Simple Cinnamon Jumbles with Icing: Perfect for a Tea Party

Sneak Preview: Cinnamon Jumbles (aka Jubilee Jumbles) with Browned Butter Icing is a modern rendition of an old-fashioned soft cinnamon cookie (cake-like) recipe. You’ll love the frosting.

iced cinnamon jumbles on a cooling rackPin

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What if you could walk into your grandmother’s house right now and go to her cookie jar? What would you hope to find?

I always looked for these Cinnamon Jumbles. Grandma made them frequently. Oh, how I wish I could walk into my Grandma’s kitchen right now and grab a couple. These cookies taste similar to hers, but they don’t look like hers did. 

She dropped big blobs of dough on the cookie sheet.  The lumps tended to grow together as they baked. So she cut them into squares.  They were rather ugly–but still delicious.

Grandma wrote her recipe on the back inside cover of one of her cookbooks. It looks like she called them “Jubilee Jumbles.” I found a similar recipe in a Betty Crocker Cookie Book entitled “Cinnamon Jumbles.”

Grandma's recipe for "Jubilee Jumbles" which close to this recipe for Cinnamon JumblesPin

I have updated this recipe with substitutions for shortening and evaporated milk. They taste even better, in my opinion.

Try them for yourself.  Frosted Cinnamon Jumbles go down r-e-a-l easy.

How are these soft cinnamon cookies different from Snickerdoodles?

Cinnamon is the star ingredient in both Snickerdoodles and Cinnamon Jumbles. However, the differences are significant.

interior shot of frosted cinnamon cookiesPin
  • Snickerdoodles are chewy and crispy, especially when warm. They tend to flatten out as they cool. Cinnamon Jumbles are cake-like, soft, and tender and hold their shape like a little teacake.
  • My Cinnamon Jumbles always have icing, in this case, Browned Butter Icing. Not everybody ices these cookies, but I highly recommend it. The frosting dresses them up and makes them a bit sweeter.
  • Traditional Snickerdoodles don’t have icing. They don’t need it since you roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking.

Ingredients and Substitutions

FLOUR: Substitute bleached all-purpose flour for unbleached flour in a one-to-one ratio.

BUTTER: The original recipe in Betty Crocker Cooky Book called for hydrogenated shortening, as in Crisco. Since many people don’t want to use it, real butter works just as well and tastes better. I don’t recommend using butter substitutes.

BUTTERMILK: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, try one of these substitutions.

Use plain unflavored yogurt (2% or whole milk). Add milk until it is the consistency of buttermilk and measure as you would buttermilk.

A well-known substitution for buttermilk is one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice added to enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir and let it stand for a few minutes before adding it to the recipe.

Do you have sour cream in your fridge? You have everything you need to make a buttermilk substitute! You can swap out buttermilk for a mixture of equal parts sour cream and water, whisked together until smooth. —

SUGAR: My preference is 100% granulated white sugar. As you can see in Grandma’s recipe, she used part brown sugar and part white sugar. Using brown sugar will make a darker-colored cookie and increase the moisture. Not a bad thing.


Valentine’s Day Cookies

Iced cinnamon jumble cookies with red sugar on topPin
It takes so little to make these simple cinnamon cookies festive. Sprinkle sanding or sparkling sugar in holiday-appropriate colors over the icing before it dries.

Sprinkle the wet icing with colored sugar: Red or pink for Valentine’s Day or Christmas, green for St. Patrick’s, and orange and black for Halloween.

Another way to add variety is by using different flavors, such as chocolate or plain white powdered sugar icing. Try adding food coloring to white icing to match your party theme.

Eggnog Cookies:

Substitute eggnog for the yogurt or buttermilk. Instead of baking soda, use one teaspoon of baking powder. When making the icing, use eggnog in place of the cream. In addition to the cinnamon already specified in the recipe, add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Other variations:

Variations abound on the internet. Take a look: Applesauce Jumbles, Coconut, Butterscotch, Orange Cream, and Chocolate Cream Jumbles. Some people add chocolate chips, dried fruit, or nuts.

