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How To Make Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodle cookies are unique with a distinctive look and taste – a sweet treat that everyone should have a go-to recipe for. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place because this recipe will provide you with a perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors! If you haven’t made snickerdoodles before, you might be curious about what gives them their slightly tangy essence. The answer is the combination of cream of tartar and baking soda.

With these two simple ingredients, it’s easy to achieve their flavor. Moreover, this cookie recipe yields large snickerdoodles with crispy edges and a soft, tender center. Some might even consider them jumbo cookies! It doesn’t get any better than that. Also, my recipe is special because it uses a small amount of brown sugar in combination with granulated sugar. Often, snickerdoodles only have white sugar. But the brown sugar provides a warm, toffee-like undertone and helps give the cookies their soft interior.

I used a #24 cookie scoop for these chewy snickerdoodles, but you can use a smaller size if you wish! If you use the same size scoop that I did, you’ll end up with bakery-style snickerdoodles that will certainly impress anyone who has the honor of trying them. If you don’t have a scoop, you can also estimate their size by rolling dough balls that are just over 2.5 tbsp each.

The process of making the cookie dough is simple, too, since you just need to use the creaming method. Then, after scooping them, you can roll them in a delicious cinnamon sugar mixture and bake them! Don’t worry; I’ll go into more detail below about this process. Let’s get into it!

Stack of baked snickerdoodles

Recipe Overview

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie (67g)
  • Number of Servings: 16 large cookies
  • Time to Cook: 10-14 minutes

Ingredients in Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cup Granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 cups All-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Cream of tartar

For Rolling The Dough Balls

  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
Measured baking ingredients for cookies

Instructions for making Snickerdoodle Cookies

  1. Set oven to 350°F. Cream the butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth, then add both sugars.
  2. Whip the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix on a medium-low speed to combine.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl once more to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in two segments. Do not overmix, but mix until the flour is thoroughly incorporated and there are no lumps.
Cookie dough in mixing bowl

5. Prepare a baking sheet by either lining it with parchment paper or with foil and spraying it.

6. Make the cinnamon sugar mixture. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough balls and roll them in the cinnamon sugar on all sides.

Cinnamon sugar and cookie dough balls

7. Move the dough balls to a pan, ensuring they have about 2 inches on each side, as they will spread.

8. Slightly press down the cookies with your hand to make them have a flat top.

9. Bake cookies at 350°F for 10-14 minutes until the surface is no longer shiny but matte. Do not wait for the cookies to fully turn golden brown (just their edges). The best snickerdoodles do not get much color!

10. Allow the cookies to set for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Dunk once more in cinnamon sugar if desired.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Sugar: If you don’t want to use brown sugar, you can simply use 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar instead.
  • Cream of Tartar: This ingredient is essential for the cookie to have a slightly tangy taste, so if you don’t have any, you must replace it with another acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar to mimic the classic taste. For this recipe, you would need to add about 2.5 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to make up for it. Note that this might make the dough a bit softer, but you can refrigerate it before scooping so it doesn’t overspread.
  • Other Spices: You can also mix some nutmeg, cloves, or even some pumpkin pie spice into the cinnamon sugar mixture if you want to switch it up! I don’t suggest omitting the cinnamon, though, since it is such a crucial ingredient to the flavor of the cookie.
  • Flour: You can use whole wheat flour instead, but it might make the cookies slightly denser!
Snickerdoodle cookies on a cutting board

Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect Snickerdoodles

  • With snickerdoodle cookies, it can be tricky to know when they are done. Unlike other cookies, they don’t need to be golden brown on top. They remain pretty pale! If you wait until they are browned, they are overbaked. Their edges can have some color, but that’s it. You’ll know they are done when their surface turns from glossy to matte-looking. 
  • These cookies will keep fresh for 5 days when properly stored. Keep them in a resealable bag or airtight container at room temperature! You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • If you want your cookies to be thicker and smaller around, you can skip the step of slightly flattening them before baking. Keep in mind this might affect the baking time by a minute or two, so just keep an eye on them.
  • I suggest using a cookie scoop so that the cookies will be all uniform in size.
  • If you want an extra cinnamon-y coating, you can place the cookies back into the cinnamon sugar after they come out of the oven (once they are set enough to hold without breaking). While they are still warm enough, the cinnamon sugar mixture will stick.

Related Recipes

Cinnamon Heart Cookies

Copycat Starbucks Ginger Molasses Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Stack of baked snickerdoodles

Classic Snickerdoodles

Old-fashioned snickerdoodles that are perfectly soft with crispy edges.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 large cookies

Equipment

  • Electric mixer with paddle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp cream of tartar

For Rolling The Dough

  • ¼ cup granultated sugar
  • 1 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream the butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth, then add both sugars.
  • Whip the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix on a medium-low speed to combine.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl once more to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the dry ingredients in two segments. Do not overmix, but mix until the flour is thoroughly incorporated and there are no lumps.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by either lining it with parchment paper or with foil and spraying it.
  • Make the cinnamon sugar mixture. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough balls and roll them in the cinnamon sugar on all sides.
  • Move the dough balls to a pan, ensuring they have about 2 inches on each side, as they will spread.
  • Slightly press down the cookies with your hand to make the top flat.
  • Bake cookies at 350°F for 10-14 minutes until the surface is no longer shiny but matte. Do not wait for the cookies to fully turn golden brown (only their edges). The best snickerdoodles do not get much color!
  • Allow the cookies to set for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Notes

Nutrition
  • portion size: 67 g
  • calories: 297
  • total fat: 15g (saturated fat: 9.2g)
  • cholesterol: 59mg
  • sodium: 143mg
  • total carbs: 37g
  • fiber: 0.8g
  • sugars: 19g
  • protein: 3.3g
  • calcium: 17mg
  • iron: 0.4mg
  • potassium: 90mg
Keyword baking, cinnamon cookies, Snickerdoodles

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