The BEST snickerdoodle recipe ever! These snickerdoodle cookies have crispy edges, chewy centers, and a rich cinnamon flavor. They’re easy to make with no chilling or strange ingredients! A classic Christmas cookie recipe passed down from my grandma that I have been baking since I was a little girl!
Merry Christmas in July! Every time we go hiking in the summer the smell of pine trees in the mountains makes us crave Christmas. So, I’m bringing you a little holiday cheer this time of year with a classic Christmas cookie recipe, snickerdoodles!
I took my grandma’s snickerdoodle recipe and tweaked it slightly to make the best snickerdoodle cookies ever. They are my dad’s favorite so they were always included in our holiday baking and taste like nostalgia to me!
These snickerdoodle cookies are absolute perfection. Crispy edges, chewy center, with a rich cinnamon flavor. They’re easy to make with no chilling or weird ingredients! Plus, I personally think they are even better the day after they are baked, making them a great choice to give as holiday gifts to neighbors and friends!
How do you make the best Snickerdoodle Recipe?
This is a very easy snickerdoodle recipe, and there’s no chilling or “unique” ingredients required! But we’ll walk through it step-by-step to ensure your cookie baking success!
Step 1: Cream butter & shortening
Begin this snickerdoodle recipe by creaming together the butter and shortening until the mixture is smooth. Make sure both the butter and shortening are at room temperature so they combine easily!
I recommend using a standing mixer, but you can also use a hand-held mixer with great results! My grandma’s recipe called for all shortening, but I found that using an equal ratio of butter and shortening gave this snickerdoodle recipe the best taste and texture!
Step 2: Add sugar
Next, add the granulated sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is homogenous (uniform throughout).
Step 3: Add egg and vanilla
Beat the egg and vanilla into the ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
Step 4: Sift the flour into the wet ingredients
For the softest, most tender cookie you must sift the flour! I use this fine mesh strainer to sift ingredients. It’s a versatile kitchen tool (I use it for draining pasta, rinsing quinoa, filtering yogurt, etc.) and works very well to sift flour! You can also use a regular flour sifter if you own one!
Note: You can also sift the flour and combine the dry ingredients first and set them aside. Then add them to the wet mixture once it’s ready, but I like to minimize the number of bowls (read: the number of dishes I have to do) so I just sift it right into my mixing bowl!
Step 5: Add dry ingredients & mix
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until a nice dough forms. The dough should be only slightly tacky and very easy to work with.
Adding cinnamon to the dough is one of the things I tweaked from my grandma’s recipe to make this snickerdoodle recipe extra special! I love that there is a double dose of cinnamon, both inside and outside each cookie!
Step 6: Form snickerdoodle dough balls
Use a cookie scoop to measure out 2 TBS of snickerdoodle dough. Roll the dough into a smooth ball in your hands and then set aside on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been used!
Step 7: Roll Snickerdoodles in Cinnamon Sugar
Next, mix together some sugar & cinnamon and roll each snickerdoodle dough ball in the mixture until it’s evenly coated.
Step 8: Bake
Bake the coated snickerdoodle cookies in a preheated oven on a large baking sheet, making sure there is 2-3″ between the cookies and the edge of the pan (the picture below shows them closer together than I actually baked them).
Ungreased baking sheet or parchment paper
I tested these snickerdoodles on multiple different kids of “surfaces.” Bake them either on an ungreased baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for the best results!
How do you know when snickerdoodles are done?
Knowing when a snickerdoodle is done can be tricky, because they don’t look done. However, just like in my BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe, not over-baking is absolutely critical to the final outcome of this snickerdoodle recipe.
When they’re done, the snickerdoodles will be puffed, a parts of the cookie will look set. There will be parts that look a little doughy (the crinkles) and that is a good thing.
Listen, every oven is different, but in my convection oven I absolutely cannot bake them more than 10 minutes or they’re overdone. Sometimes I pull them out at 8 minutes. Please do not over-bake! No matter how tempting it might be!
Step 9: Cool & Enjoy
Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Then grab a glass of milk or a cup of coffee and ENJOY!
How do you store snickerdoodle cookies?
I recommend storing these snickerdoodle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you’re adding these to a cookie tray, just be sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap so no air can get to the cookies!
Can you freeze snickerdoodles?
