The Best Amish Sugar Cookies

These Amish Sugar cookies with buttermilk are a combination of recipes from my Amish relatives. These yummy, cake-like sugar cookies are as close as I could get to the sugar cookies I spent hours scooping out onto baking sheets (over the busy holiday season) at the Amish bakery where I worked part time as a teenager. Contrary to popular belief, not all Amish sugar cookies are made with vegetable oil and confectioner’s sugar. Flipping through an old Amish recipe book, with multiple sugar cookie recipes, I found a variety of different methods and my preference has been the combination of butter and shortening, which produces a soft and fluffy, cake-like sugar cookie! See below the recipe for more Photos and Notes.

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Cakey Amish Sugar Cookies

The Best Amish Sugar Cookies

marilynpeight
These soft and fluffy sugar cookies are similar to the popular cookies sold at an Amish bakery! Add your favorite sprinkles or brown sugar for fun and tasty toppings.
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Amish
Servings 3 dozen

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk *see note.
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups flour All Purpose

Optional Toppings:

  • brown sugar and granulated sugar 1:1 ratio
  • Sprinkles

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350.

  • Cream butter, shortening and sugars together until smooth and well combined. Add room temperature eggs (see note below), buttermilk and extract. Whisk (or mix with a hand mixer) the wet ingredients until well combined.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the flour is completely incorporated and no lumps remain.
  • Drop the sugar cookies (with a spoon or ice cream scoop) onto parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the cookie dough with a half and half mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar, or press sprinkles onto the tops of the cookies. Bake the Amish sugar cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the center of the cookie is set and the cookies have lightly browned on the edges.
  • Sprinkle additional brown sugar onto the cookies (optional) and enjoy! See notes and photos below.

Notes

You can also make your own buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of whole milk. 
Keyword Amish, Sugar cookies, Soft
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you would love some more Amish bakes, try out this list of recipes below!

Step 1: Cream butter, shortening and sugars together until smooth and well combined. Add room temperature eggs (see note below), buttermilk and extract. Whisk (or mix with a hand mixer) the wet ingredients until well combined.

Why do these Amish sugar cookies use butter and shortening?

Combining butter and shortening in the recipe gives you the nice flavor of butter, while the shortening (which is 100% fat and contains no water) helps to prevent too much spread in the cookies and produces a softer, more cake-like cookie.

Why should the eggs be room temperature before being added to the mix?

Add the eggs at room temperature in order to cream them into the butter, shortening and sugars more easily. If you need to warm up cold eggs in a jiffy, you can place them in a bowl or cup and cover with hot water (not boiling). Allow the eggs to set for 10 minutes, then they are ready to be added to the cookie dough.

Help?! My sugar cookie batter separated after the buttermilk was whisked in.

The buttermilk can separate the butter and create a curdled texture in the wet ingredients when added, but not to worry, this will dissolve into a creamy and smooth batter/dough once the flour is whisked in.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the flour is completely incorporated and no lumps remain.

Chewier sugar cookies:

If you prefer chewier cookies you can try refrigerating the cookie dough for 30-60 minutes, or the dough can be frozen for 15 minutes before baking.

Step 3: Drop the sugar cookies (with a spoon or ice cream scoop) onto parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the cookie dough with a half and half mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar, or press sprinkles onto the tops of the cookies. Bake the Amish sugar cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the center of the cookie is set and the cookies have lightly browned on the edges.

Can these cookies be used for Christmas cookie platters?

These cookies make an excellent option for Christmas cookie platters because you can use your favorite Christmas sprinkles and enjoy the cookies with a hot cup of tea in front of a cozy fire or snuggled under a soft throw blanket. Enjoy!

Step 4: Additional brown sugar mixture can be added if the brown sugar melts into the cookies while baking. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Try these Sugar Cookies as whoopie pies! These soft Amish sugar cookies make some of the best whoopie pies and my family enjoys them filled with Amish homemade whoopie pie frosting or with strawberry buttercream.

Storage for these Amish sugar cookies:

Store these cookies in an airtight container. To prevent the cookies from sticking onto each other (as is common with cakey cookies) you can separate them with parchment paper. These Amish sugar cookies can be kept at room temperature for 5-7 days, or they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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7 thoughts on “The Best Amish Sugar Cookies”

  1. Pingback: Amish Pumpkin Custard Pie – This Mom Cooks

    1. Thank you! You can sign up in the columns at the bottom of the page for email updates on new recipes or follow along on Pinterest!

  2. Pingback: Amish Chocolate Whoopie Pies – This Mom Cooks

  3. 2 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly but my cookies are flat and definitely not like the sugar cakes I was expecting. Not sure what went wrong. They still tasted good though.

    1. It could be a difference in altitude or maybe even the amount of flour. I would try adding a little more flour and baking powder to help them puff up a little better. I also recommend using fresh baking soda and baking powder as they can make a big difference in cookies. Hope they turn out better for you!

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