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Mom’s Buttermilk Cookies

I treasure my mother’s recipe for these comforting cookie pillows. The tender treats are topped with thick frosting and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. —Jane Darling, Simi Valley, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • For frosting, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over cookies; if desired, sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 135 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 88mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • crocherdi
    Feb 25, 2020

    You can make these cookies without leftover buttermilk or buying some . JUST MAKE YOUR OWN BUTTERMILK! Measure one cup milk with one tbsp. of white vinegar stir and let it set for a few minutes until it thickens. Works perfect!!! I never buy buttermilk!

  • Jellybug
    Nov 10, 2017


  • lukesmommy15229
    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!

  • _nlfPA
    Jun 15, 2015

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

  • mad48
    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.

  • LoadedCornbread
    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.

  • LostTime
    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.

  • shyski
    Feb 27, 2013

    No comment left

  • sarabygrace1
    Jan 19, 2013

    No comment left

  • 6foreverpaws
    Dec 19, 2012

    These are the best tasting cookie. I made these cookies for our work christmas cookie exchange and they were a huge success. They are good anytime of the year.