Slightly crisp on the outside and perfectly soft and chewy on the inside, these are the BEST Snickerdoodles! Snickerdoodle cookies have always been my favorite cookie. I love the quirky name, that classic tangy flavor and the irresistible cinnamon-sugar coating. They are great anytime of the year, but they are especially wonderful for cookie exchanges, gift giving and Christmas celebrations. This will be your new go-to snickerdoodle cookie recipe!
These cookies turn out perfectly fluffy, chewy and amazing every time!! The best snickerdoodle recipe I’ve tried.— Keedo
What are snickerdoodles?
Snickerdoodle cookies are a timeless classic that never goes out of style. They are similar to a sugar cookie, but they have a slightly tangy flavor (which I love!) and they get rolled in a mix of cinnamon and sugar before being baked. My recipe yields the most soft, chewy, perfectly fluffy snickerdoodles you’ll ever taste. Much too often you’re left with flat, crispy and thin snickerdoodle cookies, but if you prefer soft-baked cookies, you’ve come to the right place.
These are seriously everything you could want in a traditional snickerdoodle cookie. They have a buttery flavor with a lovely crunch from the cinnamon-sugar coating. And the texture is spot on! They’re slightly chewy around the edges with soft, pillowy centers. Cream of tartar (sold in the spice aisle) is the leavener that gives the cookies lift, lightness, provides that iconic flavor, and is key for this recipe.
This time of year, I bake up tons of treats for gift giving and enjoying through the holiday season and snickerdoodles are a MUST. Out of all of the Christmas cookies, they are usually the first to go! This is my absolute favorite Christmas cookie recipe and I can’t wait for you to try it!
Ingredients Needed To Make Snickerdoodles
The lineup of ingredients for this snickerdoodle recipe includes all of the basics that you’d expect to find in most cookie recipes. You will just need to make sure you have cream of tartar in your pantry. Cream of tartar is what makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle! Here’s everything you need:
- Butter. You’ll need slightly softened, unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter available, just leave out the additional 1/4 teaspoon salt called for in the recipe.
- Sugar. This recipe, like most snickerdoodle recipes, uses only granulated sugar to add sweetness.
- Egg. One egg is needed to add structure and stability.
- Vanilla extract. Adds a slight sweetness, warmth and flavor.
- Flour. For a soft, tender cookie with the perfect amount of chewiness, I recommend using all-purpose flour.
- Baking essentials. Cream of tartar gives these snickerdoodles that wonderful tangy flavor and along with baking soda gives these cookies the perfect amount of fluff. And a small amount of salt is a must for any sweet treat to enhance the flavor.
- Cinnamon + sugar. A combination is used as the coating for the cookies to give them their signature look and taste!
How to make snickerdoodles
This chewy cinnamon cookie recipe is simple, straightforward and will be your new go-to! Just follow these easy steps for amazing cookies from scratch:
Please see the recipe card for the full, printable recipe with all of the details.
- Cream together the butter and sugars. In a large bowl, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer and beat the softened butter and sugar on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla. Add the egg and vanilla extract; mix on high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
- Add in the flour. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.
- Chill dough. Place the cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 days.
- Mix cinnamon + sugar. In a small bowl, stir the cinnamon and sugar together for rolling the cookie dough balls.
- Scoop dough balls. Use a large spoon or cookie scoop to make dough balls. Then, roll the cookie balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The cookies, pictured, are about 1.5 tablespoons of dough. This will make approximately 20 medium-sized cookies.
- Bake. Cookies will need to bake for just 8 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove from the oven right when edges start looking set and golden. The centers may look slightly undercooked, but they will continue to cook even after they are removed from the oven.
- Shape the cookies. This is a tip from The Food Charlatan to keep the cookies from becoming too flat after baking. Use two spoons (like pictured below) to smoosh the edges of the cookies toward their centers. This must be done immediately after you pull the cookies out of the oven.
- Cool & enjoy! Transfer cookies to wire racks to continue to cool and enjoy!
Double Dip Tip
If you like your cookies extra sweet and cinnamon-y, while they are still warm, but cool enough to handle, place each cookie back into the cinnamon-sugar mix and coat both sides of the cookie. This is an optional step, but I love the difference it makes in terms of flavor and texture.
Tips For Recipe success
Here’s a list of our best tips & tricks for baking cookies, so you’ll have amazing snickerdoodles every time!
