Pennsylvania Dutch Soft Sugar Cookies



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk


1. Set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375⁰F.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir well to mix.

3. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the sugar until combined, then beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating smooth after each addition.  Lower the speed and beat in a third of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, and another third of the flour mixture.  Scrape the bowl and beater often.  Beat in the remaining buttermilk, then the remaining flour mixture.

4. Scrape the bowl and beater, then remove the bowl from the mixer, and give the dough one final mixing with the large rubber spatula.

5. Drop tablespoons of the dough 3 or 4 inches apart onto the prepared pans.

6. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they spread and rise – they should be lightly golden.

7. Slide the papers off the pans onto racks.

8. After the cookies have cooled, detach them from the paper and store them between layers of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.

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