Crisp rippled edges, nutty browned butter chewy middles, and a delightful cinnamon-sugar coat make these the ultimate snickerdoodles.
Snickerdoodles are the best cookie out there, fight me. Everyone always talks about warm chocolate chip cookies, but they have chocolate and that’s the equivalent of bringing a gun to knife fight. Real cookie connoisseurs know that snickerdoodles are the true winner.
The best snickerdoodle cookies
If you’re a snickerdoodle lover like me, you’ve probably searched google for “The Best Snickerdoodle Recipe.” For a long time, the top hit was Ms. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles. There are also a bunch of other recipes out there claiming they’re the best. I’ve made them all because I have loved snickerdoodles my whole life. After extensive research and experimentation, this recipe is hands down my favorite snickerdoodle recipe.
What is a snickerdoodle?
A snickerdoodle is a cookie coated in cinnamon and sugar. What makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle is cream of tartar.
My ultimate snickerdoodle has ripple-y rings of different textures: crispy golden edges and a thick, soft, chewy middle. There’s a hint of toffee from the nuttiness of the brown butter and plenty of cinnamon. The cream of tartar adds a bit of tang in the background and there’s just enough salt to accentuate the sweet. Here’s how to make them!
How to make snickerdoodles
- Measure: Scoop out and whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Brown the butter: Heat up the butter over very low heat until it start to foam and smell nutty, swirling occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Cream the browned butter and sugar: Add the white and brown sugar to the cooled brown butter and mix until lump free. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients: Mix until there are no streaks of flour.
- Shape the cookies: Use a cookie scoop to scoop out two balls of dough, then smush them one on top of each other to form a snowman. Tall balls of dough equal thick cookies.
- Cinnamon sugar: Coat the cookies in cinnamon and sugar and let rest in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
- Bake: Bake until just done on the edges.
Snickerdoodle cookies need all the usual cookie suspects: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. The two key ingredients that turn regular sugar cookies into snickerdoodles are cream of tartar and cinnamon.
- Cream of tartar: This gives snickerdoodles their signature tang.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon gives snickerdoodles a warm and cozy flavor profile.
What is cream of tartar
Cream of tartar is a powdery acid that’s the byproduct of winemaking. It’s mostly used to stabilize egg whites and sometimes used as a leavener. You can find it in the baking aisle, near the baking powder and baking soda. Many people think it’s a pain to have around and are always looking for substitions or recipes without, but cream of tartar is usually under $5 on amazon so it’s totally worth it.
What does cream of tartar do
In the case of snickerdoodles, cream of tartar adds a bit of tang to the cookies. Some people say that it also makes them more chewy.
Cream of tartar substitutes
A great substitute for cream of tartar is fresh lemon juice. If you want a bit of acidity in your cookie but don’t have cream of tartar, try adding in 1.5 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Or, you can leave it out and have a soft and chewy cinnamon sugar cookie!
What else can you make with cream of tartar?
- Japanese Pancakes
- How to Make Extra Tall Extra Fluffy Japanese Soufflé Pancakes like Gram Cafe and Pancakes
- Mile High Mini Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Recipe
- How to Make Japanese Soufflé Creme Brûlée Pancakes
- Japanese Cheesecakes
- Small Batch Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
- Cloud Bread Recipe: How to make that viral TikTok bread
- Small Batch White Rabbit Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Lucky Charms Cookies
- Cake Toast: Angel Food Cake Loaf
Can you make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar?
Yes, but they won’t technically be snickerdoodles. They’ll still be awesome though, probably the best soft cinnamon-sugar cookie you’ll ever make.
The key to making the best snickerdoodles
Browned butter brings so much flavor to baked goods for just a tiny bit of extra effort. It’ll add a nutty caramel roundness and highlight the cinnamon and sugar making your snickerdoodles deeper, richer, and more intense. And bonus, you don’t have to wait for your butter to come to room temp!
If you want cookies that are plush and thick, not thin and spread out, make cookie ball snowmen. Instead of scooping out single balls of cookie dough, scoop out two balls and stack them. As they bake, the cookie dough balls will melt down but not spread out, baking into distinct edges and middles.
I hope you give these snickerdoodles a try. I’ve been making them over and over. There’s nothing quite like a still warm snickerdoodle!
Whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
Brown 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan, swirling, until butter foams and starts to turn brown and smells nutty. Immediately transfer butter to a liquid measuring cup and see how much water content you lost. You want to have 1/2 cup of butter, so stir in the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of butter if you need it – the butter should just melt, not foam.
When the butter is mostly cool, whisk in both 1/3 cup of brown and white sugar until incorporated with no lumps. Whisk in the egg until smooth and glossy. Stir in the vanilla and use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until just combined and no dry spots remain. Do not over mix.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop and scoop out two balls of dough, so that each cookie is 3 tablespoons large. Smoosh the two balls on top of each other – they should kind of look like a 2 ball snowman (see photo) and you should get about 8-10 cookies. Roll the logs/tots generously in the cinnamon sugar, being sure to coat evenly. Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes
Heat the oven to 325°F and bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are just set, rotating and moving trays halfway if browning unevenly. Remove from the oven and bang the pan down against the counter top (this helps create a couple of ripples like you see on Instagram) Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, the move to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy!