Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Do you like the sweet, yet tangy, cinnamon taste of snickerdoodles? Then you will love these snickerdoodle cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. They are soft and moist with a subtle tangy flavor that is unique to the namesake cookie. The rich frosting on top truly complements the cupcake!
Something about snickerdoodles has a nostalgic effect on me. It’s a unique flavor that recalls childhood memories. Maybe it’s the taste or perhaps just the name, but these homemade snickerdoodle cupcakes have the same effect. They have a sweet, warm cinnamon taste that makes you feel all cozy inside. You’re going to love them!
Why this recipe works
This recipe does not use cream of tartar, but still delivers the signature tangy taste that snickerdoodles are known for. The sour cream and baking powder help provide that flavor while the cream cheese frosting adds a creamy rich topping to balance it all out.
- Ground cinnamon: This is a must for these cupcakes! Make sure it is fresh and not expired for the best flavor.
- Unsalted butter: Make sure to use unsalted butter that is room temperature. Salt needs to be measured and added separately to help activate the baking soda and baking powder.
- Sour cream: Not only does sour cream make cupcakes moist, it also helps make sure the cupcakes have a tangy taste that snickerdoodles are known for. In a pinch, Greek yogurt may be used.
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk will work best, but low-fat also works.
- Cream cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is soft, but still cool to the touch. The block version is best for frosting since the cream cheese tub tends to have more air and is softer, which can cause your frosting to be too soft to spread/pipe.
If cream cheese frosting isn’t your favorite, then try the cinnamon buttercream frosting I used on my apple spice cupcakes. It will complement these cupcakes just as well, but without the cream cheese taste.
When it comes to garnishing cupcakes, I opted for cookie crumbles. However, small snickerdoodle cookies or even cinnamon sticks may be placed in the frosting for a nice presentation.
To adjust the number of servings, this recipe may be doubled. It can also be halved to make a small batch of cupcakes.
How to make snickerdoodle cupcakes
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients: Beat sugar and butter until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla, then mix just until combined.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and milk. Add one third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Add half the milk mixture and mix again. Repeat, then finish with final third of flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.
- Bake cupcakes. Transfer batter to a muffin tin with paper liners. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Bake cupcakes at 350 F for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and beat until combined, then mix in the vanilla.
- Frost the cupcakes: Transfer frosting to a piping bag with desired tip. Frost cupcakes and garnish with cookie crumbles or a cinnamon stick.
Bring all your ingredients to room temperature before starting. This creates a uniform and smooth batter, which in turn guarantees soft and fluffy cupcakes! It also helps to weight your ingredients with a kitchen scale to ensure everything is measured properly. If you don’t have a scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level it with a knife (never pack down flour).
Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting otherwise the frosting will melt. I suggest using block cream cheese that is softened, but still cool. It is slightly more dense so the frosting will keep its shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, they don’t need cream of tartar. The combination of baking powder and baking soda has the same effect.
Yes, after the cupcakes are baked and cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 24 hours before frosting and serving.
Yes, you can freeze the cupcakes for up to 3 months in an airtight container. For best results, individually wrap the cupcakes in plastic wrap.
Recipes where cinnamon is the star is always a crowd pleaser. Here are a few of my favorites:
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- 1 ¾ cups (224 g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (75 g) sour cream (or plain yogurt), room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) whole or low-fat milk, room temperature
Cinnamon sugar topping
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon cream cheese frosting
- 1 cup (225 g or 8 oz package) cream cheese, room temperature (see notes)
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer on medium speed the butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and sour cream.
- Gradually add in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk (So it goes flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Mix until batter is uniform and smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Fill baking cups about 3/4 full. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon sugar topping. Sprinkle over the cupcakes from high above so the sugar is dispersed evenly and not concentrated in one spot on each cupcake.
- Bake cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow them to cool to room temperature before frosting.
- To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon. Mix just until combined, then mix in the vanilla. Avoid overmixing the frosting.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag with desired tip. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with a cinnamon stick or mini snickerdoodle cookie.