Mom's Buttermilk Cookies Recipe
Mom's Buttermilk Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Mom's Buttermilk Cookies Recipe

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4.5 11 18
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Jane Darling of Simi Valley, California shares her mother's recipe for these comforting "cookie pillows". The tender treats are jazzed up with thick frosting and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:18 servings
Quick Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 18 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (2 each) equals 268 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 184 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. For the frosting, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl; beat until smooth. Frost the cookies; sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Mom's Buttermilk Cookies in Quick Cooking January/February 2000, p46

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Reviewed Mar. 8, 2016

"As my 15 year old drummer son would say, "These cookies ROCK!" I made them, exactly as written. I tinted the frosting pink and added red edible glitter for Valentine's Day. I made a double batch and took them to work and to my son's rock band practice. They were INHALED! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!"

Reviewed Jun. 15, 2015

"These are really delicious. The buttermilk makes them a nice moist cookie. I will definitely make them again!"

Reviewed Jan. 13, 2015

"Okay. Very soft. I did not use the icing as I'm diabetic. I'm sure the icing would have brought it up to a super taste. You could taste the buttermilk and left just kind of a dull taste."

Reviewed Jan. 1, 2014

"This is a really good recipe! I used a brown butter frosting and the nutty flavor was just right for these cookie--not too sweet. I'm making another batch today for my sis-in-law, and I think I'll try the peppermint frosting. Thanks for the wonderful recipe."

Reviewed Jul. 21, 2013

"When you are looking for a recipe that uses the left over buttermilk that you bought for another recipe (why don't they package the buttermilk in a smaller size than a quart?), these cookies work. They are yummy and so easy to make. The yield is correct (3 dozen cookies). However, when I saw 3 1/2 cups of xxx sugar, I knew that would leave one with too much leftover frosting. So like someone else mentioned here, I made up my own frosting recipe. Three tablespoons butter, 2 cups xxx sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. It made enough to frost all the cookies with just a little frosting left over. Cupcake Princess used 1 cup xxx sugar, but I thought it would not be enough frosting for all the cookies. Next time I will use a little less than 2 cups of xxx sugar, adjust the other ingredients and see if I can get closer to a perfect amount of frosting. So if you make these cookies, it will not be a waste of your time. The recipe is a keeper."

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