Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles.

Making soft, thick, & puffy Snickerdoodles at home is easy. And quick! These soft-baked cinnamon sugar cookies only take me about 25 minutes start to finish.

The BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies - get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

I like to call these snickerdoodle pillows. Perfect fat, puffy, snickerdoodles. PS: I know my polish is chipping. Cookies are more important.

The BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies - get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Much too often you run into snickerdoodle problems. You’re left with lifeless, flat, crispy, and thin cinnamon-sugar cookies. They crunch as you chew. The only remedy is to submerge them into a tall glass of milk. Which is purely delicious.

But what about starting out with a super soft-baked pillowy snickerdoodle?

Snickerdoodles are a timeless classic and have been a favorite of mine forever.  Shocking, I know. They don’t have any chunks or gooey caramel flowing out of them. They are pure, simple, and loaded with cinnamon-sugar.  Like a sugar cookie dressed in a cinnamon sugar outfit. That’s why I love them so much, besides their whimsical name of course. I just adore anything cinnamon-sugary.

Today’s snickerdoodle recipe = take 25 minutes start-to-finish. 30 minutes, tops.  That’s only if you waste time “taste-testing.” Which, is purely necessary when you make snickerdoodles, right?  Gotta make sure that dough is good – over and over and over again. Ahem.

There’s no dough-chilling required. There’s no fancy-pants ingredients required. There’s no secrets. There’s simply no catch. These are the easiest cookies I’ve ever made and by far – the BEST snickerdoodles I’ve ever made.

The BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies - get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

How do I make them so gosh-darn puffy and soft?  Easy. The ratio of butter to leavener to flour to egg. I do not use shortening in my cookies – I prefer the taste of butter. It took me three tries to get these cookies perfect. I’ve been swimming in snickerdoodles the past two weeks. Cream of tartar and baking soda are needed for the recipe, in lieu of baking powder. Sure, you could use 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the cream of tartar + baking soda, but then you won’t really have a snickerdoodle.

Cream of tartar imparts a unique tangy flavor to the cookie, which makes it a classic snickerdoodle.

These cookies should be baked only until the edges begin to brown – about 10-11 minutes, tops. This will keep the interior of the cookie soft and chewy. Baking them for any longer will cause them to brown too much on top and I fear they would harden over time. You’ll want to slightly press down on the cookie with the back of a spoon or fork after you remove them from the oven. They will still be very, very puffy!

The cookies stand the true “soft test” – they remained soft on day 2. In fact, the cinnamon-sugar flavor was pronounced on day 2.  I ate more on day 2 than day 1.  Since they remain so soft, they are the perfect cookie for gift-giving.  I know there are many snickerdoodle lovers out there!

The BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies - get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Nom, nom, nom. Go make yourself (and all the snickerdoodle lovers in your life) some cookies.  They’ll be ready before my new coat of nail polish dries.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles

Cookies have a strong cinnamon taste, as cinnamon is generously used in the dough and the topping. The cookies are very puffy. You may slightly press down on them before baking or after baking to induce spreading.

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/3 cup (267g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (always recommended for cookies). Set aside.
  2. Make the topping: toss 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  4. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough is quite thick and you may have to stir the rest by hand.
  5. Take 1.5 - 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Roll the dough balls into the reserved cinnamon-sugar topping. Sprinkle extra cinnamon-sugar on top if desired. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will be very puffy and soft. When they are still very warm, lightly press down on them with the back of a spoon or fork to help flatten them out. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies remain soft & fresh for 7 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
  6. Make ahead tip: There are a few options here! First, you can prepare the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure that you let it come to room temperature before rolling and baking the cookies. You can also freeze the cookie dough balls. Roll the dough into balls then freeze the balls for up to 2-3 months. You can freeze the cookie dough balls with the cinnamon sugar coating or without, your call. When ready to make, bake the frozen cookie dough balls 1-2 minutes longer than what the recipe states. You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Notes:

*Cream of tartar is required for this recipe. Please see the text of the post for more information.

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The BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies - get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

537 comments

  1. Hi sally!!  I LOVE this cookie recipe,it’s awesome if you need desserts in a time crunch.I’m making a few other types of cookies  of yours for an event this weekend.Anyways,I was wondering if chilling this cookie dough will effect the final product? 
    Thanks for your input!! 
    Have a good day! 

    • Hi Jennifer! Chilling the cookie dough is ok, but make sure you let it sit out at room temperature for a little before rolling/baking. The cookies won’t spread much if the dough is too cold.

  2. Hi Sally! These cookies are amazing! The only thing is mine flattened out quite a bit. I’m wondering if you have any insight as to why mine didn’t stay as puffy as yours. Thanks so much! 

