Fluffy, cinnamony Snickerdoodle Bars are a fun twist on the classic loved cookie! These bar cookies are easy to make, need a handful of pantry ingredients and don’t require chilling before baking.
Would you believe I’d never made a Snickerdoodle before my 30s? I’m a cookie lover and boast tons of cookie recipes on my site, but somehow, I’ve always left this cookie for other people to make.
Well, I’ve now done it as research for these cookie bars, and y’all, let me go on the record saying that I love them and there’s something so charming about a Snickerdoodle.
What are Snickerdoodles?
They are drop cookies that are made for all occasions. They are traditionally rolled in cinnamon-sugar and have a unique texture that sets them apart from a classic sugar cookie. This is created by the addition of cream of tartar. Snickerdoodle cookie bars also have cream of tartar to give that chewy texture.
The origin is unknown, but it’s generally thought that they are of German descent. (I’ve also read that they could be Dutch and could’ve also come into being in New England, so who really knows?)
Fun fact: Snickerdoodle loosely translates from the German word, “Schneckennudeln,” which means snail dumpling.
This Snickerdoodle Bar recipe is a twist on that classic, taking the beloved cookie and transforming them into a bar. To me, one of the best things about these, other than the taste, is the fact that the dough doesn’t need to chill before baking!
These Snickerdoodle Bars couldn’t be easier to make at home. You’re going to need some ingredients—both found in your pantry and in your fridge—to make this recipe happen.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour—this serves as the base of our recipe. We keep unbleached AP flour in our house, but the regular kind works, too. I do not suggest using a gluten-free flour blend in place of it, as I have not tested it.
- Cream of tartar—an integral ingredient, cream of tartar sets snickerdoodles apart from sugar cookies. It’s used in stabilizing egg whites (hello, meringues!), but it can also be used in cookies like these. It’s an acid that prevents sugar from crystallizing, so it makes for light, fluffy cookie bars.
- Baking soda—this is our leavener and will cause the cookie bars to rise. It’s not the same thing as baking powder, so please don’t substitute that.
- Kosher salt—I like to use a medium grain salt for this one. You could also use a similarly sized sea salt. If you have a fine salt, use ¾ teaspoon instead so that the batter doesn’t become too salty.
- Unsalted butter—we’re using a full stick of unsalted butter. Make sure to remove it from the fridge 45-55 minutes before mixing the ingredients so it’s softened.
- Granulated sugar—commonly known as white sugar, this is our sweetener of choice. There is no substitute. We use this in the bars themselves, as well as in the cinnamon-sugar topping. I’ve seen some folks use light brown sugar, but the molasses flavor takes over the cinnamon.
- Egg—this is our binder, which also gives the cookie bars a little lift
- Ground cinnamon—this is the final touch, and it’s absolutely necessary! Traditional snickerdoodle cookies are rolled in cinnamon-sugar, so we’re sprinkling this on top!
I’m not one to suggest making substitutions in recipes for baking, but you can have some fun with them for this recipe.
- Spice swap: Make Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Bars. Simply swap out the cinnamon for an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice. You could also make chai-sugar to go on top, as well.
- Add frosting. These bars would be totally dreamy with a cream cheese frosting drizzled or spread over them after baking.
- Dairy free? Swap the same amount of room temperature vegetable shortening for the butter.
How to Make Snickerdoodle Bars
- Prep to bake. This means, preheat the oven and line a 9”x9” metal baking pan with parchment paper. This is called a sling and will help you lift the cookie bars out of the pan. I go a step further and spray the parchment with cooking spray.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and kosher salt. This will ensure they are evenly dispersed throughout the cookie bars. In a separate small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar for topping. Set aside.
- Cream together the wet ingredients. Measure out the softened butter, ¾ cup granulated sugar and the egg into a large bowl. Mix them with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) until light and fluffy.
- Make the batter. Sprinkle the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.
Pro tip! Don’t overmix the Snickerdoodle batter, or the bars will become hard.
- Form the cookie bars. Press the batter into the prepared baking pan. While you can use a rubber spatula or an offset spatula to spread the dough, I suggest using your hands because the dough is pretty soft and malleable. Press into an even layer.
Pro tip: Wet your hands with water so the batter doesn’t stick!
- Add the cinnamon-sugar. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and the ground cinnamon on top of the cookie bars to give them the final touch.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven. When done, the bars should be a light golden brown and an inserted toothpick should come out clean.
- Cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Storage and freezing options
If you’ve got extra chewy snickerdoodle bars, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
How to freeze: Freezing these bars is easy! Bake them as instructed, and let them cool completely before slicing. Line a sheet pan with wax paper, and place the sliced bars onto it, spacing them out so they don’t touch. Freeze for 4-5 hours, or until frozen solid, and transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the fridge, then enjoy!
Other cookie bars you might enjoy:
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- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 9”x9” metal baking pan with parchment paper, and spritz with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and kosher salt. (These are your dry ingredients.) Set aside.
- In another bowl, cream together the softened butter, ¾ cup granulated sugar and the egg with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) until light and fluffy.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Using your hands, press the cookie batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Once the batter is evenly spread throughout the pan, sprinkle the mixture of cinnamon and 1 ½ tablespoons of leftover sugar on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!