Homemade Snickerdoodle Cookies (soft & chewy!)
Nothing beats the sweet and tangy taste of homemade snickerdoodle cookies. These classic cookies are soft, chewy and coated in cinnamon sugar. Bake them for Christmas or when you’re craving a sweet treat!
Snickerdoodle cookies are a classic if you ask me. Every baker should know how to make them and keep the recipe handy for when the mood strikes. Yes, there is such thing as a snickerdoodle mood!
So what are snickerdoodles? They are essentially sugar cookies, but made with cream of tartar and cinnamon. The cookies are also rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking to help achieve that cracked surface. They are soft, chewy and oh-so-delicious (just like the cookie bar version!)
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Plenty of tips to guarantee perfection. Read the post to find out how to make your cookies perfectly soft, chewy and flavorful!
- Less than 10 ingredients. Easy to find ingredients are call for in this recipe!
- Ready in under an hour. With a short chill time to guarantee chewy perfection, the dough is quick to prep and ready to eat within an hour!
- The best flavor. These cookies are sweet and tangy. The cinnamon sugar coating makes each bites delicious!
- Easy to make ahead. The dough comes together in 10 minutes. You can chill or freeze the dough for easy prep.
- Perfect for the holidays! Add snickerdoodles to your Christmas cookie box and share them with friends (or try gingerdoodles!)
According to Joy of Cooking, there is a German cookie that is made with cinnamon and rolled into the shape of a snail. The German word is Schneckennudeln, which sounds similar to snickerdoodle and translate to or “snail noodles.” This is just a theory and these cookies could just be a fun name for a cookie.
- Cream of tartar: This key ingredient is what gives snickerdoodles their distinctive tangy flavor. It’s easy to find at the grocery store, local chef store or online.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon also adds to the cookies’ unique flavor! Make sure your spices are fresh for best results.
- Butter: This is an all butter snickerdoodle recipe. Use unsalted butter that is room temperature.
- Egg: You only need one egg! Bring to room temperature before using.
- Vanilla: For the best flavor, use 100% pure vanilla extract that is not expired.
Add some chocolate. After mixing in the flour mixture, stir in 3/4 cup semisweet or white chocolate chips. You can also dip the baked cookies in melted chocolate!
Drizzle on some icing. Make a simple maple icing by whisking together 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and milk as needed for consistency. Drizzle over cooled snickerdoodles. Caramel is another simple option!
Make a small batch. Cut the recipe in half (use only the egg yolk) to make a small batch of snickerdoodles.
Bake jumbo cookies! Use a large cookie scoop to roll dough into balls, then in cinnamon sugar. Space cookies 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes.
How to Make the Best Homemade Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Whisk together dry ingredients—flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Beat wet ingredients. First combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
- Chill dough for 20 to 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough and roll into balls. Roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake cookies at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
Use room temperature ingredients. It makes mixing the dough way easier, but it also makes a dough with consistent texture. As a result, the cookies will have a better texture!
Use cream of tartar. This gives the cookies their unique taste!
Chill the dough. If you want thick, chewy snickerdoodles, be sure to chill the dough before baking. I usually chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, but the longer, the better!
Do not over-bake! The cookies are done when the edges are set, but the centers are soft. This usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes. This will guarantee a soft and chewy texture!
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Storage: Snickerdoodles are best when eaten the day they are baked. However, they will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Make ahead: Store the dough covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Alternatively, roll the dough into balls and flash freeze them for an hour. Put them in a freezer-bag or airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, increase baking time to 12 minutes.
Freezing: The dough freezes well if wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before rolling the dough into balls and baking. Baked cookies may also be frozen for up to 3 months. I suggest wrapping in plastic wrap so they stay fresh and don’t get freezer burn.
Cream of tartar creates a tangy taste and chewy texture that is unique to snickerdoodles as opposed to a sugar taste and buttery texture unique to sugar cookies. Cream of tartar also works with the baking soda to help the cookies rise so they aren’t flat.
For this recipe, omit both the baking soda and cream of tartar and replace it with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Fun fact, baking powder is actually a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar helps activate baking soda and provide rise in baked goods.
Yes, the dough will be a bit crumbly when you add the dry ingredients. Continue mixing the dough until it comes together even if it seems a bit dry. If you’re at high altitude and the dough still doesn’t come together, try adding a teaspoon or two of milk.
In addition to using cream of tartar, it helps to chill the cookie dough in order to prevent the snickerdoodles from going flat. Rolling the dough into balls so they keep their height helps as well.
If you want more cinnamon-filled treats, check out these recipes.
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Get the Recipe: Homemade Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ⅓ cup (267 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
- ⅓ cup (67 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl. The dough will be thick. Cover the bowl and chill 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare the topping by whisking together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Roll the dough ball in cinnamon-sugar topping. Repeat with remaining dough, placing each dough ball 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. If they dough gets too warm while rolling, place baking sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are set and the centers are soft and puffy. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.