    • Kara, I don’t know if this is the problem or not, but I have found the differences in cookie outcomes to be greatly influenced by which type of flour you use. For cookies I always use regular bleached all-purpose. Unbleached changes the texture. I use unbleached for breads if not specifically told to use bread flour.

      Also, in the years past our mothers and grandmothers had to sift flour. Unless specifically stated in a recipe I do not spoon and level into my measuring cups. I give the bucket of flour a stir, then scoop and level. That’s why some recipes give their measurements in ounces or grams when the recipe must have exact amounts to come out right because the way one measures can greatly change the volume of flour which changes the weight.

      If your oven is set, for example, to 350° but is really only baking at 325 it gives the cookies more time to spread before the outside gets baked enough to help the cookie keep it shape. My old oven had to have a thermometer placed inside. I’d check and see that it was too low at 325 and bump it up by 25 degrees only to return to check it and see it had gone down to 300! Thankfully, that oven is buried and a new one thrives in my kitchen.

      Hope that’s helpful!

  3. Hi Sally!! I made these cookies and they were SO yummy! They came out of the oven so thick and beautiful, and then they flattened out like a pancake. No problem with spreading. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! My cookies aaaalways do this, no matter the recipe. Help please!! <3

  4. Just baked these cookies, and they turned out incredible! I used the correct measurements (maybe a pinch less flour), and they fell perfectly and ended up soft and light. Thanks!

  5. Super recipe! So far I only made the dough & plan to freeze in balls (to bake later for Christmas – thanks or the wonderful, time-saving tips!), but I baked 3 cookies to make sure they were worth it. They were delicious & looked just like the picture! I also took your advice to sprinkle a little more cinnamon-sugar on top after rolling & they looked very nice! I’d rather have these snickerdoodles than the ones from Panera! Thanks…this will be a new holiday favorite!

  6. My dough seems really dry, powdery almost is there anything I did wrong, I used all the ingredients, i can make a ball with them but I have to press hard and the crumble easy 

    • Hi Krista,

      A couple suggestions. Make sure your egg is a large egg, and make sure you measure the flour as the recipe suggests (spoon and smooth, not scoop). Maybe this will help.

      • Would y’all suggest adding a second egg if the dough seems a little dry/powdery like Krista is saying. I am having the same problem. I used the largest egg I could find. Should I add an egg or start over?

  7. Hi Sally!! I always turn to your books and site for recipes during the holidays and I was wondering if I used coconut oil, do I use the same measurements? The 1 cup, that is.

    Hoping you reply!! Thank you!

  8. Love this recipe! I have made it so many times, but the last time I made it there seemed to be a problem. My cookie batter was super sticky and I’m not quite sure why. What could have caused that to happen? I made it the same way as previous times. 

  9. I found my dough was a bit dry, maybe use 2 eggs instead of one? Also, mine were almost burnt so next time I will cook at 350 for 10 minutes (new oven). They turned out perfectly otherwise! Light and fluffy and didn’t fall flat. I would check the expiration date on the baking soda if other people’s cookies are going flat.

  10. I made a gluten free version that turned out awesome. I substitute gluten free flour mix and follow the rest of the recipe. I added chipits score pieces to mine. Yummy. Thanks for sharing

  11. Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes! I haven’t tried this snickerdoode recipe yet, but I am making them in the morning. I noticed you use only granulated sugar in this recipe, while many of your cookie recipes call for brown sugar also. Do you prefer these with only granulated sugar?
    Thanks!

    • For a traditional snickerdoodle taste and flavor, I find only granulated is key 🙂 Have fun baking and let me know how you like them!

  12. Not sure where all the complaints are coming from! This is a super simple, and incredibly delicious recipe. I actually ended up halfing this recipe, and making it vegan by using a flax egg and vegan butter. These are incredible, and only took about half an hour from start to finish. My non-vegan bf and mother-in-law, loved these and ate about 3 each. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Such a great recipe, made it the first and come out just like yours ! Love them, thank you!

  14. Hello Sally. I love this recipe and have made it many times. I haven’t yet tried to pre-bake, then freeze the cookies…they are so great, that freezing never had a chance to happen! Can you tell me if this cookie will be just as delicious if frozen? Thank you…and I love your pups!! They are beautiful.

  15. I’m eating one of these cookies as I type–so good! I couldn’t let them cool, I had to go for it. So soft and perfect. 11 minutes on the dot for my oven. I scooped out 2 tablespoons worth for the balls, so my cookies look thinner/bigger than your pictures. I plan on making them the same way in the future. First time making snickerdoodles, I knew I could trust your recipe since I love many of your others! Thanks!

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