Ms. Ruth’s Jumbles – Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Ms. Ruth’s Jumbles – Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Without milk added

I will admit up front that when I made this old fashioned sugar cookies recipe the first time, I messed it up. I wrote the ingredients on a piece of paper, but overlooked the milk. I ended up with what resembled cookie dough, so I scooped it onto the baking sheet like cookies. They turned out so delicious.  In fact, they are one of the tastiest sugar cookies I’ve eaten. It wasn’t until I was working on writing this post when I realized, I forgot the milk.

I made them again, correctly. This is almost exactly like a recipe that my mom made when I was growing up. It was a recipe from a great grandmother a ways up my family tree who came over to the US from Switzerland in the 1800’s. It makes cookie-like cake bars. Follow the directions in the clipping and don’t stack these, they will stick together.

The recipe is delicious both ways.

Ruth’s jumbles, from an old colored cook.  Take one cup of butter, two of sugar, two eggs, three cups of flour, one cup of milk, one-half teaspoon of soda and lemon; spread the cake on buttered tins, quickly, and while warm cut into squares with a sharp knife.  Be careful as you take them from the pan not to pile the squares one on another, as they will then stick together and spoil the cakes.

Ruth's Jumbles - A cookie-like cake - 1832

A cookie-like cake from a cook in 1832
Course Dessert
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 dozen


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 lemon juice and zest


  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest - mix well
  3. Mix baking soda with flour and slowly add to mixture
  4. Spread batter onto greased baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes depending on how thick you spread the batter
  6. Let cool for a few minutes and cut into squares - do not stack them on each other

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