If snickerdoodles have always left you a bit disappointed, this is the snickerdoodle recipe for you.
Deeply buttery and full of cinnamon sugar flavor, these might just be the best snickerdoodles you have ever had.
I’ll show you how to make them and go through a step-by-step how-to. If you already know you want to make them, hit the Jump to Recipe button at the top of the post.
If you’re an old-fashioned cookie fan, you may also enjoy my peanut butter cookies. And for ease of browsing, you can find all my cookie recipes in one place.
Thanks for being here. Let’s get to it!
Watch my best snickerdoodles web story here.
My Issue with Snickerdoodles (and How I Fixed It)
I have long been indifferent to and underwhelmed by snickerdoodles.
They always smell so good while baking, but they are just a bit…lackluster? Noncommital?…when I get down to the important part, which is the Munching.
I started my testing with a highly-rated recipe, and then I made adjustments from there.
In short, the cookie recipe I developed has:
- two types of sugar as opposed to just white sugar
- slightly less sugar in the dough but more on the outsides
- more butter and no shortening
- a smidge less flour
- more cinnamon
- a lot more salt
The resulting cookies have a decidedly cinnamon flavor with crispy edges, chewy centers, and lovely rustic crackles on the tops, and they taste exactly like cinnamon toast in cookie form.
If that sounds like the cookie for you, you can jump straight to the recipe and get started.
When you do make this recipe, it will help me and other readers if you:
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Baking Powder vs. cream of Tartar
Feel free to jump to the recipe if you are not interested in this part of the discussion.
Many of the recipes I studied to come up with my own recipe called for a mixture of cream of tartar and baking soda, and they went out of their way to say that the cream of tartar gives these cookies their signature “tang.”
I respectfully call Shenanigans on that.
According to Stella Parks in her introductory material to her snickerdoodle recipe in (affiliate link) Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts, the original recipe was printed with baking powder as the leavening.
Since baking powder wasn’t readily available for a couple of decades after the recipe was printed, the cream of tartar/baking soda combo was the home baker’s way of substituting with homemade baking powder (acid in cream of tartar reacts with the base of baking soda to produce bubbles).
Generally speaking, when the base neutralizes the acid, there is no tang left. Hence the shenanigans call.
I use baking powder as the leavening in my recipe and introduce some baking soda to help crisp up the edges of the cookies.
PS I have never eaten a tangy snickerdoodle.
How to Make Snickerdoodles
This is a very straightforward recipe to make, and I think that’s part of its charm.
Now to amp up the flavor enough to make them just as much a pleasure to eat as they are easy to make.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make snickerdoodles. I’ll provide substitutions where possible.
- All-purpose flour: The bulk of the structure for the cookies. For chewier cookies with less spread, use bread flour. I really liked the results using all-purpose, though. I used King Arthur
- baking powder: Provides the lift for the cookies, allowing them to puff and then crackle when pressed down a bit during baking
- baking soda: Baking soda helps ensure crispy edges and nice crackles
- unsalted butter, softened: Butter provides the fat to carry flavor as well as assist in browning and spread. Use very soft but not melted butter. No cool room temperature here. You need butter at about 78F or so
- granulated sugar: Provides the sweetness, helps to tenderize the cookies, and allows them to spread. Using more granulated sugar than brown sugar ensures crispy edges
- dark brown sugar: Adds depth of flavor, additional sweetness, and helps to retain moisture and add to the chew of the cookies
- vanilla extract: Vanilla and cinnamon are friends. Vanilla provides some warm, floral notes and helps to enhance the cinnamon
- cinnamon: Unlike many snickerdoodle recipes, I call for cinnamon in both the dough and the sugar coating. Provides warm spicy-sweetness to the cookies
- kosher salt: Snaps all the flavors into focus, especially the butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. Salt also helps to temper the sweetness of the cookies. You may have to play with the amount that works for you. I use Morton’s kosher salt and used 1 teaspoon for a whole recipe. If using Diamond, you’ll need more salt, and if using fine salt or table salt, you’ll need less
- eggs: The liquid in the eggs allows the cookies to spread. Eggs provide structure and assist in browning as well as adding fat, protein, and some emulsifiers.
- powdered sugar: Using a combination of granulated sugar and powdered sugar allows the cookies to crackle more than using granulated alone. You can use it, or just double the granulated sugar. It’s your call
You don’t need a mixer to make these cookies.
If your arms get tired quickly or your hands tend to cramp up, you can use a hand mixer.
If you have a
As with most American-style butter cookies, snickerdoodles are made using The Creaming Method.
