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 with a cake-light texture. You’ll love the frosting.

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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. 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

Five Reasons Why You Will Treasure These Cookies

  1. These cookies are soft like teacakes.
  2. Who doesn’t love a touch of cinnamon?
  3. Frosting makes any cookie better.
  4. Brown butter frosting takes these cookies over the top.
  5. This old-fashioned recipe has been updated with substitutions for shortening and evaporated milk. They taste even better, in my opinion.

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

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“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.” DER

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
  1. Snickerdoodles are chewy and crispy, especially when warm. They tend to flatten out as they cool. Cinnamon Jubilee Jumbles are cake-like, soft, and tender and hold their shape like a little teacake.
  2. My Cinnamon Jumbles always have icing, in this case, Browned Butter Icing. Not everybody frosts these cookies, but I highly recommend it. The frosting dresses them up and makes them a bit sweeter.
  3. 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 Jubilee Jumbles

butter and sugar in a mixing bowlPin
Add room-temperature butter to sugar in the bowl of a mixer.
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Turn the mixer on medium-low to combine butter and sugar.
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Add eggs. Turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until the mixture is fluffy.
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Stir in the buttermilk (or yogurt) and vanilla extract.
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Measure out dry ingredients and add to the bowl all at once.
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Mix until all flour disappears. Chill for at least an hour.
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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.
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When cookies are lukewarm, spread them with icing.

How To Make Brown Butter Icing

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Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. (Read how to brown butter in the microwave if you prefer.)
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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.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

soft cinnmon cookies with brown butter iicing on a cooling rack.Pin
Yield: 36 cookies

Simple Cinnamon Jubilee Jumbles with Brown Butter Icing

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

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 4 votes


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


Cookie Dough

  • ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • ¾ cup (170 g) buttermilk or unflavored yogurt thinned with milk to the consistency of buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Browned Butter Icing

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • cups powdered sugar


  • Cream 1/2 cup (114 g) unsalted butter, 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, and 1 large (50 g) egg.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup (170 g) buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Blend in 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose unbleached flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Combine until you can’t see any flour.
  • Chill the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes or 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
  • Use an ice cream dipper to drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet, or use parchment paper or Silpat to cover the baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400˚F (200˚C) for 8-10 minutes. When barely cool, ice with Browned Butter icing.

Brown Butter Icing:

  • Melt 1/2 cup (114 g) unsalted butter (do not substitute margarine) in a small skillet using low heat on the 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 1½ cups powdered sugar and beat till smooth. Add milk as you go in very small increments until it will spread easily but not so thin that it drips. Because icing becomes thick as it cools, stir in a small amount of extra 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

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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  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?