Recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

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lemon buttermilk cookies

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!

Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

4 from 4 votes
Cook Time
11 minutes


  • For the cookies:
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 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
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest


  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Maria Lichty

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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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. I too am a HUGE skim milk drinker!
    A tip on the buttermilk…they sell dried buttermilk in the baking section. And I have yet to find a difference between it and the liquid type. And it lasts a year if you store it in the fridge.

  2. YUM! They sound fantastic! I always seem to have extra buttermilk after a biscuits and gravy day… Hmmm… cookies would be a great way to use it up!

  3. These sure look great! Just thought I would stop by and tell you that the TV thing went well. We didn’t get to cover everything we wanted, but it was good and they put a link to the Hive on their site. I’ve gotten a few emails already! Thanks again so much for all your support!

  4. You have made me hungry. I LOVE the looks of these cookies. I have never made lemon cookies but I am now! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  5. Ooh these are nice cookies. I do love baking with buttermilk and try to remind myself to sub it in when milk is called for. It adds such richness!

  6. Okay, these cookies are light and so good. I like them because they were not heavy feeling.

    Oh, I made your coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They are great, but they are a little too rich for me. Tonight we are going to try your parmesan potato pancake. I am excited. I will tell you how we like them.

  7. Leslie-I didn’t know about dried buttermilk, thanks for the great tip!

    PheMom-You did awesome today!! Thanks for mentioning The Hive, I hope you are relaxing now!

    Robin Sue-I love baking with buttermilk too!

    Emily-Sorry the cookies were too rich, we like things rich:) Let me know how the pancake goes! Enjoy!

  8. I love a good lemon cookie, I need to try buttermilk in a batch–it’s an awesome baking ingredient. My hubby also LOVES milk lol.

  9. yum!! i love lemon flavors! these look amazing with that icing. and the buttermilk cookies don’t sound half bad, either 🙂 i totally want some right now!!

  10. A great ecipe for using up that buttermilk. A problem I seem to always have when I buy it. These look as pretty as a springtime blossem! Perfect for a tea party.

  11. what delightful cookies!
    fact: my uncle (a dairy farmer who often drinks milk straight from the cow) calls skim milk “white water”… 🙂

  12. I know exactly what you mean about buttermilk. I have some on its way out right now….can’t we buy small ones of low or non-fat?

  13. We get through an awful lot of milk too. I’m not really a breakfast eater, but I always like a glass of milk, after my morning cuppa tea, of course. Your lemon cookies look great, but I love anything lemony.

  14. WOW, those look amazing! I, too, am always trying to use up my buttermilk. Love those lemon ricotta biscuits from Giada, too. So can’t wait to try this!! Glad we connected on Twitter.

  15. These are so soft and light! I just made a batch and really like them. So glad you added extra lemon because the flavor really isn’t too strong still. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I have made Giada’s lemon ricotta cookies, and I know I would love these lemon buttermilk cookies. I don’t usually like cake-like cookies, but these are an exception.

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