This soft and chewy Classic Snickerdoodles recipe is the BEST! With plenty of cinnamon flavor, this will be your new favorite cookie recipe!
I first made Snickerdoodles in 6th grade home economics. I don’t know what you are scoffing at most… the fact that there was still home ec or that I had never had a snickerdoodle.
They are a classic cookie and since I am trying to round out my collection of classic cookie recipes, snickerdoodles went onto the list.
Why You’ll Love These Snickerdoodles
This best snickerdoodle recipe will quickly become one of your favorite cookies, and here is why:
- Great for any occasion – Whether making for cookie trays for the holiday season or just an after dinner treat, these chewy snickerdoodles are a great recipe to make for just about anything.
- Easy recipe – Made with simple pantry ingredients, and full of sweet cinnamon flavor, these cookies couldn’t be easier to make.
- Perfectly soft – There is a key ingredient that makes this cookie recipe incredibly soft. Check the section below to find out what it is.
Ingredients for Snickerdoodles
This easy snickerdoodle recipe is made with basic ingredients that you might already have on hand. If not, they’re easily found at your local grocery store.
- Butter – I always use unsalted butter when baking. It allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar is what we’ll be using here. Both in the cookie dough and also in the cinnamon sugar mixture to roll the cookie dough balls in.
- Eggs – Always assume a recipe is calling for large eggs. They help bind all the ingredients together.
- Baking soda – This helps to make a soft and airy cookie.
- Cream of tartar – Yes, you need it. I know what you are asking in your head… do I really need cream of tartar and the answer is YES. Cream of tartar gives these
- Vanilla – Because there are only a few basic ingredients, I like to make sure they’re all good quality. Vanilla extract is one of them.
- Salt – If you used salted butter, you can omit this altogether. If not, use fine sea salt.
- Flour – All purpose flour is perfect for making these cinnamon sugar cookies.
- Cinnamon – The cinnamon-sugar mixture is what gives this classic cookie it’s iconic snickerdoodle flavor.
How to Make Snickerdoodles
You are going to love how easy it is to make the best snickerdoodles recipe.
- Beat butter and sugar. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until soft shiny and light in color. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add egg and vanilla.
- Sift dry ingredients. Sift together cream of tartar, baking soda, fine sea salt and flour.
- Combine flour mixture with wet ingredients. In 3 batches, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
- Chill. Turn into a piece of plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator. Using plastic wrap ensures the dough won’t dry out.
- Make cinnamon sugar mixture. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon for rolling.
- Prepare oven and baking sheet. Preheat oven and line an insulated baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll in cinnamon sugar. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls using a cookie scoop and then dip and roll in cinnamon sugar.
- Bake. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until the cookies have a crinkly top. You should be able to see shiny dough inside the cracks, which means the cookies are done.
- Cool. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack ore wire rack.
Butter or Shortening
Cookies made with butter have the tendency to spread more while cookies made with shortening are more apt to hold their shape and bake slightly up instead of out.
This is why shortening is the preferred fat for sugar cookie cutouts but anything you roll in a ball and want to spread into a perfect, moundy circle, (like snickerdoodles) is best with butter.
Butter also adds more flavor to cookies. You can use butter flavored shortening to try and get the flavor without the spread.
Using half butter and half shortening is also an acceptable substitution. When you can sub one for the other really depends on the recipe.
Most cookies that use butter will need to have some refrigeration time to let the butter reharden a little before cooking. If the butter is too soft, the cookies will be super thin and crispy. However, if that is what you after, then skip the chill time.
Making any changes to this chewy snickerdoodle recipe would make them, well, not snickerdoodles. However, there are a few things you can do to make them your own.
- Chocolate chips – While this will make them more like chocolate chip cookies, you could add in a cup of chocolate chips for something extra.
- Peanut butter – I like the combination of peanut butter and cinnamon, so feel free to add a tablespoon of peanut butter.
- Sprinkles – If making these soft snickerdoodles for a specific occasion, feel free to top with colorful or festive sprinkles before they fully cool.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: You can store these chewy cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also store them in the refrigerator if you prefer. Keeping a slice of white bread in the container can help the cookies stay moist.
Freezing: Snickerdoodles also freeze well. Make sure to store baked cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
The name is kind of silly and these cookies have been around so long. “Snickerdoodle” is a loose translation from the German word Schneckennudeln, which means ‘snail dumpling.
It’s hard to trace back because they’ve been around for so long, but the most commonly accepted history is that they are German.
Unfortunately, nothing. Some recipes say you can use baking powder instead, but then they really aren’t snickerdoodles. Check the question below for the answer as to why.
Cream of tartar is what makes snickerdoodles different from sugar cookies (although I do use it in my lemon sugar cookie recipe). It is a byproduct of wine making and considered to be an acid. It is most commonly known for helping to stabilize egg whites in meringue, but it is used for other baking purposes too, like in cookies. Because it is an acid, it has a little tang to it. The acid also helps them be more chewy instead of super soft and moist. Cream of tartar prevents the sugar from crystalizing and therefore it melts and gets chewy instead of crystalizing , hardening and getting crunchy.
Snickerdoodles are just a cinnamon sugar cookie or a sugar cookie with a cinnamon sugar coating. That is the main difference. The dough is a butter base and made the same simple ingredients as most classic sugar cookie recipes.
- Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
- Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Bars
- Granola Cookies
- You can also make them into cookie butter!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until soft shiny and light in color.
- Add the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, combining until fully mixed. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and nutmeg.
- In 3 batches, combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Turn the cookie dough into a piece of plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour, but up to 24 hours. Using plastic wrap ensures the dough won't dry out.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for rolling.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoon scoops of dough, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and then place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Press each ball lightly with a glass until 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until just cracking. You should be able to see shiny dough inside the cracks, which means the cookies are done.
- Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.