Rating: 5 stars
2 Ratings
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Grandma Amico made the best buttermilk sugar cookies. These cookies are soft and fluffy and a family tradition for us. Not just for the holidays, but whenever we get the urge for cookies, we make these. I will also leave dough in the fridge for up to a week and make cookies whenever I like. Dough freezes well for later cookie baking.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
10 mins
2 hrs 15 mins
2 hrs 40 mins
2 dozen cookies


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix sugar, shortening, buttermilk, and egg together in the bowl of an electric stand mixer (such as KitchenAid®) until creamy.

  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Beat into sugar mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Leave dough to set in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours to overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Roll dough out on a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin to desired thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until bottoms begin to lightly brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on wax paper or a wire rack, 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Combine confectioners' sugar and milk in a bowl. Mix into a paste, adding more sugar or milk as needed. Spread frosting thinly onto cooled cookies and cover with sprinkles.

Cook's Notes:

Make sure to use a level teaspoon of baking soda and a heaping teaspoon of baking powder.

Grandma Amico used to say to never combine different cookie shapes on a sheet because different cookie shapes differ in size, and therefore vary in cooking time. If you don't cook them long enough, they will fall. If you cook them too long, they will brown on the edges and get hard. Over the years, I have had to vary the cooking time and temperature of these cookies depending on the oven I used, so it's always good to do a small test batch before you commit to a baking time and temperature. If you find your cookies are flat, you need to lower the temperature and bake a little longer.

The frosting is easiest to work with not chilled, as it spreads better on the cookies.

Nutrition Facts

153 calories; protein 2.1g; carbohydrates 25.9g; fat 4.7g; cholesterol 8mg; sodium 170.8mg. Full Nutrition