You are going to love this easy Snickerdoodle recipe! The buttery cookies are soft and chewy on the inside, crisp around the edges, and covered in cinnamon and sugar.
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 classic cookie is 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!
Sugar Cookies vs. Snickerdoodles
So what is the difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle. They 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 of a snickerdoodle!
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 snickerdoodles 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!
Classic snickerdoodles are made with all-purpose flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Once the cookie dough is made, the cookies also get rolled into a bowl of cinnamon and sugar.
I know some people use shortening in their snickerdoodle recipe, but I prefer all butter. The taste is perfection!!
The ingredients are basic, making them an easy cookie to make whenever you get a cookie craving!
How to Bake Snickerdoodle Cookies
You are going to love this snickerdoodle 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. You don’t want to 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, you can chill the dough for 30 minutes and then bake.
- 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 Snickerdoodles
If you want to chill the dough before baking, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours. Roll the dough into balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Store cooled snickerdoodles 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 snickerdoodles. Place cooled snickerdoodles in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost before freezing.
These are the BEST snickerdoodles because they 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. The snickerdoodles are the perfect texture. They aren’t too puffy and they aren’t too flat, they are just right! Everything about them is perfection!
These are the snickerdoodles of your childhood and if you didn’t eat snickerdoodles growing up, now is your chance! You have to make up for lost time!
Snickerdoodles are popular during the holiday months, we always make several batches for Christmas, but they are good anytime of year. Bake a batch today and enjoy the BEST snickerdoodles. And if you are a chocolate lover, make sure you check out my Chocolate Snickerdoodles, they will surprise you. They are SO good!
If you like this snickerdoodle recipe, you might also like:
- Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles
- Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin 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.