Homemade snickerdoodle 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. It’s when you’re craving cinnamon sugar and a thick, chewy cookie to bite into.
I have a few tips to make the perfect snickerdoodle. Everything from making snickerdoodles chewy and why you need cream of tartar to why snickerdoodles are called snickerdoodles.
What makes a Snickerdoodle a Snickerdoodle? Snickerdoodles 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.
Overview: How to make homemade snickerdoodles
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. 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 for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
Fun fact: 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do snickerdoodles need cream of tartar? 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.
What can I use if I don’t have cream of tartar? 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.
Is Snickerdoodle dough supposed to be crumbly? 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.
How do you keep snickerdoodles from going flat? 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.
How long will snickerdoodles stay fresh? Snickerdoodles are best when eaten the day they are baked, however they will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also keep the dough covered in the refrigerator for up to a week so you can bake the cookies fresh when you’re ready.
When you chill cookie dough, especially for extended periods of time, make sure the bowl is covered tightly. I like to use LilyBee Beeswax Food Wrap. It hugs tightly to the bowl and is an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic wrap. They also make snack pouches to bring with you to work, school and friends’ houses.
Do snickerdoodles freeze well? Snickerdoodle cookie dough freezes well if wrapped tightly without air. Store in the freezer for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before rolling the dough into balls and baking. Baked snickerdoodle cookies are best when eaten fresh.
More snickerdoodle recipes
Snickerdoodles are pretty hard to resist. If you want more of the cinnamon-y treat, check out my pumpkin snickerdoodles. They are the perfect fall cookie! I also love these snickerdoodle blondies. They are so thick and soft. If you love cake, then these snickerdoodle cupcakes are for you!
What occasion are you making snickerdoodle cookies for? I want to see your creations! If you try one of my recipes, be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media.
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup (267 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
- 1/3 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 20 to 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. Scoop a full tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball about 1-inch in diameter. Roll the dough ball in cinnamon-sugar topping. Repeat with remaining dough, placing each dough ball 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 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.