You’ll love these soft and chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies! Two special ingredients make this recipe a family favorite. No chill time required, ready in minutes!
It had been way too long since I had a good Snickerdoodle cookie. One with chewy edges, soft centers and the perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar. Although I make homemade desserts on a regular basis, I had yet to find a Snickerdoodle recipe that I loved. After a few tests and tweaks I came up with this recipe, and it was an immediate family favorite. I have two special ingredients that make these the best (more on that below), and since this dough requires no chill-time, you can be enjoying freshly baked Snickerdoodles in minutes!
What is a Snickerdoodle Cookie?
Snickerdoodles are soft and chewy cookies that are flavored with vanilla and coated in cinnamon sugar. They are fairly similar to sugar cookies, but a couple things make them different from a typical sugar cookie:
- Cream of Tartar: This is an essential ingredient in a snickerdoodle cookie. It adds a bit of tang and it gives snickerdoodles a distinct flavor that sets them apart from other sugar cookies.
- Cinnamon Sugar: After preparing the cookie dough, the dough balls get rolled in a mixture of cinnamon sugar. This adds a subtle cinnamon flavor to the cookies as well as a delicious sweet, and almost crunchy exterior.
How to Make Snickerdoodle Cookies:
- Cream butter and sugars. I like to use salted butter and a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar (more on this below).
- Add eggs and vanilla extract. I like to use a full 2 teaspoons of vanilla to be sure that there is a subtle, yet noticeable vanilla flavor.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar (don’t skip the cream of tartar; this gives the cookies their distinct snickerdoodle flavor).
- Scoop the dough into balls and roll them in cinnamon sugar.
Here’s what makes these the BEST SNICKERDOODLES:
- Salted Butter: In order to balance out the sweetness of these cookies, I prefer to use salted butter. That extra bit of salt running all throughout the dough creates a deliciously balanced flavor and keeps them from being overly sweet. If possible, I highly recommend splurging on European style salted butter. European butter is richer and creamier and that extra bit of fat and salt makes for buttery, rich snickerdoodles. Note: I have tested this recipe with a wide variety of butter, and you can absolutely use regular salted or unsalted butter if you’d prefer; they will still be fantastic.
- Light Brown Sugar: Swapping out some of granulated sugar for brown sugar makes these cookies a bit softer and chewier. Plus that bit of brown sugar imparts a deeper flavor than plain granulated sugar.
- No chill time! As long as your butter isn’t too soft (cool room temp is best), you can bake these cookies right away. Without chilling you’ll get cookies with the perfect spread (as pictured). If you’d prefer a thicker, puffier cookie you have the option to chill the dough.
Soft and chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies! NO chill time, ready in minutes!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup salted butter, softened to cool room temp see note
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt increase to 1/4 teaspoon if not using salted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon adjust based on how much cinnamon flavor you want
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (this will prevent the cookies from spreading too much) and set aside.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a large shallow bowl.
Scoop the cookie dough into scant 2-tablespoon portions (I use a cookie scoop) and roll each into a ball; the dough will be a bit sticky, but you should be able to work with it*. Carefully roll the balls around in the cinnamon sugar, spooning over the sugar until fully coated.
Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges are set, but the centers are still slightly underbaked (they will firm up while cooling). Place the pans on wire racks to cool**. Note: I like to sprinkle the tops of the hot cookies with a little more cinnamon sugar right after they come out of the oven. This is completely optional. If you do so, use fresh cinnamon sugar, not the leftovers from coating the raw dough. I use about 1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, just eyeball it.
Butter: In order to balance out the sweetness of these cookies, I prefer to use salted butter. That extra bit of salt running all throughout the dough creates a deliciously balanced flavor and keeps them from being overly sweet. If possible, I highly recommend splurging on European style salted butter. I have tested this recipe with a wide variety of butter, and you can absolutely use regular salted or unsalted butter if you'd prefer; they will still be fantastic.
*If your dough is too sticky to scoop and roll into balls, your butter was likely too soft. Just pop the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and it will be easier to work with.
**Allow baking sheets to cool COMPLETELY before baking another batch. Warm baking sheets will make the cookies spread too much. If your kitchen is really warm you can transfer the unused dough into the fridge while the first batch bakes. Note: The cooler the dough is, the less the cookies will spread.