These scrumptious Lemon Buttermilk Cookies will tickle your taste buds with their tangy and sweet flavor. Made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and creamy buttermilk, they’re soft and chewy cookies, and completely addictive.
Why This Recipe Works
- Bright, tangy and refreshing lemon flavor
- Soft and chewy texture
- Great recipe for spring and summer and look so pretty on cookie trays.
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- large eggs
- fresh lemon juice
- fresh lemon zest (dried lemon peel could be substituted in a pinch)
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- sifted confectioner’s sugar
How to Make Lemon Buttermilk Cookies
Step 1: In the large bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream butter and sugar over medium-high speed.
Step 2: Once that starts getting creamy, mix in the eggs.
Step 3: Next comes the buttermilk (shake it well before pouring into measuring cup), lemon juice and lemon zest.
Step 4: In a separate medium bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda together. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; start at a low speed, mixing well. The dough will be thick and wet. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Step 5: Use a cookie scoop to drop level tablespoons of dough onto a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Keep the cookie dough in the fridge between batches.
Step 6: Bake for 8-10 minutes until set but not brown. It usually only takes me 8 minutes. The edges will start to turn a light golden brown, but the cookies will be pale and fluffy. If they’re set, they’re ready. Don’t let them turn golden!
Step 7: Sift powdered sugar over the tops of the warm cookies, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool cookies completely. Sprinkle on extra powdered sugar, if desired.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- For the perfect pillowy, fluffy cookies, cookie dough should be chilled before baking to avoid spreading too much. These cookies do spread some, though. I usually bake nine cookies at a time on each cookie sheet or use large baking sheets for a dozen.
- Cookies will be done before they look done. The bottom edges will start turning a light golden brown and the tops will just be set, but the cookies will still look pale.
- Use lime or orange zest instead of lemon.
- Add poppy seeds, white chocolate chips or dried cranberries to the dough.
- For a boost of flavor, you can add a tiny bit of vanilla extract, almond extract, or even lemon extract for extra lemon goodness.
Buttermilk is a tangy, acidic milk that is made by adding cultures to regular milk. It is often used in baking and cookie recipes because its acidity can react with baking soda or baking powder in a chemical reaction to help the cookies rise and become tender and fluffy.
Yes, you can make your own homemade buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for a few minutes to curdle. This will create a similar acidic reaction to buttermilk.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Lemon Buttermilk Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold
- 2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh lemon zest or dried lemon peel
- 4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar
- In electric mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and eggs well. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon peel.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Mix into wet ingredients well. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets (lined iwth parchment paper or sprayed lightly with cooking spray.)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set, but not brown. Baking time will vary oven to oven so start checking at 8 minutes!
- Sift powdered sugar over the tops of warm cookies, remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Add additional powdered sugar to cooled cookies, if desired.