- Measure flour correctly. Using a food scale is the most precise method for measuring ingredients, especially flour. If you don’t have one available, lightly spoon flour (don’t pack) into a measuring cup and without shaking the cup, use the straight side of a butter knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
- Fresh cream of tartar and baking soda. Be sure that your cream of tartar and baking soda are fresh before using, so these cookies rise properly! They lose potency over time. When I open a new can, I always write the date on the lid with a Sharpie. Discard the opened can after 6 months.
- Chill the dough. I highly recommend taking the time to chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. Chilling the dough will make the cookies easier to roll, enhances the flavor of the cookies and ensures that they have the best texture.
- Bake on parchment or silicone. Parchment or, better yet, a silicone baking mat makes for the most perfect cookies. Greasing the baking sheet creates an overly greasy foundation, which will cause the cookies to spread too much. Silicone baking mats will grip onto the bottom of your cookies to prevent them from spreading too much. The mats also promote even browning.
- Don’t overbake. I recommend experimenting with a couple of cookies before baking the entire batch. This will help you find that sweet spot when it comes to bake time in your oven and your preferred level of doneness. Remember cookies continue to bake for a short time, even after they’ve been removed from the oven. And, as they cool, they will become more chewy than doughy.
- Baking pans. If you are only using one baking sheet, make sure it is cool before putting new dough balls onto the surface. If the baking pan is warm, your cookies may spread too much. I like to use several sheet pans, so I don’t have to wait for them to cool.
How to Keep Snickerdoodles Soft + Fluffy
The best way to keep your cookies soft is to make sure you don’t over-bake them. Take them out of the oven after about 8 minutes. The cookies will appear under-baked, but they will firm up slightly after several minutes out of the oven.
These snickerdoodles are not only soft straight out of the oven, but they will remain soft even a week later. This makes them the perfect cookie for cookie exchanges and homemade gift-giving. Store your cookies in a covered container, at room temperature, to preserve their soft texture.
Storing & freezing recommendations
- Freezing cookie dough. Like most recipes, this cookie dough is a great candidate for the freezer. After rolling balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon & sugar, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flash-freeze the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, so the balls don’t stick together. Once the cookie dough balls are firm, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen cookie dough will keep well for up to 3 months. Be sure to label your bag of cookie dough with the date.
- Bake from frozen. Baking from frozen will work just fine. The tops of your cookies may darken a bit more, but they will still be delicious. Follow all of the instructions for baking, but add a minute or two onto the bake time. You can also let them thaw at room temperature before baking.
- Freezing baked cookies. You can totally freeze already-baked snickerdoodle cookies with awesome results. Store cookies in a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for a couple of minutes. This will bring them back to their chewy state and make them taste just like fresh-baked.
- Storing baked cookies. Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container or zip-top baggie at room temperature for about 1 week, but I can’t imagine them lasting that long!
This is the BEST snickerdoodle cookie recipe and you definitely need to add it to your baking list this holiday season. The cookies are tender, fluffy and flavorful, and honestly just so perfect. Holiday snickerdoodles make a festive and delicious addition to any dessert platter.
If you try this snickerdoodle cookie recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer and beat the softened butter and sugar on medium speed until combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract; mix on high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed using a rubber spatula.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges and bottom of the bowl, as needed. Once there are no more flour streaks, stop mixing. Do not over mix the dough. At this point, you can roll the cookie dough balls. However, the dough is a bit sticky and it is much easier to roll the dough when it is chilled. I also find the cookies bake up fluffier. Place the dough in the fridge to chill for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and prepare a few baking sheets with parchment paper, or line with a silicone baking mat. To roll the cookies: combine 1/3 cup sugar with the 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon in a small bowl. For each cookie, scoop out about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place them 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes and no more. The cookies may seem undercooked, but will continue to set after they are removed from the oven. Shape the cookies: Immediately after taking the cookies out of the oven, use a spoon or two (one in each hand) to push the edges of the cookies toward their centers. This makes the cookies round in shape and makes the center thicker and more chewy. You have to do this very quickly and immediately after taking them out of the oven, before the edges harden.
- Allow cookies to cool on the pan for at least 3-5 minutes. While the cookies are still warm, but cool enough to handle (and not falling apart), place each cookie back into the bowl of cinnamon sugar. Coat one side of the cookie, then flip it over and coat the other side. This extra step is optional, but makes the cookies extra delicious! Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Enjoy! Cookies will stay fresh for up to 7 days, stored in an airtight container.