Snickerdoodles Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
This snickerdoodle recipe bakes up a batch of soft, tender cinnamon-sugar cookies. Don't forget the cream of tartar!

Updated: Apr. 25, 2024

Snickerdoodles are iconic. They’re like the Judy Garland of cookies—beloved classics that never go out of style. The fun-to-say-name is thought to come from the German dessert schnecke knödel, which translates to “snail dumpling.”

The cookies’ signature quality is a soft chewiness, brought to you by cream of tartar. Below, we’ve provided our snickerdoodle recipe, along with tips and tricks for making the best snickerdoodles ever.

What is a snickerdoodle?

It’s an incredibly soft and chewy cookie baked with a cinnamon-sugar coating. The dough uses cream of tartar as its secret ingredient to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth texture while creating a tang that’s unmistakably snickerdoodle. Once baked, each cookie has a lovely crackling top with cinnamon-sugar flavor baked right in.

Ingredients for Snickerdoodles

  • Butter: To help you find high-quality ingredients, our Test Kitchen cooks put together a list of the best butter brands.
  • Egg: Forgot to set the egg out? Just pop your egg in a bowl of warm water for a minute to bring it to room temp.
  • All-purpose flour: This recipe uses all-purpose flour for its ability to provide a nice structure while keeping the cookies soft and tender.
  • Cream of tartar: Every snickerdoodle recipe uses cream of tartar for pillowy texture and tangy flavor. It’s not a snickerdoodle without cream of tartar!
  • Cinnamon: Use your preferred type of cinnamon here. I like sweet, mellow korintje cinnamon.
  • Sugar: You’ll need a good amount of granulated sugar for both the dough and cinnamon-sugar coating.


Step 1: Mix the batter

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Preheat the oven to 375°F. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture.

Step 2: Whisk together cinnamon sugar

In a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Step 3: Scoop the dough

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Using your hands or a cookie scoop, shape the dough into small 1-inch balls.

Step 4: Roll in cinnamon sugar

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Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Step 5: Bake

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Bake the cookies until they’re nice and light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the pans to wire racks to cool to room temperature.

Editor’s Tip: If your snickerdoodles come out of the oven already looking well done, you may have left them in a bit too long. The trick is to underbake them slightly. They’ll continue cooking for a minute or so after you take them out of the oven, so err on the side of just underdone.

Snickerdoodle Variations

  • Make them even softer: Some people swear by adding cream cheese to a snickerdoodle recipe to make them even more soft, tangy and delicious. Whether or not you mess with perfection is your call, but if you’re going to try it, add 1/4 cup of cream cheese to the recipe.
  • Finish with a glaze: Whip up a quick vanilla glaze and drizzle on top of these cookies for extra sweetness.
  • Mix in baking spices: Sprinkle in spice blends like pumpkin pie spice or chai spice to warm these snickerdoodles up for fall.
  • Dip in white chocolate: Baking these for a party? Bring their presentation up a notch. Melt white chocolate, half dip the snickerdoodles and lay on a piece of parchment to set. It’s an easy trick to make them look professional.

How to Store Snickerdoodles

To store, allow the cookies to cool completely to room temperature. Place the cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to four days.

One helpful Amish baking tip is to store cookies in an airtight container along with a slice of bread. Doing this keeps the snickerdoodles fresher longer. We also love using this hack to soften cookies once they’ve gotten too crunchy.

Can I freeze snickerdoodles?

Yes, you can freeze snickerdoodles. To freeze cookies for later, allow them to cool to room temperature, then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pop the sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 30 minutes. Then layer the frozen cookies in airtight containers, with a piece of parchment or waxed paper separating each layer. This will help prevent the cookies from sticking to one another. Freeze the containers of cookies for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before serving, or pop a few in the microwave until heated through.

Snickerdoodle Tips

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Do I need to chill snickerdoodle cookie dough?

No, there’s no need to chill your cookie dough. However, if you’d like to, no harm done. Some home bakers insist that you chill your dough first before baking—for an hour up to overnight. It can help stop the dough from spreading and allegedly can give the cookies more caramel color and depth of flavor.

What do snickerdoodles taste like?

Snickerdoodles taste sugary, cinnamony and slightly tangy. The snickerdoodle dough is rolled into balls and tossed in a cinnamon-sugar mixture coating. Once baked, you’re left with cookies that have a slightly crispy exterior, but are unmistakably soft, chewy and tender.

Why is cream of tartar in snickerdoodles?

Cream of tartar acts as one of the leavening agents in this snickerdoodle cookie recipe. We use both cream of tartar and baking soda for extra lift (just like we do in our Amish sugar cookies). Most cookie recipes rely solely on baking soda or baking powder, but cream of tartar makes snickerdoodles so soft they melt in your mouth. They also create that tangy note that is unmistakably snickerdoodle.

Watch how to Make Snickerdoodles

Soft Snickerdoodles

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 2-1/2 dozen.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake until light brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 82 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 57mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

The history of these whimsically named treats has been widely disputed, but their popularity is undeniable. Help yourself to one of our soft cinnamon-sugared cookies and see for yourself. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen