You are going to love this classic Snickerdoodle recipe! The buttery cookies are soft and chewy on the inside, crisp around the edges, and covered in cinnamon and sugar. They are a favorite during the holidays but good year-round!
Snickerdoodles have always been one of my very favorite cookies. I have been baking and eating them since I was a kid. I love them because they are delicious and because of their name, snickerdoodles. Isn’t that such a fun cookie name?
This is the BEST snickerdoodle recipe because the cookies are crisp around the edges, soft and chewy in the center, and full of cinnamon sugar flavor with a slight tang from the cream of tartar. They aren’t too puffy and they aren’t too flat, they are just right! Everything about them is perfection!
Snickerdoodles are popular during the holiday months, we always make several batches for Christmas, but they are good anytime of year.
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Sugar Cookies vs. Snickerdoodles
The cookies are similar, but there are a few big differences.
Snickerdoodles are made with cream of tartar and they also get rolled in a sweet cinnamon sugar mixture before going into the oven. Snickerdoodles are also never frosted and some sugar cookies have frosting. The cinnamon sugar sparkle is the signature look!
Snickerdoodles are very popular in the United States and Canada, but not so common in other countries, even though snickerdoodles originated in Germany. Rumor has it that the name is from the German word Schneckennudeln, which means snail noodles, a kind of pastry. Ha! So fun!
What is Cream of Tartar?
Cream of tartar is a key ingredient in a snickerdoodle recipe. It’s a dry, powdery, tartaric acid, that is byproduct of wine production. The acid in cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their tangy flavor. The cream of tartar also makes the cookies chewy because it prevents the sugar in the cookie dough from crystalizing into crunchiness.
You can find cream of tartar in the spice aisle of any grocery store. Store it in a cool, dry place and it will last for many years. You are going to want to keep it in your pantry so you can make snickerdoodles all the time!
The ingredients are basic, making them an easy cookie to make whenever you get a cookie craving!
You will need:
- All-purpose flour– I always fluff the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup, and then level off with a knife. Never pack flour when measuring or your cookies will be dry and too puffy.
- Cream of tartar– find it in the baking aisle.
- Baking soda– make sure it is fresh! Check the date!
- Salt– to balance out the sweet!
- Unsalted butter– I like to bake with unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Granulated sugar– so sweet!
- Eggs– use large eggs!
- Vanilla extract– use pure vanilla extract.
- Cinnamon and Sugar– for rolling the cookies, before they go into the oven.
I know some people use shortening in their snickerdoodle recipe, but I prefer all butter. The taste is perfection!!
How to Make Snickerdoodles
You are going to love this recipe because it is SO easy! I like to use my stand mixer to make the cookies, but you can use a hand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, you can even make the cookies the old fashioned way with a spoon and a bowl.
- First, whisk together the dry ingredients and set them aside.
- Next, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. This will take about 2 minutes.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Turn off the mixer and add in all of the dry ingredients. Mix on low and mix until the flour barely disappears. Don’t over mix the dough.
- Form all of the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Don’t make them too big or they will spread too much.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and roll all of the cookie dough balls in the mixture until they are all well coated. You want the dough balls to have a thick coating of cinnamon and sugar. It gives the snickerdoodles lots of flavor. Also, make sure you don’t over handle the dough. You don’t want the dough to get too warm. If the dough does get too warm, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. You can chill the dough for up to 72 hours in the fridge.
- Place the dough balls on a baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Make sure you leave about 2 inches between each cookie so they don’t bake into each other.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE if you want soft and chewy snickerdoodles. You want to take the cookies out of the oven when they are set around the edges, but still very soft in the middle. The cookies will set up after they are out of the oven.
- Let the snickerdoodles cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- If you are only using one baking sheet, make sure the baking sheet is cool before putting new dough balls on the baking sheet. I like to use several pans so I don’t have to wait for the pans to cool.
How to Store
- Store cooled cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days. If you want to keep the cookies super soft, put a piece of bread in the container. The bread will get rock hard, but the cookies will stay soft. It’s magic:)
- You can also freeze baked snickerdoodles. Place cooled snickerdoodles in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to two months.
- If you want to freeze the cookie dough, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes or until hard. Place the balls in a freezer container or freezer bag and freeze for up to two months. When ready to bake, preheat the oven and roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture. You don’t have to defrost, just add a few minutes to the baking time.
More Snickerdoodle Recipes
Make sure you try these FUN snickerdoodle recipes too! They are all winners!
- Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles
- Brown Butter Biscoff Snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Chocolate Snickerdoodles
- White Chocolate Snickerdoodles
More Cookie Recipes
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Chewy Molasses Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Easy Sugar Cookies
- No-Bake Cookies
For the Snickerdoodles:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, if necessary.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Turn the mixer off and add all of the dry ingredients. Mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Roll all of the cookies into the cinnamon sugar mixture, making sure each cookie ball is generously coated.
- Place the cookie dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges but still soft in the center. Don’t over bake. The cookies will set up after they cool.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Continue baking the rest of the cookies.
Have you tried this recipe?
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