Two Peas and Their Pod

Recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

Recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

We go through a lot of milk at our house. Josh loves skim milk. He can really down it! We always keep a couple of gallons in our extra refrigerator. Luckily, it has been on sale lately:) I also like to keep buttermilk on hand for baking. I don’t go through it as fast though. It seems like I am always hurrying to use it before it expires.

The other day I realized I had a carton of buttermilk that was on the verge of being even
more sour:) So I decided to get out my mixer and whip up some Lemon Buttermilk Cookies. I have never made buttermilk cookies before, I usually make scones, biscuits, etc. I was excited to try a cookie!

The cookies were very soft and tender, more of a cake texture than a cookie. I am glad I added a lot of lemon zest to the dough and glaze. The lemon flavor was quite nice. They reminded me of Giada’s

Lemon Ricotta cookies that I have made! If you have made those and loved them, you will love these too! They are both REALLY good! I will be making these again, a sweet way to use up that buttermilk!

Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet (This is a half batch, it made about 30 cookies)

(Printable Recipe)

For the cookies:

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Zest of two lemons (I added extra, I love lemon)
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For the glaze:
¾ cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 ½ Tbsp. well-shaken buttermilk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Lemon zest (I added this)

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter briefly, until creamy. Add the sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat well to mix. Add the vanilla, and beat briefly again. Mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in batches at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Drop the dough by level tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 ½ inches between each cookie. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, for about 11 minutes per batch. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 1 minute; then transfer them to a wire rack.

For the glaze, whisk together the sifted confectioners sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. I also added in lemon zest. Brush or spoon the glaze onto the warm cookies. Allow cookies to sit on the rack until the glaze is set.

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87 Responses to “Recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Cookies”

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  1. lesley — March 10, 2009 @ 5:05 am

    We go through a lot of milk (mostly making yogurt), and almond milk at our house! And isn’t it wonderful when it’s on sale??

    I’ve heard you can make buttermilk with the leftover weigh when making greek yogurt but I have never tried … maybe I should … because the looks of those lemon buttermilk cookies have got me wanting some! ; )

    They sound absolutely delicious!!

  2. VeggieGirl — March 10, 2009 @ 5:16 am

    Soft & tender cookies – the best kind.

  3. Rosa's Yummy Yums — March 10, 2009 @ 5:18 am

    What great cookies! I’m addicted to buttermilk and lemon…



  4. Cathy — March 10, 2009 @ 5:36 am

    I just bought some buttermilk with no particular purpose in mind; just figured I’d bake some stuff and use it for pancakes and such. I am totally using some of it to make these cookies — they look delicious!

  5. Live.Love.Eat — March 10, 2009 @ 5:43 am

    They look so delicious!!!!! Funny, you had a surplus of buttermilk and I found myself without some. Instead of running to the store I put a lemon juice in milk. Who knew. I will have to try these cuz you know I love Giada’s!!!!!!

  6. Donna-FFW — March 10, 2009 @ 5:50 am

    Just so happens I have extra buttermilk in the fridge justwaiting on me. Guess what Im up to later. Maria.. these look awesome! Thanks for the idea!

  7. Barbara Bakes — March 10, 2009 @ 6:21 am

    I love lemon! I’ve been wanting to make lemon cookies!

  8. Shari@Whisk: a food blog — March 10, 2009 @ 6:36 am

    I love soft cookies, and lemon is one of my favorite flavors. I bet these were good!

  9. Sabrina — March 10, 2009 @ 6:40 am

    YUM!! those look amazing!

    I got my black and white cups at Target. They come in a dish set, but I think they are being clearanced out… so maybe you can get the set super cheap???

  10. Dawn — March 10, 2009 @ 6:55 am

    oh I was afraid to come over here and see these little gems! I know I would love these as I am a HUGE fan of buttermilk in baked goods.

  11. Maria — March 10, 2009 @ 6:56 am

    Lesley-I have never made yogurt, I want to try!


    Rosa-I am addicted too:)

    Cathy-I hope you try these with your buttermilk!

    LiveLoveEat-These are very similar to the ricotta cookies, which we know are so good!

    Donna-Let me know if you try these!

    Barbara-I love these lemon cookies! They are very light.

    Shari-They were good:)

    Sabrina-I will have to look for those, thanks for the info. They are too cute!

  12. Maria — March 10, 2009 @ 6:57 am

    Dawn-If you love buttermilk in baked goods, you will really love these!

  13. n.o.e — March 10, 2009 @ 7:14 am

    These cookies look so delicious! I’m a huge fan of buttermilk, and am always glad to see it in a recipe. In my view the expiration date on buttermilk is sort of a guideline; I’ve never had a problem using slightly expired buttermilk, but then again, I’ve never had this cookie recipe to use it up with!!

  14. Jenny — March 10, 2009 @ 7:14 am

    So Pretty! I can almost taste how good they would be from here! Have a great day!

