Your search for the best Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe is over! This easy snickerdoodle recipe is my go-to for this cinnamon-sugar coated, soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe that is a perennial classic!
In the halls of cookie-dom, there are a few classic cookies that reign supreme. Like the ubiquitous chocolate chip, cut-out sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and oatmeal cookies. And then there is the snickerdoodle.
According to some sources, the snickerdoodle is the state cookie of Connecticut. Which is why I’m sharing my favorite snickerdoodle cookie recipe as part of Connecticut Week in my American Eats series, where I share some of the most well-known or iconic foods and flavors from each state in the USA, one state at a time.
Regardless of legitimized status as an official cookie, love abounds for the classic snickerdoodle cookie, not just in Connecticut but across the country.
What do Snickerdoodles taste like?
Snickerdoodles are (or should be) a soft, buttery cookie loaded with cinnamon and sugar and having a distinctive and unique tang from a not-so-secret ingredient: cream of tartar. They are one of Paul’s favorite cookies of all time, right up there next to chocolate chip (of course), my chewy brownie cookies, and peanut butter blossoms.
I love this chewy snickerdoodle recipe because unlike so many snickerdoodles I’ve had over the course of my life, these stay soft and chewy instead of getting thin and crispy and dry.
The real key to a soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookie is to not overbake. In fact, I underbake these a little, to the point that they don’t crack on top, which is a hallmark of some snickerdoodle cookie recipes.
That soft, tangy snickerdoodle center is surrounded by cinnamon-sugar coating that is completely irresistible and achieved by rolling balls of snickerdoodle cookie dough in a mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar before baking.
What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle?
While snickerdoodles and sugar cookies share many basic ingredients (namely flour, sugar, and butter), cream of tartar is the key ingredient that’s absolutely necessary (in my opinion) for a true, classic snickerdoodle.
What is cream of tartar?
I had to do a little research to figure out what cream of tartar actually is. Turns out, it’s a type of acid known as tartaric acid and is a byproduct of wine production, left over a residue on the barrels used in winemaking. Who knew, right?!
When combined with baking soda, cream of tartar and baking soda work like a double-acting baking powder.
Can you make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar?
So, yes, you can make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar. Except no, I don’t think they really count as true snickerdoodles unless there is cream of tartar in the dough. Snickerdoodles without cream of tartar are just cinnamon-sugar coated sugar cookies, in my opinion.
But, if you really want to make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, either because you don’t have any on hand or you just don’t like the flavor it adds to snickerdoodle cookies, you can replace BOTH the cream of tartar AND the baking soda called for in the recipe with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Why do they call it a snickerdoodle?
There a few ideas behind where the name “snickerdoodle” came from. Some people think it is Germany or Dutch, coming from the German word Schneckennudeln or the Dutch word snekrad, both having meanings indicating a snail-like shape or design. But other theories claim it’s just a whimsically fun cookie name that comes from the New England tradition of coming up with creative, fanciful cookie names.
How to make snickerdoodle cookies
- Cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, mixing just until combined. Use a medium-size 2-tablespoon cookie to scoop out rounded balls of dough. Roll into balls and roll in a the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated, then space 2-inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are set and slightly golden, even if the middle seems a bit underbaked. The cookies will continue to set as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container
Tips for the BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe
- Use the cream of tartar called for the recipe. I know I gave you a substitute above, but honestly, the cream of tartar makes the cookies chewier and gives that iconic, snickerdoodle tang.
- Don’t overbake. If you find your cookies often turn out dry or hard or flat, there’s a good chance that you may be overbaking them. I almost always intentionally underbake my cookies just a bit to make sure they stay soft, just the way I like them.
- Use real butter and room temperature eggs. It really does make a difference to this dough that you are using real butter, and I have found that cookie dough almost always has better texture when the eggs aren’t chilly straight out of the fridge.
- If you have troubles with your snickerdoodle cookies going flat, try chilling the dough for 1 hour before shaping into balls and baking. I don’t think it’s necessary for these cookies, but it doesn’t hurt and if you feel like your cookies are spreading too much, this would be my first suggestion.
- I like to scoop out all the dough with a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop before I start rolling them into balls. It just speeds up the process for me. I just scoop them onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, then start rolling them into balls, then roll them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture before arranging them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
More Delicious Snickerdoodle Recipes that aren’t Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cheesecake from I Am Baker
- Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate from Lemon Tree Dwelling
- Snickerdoodle Cobbler from The Recipe Critic
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies from Joyfully Mad
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Mix cinnamon-sugar mixture together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and mixing until combined.
- Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, mixing just until combined. Use a cookie to scoop out rounded balls of dough. Roll into balls and roll in a the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated, then space 2-inches apart on cookie sheets.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are set and slightly golden, even if the middle seems a bit underbaked. The cookies will continue to set as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
I typically do NOT chill my snickerdoodle cookie dough before rolling it into balls. It certainly doesn't hurt to chill it, and I would recommend it if you have difficulty with your cookies spreading too much or going too flat. But generally speaking, I feel like I have good results without chilling so I don't bother.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213 Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 40mg Sodium: 202mg Carbohydrates: 29g Sugar: 15g Protein: 2g
Want to see the other states I’ve visited in my American Eats Series? Check them out below!
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