Pennsylvania Dutch Soft Sugar Cookies

"These drop cookies are like little butter cakes. They are soft, rich, and melt in your mouth. There are some preparation and storage hints I would suggest in making these. I also found this dough very soft and sticky, so I added about 1/2 cup extra flour (use your judgement when you make it), then refrigerated it for about an hour. I still found it extremely soft and sticky, so my solution was to keep a glass of warm water next to me while I formed the cookies. I dipped my cookie scoop (which I recommend using) into the water about every 3 cookies to keep the dough from sticking to it, and I found that worked perfectly, giving me evenly shaped cookies that didn't stick to the scoop. If you're using a spoon you might not have as much trouble, but keep the glass of warm water next to you for you spoons and/or fingersjust in case you find it difficult to push the dough from the spoon. I would also suggest storing them, loosely packed, in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers; if they are touching, eventually they will discolor slightly at those spots where they do touch because of the moisture in them. Even if they do discolor slightly, however, they are still delicious! The recipe is from The Beechmont Inn."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 375; line cookie sheets with baking parchment paper for best results, but you can grease or use non-stick spray if necessar-- I use the non-stick spray all the time.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • Cream together sugar and butter.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat; then add the vanilla and beat.
  • Stir the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, into the sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
  • Drop by tablespoons or a small scoop (about 1 tablespoon capacity) onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with additional granulated sugar (I will flatten the tops just very slightly to hold more sugar) and bake for 7-10 minutes, until just firm.
  • Wait just a minute and then remove from the cookie sheets and cool on a rack.
  • *Asa substitute for the buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and add milk to make 1 cup; let stand for 10 minutes before using.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


    Needs at least half a cup more sugar and 1 extra tsp vanilla. Reduce heat by about 10-15 degrees ( 15 if using dark colored cookie sheet). These are cakey as is, and do puff up in the center, but lack the flavor until you add those extras. They will burn (too dark brown) around edges before centers plump, unless you reduce heat so it has more time to rise and heat. If you're from PA and wanting to make sugar cookies like the ones that come in the packs at Turkey Hill with the colored sugar on top, use my additions :) These are a tad lighter in texture, but the closest recipe I have found without a TON of tweaking. 7 mins was perfect for this recipe on a dark pan with my changes.
  2. Tys Kitchen
    These cookies are a cross between a cookie and a biscuit - they are not as sweet as a traditional cookie. However they are still yummy. I think next time, I might ice them instead of using coloured sugar.
  3. MommaEllen
    I made this for the OAMC freezer tag and will definitely make these again. I think the buttermilk made these better sugar cookies than other recipes we have tried. We did as the author stated and added more flour to the recipe to help with the stickiness. They were still hard to scoop, so I refrigerated the dough and then scooped. The first batch I froze the scooped, raw dough and then thawed them for about 1 hour and baked. The second batch I froze some cookies already baked and thought these were better than the first batch.We added sugar sprinkles to pretty them up and they didn't last long in our house. Thank you for the great recipe!


I enjoying cooking, baking and experimenting with new, ethnic, and out-of-the-ordinary recipes. I live in Pennsylvania with my crazy cat, Da Fuzz (aka Demoncat), who is spoiled beyond human comprehension.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes