These delicious Kentucky butter cake cookies are easy to make and have a soft and buttery flavor! They’re topped with a sweet buttery sauce (aka glaze) on top creating a a cookie you have to try.
Ever since my family tried the Crumbl Kentucky Butter cake cookies last year, I’ve been obsessed with coming up with a Kentucky butter cookie recipe so that we don’t have to wait for those very rare occasions that Crumbl cookies is actually offering their butter cookie.
Because let’s face it – it’s easily the best cookie they offer.
While these aren’t copycat recipes (there are plenty of those out there), they are a great alternative because they’re so easy to make and absolutely delicious. And they taste buttery enough like the crumbl cookie recipe that they definitely give me my Kentucky Butter cookie fix.
The base of the batter starts with a butter flavored cake mix instead of using typical dry ingredients (like all purpose flour), which gives you a great butter flavor.
While I made these specifically because the Kentucky Derby is coming up this weekend, these would be good served at pretty much anything – baby shower, bridal shower, birthday parties. They’re just full of butter flavor and who doesn’t love butter?
Make them with this Kentucky butter cake for one delicious buttery spread!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple drop cookie – unlike some of the cookies out there that require shaping, rolling, and cutting – these are just as simple as dropping them onto the baking sheet and chilling (so the butter can reharden).
- Butter sauce – the combination of the butter and cream cheese creates the smoothest butter glaze that just adds to the incredible butter flavor on these.
- Easy – while these cookies do need to chill, the actual making and baking part only takes a couple of minutes of actual work time.
- Butter cake mix – you can also use a yellow cake mix, but you won’t have quite as much butter flavor as if you can find a butter cake mix and these are butter cookies after all! I don’t recommend white cake mix but yellow will work.
- Butter – you’ll want to use unsalted butter that’s been softened to room temperature for both the cookies and the frosting on top.
- Cream cheese – make sure the cream cheese for both the cookie dough itself and the homemade cream cheese glaze are both softened to room temperature before mixing in.
How to Make Kentucky Butter Cake Cookies
Since these are technically cake mix cookies, these cookies are pretty simple to make. And the butter sauce that goes on top is maybe even easier!
1 – Make the Butter Cookies
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. I like to use parchment paper because it helps the cookies bake evenly and keeps them from sticking to the pan.
Start by combining the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. You can either do this with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Now add in the egg and the cake mix. Combine cake mix and egg into the cream cheese and butter mixture until it’s nice and smooth, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary so everything is mixed in well.
Unlike traditional cookies (like snickerdoodles), the cookie dough will be soft and smooth – not thick and chunky.
Using a one tablespoon cookie scoop (aka a medium cookie scooper), scoop cookies into cookie dough balls and place 2″ apart on prepared cookie sheet.
Chill on the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will give the soft butter a chance to firm back up for baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F, then bake the chilled cookies for a total time of 10 – 12 minutes, until just barely starting to brown on the edges. You don’t want these to get to golden brown – they’ll end up over baked and crunchy.
I recommend taking them out a little earlier than you think you should. You want these to be soft cookies.
Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
2 – make the buttery glaze
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
Add the milk and powdered sugar and beat at low speed (so you don’t get powdered sugar in the face) until smooth and a good spreading consistency.
Frost tops of the cookies generously and sprinkle with toasted pecans or almonds, if desired. Or eat plain – that’s my personal favorite, I just know Kentuckians like their pecans!
Serve cookies and enjoy immediately!
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Be generous with the glaze on top – that’s one of the best parts of these cookies!
Stick with smaller cookies compared to larger ones. These are pretty rich with all that butter flavor.
Freeze unbaked cookies by freezing individually cookie dough balls on a baking sheet. Once they’re frozen, place in a zipper top freezer safe bag and freeze all together. Bake from frozen just like if you were baking them from chilled.
More Easy Cookie Recipes
If you like these butter cookies, you have to try these other amazing cookie recipes too!
- Dirt cookies – a homemade chocolate cookie gets topped with Oreo dirt (kind of like in this dirt and worms cake) and gummy worms!
- Caramel toffee cookies – these salted caramel cookies are topped with toffee bits and oh so good!
- Monster cookies – the ultimate monster cookie recipe, filled with everything you could ever imagine!
- Cream cheese sugar cookies – the perfect cookie recipe for cutting out and decorating!
- Snickers cookies – soft peanut butter cookies with a Snickers surprise in the center!
Kentucky Butter Cake Cookies
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 egg
- 1 box butter cake mix (15.25 ounces)
- 8 ounce cream cheese (softened)
- ¼ cup butter (softened)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans (optional)
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy.1/2 cup butter, 8 ounces cream cheese
- Add in the egg and the cake mix and mix well.1 egg, 1 box butter cake mix
- Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough and place 2" apart on prepared cookie sheet, then chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, then bake the chilled cookies for 10 - 12 minutes, until just barely starting to brown on the edges.
- Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.8 ounce cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter
- Add milk and powdered sugar and beat until smooth and a good spreading consistency.1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk
- Frost cooled cookies generously and sprinkle with toasted pecans, if desired.1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
- Serve warm.
Tips & Notes:
- You can use a yellow cake mix instead of the butter cake mix, you just won't get quite as much butter flavor. If you are using a yellow cake mix, you could add one tsp of butter extract (if you have it) to the batter to up the butter flavor.