Yes! You can freeze the baked snickerdoodle cookies or the snickerdoodle dough in an airtight container for up to one month.
If you will be freezing the dough, I recommend scooping it into balls and rolling them until they are smooth. Roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar and freeze them in an airtight container. To bake, remove from the freezer and wait for the cookie dough to come to room temperature.
FAQs about making this snickerdoodle recipe!
What’s the difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle?
Sugar cookies and snickerdoodles may seem similar if you read the list of ingredients: sugar, butter, etc. However there are a few things that set the cookies apart.
- Snickerdoodles use cream of tartar while sugar cookies use baking powder.
- Snickerdoodles have cinnamon in the dough and they are rolled in cinnamon sugar.
- Sugar cookies are made with only butter, while snickerdoodles use a mixture of butter and shortening!
Why are my snickerdoodles flat?
If your snickerdoodles come out flat the most likely cause is that your baking soda or cream of tartar are past their prime and no longer active. I recommend checking the expiration date on your leavening agents. Sometimes even if they haven’t reached their expiration date but have been opened for a long time or have been exposed to heat or moisture they become ineffective.
Questions about Cream of Tartar
So many people wonder “what is cream of tartar?” Well, my science-nerd self is here to tell you that it is an acid called tartaric acid, potassium bitartrate, or potassium hydrogen tartrate, which has a chemical formula of KC4H5O6 Cream of tartar is actually a byproduct of fermenting grapes into wine! Although it has many uses, in this recipe it reacts with baking soda to make these snickerdoodles rise!
Is cream of tartar really necessary?
To make a truly classic snickerdoodle cookie, the answer is yes! The acidic nature of cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles a very slightly tangy flavor and the perfect chewy texture.
What can I substitute for cream of tartar?
It’s really worth it to buy cream of tartar if you want to make the best snickerdoodle cookies ever! However, in a pinch you could substitute the cream of tartar and baking soda with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder. But again, I recommend following the recipe as written for the best results!
Snickerdoodle recipe: Ingredients & Substitutions
Let’s chat about the ingredients and possible substitutions in this snickerdoodle recipe!
- Salted Butter: I always bake with salted butter, I just like the salty/sweet taste in my baked goods. However you can use unsalted butter if you prefer, you may just need to increase the sea salt in the recipe! You also can use all shortening and no butter (that is what my grandma’s recipe called for). However, I really like the flavor of the butter.
- Shortening. I don’t recommend substituting anything for the shortening. It gives the snickerdoodles their chewy-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-edges texture that makes them the best ever.
- Granulated sugar. Organic cane sugar is my granulated sugar of choice, use your favorite. I don’t recommend using brown sugar, as it will change the texture and taste of these snickerdoodles!
- Vanilla extract. Please use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best results!
- Sea Salt. I exclusively bake and cook with pure sea salt (usually purchased from Trader Joe’s or Sprouts, their house brands). Sea salt is different than iodized table salt, so if you use salt other than sea salt I recommend using less than the recipe calls for.
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Best Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe
Snickerdoodle cookie dough:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the cinnamon sugar coating:
- In a small bowl, mix together 2 TBS sugar and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Set aside.
Make the Snickerdoodle cookie dough:
- Sift flour into a medium bowl.
- Add cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Cream together butter, shortening and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer).
- Add egg and vanilla and beat again until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Use a 2 TBS cookie scoop to measure dough, then roll it into balls.
- Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until it’s evenly coated.
- Place cookies on a baking sheet, either ungreased or lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until puffed and mostly set, but still soft.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool!
- You can freeze the baked snickerdoodle cookies or the snickerdoodle dough in an airtight container for up to one month.
- If you will be freezing the dough, I recommend scooping it into balls and rolling them until they are smooth. Roll in cinnamon sugar and freeze the dough balls in an airtight container. To bake, remove from the freezer and wait for the cookie dough to come to room temperature.
More of our favorite cookie recipes:
- BEST Cutout Sugar Cookies
- Seriously the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!
- The BEST Oatmeal Cookies!
- Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
- Flourless peanut butter blossoms
- The BEST Soft Peanut Butter Cookies
- These Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies are my favorite Christmas cookies!
- These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies have three different forms of chocolate!
- These snowball cookies are a Christmas classic!
- Try these chocolate crinkle cookies – they’re fudgy and delicious!
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