These classic, old-fashioned snickerdoodles are soft, chewy, and coated with a delicious mixture of cinnamon and sugar. They’re one of my family’s favorite cookies, and the best part? They’re so easy to make!
Snickerdoodles are a cookie classic and another one I can easily indulge upon. Not only do I love the buttery, cinnamon-sugar flavors of these cookies, but it’s their soft and chewy texture that keeps me coming back for seconds.
What are snickerdoodle cookies?
Old-fashioned snickerdoodle cookies are chewy sugar cookies coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. The batter is a basic cookie dough and very easy to make. While some recipes use shortening as the fat, I like the taste of pure butter in my cookies.
How to make snickerdoodle cookies
- Sift together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- Cream together butter and sugar. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Add each egg one at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next ingredient. Then, add the vanilla extract.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer and on low speed, combine with the ingredients.
- Chill. This is a very soft dough, so it’s important to chill the dough for a minimum of 1 hour before baking.
- Shape the dough into balls. In a small bowl, make the cinnamon sugar mixture. Then, shape the dough into balls, about 1.5 tablespoons each (use an ice-cream scoop or heaping tablespoon). Roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and place on the cookie sheet. Using your hands or the bottom of a glass, very slightly flatten each cookie, leaving them thick.
- Bake. Bake for about 8-10 minutes at 375°F/190°C, until the cookies just start to brown around the edges.
- Cool. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes, then gently transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle
Snickerdoodles are sometimes confused with sugar cookies since they share the same basic ingredients – flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. However, there is one distinctive ingredient that a snickerdoodle has that a sugar cookie doesn’t, and that is cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar and substitutions
Cream of tartar gives the snickerdoodle its traditional tangy taste and adds to the chewiness of the cookie. If you want to make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, you can substitute the cream of tartar AND the baking soda with 2 teaspoons of baking powder. So, if you’re looking for a classic snickerdoodle recipe, use cream of tartar. If you just want a delicious cookie and don’t care about the old-fashioned taste, feel free to substitute the cream of tartar with baking powder (but don’t forget to omit the baking soda).
More tips on how to make snickerdoodles
-Once you’re done making the dough, it should be quite firm and thick. I highly recommend chilling it in the fridge for 1-2 hours until firm, or even longer. If you bake the cookies while they’re soft, they’ll spread. The thicker they are, the softer and chewier their centers will be.
-For the cinnamon-sugar mixture, start by adding 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the sugar. However, if you prefer a stronger cinnamon flavor, feel free to add more.
-Be careful not to overbake the cookies. After 8 minutes in the oven, the edges should just begin to brown and the interior should look soft. For the best texture we want a crispy edge, but a chewy, soft center. The longer you bake them, the crispier they become.
More of my favorite chewy cookie recipes
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies: Bakery style peanut butter cookies loaded with peanut butter chips.
- Chewy Oatmeal Cookies: Rich and tasty, you can mix up the add-ins in these cookies depending on what you prefer!
- Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies: The perfect, decadent fall treat.
- No-Bake Cookies: The easiest cookie recipe you’ll ever make – and they taste incredible!
- Chocolate Cookies With White Chocolate Chips: Super chocolatey, chewy cookies with tons of melty white chocolate chips.
- 2 ¾ cups (370g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar* (see notes for substitution)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cup (300g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Do not over mix.
Chill the dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until firm. This step results in thicker cookies that will spread less while baking.
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture: In a small bowl, toss together sugar and cinnamon.
Shape the dough into balls, 1.5 tablespoons each (use an ice-cream scoop or heaping tablespoon), roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and place on the cookie sheet. Using your hands or the bottom of a glass, very slightly flatten each cookie, leaving them thick. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until cookies begin to brown at the edges but the center is still soft. Cookies will appear undone but will continue to bake on the warm baking sheet. Leave cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
* Cream of tartar is used in traditional snickerdoodle recipes and gives the cookies a unique tangy taste and chewy texture. Still, you can substitute the cream of tartar AND the baking soda (leave out both) with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.