Soft, buttery, chewy, classic Snickerdoodle Cookies that all but melt in your mouth. This recipe is super simple, includes a special ingredient for extra-soft cookies, and requires no chilling, which means you can have perfect warm Snickerdoodles in under 30 minutes!
Snickerdoodles are a traditional Christmas Cookie in my house and one of my family’s all-time favorites!
While I was happy to eat my weight in the other cookies she made, the Snickerdoodle cookies never really impressed me. My mom is a great cook and a great baker (she helps with testing and perfecting so many of my recipes) but the Snickerdoodle cookies she made would always be a bit… dry and crumbly. If you know how I feel about cookies, they should always be soft, buttery, and chewy. The word “dry” shouldn’t even be a thought in your mind.
It took a lot of tweaking and taste-testing, but I’m so excited to share my tested and perfected (Mom-approved) Snickerdoodles 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 cookies extra soft.
What You Need:
- Butter. I use unsalted and add salt so that we have better control over the flavor of our cookies. Make sure your butter is softened before beginning.
- Sugar. Granulated.
- Eggs. We’re using one large egg and one egg yolk. This extra yolk helps make the cookies particularly soft and tender. Using two whole eggs would make the cookies a bit too puffy and cakey.
- Vanilla extract. Just a splash.
- Flour. Use all-purpose (“plain”) flour.
- Corn starch. My favorite secret ingredient for super soft cookies! It helps make the cookies tender while at the same time keeping them from spreading too much. I use this ingredient in so many of my favorite cookies (like my peanut butter cookies!).
- Baking soda.
- Cream of tartar. This is a critical Snickerdoodle ingredient and provides that signature tang. In the past I have had mixed results using cream of tartar substitutes but as a rule I don’t recommend substituting the cream of tartar. It’s what makes a Snickerdoodle a Snickerdoodle!
- Salt. For flavor, of course!
You’ll also need an electric mixer or stand mixer for creaming your ingredients together.
How to Make Snickerdoodle Cookies
These cookies are easy and the printable recipe is below, but here are a few key steps and tips that might be helpful!
- Cream together wet ingredients. Start by creaming together (with an electric mixer) your butter and sugar (I know, sugar appears dry but in baking it is actually considered a “wet” ingredient. Stir in an egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. For best results all of your ingredients should be at room temperature.
- Stir together dry ingredients. Do this in a separate bowl. Make sure they are thoroughly combined.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. When making cookies it is less critical that you avoid over-beating your ingredients than it is with cakes, but I still recommend you avoid beating your ingredients on too high of a speed for too long, which can contribute to puffy, cakey, dry cookies.
- Roll cookie dough into balls, then roll through cinnamon/sugar before baking. Space your cookies at least 2″ apart as they will spread a bit in the oven. I recommend baking cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, it makes cleanup much easier!
- Allow to cool before enjoying! 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. My method of cooling them and letting them finish baking on the cookie tray leaves you with soft, chewy cookies!
These Snickerdoodles will stay soft and fresh for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you’re a fan of crunchy cookies (is anyone?) 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. Enjoy!
More Classic Cookie Recipes to Try:
- 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.
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This Snickerdoodle recipe was originally published 04/18/2016.