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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The Best Amish Sugar Cookies
- 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
- brown sugar and granulated sugar 1:1 ratio
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.
If you would love some more Amish bakes, try out this list of recipes below!
- Amish Honey Bread
- Amish chocolate chip cookies
- Amish Pumpkin Whoopie pies
- Amish Chunky M&M cookies (a.k.a. Monster cookies).
- Amish Cinnamon Apple Pumpkin bread
- Amish pumpkin cookies with caramel frosting
- Amish Soft pretzels
- Amish Garlic pretzel knots
- Amish homemade pizza dough
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.
Add the eggs at room temperature in order to cream them into the butter, shortening and sugars more easily.
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 Amish sugar cookie dough onto parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle with your choice of the brown sugar mixture or sprinkles.
These cookies make an excellent option for Christmas because you can use your favorite Christmas sprinkles and enjoy the cookies with a hot cup of tea!
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.