  15. Kristen616 — March 10, 2009 @ 7:18 am

    Oh these look SO good! I’ve been craving lemon lately, these are so pretty and look delicious!

  16. teresa — March 10, 2009 @ 7:19 am

    Oh how delicious! I made your lemon drop cookies not too long ago, which were WONDERFUL, now I’m going to have to try these too!

  17. Peggy — March 10, 2009 @ 7:28 am

    Those cookies look amazing! But I’m still wanting to taste those roasted veges with polenta.

  18. stephchows — March 10, 2009 @ 7:34 am

    lemon cookies are just so refreshing. It’s amazing what a little lemon zest can do to add some punch!

  19. Teanna — March 10, 2009 @ 7:45 am

    Oh those look so perfect! I love the glaze on top! And you totally sold me… soft and tender! I love cookies with cake textures! I can’t wait to make these!

  20. Maria — March 10, 2009 @ 7:49 am

    n.o.e-I am weird about things going bad. I always throw things out if they are somewhat questionable:)

    Jenny-Thanks! I hope you have a great day too!

    Kristen-Make sure you add a lot of extra zest for a strong lemon flavor!

    Teresa-I am glad you liked the lemon drop cookies, I love all lemon cookies:)

    Peggy-The veggies and polenta are good!

    Stephchows-I always add tons of extra zest!

    Teanna-The cookies are very soft and the glaze is a nice finish!

  21. Peter M — March 10, 2009 @ 7:52 am

    Buttermilk seems to make everything better…and it’s good for ya too!

    This cookies would be lovely with tea.

  22. A_and_N — March 10, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    I’ve never tried to impart buttermilk flavor into cookies…and most certainly not on a glaze! This is a very interesting recipe and I am quite likely to try this sometime. Thanks for the post :)

  23. Bridgett — March 10, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    I always enjoy the tang of lemon glazed cookies. Perfect with a cup of tea! I love that cake stand, now that is darling.

  24. Pam — March 10, 2009 @ 8:42 am

    I love lemon cookies – your glaze looks perfect.

  25. Em — March 10, 2009 @ 8:42 am

    OMG these are right up my alley! So glad you commented on my blog about your pink stand (which is beautiful, btw) because I now have a new “must make” cookie. Thanks :)

  26. Maria — March 10, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    Bridget and Em-I just got the cake stand, for a good price too! I love finding bargains!

    Peter-Will have to make some tea next time around.

    A and N-I thought the buttermilk might taste to “sour” for a cookie, but I loved the flavor and texture!

  27. Elyse — March 10, 2009 @ 8:52 am

    Ooo, I just have to make these. They look so delicious. I also have some buttermilk on the verge of going “sour,” if buttermilk can do so. And I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe to use it all up. These look like they take the cake, er, cookie. Man, they look soft and delicate and melt-in-your-mouth good! Can’t wait to try them!

  28. Katherine Aucoin — March 10, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    No flavor is a warm weather welcomer like lemon. These are tops!

  29. Debbie — March 10, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    I have a weakness for cookies of any kind. Those look wondeful. Another cookie to add to my to try pile that is stacking up!!!

  30. Mary — March 10, 2009 @ 9:35 am

    I’m adicted to lemon anything. I’m going to love these for sure.

  31. Veron — March 10, 2009 @ 10:02 am

    This sounds like a delicious way to use the buttermilk. Yes, I have that problem of some going bad too!

  32. Erica — March 10, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    Another fabulous baked good. I really enjoy lemon flavored desserts and know I would enjoy these. I have to make a dessert for the little bbq we may be having this weekend. I will def be searching all of your amazing desserts :)

  33. pinkstripes — March 10, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    YUM. Your lemon buttermilk cookies look gorgeous and delicious.

  34. Maria — March 10, 2009 @ 10:22 am

    Erica-I am jealous of your warm weather, have fun at your BBQ!

  35. Colleen — March 10, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    I love lemon cookies! I always keep my buttermilk a few weeks past the expiration date – it’s sour anyway so no need to throw it out!

  36. Reeni♥ — March 10, 2009 @ 10:43 am

    I love lemon in sweets. These look divine!

  37. Jodi — March 10, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    These look delicious! I buy buttermilk too and then struggle to use it all.

  38. Emily — March 10, 2009 @ 11:05 am

    These look delightful! I like that they’re cakey.. it seems suiting for this cookie.

    Using buttermilk in a cookie is a fabulous idea! I bet they were delicious.

  39. Olivia — March 10, 2009 @ 11:08 am

    Aw these look so elegant and pretty. I can imagine these being the perfect cookie for a bridal or baby shower.

  40. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer — March 10, 2009 @ 11:23 am

    I love the idea of buttermilk in a cookie – I bet these are so moist and there would be no way I could eat just one!!

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