Snickerdoodles are so underrated. They’re Dave’s favorite cookie, and I think my dad’s as well. You probably won’t be surprised that Dave’s and my dad’s favorite ice cream flavors are strawberry and vanilla, respectively. Plain flavors, not too rich, but certainly still a delicious treat. As for me, I have to admit I usually make snickerdoodles when I’m out of chocolate chips.

But these are so good! We’re all missing out with our disdain of the humble snickerdoodle. Buttery, soft, coated in cinnamon sugar – these may not feel as rich as chocolate chip cookies, but they certainly have their place.

There are a lot of recipes for snickerdoodles, but they’re almost identical. I just take Betty Crocker’s basic recipe and tweak it to my liking. The most important change is replacing the shortening with more butter. Shortening in a cookie? Seriously? Blech. I also double the salt. The original recipe calls for a quarter of the salt most chocolate chip cookie recipes use. I find cookies with that little salt too bland. The next change I make is replacing one tablespoon of the granulated sugar with brown sugar. This is a trick I picked up from Cooks Illustrated’s sugar cookie recipe, which is designed to add a bit of complexity to the cookie with a hit of butterscotch flavor. The final tweak I make is to increase the cinnamon to sugar ratio in the coating. The original recipe has only 2 teaspoons cinnamon to a quarter cup sugar – a ratio of 1 part cinnamon to 6 parts sugar.  I like a ratio of 1 part cinnamon to 2 parts sugar. Sometimes, when I want to make Dave really happy, I also grate some nutmeg into the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Next time you’re in the mood to bake, don’t forget about snickerdoodles! And not just because they don’t require any ingredients besides staples, but because they’re delicious!

Snickerdoodles (adapted from Betty Crocker’s Big Red Cookbook)

Makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies

2¾ cups (13.75 ounces) unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups granulated sugar minus 1 tablespoon (10.35 ounces total)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
¼ cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar (for rolling)
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugars (except the ¼ cup granulated sugar for rolling) until creamy; add eggs and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

3. Mix ¼ cup sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll approximately a tablespoon of dough into a 1-inch ball; roll ball in cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining dough, placing balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake until cookies are just set and turning golden brown at edges, 8-9 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes; then, using a wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.


  1. Totally agree they are underrated. They are my FAVORITE cookie! These look sooo nice and fluffy too! mmmm….

  2. These were my favorite cookie when I was little. I’d kind of forgotten about them until now though.

  3. This is my favorite cookie in the whole world. I made these recently for my hubby’s poker night w/ the guys and they were practically kissing my feet.

    I always thought that someone on Top Chef should make Snickerdoodle ice cream… you know when they have those ice cream flavor challenges? Yum!

  4. This recipe looks so soft and chewy. Last time I made snickerdoodles, they were tasty but too cakey. These look more like the texture I was hoping for. I think snickerdoodles are a perfect cookie for the masses– few people don’t like them. Maybe I should bring some to work again soon…

  5. So I just started making these cookies, and after I made the dough I discovered I didn’t have any more sugar to roll them in. So now I”m experimenting with how well they chill overnight 🙂

  6. Erin – Oops! The dough will keep just fine in the fridge overnight. You may want to bring it to room temperature before baking though? Or maybe bake at a lower temperature. Something to give them a chance to warm up and spread a bit.

    By the way, they are soft and chewy, not cakey. I hope you like them!

  7. Love your blog! Your cookies are a thing of beauty – wish mine looked like yours. Followed your recipe to a “T” and they came out flatter than a pancake, tasted great though. Please help my cookies look like yours!

  8. emm – Aw, I’m sorry. What a bummer. Here are my ideas for why they might have turned out flat:

    You used real butter, right, not margarine?

    Are you at high altitude?

    How soft was your butter? “Softened” butter shouldn’t actually be soft, just not rock hard from the fridge.

    How did you measure your flour? Measuring by volume is notoriously imprecise. Different people will invariably end up with different amounts of flour in 1 cup. I always measure by weight and then assume 5 ounces = 1 cup flour when I write recipes, but this might be on the high side. You could try adding an extra tablespoon or two of flour, especially if the dough seems exceptionally soft. But if you can, measure by weight!

  9. Kansas says:

    I love snickerdoodles. I used the recipe above and they turned out wonderful!

  10. maaaryiella says:

    hmmm can you use anything else besides unbleached flour?
    like plain or all purpose.


  11. maaaryiella – Unbleached flour and all-purpose flour are pretty much always interchangeable, especially in something like this. You can definitely use all-purpose.

  12. I haven’t have snickerdoodles in soo long! Yours look sooo yummy. I will definitely try these up tomorrow and let you know how it goes! I love your blog. I just started one on my own. I’m inspired by people like you! =)

  13. ok so i did it! I made them and i LOVED them. Thanks so much! I posted them on my blog! Take a look =)

  14. Jackie says:

    Hi Bridget

    I was wondering how much grated nutmeg do you add in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

  15. bridget says:

    Jackie – Um…a pinch? It isn’t something I measure, and I only occasionally add it at all.

  16. lindsay says:

    I live in Denver Colorado at about 5600 feet. any suggestions to help the cookies turn out puffy and not like pancakes?

  17. bridget says:

    lindsay – Ugh, high altitude baking can be really frustrating, can’t it? I would look into a book like Pie in the Sky. I’ve made a couple recipes from there at high altitude and had good results. If there isn’t a snickerdoodle recipe, adapt a high-altitude chocolate chip cookie by using all white sugar, increasing the flour slightly, cutting the salt in half, and substituting cream of tartar and baking powder for the baking soda. (Email me at crumblycookie.bridget at gmail dot com if you need help!)

  18. Neeka says:

    About how many cookies does this make?

  19. bridget says:

    Neeka – Sorry about that omission. I’ll update the recipe to include the yield.

  20. Heather says:

    Hi Bridget-
    I just came across your blog while looking for a Snickerdoodle recipe. These looked so good that I knew I needed to make them! So I just did, and they are soft, fluffy, puffed, and perfect. I did make several changes to the recipe that might come in handy for anyone else. I didn’t have cream of tarter, so after googling to find a replacement, I ended up cutting it out, as well as all the baking soda, and substituted 3 tsps baking powder. The actual math is 1 tsp baking powder=1/4 tsp baking soda and 5/8 tsp cream of tarter. I also live in Denver. I know the obstacles keep mounting (no pun intended)!! So here is the trick for anyone else baking above 3500 feet, up to 7000 feet: Decrease the Baking Soda or Baking powder by 25%, so I deducted 1/4 tsp from my 3 tsp. Add 2-3 tbsp water for each cup of flour, I added 4 total since it was a bit more humid than normal in Denver today. Decrease the sugar by 1-3 tbsp for each cup. I did 1 1/2 tbsp. Finally, up the baking temp by 20-degrees and don’t bake longer than 8 minutes. They turned out PERFECT.

  21. Scarlet says:

    Hey these are AWESOME. My very favorite cookie now. And i agree with you that shortening in cookies. Blech

  22. Scarlet says:

    Amazing and nice and puffy. NO flatness

  23. Chelsea says:

    Just spent the afternoon baking and theses bad boys turned out amazing!! Omg soooo good. I love them! Thanks

  24. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made these about 3 days ago and everyone LOVED them (including my dad, who is rather picky). The cookies came out perfect and they’re still soft. I’ve made snickerdoodles before and they came out really flat, however, these were perfect. I’ll make them again some time. 🙂


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