Snickerdoodle Cookies

stack of cinnamon coated snickerdoodles

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 9 mins
Total: 19 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yield: 48 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
90 Calories
4g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 52mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 33mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Old-fashioned cinnamon snickerdoodle cookies are always a hit, especially around the fall and winter holidays. A classic sugary cinnamon coating surrounds a soft, chewy cookie that is impossible to resist. The cookie itself is similar to a sugar cookie, but with one major difference—cream of tartar and baking soda are used instead of baking powder. The acidic cream of tartar gives the cookie its distinctive tanginess.

The snickerdoodle cookie recipe super easy to make, too. Just beat the butter and sugar for a minute or two, then add the remaining ingredients. The cookie dough is easy to shape and roll in the cinnamon-sugar coating, and there's no chilling required. Your first batch of cookies will be ready to eat in under 20 minutes!

If you wonder about the history of this special cookie, the earliest mention of snickerdoodles in print was in the late 1800s. It is believed snickerdoodles originated in New England, and the first cookies may have contained fruit and nuts. As for the cookie's whimsical name, no one is certain. Some say the name might have come from German cinnamon rolls known as Schneckennudeln. Whatever the origin, the word snickerdoodle is almost as much fun to say as it is to eat.

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

For the Cookies:

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon; stir to blend. Set aside.

  3. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; mix the dry ingredients with a spoon or whisk until thoroughly blended; set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar together for about 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

  5. Shape the dough into small balls about 1 inch in diameter and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Arrange the cookie dough balls on ungreased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

  6. Bake the snickerdoodles for about 8 or 9 minutes for soft cookies, or about 11 minutes for firmer, crisper cookies.

Tip

  • Cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their characteristic tanginess. If you don't have cream of tartar, omit both the cream of tartar and baking soda and replace them with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. The cookies won't have that unique tangy flavor, but they will still be delicious.
  • The recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies. Double or triple the recipe for a bake sale or party, or cut the ingredients by half to make 2 dozen.
  • Because cream of tartar is used sparingly in baking, make sure it is not stale. Even if it is a few months past its expiration date, it might be fine. To test it, add 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar to about 1/2 cup of warm water. Add about 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda. If it foams vigorously, it should work just fine.

Recipe Variations

  • The cookie recipe calls for butter, but you feel free to replace it with all or part plain or butter-flavored vegetable shortening.
  • For nut snickerdoodles, fold about 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts into the cookie dough.
  • Swap out 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar.
  • For mixed spice flavor, add about 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

How to Store Snickerdoodles

  • Snickerdoodles disappear quickly, but if you have leftover cookies, store them at room temperature in an airtight container or zip-close bag for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freeze snickerdoodles baked or unbaked. To freeze snickerdoodles unbaked, shape the dough balls (without the cinnamon coating) and place them on a baking sheet; once frozen solid, place them in a container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. On baking day, roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange them on baking sheets—let them stand at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes and then bake as directed.
  • Wrap baked cookies well or place them in a zip-close freezer bag; freeze them for up to 3 months.

Why are my snickerdoodles puffy?

If your snickerdoodles came out puffy you may have added too much flour.

Why do my snickerdoodles go flat?

  • Overmixing the butter and sugar can cause cookies to spread more. Beat them together until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • If you want your snickerdoodles to be a little thicker, try chilling the dough for an hour before shaping and baking the cookies. Or arrange the cinnamon-coated cookie dough balls on the baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes before baking.
  • Butter spreads more than shortening. If you want thicker cookies, try replacing some of the butter with vegetable shortening.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Where 7 of America’s favorite cookies originated. Spoon University.