In short, here’s what you’ll do. The full recipes is down at the bottom. If scrolling makes you sad and tired and liable to leave me a mean comment, by all means, jump on down to the recipe. 🤣
- Beat (or whisk by hand) the butter until soft and creamy. Again, use Very soft butter.
- Add the sugars, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix until smooth.
- Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, until the mixture is nice and smooth and uniform.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together and stir into the creamed mixture until no loose flour remains.
- Chill the dough.
Before baking, portion the dough, roll it around in the sugar/cinnamon mixture, then roll the portioned dough into a smooth ball.
Roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture again.
Jenni Says: Rolling the dough twice in the cinnamon sugar mixture ensures a nice thick coat of spicy goodness. Omitting a bit of sugar in the dough prevents the finished cookies from being too sweet.
Equipment You May Need
Tips and Tricks for Success
Rather than just putting the mixing bowl of dough in the fridge, take the time to spread the dough out a bit before chilling so it chills evenly.
For nicely crackled tops, press the cookies down a bit halfway through baking.
Snickerdoodles Q & A
Yes. Shape the dough into balls, freeze solid, and then remove to a zip-top freezer bag for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, allowing them to temper for a few minutes on the baking sheet before baking. Baking time may increase by a minute or two.
Cookies will remain nice and fresh for 3-5 days in a tightly-sealed container at room temperature. If they lose some crispness around the edges, heat in the microwave for a few seconds until warm and then let cool before munching.
Snickerdoodles are often found on Christmas cookie plates, maybe because, between making all the fudge, candies, and more intricate cookies, it’s nice to offer a fairly simple cookie.
By all means make some for Santa or for your own Christmas plates.
You can also sandwich them together. Cream cheese frosting, especially flavored with some cinnamon, would be a great snickerdoodle sandwich cookie option.
Personally, I have just enjoyed munching them along with a mug of beaten coffee.
Other Old-Fashioned Cookie Recipes
If you love old-fashioned cookies that are the best version of themselves, you may also enjoy my brown butter peanut butter cookies or brown butter toffee chip cookies (which also are delicious made as straight-up chocolate chip cookies).
If you have any questions about this or any other recipe or post on the site, there are a few ways to get in touch.
You can leave a comment on the post, and I’ll be back in touch within 24 hours.
If your question is more pressing, don’t hesitate to email me, and I should be back in touch within 4 hours (unless I’m asleep) or often much more quickly than that.
A Note About Measurements
This is the kitchen scale that I recommend for home cooks and bakers. Using a scale will help you be more accurate and consistent in your measurements.
It is lightweight, easy to store, accurate, and very easy to use.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
I hope you’ve learned something from this post or that you’ve decided to make the recipe.
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- 340 grams (12 oz or about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 284 grams (10 oz, 20 Tablespoons, or 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
- 170 grams (6 oz or a generous 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 113 grams (4 oz or a tightly packed 1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I use Morton's)
- 2 large eggs
For Rolling the Cookies
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar (you can also just go with 6 Tablespoons of granulated sugar)
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl with a whisk or hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until light and smooth.
- Add the sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and beat until smooth and uniform.
- Add the eggs and mix until completely combined.
- Dump in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until evenly combined with no loose flour.
- Spread the dough out a bit so it's not just one big lump, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
- While the dough is chilling, whisk together granulated sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment, and set a rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 400F.
- When dough has chilled, scoop into 1 oz portions. Toss each portion in the bowl of sugar and turn to coat. Roll into smooth balls between your palms, and then toss in the sugar mixture again.
- Place the cookies well apart, 9 to a tray.
- Bake for 6 minutes.
- Lightly press each cookie a bit flatter in the centers using your fingers or a spatula. Don't smash them flat--a light press is all you need to "depuff" the centers. This will also crackle the surface of the cookies.
- Rotate the pan 180 degrees and then bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer storage.
For a more traditional snickerdoodle, use all white sugar rather than using part-brown sugar. Your total measurement of white sugar will be 10 oz or about 1 1/4 cups.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. If the cookies start to lose their crispy edges, refresh for a few seconds in the microwave and let cool completley.
Nutrition InformationYield 36 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 128Total Fat 6.7gSaturated Fat 4.1gCholesterol 26mgSodium 150mgCarbohydrates 15.3gFiber 0.3gSugar 7.9gProtein 1.4g
Thanks so much for spending some time with me today.
I really hope you enjoy what I think are the best snickerdoodles out there!
Take care, and have a lovely day.
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