My Snickerdoodle recipe makes SOFT and chewy cookies in less than 30 minutes. It’s super easy to make, includes plenty of tips for success, and there’s NO chilling required. Recipe includes a how-to video!
The BEST Snickerdoodle Recipe
Christmas cookie season was always serious business when I was growing up (a tradition I’m happy to carry on in my own home). Every year, my mom would mass-produce the classics: Snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies and (of course) sugar cookies.
My mom is a fantastic baker and we devoured her cookies, but I always had a bone to pick with her snickerdoodle recipe. It would start off decent enough, but as soon as the cookies cooled they quickly became dry and crumbly. They always lingered longer than the other cookies (don’t worry, they still got eaten, my family hardly discriminates with sweets), but if you know how I feel about cookies, you’ll know this just didn’t sit right with me, and something had to change.
It took a lot of tweaking and taste-testing, but I’m so excited to share my tested and perfected (Mom-approved) snickerdoodle recipe. This one is made with butter instead of shortening (my mom’s used shortening, but if you recall from my peanut butter blossoms I’m a butter kind of person!) and a few key tweaks that make the snickerdoodle cookies extra soft. I can’t wait for you to try this one.
Why use my recipe:
- No chilling.
- Ready in less than half an hour!
- Perfected ingredients and technique for soft and chewy cookies.
- Can be made in advance (and frozen!).
- Yields soft, buttery, crinkly, cinnamon sugar-infused cookies that all but melt in your mouth and stay soft for days!
What You Need
My snickerdoodle recipe uses classic ingredients for that classic, subtly tangy flavor. Make sure yours are at room temperature before starting:
- Butter. I use unsalted butter and add salt separately so that I have better control over the flavor of the cookies.
- Egg + egg yolk. An extra yolk makes these snickerdoodles particularly soft and tender. Using two whole eggs would make them a bit too puffy and cakey.
- Corn starch. This is my favorite secret ingredient for super soft cookies! It helps make the them tender while at the same time keeping them from spreading too much.
- Cream of tartar. If you read my cream of tartar post, then you know this is a critical ingredient in any snickerdoodle recipe! Cream of tartar is what gives snickerdoodles their signature tangy flavor–don’t skip it, and unfortunately I can’t recommend a suitable substitute, either.
SAM’S TIP: When making cookies, I’m not as worried about over-beating as I am with cakes; however, I still recommend you avoid beating your ingredients too much or for too long as it can make for puffy, cakey, dry cookies.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Snickerdoodles
- Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
- Stir together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually stir them into the wet ingredients.
- Roll the dough into balls, then roll through cinnamon sugar before baking for 11-12 minutes.
- Allow to cool before enjoying!
SAM’S TIP: When your cookies are finished baking they should have pretty crackly centers and they may also appear just a touch under-baked–this is good! You want to let your cookies cool completely on the baking sheet (they would be too fragile to move, anyway) and they will finish baking all the way there. If your cookies were to come out of the oven fully baked, they would continue to bake as they cooled, which actually leaves you with over-baked, dry, crumbly cookies. This method of cooling them and letting them finish baking on the cookie tray leaves you with soft, chewy cookies!
Frequently Asked Questions
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. My snickerdoodle recipe makes cookies that will stay soft and fresh for up to a week this way.
Pretty crackled tops are as signature to snickerdoodles as their tang, so its disappointing when they are missing. Cracking occurs from several chemical reactions during the baking process. If some of your cookies aren’t cracking, it could be because those dough balls were less round than others, the dough became too warm, your oven isn’t heating evenly, or (most likely) the cinnamon sugar coating wasn’t applied as thoroughly.
This snickerdoodle recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance; just cover and store in the fridge. You can also freeze the dough! Simply roll it into balls, wrap individually (don’t roll through the cinnamon/sugar until before baking), and store in an airtight container.
If you’re a fan of crunchy cookies or puffy, cakey cookies, I’m afraid these might not be for you. I like my snickerdoodle cookies soft, buttery, crinkly and chewy and these are just that, nearly melting in your mouth with each bite.
And if you love this snickerdoodle recipe, try my snickerdoodle scones!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 1 cup unsalted butter (226g) softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (see my post on how to measure flour properly to avoid cookies that are dry) (375g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F¹ (175C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- In stand mixer or with hand mixer cream butter and sugar together on medium-low speed until combined.
- Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, stirring again until combined. Pause to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually stir flour mixture into your butter mixture until completely combined (the dough becomes fairly thick, and you will need to scrape the sides/bottom of the bowl several times to ensure it is well combined).
- In a separate small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar for rolling.
- Roll dough into 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized balls and roll in your cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- Place on prepared cookie sheets and bake on 350F (175C) for 11-12 minutes, the centers may appear slightly under-done still and that is OK! Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet where they will finish baking without drying out or becoming hard or crumbly.
¹Recipe Update Note:When I originally published this recipe I recommended baking the cookies at 375F (190C) for 10 minutes. That will still work (and work well!), but I’ve found that baking them at 350F (175C) for 11-12 minutes yields even softer, chewier cookies and now recommend that.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This snickerdoodle recipe was originally published 04/18/2016.