Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies are crispy on the edges and soft in the middle with a sweet dusting of cinnamon sugar on the outside.
Snickerdoodles may sound like the latest trendy dog breed but are actually a classic cookie recipe and one of my favorites.
I love the sweet cinnamon sugar on the outside of the cookie and the soft chewy middle. They are awesome any time of year, but because this is such and easy snickerdoodle recipe they are always on my Christmas cookie list.
The thing about snickerdoodle cookies is you’ve got to get the texture right. I like mine with crisp, buttery edges and a softy, chewy center. This also goes for another of my favorite Christmas cookies, the always popular gingersnaps!
I also like to see that little crackle on top of the cookie. That’s why I use a combination of shortening and butter. The mix of the two gives you a perfect crackle every time.
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- Butter and shortening – You need to use both for this recipe!
- Basics – Sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt,
- Vanilla extract – A must have in all sweet baking.
- Cream of tartar- This is the critical ingredient in snickerdoodles.
- Light brown sugar – Not just for taste, the brown sugar helps keep your cookies moist and give them a chewy texture.
- Cinnamon – For that holiday taste!
Step 1 – Preheat – Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 2 – Combine dry ingredients – In a large bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3 – Cream – In the bowl of your stand mixer add the butter, shortening, and two types of sugar. Cream together until fully combined. You can use a hand mixer if don’t have a stand mixer.
Step 4 – Mix in eggs and vanilla- Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla. Mixing until they are fully combined.
Step 5 – Add dry mix – Slowly add the flour mixture ½ cup at a time until the dough is fully mixed.
Step 6 – Chill dough – Remove dough from the bowl of the mixer and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.
Step 7 – Ball – Once dough is ready, remove from the refrigerator and measure it out by the tablespoon full, rolling it into a ball.
Step 8 – Mix cinnamon and sugar then coat – In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon, then roll each of the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them.
Step 9 – Bake – Place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet or silicone mat and bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown.
Step 10 – Cool – Once baked remove from baking sheet and place on wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Making Snickerdoodle Cookies:
- Your butter and shortening should be at room temperature. This will help you cream together the ingredients quickly and easily.
- Make sure you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, but 2 hours is even better. This helps the cookie to spread less as it bakes giving you a slightly thicker cookie.
- Don’t use a hot cookie sheet. I know it is tempting to take the cooked snickerdoodles off the cookie sheet and put the next batch on it immediately, but a hot cookie sheet makes the butter in the cookies start to melt immediately and your cookies will be spread more. Rotate between two cookie sheets so one can cool while the other is in the oven.
They have been known by many names over the years, like snip doodles, cinnamon sugar cookies, cry babies, and jumbles. There is no clear answer to why we settled on Snickerdoodle for these delicious baked goodies. Some say they come from the German word for snail or other similar German words, while some say it’s just a silly name someone came up with to make the cookie more fun.
The one thing most everyone agrees on is that the cookie we now know and love comes from the Northeastern United States, most likely brought over by Dutch and German immigrants, and that they are delicious!
The key ingredient that makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle isn’t cinnamon sugar, it’s the cream of tartar. There are recipes for snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, but they just aren’t the same thing. It really is a critical ingredient for the cookie.
Cream of tartar is used to activate the baking soda in the recipe making the cookies puff up a little more and making them chewy. It also reacts with the sugar in the dough to give the cookies a soft texture.
Cream of tartar also gives them a slightly tangy flavor that you won’t find in a regular sugar cookie. It’s that tang that really sets this cookie apart from other sugar cookies.
Make the Dough Ahead of Time
You can make this dough ahead of time!
Make the dough according to instructions. Form the dough into 2 discs about 2 inches thick. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then place in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Before using, let the dough thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Bake according to instructions.
How to Store Snickerdoodles
Room Temperature – Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 7-10 days.
Freezer – Let baked cookies cool completely and then place in an airtight container. Place wax paper or parchment paper in between each layer of cookies so they don’t stick together. Seal in an airtight container and place in your freezer. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Looking for More Holiday Cookies?
- Chocolate Spritz Cookies
- Eggnog Cookies
- Gingersnap Cookies
- No Bake Haystack Cookies
- Christmas Wreath Cookies
- Lemon shortbread cookies
- Ranger cookies
- White chocolate oatmeal cranberry cookies
- More Cookie Recipes…
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened
- 1/2 cup Shortening
- 1 cup Sugar, granulated
- 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Granulated sugar, for rolling the dough balls in
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon, for rolling the dough balls in
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of your mixer add the butter, shortening, and two types of sugar. Cream together until fully combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla. Mixing until the are fully combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture ½ cup at a time until the dough is fully mixed together.
- Remove dough from the bowl of the mixer and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.
- Once dough is ready remove from the refrigerator and measure it out by the tablespoon full, rolling it into a ball.
- In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon and then roll each ball of dough in it to coat them.
- Place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Once baked remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack to cool completely.