These snickerdoodles are soft and chewy with a delicious cinnamon sugar coating. The recipe is very simple and there’s no need to chill the dough – so you can go from ingredients to fresh cookies in very little time. These cookies always receive rave reviews and will have you reaching for another. **This post was updated November 26, 2023 with new photos and recipe tips**
If you’re looking for the perfect chewy snickerdoodle cookie recipe, then you’ve come to the right place. These snickerdoodles are pillowy soft with just the right thickness. They have a buttery vanilla flavor and a slight tanginess to the flavor that’s quintessential of snickerdoodles. Then the cinnamon sugar coating adds a delicious crunch around the edges. Perfection.
Why is it Called a Snickerdoodle?
According to the Joy of Cooking – Snickerdoodles might be German in origin and the name might originates from the word “Schneckennudel” which is a variety of sweet bun. However – the word snickerdoodle might just be a made up name, with no actual meaning. Either way, it means delicious in my vocabulary.
Making the Cookies
Snickerdoodles are basically sugar cookies that have a slightly tangy flavor, are extra soft, and are rolled in cinnamon sugar. You’ll see recipes either using butter, oil, shortening or sometimes combination. But I find using just butter gives the best flavor. Here’s the run down of what you’ll do.
- Start by preheating the oven to 350F (180C) and lining your cookie sheets. The cookie dough doesn’t need to chill for this recipe, so you can preheat the oven as soon as you start.
- First, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. I like to whisk the dry ingredients together first to ensure that the cream of tartar is evenly distributed in the dough. More on the importance of cream of tartar below.
- Then in a separate bowl you’ll beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Make sure that the butter is slightly softened, but not starting to melt. You want to beat them together until you no longer see lumps of butter – but don’t go overboard beating for 5 minutes or anything. Beating the butter and sugar for too long can actually cause the cookies to go flat.
- Mix in 1 large egg plus 1 additional egg yolk and the vanilla extract. The extra egg yolk makes the cookies extra chewy. The mixture should look fluffier after this step.
- Then carefully mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. If the dry ingredients looks lumpy, then I recommend sifting it in first. Start with the mixer on a low speed and gradually increase to medium speed to avoid the flour flying everywhere when you turn on the mixer. If you squeeze the dough in your hands, it shouldn’t stick to your fingers. If it does – or if you like extra thick snickerdoodles – then mix in 1 to 4 more tablespoons of flour.
- For the cinnamon sugar coating, you’ll stir together the cinnamon and granulated sugar and pour the mixture onto a small plate.
- Then scoop the dough into balls with about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of dough each. I use a cookie scoop of this so that they’re all the same size. Then roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar coating so that it’s entirely covered.
- Place the dough balls on your lined cookie sheets about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
- Bake the cookie sheets one at a time in the middle of the oven for about 9-11 minutes, or until the tops are just set.
When they’re done baking, you may start to see some crinkles on the tops of your cookies and they should no longer look doughy on the top. Make sure to cool the cookies on the cookie tray for at least 5 minutes – they will continue baking slightly on the tray – then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Why is there Cream of Tartar in Snickerdoodles?
Snickerdoodles are made with cream of tartar to give a slight tanginess to the flavor and make the cookies pillowy soft. It works in conjunction with baking soda to leaven the cookies. If you’ve ever wondered what makes a snickerdoodle extra addictive – it’s the cream of tartar. If you simply omit the cream of tartar, you have a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar. Still delicious, but it won’t have the quintessential snickerdoodle flavor.
Can you Make Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar?
If you don’t have cream of tartar on hand – you can substitute the cream of tartar AND baking soda for 2 teaspoons of baking powder. While the cookies won’t have quite the same tanginess as when using cream of tartar and baking soda, it’s the best substitution.
Snickerdoodle cookie dough balls can easily be frozen.
- After forming the dough into balls and rolling in cinnamon sugar, place them on a cookie sheet or plate and cover with plastic.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough balls until firm – about 60 minutes.
- Then place the firm cookie dough balls in a single layer in a freezer bag.
- Freeze them for up to 2 months. Bake the cookie dough balls from frozen, as directed in the recipe. Do not thaw before baking or the cookies can go soggy. They’ll need 1-2 extra minutes to bake.
Baked and cooled snickerdoodles can also be frozen. I recommend placing a sheet of wax paper or baking paper between layers of cookies so that they don’t stick together. Make sure they’re in an airtight freezer bag or container. Always thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature.
Snickerdoodles are such a great cookie recipe for any time of year, but I especially love the warm cinnamon sugar coating over the holidays. This snickerdoodle recipe is also great because there’s no need to chill the cookie dough. So if you’re looking for the perfect snickerdoodles that are:
- Buttery vanilla flavor
- Slightly tangy
- Crunchy cinnamon sugar coating
- & quick and easy to make
Then these cookies are for you!
And for more rolled cookies, be sure to try:
- Chewy Rolled Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Eggnog Snickerdoodles
- Soft & Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Cookie Sheets
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (344 grams) for extra thick cookies, feel free to use 3 cups (375 grams)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch AKA cornflour in the UK and Australia
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams) softened but not melted
- 1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar (267 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter and 1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla - the mixture will look fluffier after this step.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, corn starch, cream of tartar and baking soda
- Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. If it's lumpy, sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, starting with the mixer on a low speed.
- On a plate or in a shallow bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon.
- Form the cookie dough into balls with about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of dough each - I used a cookie scoop for this. Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture then place about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven for about 9-11 minutes, or until the tops look just set. Cool on the cookie sheets for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Eggs: You will need 2 eggs in total for this recipe, however, only use the egg yolk from the second egg.
- Flour: If you like your cookies extra thick, feel free to use 3 cups (375 grams) of flour.
- Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is key for giving your cookies the hint of tang that's key in snickerdoodles. If you don't have cream of tartar, you can use 2 teaspoons of baking powder and omit the baking soda. It won't lead to the exact same results though.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Fresh cookies are always best.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields about 30 uniform cookies.