Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies

vanilla buttermilk cookies
For the December holiday season last year, I made a slew of cookies.  A slew, I tell ya.  Eight different kinds as a matter of fact, handily a new record for me. 

Not sure if that’s not keeping up with the Joneses or if I went overboard but regardless, the holidays made for an excellent excuse to try out a bunch of recipes I’ve been wanting to give a whirl.

Full disclosure, several of them were only half batches, just to see, just in case. 

And indeed, there were a few don’t-repeat clunkers in the mix, so whew, not too many ingredients were lost.  Have no fear though, not a single cookie was wasted as we have a hearty list of cookie recipients. 

As it turned out too, folks liked ones I hadn’t been a fan of.  Whew again!

Of the new-to-me’s, several were definite winners.  Big time. 

Weirdly, as I was very much not expecting this, these Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies turned out to be my favorite newbie of the bunch.  I could not stop eating them.  I could not stop thinking about them all day, every day.  It was bonkers…

plated vanilla buttermilk cookied viewed from above
Pillows from Heaven should be their real name.
…As a matter of fact, lemme uh go slink on downstairs to the freezer and grab the uh baggie of leftovers as I should uh, yeah, double ensure that uh, these are uh, cough, share-worthy.  Ahem. 

Arriving home from work the day the cookies resurfaced, “what are those, babe?  Huh?  What, what are those?”  Mike all a-twitter greedily reached for the bag before he even took his coat off.  Stuffing one into his mouth, “oooh, yes, yes, these were good, I remember these, oh yes, I like these.”  

Mike Stamp of Approval = goooood cookies. 

As we quickly discovered too, these cookies freeze extremely well, like you’d never know they’d ever been frozen.

(By the way, the Russian Buttercream held up fantastically after being frozen too.  Thumbs up!)
Seriously though, I have not been able to get these cookies out of my head.  I know, it’s April. 

(Do check out the growing collection of cookie recipes, so many tasty ones, I meannnn, seriously!)

But how on earth were there leftovers?  As my baking list was lengthy and I wasn’t paying complete attention and my schedule was hairy, some were accidentally made as full batches.  Doh.  

Plus somehow we didn’t make it through the cookies I reserved for the two of us.  ???  I know, right?

Joyously though, these were an accidental full batch.  Yessss.

You can’t go wrong with either recipe though, that’s for sure. 

These soft, delicately vanilla cookies with a whiff of buttermilk were quite different from anything else I baked last holiday season as they were cakey.  Not my typical M.O. though I don’t purposefully avoid cakey either.

Luckily as an added bonus, because they are so flippin’ habit-forming, they’re super simple to make so you can bake them any ol’ time of year, any time, all the time.   Wait, is that good or bad?  No, good, definitely good. 

I know, I know, I’m gonna make you buy some buttermilk here but trust me, it is sooo going to be worth it.  If you get the pint size container, I will make the atypical purchase worth your while and you’ll use up the rest with my recipe next time. 

So right, I mean, this recipe could not be any simpler.  

After you’ve set out your ingredients to come to room temp and you’ve spent that hour trying to stencil paint a tile floor or what have you, it only takes a scant few minutes to pull the batter together.  Honestly, it’ll be ready before the oven is so jump start your preheat ahead of time. 

Start by creaming the butter and sugar together.  Ok, that always sounds terribly vague, right?  Like how does one know what it’s supposed to look and be like?  Here, King Arthur provides a good, clear answer.

creaming butter and sugar in a mixer
Here we go, creamed butter and sugar.
So while that’s spinning away, assemble your dry ingredients in a small bowl and give a quick fluff with a fork to stir. 

Next up, add the eggs and vanilla to the mixer bowl* and stir that around on low until things have mingled together.  Once that’s good to go, pour in the buttermilk and stir that around a bit.

adding eggs to sugar and butter
Don’t freak out here when it gets curdly-looking, it’s gonna be just fine.
All that’s left is to add those dry ingredients so tap them in while the mixer is running on low.  You could likely sub in gluten-free flour for the all-purpose though I have not tested it.  Once the dry are in, turn the mixer off after a few turns around the bowl and the batter is mostly blended but not completely.  A couple of hand stirs with a nice big spatula* will finish it, making sure everything is up off the bottom.

finished cookie batter mixed in mixer bowl
Beecaaauuuse, look how beautiful this batter is…I mean, c’mon, this is ridiculous.
Plop spoonfuls of batter onto a cookie sheet* and bake away for about twelve to fifteen minutes until they’re nicely mounded with an ever so slight, near imperceptible golden hue then get them onto a cooling rack.*

dollops of batter on cookie sheet
They don’t spread much but giving them some room is never a bad idea.
When the cookies have cooled, stir together the icing ingredients and dollop a spoonful on each, spreading it around with the back of the spoon or an offset spatula.*

icing ingredients in a bowl to be mixed
The icing ingredients…
Let the icing set up then exercise some serious self-control in not cramming every last delightfully soft, gracefully light, slightly crispy-topped cookie in your eager, eager mouth.

icing the baked vanilla buttermilk cookies
Just enough icing to coat is all that’s needed.
Man.  I really really love these cookies.

plated vanilla buttermilk cookies
Nom nom nom, I want to pull these through the screen and eat them.
Good luck!
vanilla buttermilk cookies

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies

48 cookies
Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
15 Min
Total time
25 Min
Soft, cakey vanilla cookies with a sweet icing, all tinged with buttermilk, these are amazingly obsession-worthy.


  • 3/4 cup (198 g, 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) vanilla
  • 2/3 cup (158 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (44 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups (151 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
  2. Add the softened butter and sugar to the bowl of a mixer and cream until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. While the butter and sugar are creaming, in a small bowl add the dry ingredients and fluff mix with a fork.
  4. Add the eggs and the vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar, mixing on low until combined. Next add the buttermilk and mix on low to incorporate.
  5. Lastly, add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and blend until just combined, turn the mixer off and stir by hand with a large spatula a couple times to make sure everything has come together.
  6. With a soup spoon, drop mounds of dough (a generous tablespoon and a half or so) onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until very barely golden. Remove the cookies to a rack to cool.
  7. While the cookies are cooling, combine the icing ingredients in a small bowl until it’s lump-free and smooth. Top the cooled cookies with a spoonful, spreading the icing with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
  8. Let the icing set up and serve. Store in an airtight container.


Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

cookies, vanilla, buttermilk

*The stand mixers, silicone and offset spatulas, cookie sheets, and cooling racks are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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