combinations are practically endless. They are easy to transport and a convenient treat. So, who wants to bake some cookies?

The Amish have many different cookie recipes, of which I have shared a few on my blog. Of course, there’s the traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe which is often a favorite. Amish Monster Cookies Recipe was my dad’s favorite cookie, and it’s also one of my favorites. Sand Tart Cookies, Date Pinwheel Cookies, and Soft and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies are some of my favorite holiday cookies. And then, of course, there’s Whoopie Pies, which are two cookies with frosting sandwiched in the middle. These are popular cookies among the PA Dutch. Oatmeal Whoopie Pies are a favorite in our home, and a fall favorite is Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. So after you’ve tried this Amish Frosted Buttermilk Cookies Recipe, make sure to try more of these Amish favorites!

tray of Amish buttermilk cookies

Amish Buttermilk Cookies Recipe

Amish buttermilk cookies are soft and cakey, basic vanilla cookies. They are drizzled with a delicious caramel glaze that takes them over the top!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Baking in batches 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American, Amish
Servings 50 cookies
Calories 195 kcal


  • 1 c. softened butter (2 sticks) or shortening, or use 1/2 c. butter and 1/2 c. shortening
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. buttermilk or milk
  • 3/4 c. confectioners sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Cream the softened butter and sugar for a couple of minutes until fluffy.
    1 c. softened butter (2 sticks) or shortening, or use 1/2 c. butter and 1/2 c. shortening, 2 c. brown sugar
  • Add the eggs and mix.
    3 large eggs
  • Add buttermilk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
    1 c. buttermilk, 2 tsp. vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture and mix until everything is incorporated.
    4 c. flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt
  • Drop onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 – 11 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to rest on the tray for a minute before removing to a wire cooling rack.
  • Cool completely then drizzle or spread with glaze.

Cookie Glaze:

  • Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Whisk and bring to a rolling boil.
    1/2 c. butter (1 stick), 1 c. brown sugar
  • Remove from the heat, add milk, and whisk.
    1 Tbsp. buttermilk or milk
  • Add powdered sugar and whisk until it is smooth and creamy. Cool. The glaze will thicken as it cools. But if the glaze seems too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk.
    3/4 c. confectioners sugar


These buttermilk cookies are basic cookies which makes them versatile. Some people might enjoy them without any glaze. The glaze in this recipe has an amazing caramel flavor, but you can frost or glaze these cookies with any of your favorite frosting recipes.
For an added crunch, you can sprinkle chopped pecans over the top of the glaze.
For another variation: Feel free to add lemon zest and lemon extract to the dough instead of vanilla, and drizzle them with lemon frosting.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 150mgPotassium: 52mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 200IUCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Amish buttermilk cookies recipe
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4 thoughts on “Amish Buttermilk Cookies Recipe

  1. Hi Anna,
    Just wondering if honey or maple syrup would work as a substitute in this recipe?

    1. I have never tried this and am guessing it would produce a bit different result. But if you try it and it works, let me know.

  2. 5 stars
    Amish Buttermilk Cookies Recipe
    Awesome recipe. Delicious and came out just like the recipe pictured.
    Not too sweet. I can see this as a go to recipe with so many possible variations.
    Thanks for sharing.

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