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!
Table of Contents
- What is a Snickerdoodle?
- Why you'll love this Snickerdoodles Recipe
- Snickerdoodle Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Snickerdoodles
- Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe Tips
- How to store Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe FAQs
- More Cinnamon Recipes
- More Cookie Recipes
- The Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe Recipe
- More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
What is a Snickerdoodle?
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.
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.
Why you'll love this Snickerdoodles Recipe
- Perfect texture - If you are looking for a snickerdoodle cookie recipe that is crisp on the outside but soft in the middle, then this is the recipe for you! It’s been carefully tested many times to make sure they turn out amazing and is the best snickerdoodle cookie recipe on the internet!
- Fun to make - The easy dough comes together in just a few minutes and kids love to help rolling balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture to bake.
- Classic snickerdoodle flavor - There is no skimping on the cinnamon sugar and the base itself has cream of tartar for that classic snickerdoodle taste.
Snickerdoodle Recipe Ingredients
- Salted butter - I use salted butter in almost all of my baking, but if you only have unsalted butter on hand you can just add an extra ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Granulated sugar - Also known as white sugar, you need this for the snickerdoodle cookie dough as well as for the cinnamon sugar mixture that each ball of dough is rolled in for that classic sweet cinnamon crunch on the outside.
- Brown sugar - Adds depth of flavor to the cookie dough base.
- Eggs - For binding so the cookies are chewy, not crumbly.
- Flour - Regular unbleached all-purpose flour is perfect for these cookies. I prefer unbleached for lighter baked goods since bleached flour can sometimes result in tougher cookies.
- Cream of tartar - A key ingredient in many snickerdoodle recipes which gives a unique taste to the dough. Yes, you can make the cookies without this if you don’t have any, but they don’t taste quite the same and will be missing the slight tang that is so wonderful with the sweet cinnamon and sugar.
- Baking soda - For helping the cookies spread just enough while baking.
- Salt - This important ingredient balances all of the other flavors and keeps the cookies from tasting bland.
- Ground cinnamon - I tested this snickerdoodles recipe by adding cinnamon to the cookie dough itself or just on the outside of the cookies and have a strong preference for only having cinnamon on the outside of my snickerdoodle cookies.
How to make Snickerdoodles
- 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.
Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe Tips
- Use the cream of tartar called for in 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 the cookies. 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 room temperature butter and 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.
How to store Snickerdoodle Cookies
- These soft snickerdoodle cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days before they start to go stale.
- You can also freeze the cooled cookies for up to 3 months by placing them in a freezer-safe airtight container. Let them thaw on the counter at room temperature for a couple of hours before enjoying or heat in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up.
Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe FAQs
While snickerdoodles and sugar cookies share many basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter, the classic snickerdoodle also contains cinnamon and cream of tartar, a key ingredient that is absolutely necessary (in my opinion) for a true traditional snickerdoodle.
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 as a residue on the barrels used in winemaking. Fascinating, right? When combined with baking soda, cream of tartar and baking soda work like double-acting baking powder.
Yes, you technically CAN make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, but personally I don't think they really count because they just don't taste quite the same. Snickerdoodles without cream of tartar are just cinnamon-sugar coated sugar cookies, in my opinion.
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 cookies, you can replace BOTH the cream of tartar AND the baking soda called for in the recipe with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
There are a few ideas behind where the name snickerdoodle came from. Some people think it is German or Dutch, coming from the German word Schneckennudeln or the Dutch word snekrad, both having meanings indicating a snail-like shape or design.
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.
More Cinnamon Recipes
More Cookie Recipes
- Cutler's Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
- Butterfinger Cookies
- The BEST Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Kitchen Sink Cookies
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The Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
- ¼ 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.
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