Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle cupcakes on a marble tray

The Spruce / Pete Scherer 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 22 mins
Total: 32 mins
Yields: 12 cupcakes

When snickerdoodle cookies aren’t quite enough, upsize them. This snickerdoodle cupcake recipe has all the beloved cinnamon-sugar flavor of the cookies in a cake format, not to mention the buttercream frosting. The tops of the cupcakes even bake into a crispy, chewy muffin head that tastes a lot like a cookie. It’s like eating a snickerdoodle cookie sandwiched between cake and frosting.

The secret to the snickerdoodle flavor isn’t the cinnamon; it’s the cream of tartar, which helps to leaven the cake and also gives it a mild milky tang. These cupcakes are very easy to make, but look—and smell—impressive, especially with fancy cupcake liners. Without the frosting, the cupcakes become muffins, excellent for a morning coffee or with afternoon tea. If you like, top them with a nutty streusel instead, or just a dusting of cinnamon sugar before baking for an extra delicious and caramelized top.


  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • For the Frosting:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • For Cinnamon Sugar Dusting:
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and prepare a muffin tin with liners.

  3. In a medium bowl mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

  4. Beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes.

  5. Change the mixer’s speed to low. Add the butter and vanilla and beat for one minute.

  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, then add the buttermilk and mix until smooth.

  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake at 350 F for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Gently remove the cupcakes and cool on a wire rack.

  8. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream frosting. With the whip attachment, beat the softened butter on medium speed until smooth. Lower the speed and slowly add in the powdered sugar. When all the sugar is incorporated, add the milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Increase speed to medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes, until well combined and fluffy.

  9. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Frost the cupcakes generously.

  10. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for dusting and sprinkle on the frosted cupcakes. Serve immediately.

Why Do They Call It a Snickerdoodle?

It's believed that the word snickerdoodle is German in origin, and comes somehow as a morphing of the word Schneckennudel. The cookie likely originated in New England and is of Dutch or German descent.

How to Store Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

These cupcakes will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature, in a covered container.

You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and then storing in a zip-close, freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.