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Cinnamon Jumbles Recipe with Browned Butter Icing

This Cinnamon Jumbles (aka Jubilee Jumbles) recipe has been updated to make a soft, cake-like, cinnamon-spiced cookie with Browned Butter Icing. No shortening! Yogurt stands in for the evaporated milk. Both kids and adults love ’em!!

iced cinnamon jumbles on a cooling rack

Recipe Inspiration

What kind of cookies did your Grandma keep in her cookie jar? 

My grandma had a cookie drawer.  These cookies taste similar to the ones I often found at her house.  But these don’t look like hers did. 

She dropped big blobs of dough on the cookie sheet.  The blobs had a tendency to grow together as they baked. She evidently cut them apart in squares.  They were kinda ugly–but still delicious.

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

Grandma’s original recipe was written in the back of one of her cookbooks. Looks like she called them “Jubilee Jumbles.” I found a similar recipe in a Betty Crocker Cookie Book entitled “Cinnamon Jumbles.”

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

Try them for yourself. They are mild, cakey, soft and not too rich.  Frosted Cinnamon Jumbles go down r-e-a-l easy.

Variations

Valentine’s Day Cookies

Iced cinnamon jumble cookies with red sugar on top
Use sanding or sparkling sugar in holiday-appropriate colors sprinkled on 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, orange and black for Halloween.

Another way to switch things up is to use a different icing, such as chocolate or a 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 1 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, and/or nuts.

Why these cookies are different from Snickerdoodles

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

  • Snickerdoodles are chewy and crispy, especially when warm. They tend to flatten out as they cool. Cinnamon Jumbles are cake-like, soft, 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 these days, real butter works just as well and even 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 1 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 to the recipe.

Have some 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. —Foodess.com

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.

How to make Cinnamon Jumbles

butter and sugar in a mixing bowl
Add room-temperature butter to sugar in the bowl of a mixer.
creaming the butter and sugar
Turn mixer on medium-low to combine butter and sugar.
after adding eggs to the mixture
Add eggs. Turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until the mixture is fluffy.
adding buttermilk and vanilla extract
Stir in the buttermilk (or yogurt) and vanilla extract.
pouring drying ingredients into the creamed mixture
Measure out dry ingredients and add to the bowl all at once.
finished cookie dough before chilling
Mix until all flour disappears. Chill for at least
baked cookies
Use a spring-loaded ice cream dipper (or two spoons) to make cookies approximately 1 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.
naked cookies  on cooking rack ready for icing
When cookies are lukewarm, spread with icing.

How to make Brown Butter Icing

browning butter in a pan on top of the stove
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 bowl
Keep a watchful eye on the butter. When it is 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 icing
Add milk or cream. Stir. Then add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
frosting cookies with an offset spatula
Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread icing on top of the cookies.

Tell me. Did your grandmother make these cookies? Have you ever tried them? Please tell me what you think in the comments below.


More recipes for frosted cookie lovers


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Paula

iced cinnamon jumbles on a cooling sheet

Cinnamon Jumbles Recipe with Brown Butter Icing

Yield: 3 dozen small cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cream shortening, sugar, and egg.
  2. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  3. Blend in flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine until you can't see any flour.
  4. Chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes or 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  1. Use ice cream dipper to drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet or use parchment paper (or Silpat).
  2. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. When barely cool, ice with Browned Butter icing.

Brown Butter Icing:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Leftover icing is good on graham crackers or animal cookies.

Did you make this recipe?

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Der

Wednesday 21st of December 2011

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!

best chocolate recipes

Saturday 20th of August 2011

just made these cookies with my friend, they’re incredible. thanks ;-)

trina @ best salad recipes

Saturday 20th of August 2011

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

Maria

Wednesday 12th of May 2010

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

Taylor

Monday 21st of December 2009

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!! -Taylor