How to make Cinnamon Jumbles:

butter and sugar in a mixing bowlPin
Add room-temperature butter to sugar in the bowl of a mixer.
creaming the butter and sugarPin
Turn the mixer on medium-low to combine butter and sugar.
after adding eggs to the mixturePin
Add eggs. Turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until the mixture is fluffy.
adding buttermilk and vanilla extractPin
Stir in the buttermilk (or yogurt) and vanilla extract.
pouring drying ingredients into the creamed mixturePin
Measure out dry ingredients and add to the bowl all at once.
finished cookie dough before chillingPin
Mix until all flour disappears. Chill for at least
baked cookiesPin
Use a spring-loaded ice cream dipper (or two spoons) to make cookies approximately one tablespoon in size. (I like smaller cookies, but bigger ones will work, too.) Bake at 400 degrees F. until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove cookies to a cooling rack.
baked cookies  on cooking rack ready for icingPin
When cookies are lukewarm, spread them with icing.

How to make Brown Butter Icing:

browning butter in a pan on top of the stovePin
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. (Read how to brown butter in the microwave if you prefer.)
browned butter in a clear bowlPin
Keep a watchful eye on the butter. When golden brown (solids will be dark brown but not black), pour into another bowl to stop the browning.
Adding milk, then powdered sugar to make browned butter icingPin
Add milk or cream. Stir. Then add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
frosting cookies with an offset spatulaPin
Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to carefully spread icing on top of these soft and tender cookies.

Parting thoughts: Did your grandmother make these cookies in some form or another? Have you ever tried them? If so, please tell me what you think in the comments below.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at Hope to see you again soon! 

logo for saladinajarPin
Join our community of adventurous cooks, and start creating homemade food worth sharing.

If you want inspiration and exclusive tips, add your email and press the button. (Don't worry. I won't sell your email.)

soft cinnmon cookies with brown butter iicing on a cooling rack.Pin

Frosted Cinnamon Jumbles with Brown Butter Icing

Paula Rhodes
Kid-favorites!! These cake-like, cinnamon-spiced cookies are frosted with a browned butter icing.

Rate this recipe here

4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 69 kcal



  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Cream shortening, sugar, and egg.
  • Stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  • Blend in flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine until you can’t see any flour.
  • Chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes or 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Use ice cream dipper to drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet or use parchment paper (or Silpat).
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. When barely cool, ice with Browned Butter icing.

Brown Butter Icing:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine) in a small skillet using low heat on stove till golden brown. Be careful not to burn. If any solids turn black, start over. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Start out by adding about 1 tablespoon of milk into the butter. Stir in 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar and beat till smooth. Add milk as you go in very small increments until it is spreading consistency. Because icing becomes thick as it cools, stir in a small amount of milk if necessary to make icing spreadable. If you get it too thin, let it sit for a while or add more powdered sugar.
  • Leftover icing is good on graham crackers or animal cookies.


Serving: 2cookies | Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword cinnamon cookies, cinnamon jumbles, frosted cookies, iced cookies
Did you try this recipe?If you loved it, don’t forget to leave a 5-star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 at the top of the recipe card. Thanks so much for taking the time to do that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I actually made these cookies… and they turned out GREAT!!!!!! I was scared about browning the butter, but it was so simple!
    My kids love them, and their friends at school love them…apparently they share homemade cookies from their lunchboxes.
    Maybe this will be a Christmas tradition that my kids can trace back to their great-grandma!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. best chocolate recipes says:

    just made these cookies with my friend, they’re incredible. thanks 😉

  3. trina @ best salad recipes says:

    i tried this and my kids loved it! thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. I want to bake the cookies without the icing if I do will they not taste as good?

  5. Hi! Two quick questions:
    I was just wondering if I can use a cookie cutter (such as a candy cane cutter) for these.
    Do you have a a rough guess for the calories in these??
    Thanks and Merry Christmas!!

  6. I plan to make these but noticed the use of yogurt or buttermilk. Does the liquid not make a difference in the consistency? Seems like the batter would be slightly thinner using buttermilk rather than yogurt. Which one do you use?

    1. I use whichever I have. If the yogurt is thick you might add a little milk but it doesn’t make that much difference. Either way, the dough needs to be chilled so it all turns out about the same.

  7. I am making these tonight….

    About how much milk do you start the icing with?