Everybody loves sinking their teeth into a thick, super soft Snickerdoodle cookie with big cinnamon flavor and a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture. This is the best Snickerdoodle recipe ever, and lucky for us, it’s easy to make, well-equipped with a simple list of ingredients and easy-to-follow directions.
In addition to the easiest method for making perfect cinnamon-sugar dusted cookies from scratch, we’ll also cover an easy (yet optional) step you can take to spruce up that cinnamon-sugar topping to make your cookies extra sparkly, discover why cream of tartar can take a hike, how to go about making super soft and chewy cookies, plus a few pro tips for storing and freezing your cookies.
THE BEST SNICKERDOODLES EVER
The first Snickerdoodle recipe we tested came from a holiday baking magazine. The cookie wasn’t terrible, but it baked up flat, had a hint of a metallic taste to it, was a lit-tle too sweet for our liking, and most definitely lacked in salt. After making one adjustment after another and we determined a Snickerdoodle recipe without cream of tartar would rid of the metallic taste. We also adjusted the sugar slightly and incorporated the creaming of butter and sugar.
Taking just a few extra moments to cream the butter and the sugar made for a chewy cookie, thick and soft in texture. They were beautiful, buttery and sweet, and dusted with the perfect touch of cinnamon-sugar; perfect cookie for holiday baking and gift-giving.
SNICKERDOODLES WITHOUT CREAM OF TARTAR (AND WHY)
Cream of Tartar is most often used as a leavener in baking recipes to help stabilize egg whites. Why a standard drop cookie like this one would require the use of cream of tartar is completely beyond me. We aren’t whipping any eggs whites here, folk. Creaming butter and sugar? Yes. But, egg whites? No. Rest assured, if you’re using this recipe, your cookies are going to be just fine without cream of tartar.
This cookie dough comes together quickly and easily and doesn’t require too many ingredients, and the ingredients can be broken in up into three simple categories: the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients, and the topping.
WHAT’S IN THE DRY MIX?
You will always find flour, a leavener such as baking powder or baking soda (this recipe calls for baking soda), and salt amongst the dry ingredients.
ONE SUGAR, AND ONE SUGAR ONLY.
As mentioned earlier, the flavor of these cookies is very reminiscent of a sugar cookie, and their ingredient list is also very similar including the omission of brown sugar. Unlike most drop cookies, most Snickerdoodle recipes omit the combination of both brown sugar and granulated sugar and rather call for only granulated sugar.
The granulated sugar and the room temperature butter are creamed together before any other wet ingredients are added to the mix.
THE CINNAMON-SUGAR TOPPING
The topping is what makes these cookies so very magical and perfect for Christmas baking. It is a simple mixture of granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.
For an extra special touch and a little more sparkle, add a tablespoon of sparkling decorative sugar to the mix, however, this is completely optional and not at all necessary.
HOW TO MAKE SNICKERDOODLES WITHOUT CREAM OF TARTAR
The best Snickerdoodle Cookies have a buttery, vanilla flavor similar to a sugar cookie, however, they are typically chewier, fluffier, and come dusted with a topping of cinnamon-sugar.
- For the topping, mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Then, add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough forms.
- Scoop the cookies and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake at 375°F for 14 minutes.
FOR SOFT AND CHEWY COOKIES, DO THIS…
If you want a soft and chewy cookie, you’ll need to take the time to properly cream the butter and the sugar. Then, you’ll add the rest of the wet ingredients to the mix: the eggs, the lemon juice, and the vanilla.
After the wet ingredients are well incorporated, the dry ingredients get mixed in on low. It is important that the dry ingredients are mixed at a low speed, and you should stop mixing as soon as the mixture comes together. This helps to prevent gluten strands from overdeveloping and ultimately causing your cookie to be tough and helping your cookies to stay soft and chewy. Also, it keeps flour from flying all over your kitchen. So there’s that as well.
Once the dough has come together, you’ll scoop out your dough balls, give them a good roll in your cinnamon-sugar mixture, and pop them in the oven. In just a few minutes you’ll be gladly welcoming the sweet smell of cinnamon into the air and the best-ever, soft and chewy Snickerdoodle cookies into your kitchen…and very likely into your heart.
WHY ARE YOUR COOKIES FLAT?
If your cookies are falling flat, not creaming the butter and the sugar is very likely the culprit. To cream butter and sugar, you must first begin with room temperature butter, meaning the butter is soft to the touch, but not melty. The butter and sugar are mixed together on medium-high to high speed until light and fluffy.
If you’re wondering if you’ve reached the “light and fluffy” stage, you probably haven’t. The mixture will be pale yellow and almost doubled in volume when properly creamed, and it will likely take you around 3 minutes to get there.
HOW TO STORE SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES
Once your cookies have baked and cooled, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature and they will stay fresh for up to 4-5 days. If you’d like to preserve your cookies farther out than this, simply place them in a freezer-safe zip top bag, taking care to press out any excess air from the bag for up to 2 months. You could also freeze them in a freezer-safe, airtight storage container, just be sure the container fits the cookies snugly, and there is not a ton of room for air to circulate around them.
You can also freeze the cookie dough balls before or after rolling them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture for up to 2 months. To do this, place them in a snug, freezer-safe, airtight container, and separate each layer of cookie dough with a sheet of wax paper. When it comes time to bake them, simply follow the recipe as directed, adding 1-2 minutes more to the bake time.
6 MORE CLASSIC COOKIES YOU’LL LOVE:
- The Easiest Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Drop Cookies with Chocolate Chips
- The Best Chewy M&M Cookies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Cowboy Cookies
Thick, super soft Snickerdoodle cookie with big cinnamon flavor and a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar, separated
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup room-temperature unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375° and have ready a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside until ready to use.
Add 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Roll the top in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place on the baking sheet at least 2" apart. Bake for 14 minutes. Serve and enjoy.