Recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

By Maria Lichty

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lemon buttermilk cookies

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We go through a lotof 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!

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Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

These light and fluffy lemon cookies with sweet glaze are delightful!
4.27 from 15 votes



  • 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 shet 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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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I made your strawberry cake last weekend, had a ton of buttermilk leftover. This weekend, it was these cookies and banana buttermilk muffins. All delicious! 🙂

  2. These look fantastic. Buttermilk and milk can be frozen if they can’t be used up in time. Thawed milk works perfectly in baking and cooking.

  3. The texture of my dough — and thus, the baked cookies — is too doughy. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  4. I am an avid buttermilk fan for baking..first time for cookies though. And what  refreshing, tasting cookies these turned out to be. Ran out of lemon zest when it came time to make glaze, so substituted lemon juice for the worked Easy peasy recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    What an excellent recipe! I have a lot of goats milk on hand since I’ve been milking one of my girls. Over a quart a day! Plus I make homemade butter and have leftover buttermilk. I ‘ve been looking for a good use of buttermilk and these cookies are delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    I made your recipe because I had to use buttermilk in another recipe, had 1/2 carton left. OMG!!! Melt in your mouth when warm (delicious cold too)!! My husband hit the nail on the head when he said the sweetness was just right!! I was wondering if you could make a batch up and freeze them for later use?

  7. 1 star
    I don’t know what went wrong. I followed the recipe exactly to a T. I even used unbleached APF like the recipe called for. I didn’t over bake them, but they came out either too dry or too doughy. I’ve made lemon cookies before with a boxed cake mix and they were so much better! And I don’t understand how you can make lemon cookies and glaze without any lemon juice or extract and only a couple of tsps. of zest for the whole recipe! I added real lemon juice to the glaze which made it a lot better. Too bad the cookies were terrible.

  8. 5 stars
    My husband loved these! I made the following edits: full stick of butter, zest of 3 lemons, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1tsp vanilla extract. I baked for 12 mins and should have gone 2 more minutes. Great flavor and texture!

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