Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles

Soft & chewy snickerdoodle cookies stuffed with caramel. Quick, simple, and you don’t even need a mixer to make them!

stack of caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies broken in half showing the caramel inside on a white plate

We have reached the final recipe in Sally’s Cookie Palooza party. 10 cookie recipes in 12 days. My cookie jar is literally overflowing. My freezer is full of cookie dough. My neighbors are sugar-ed out. Kevin’s coworkers think I’m a crazy cookie lady.


(And they are totally thankful, for the record.)

cookie palooza logo image

I made today’s cookie recipe to bring home for the holidays. My snickerdoodle-loving mom will be endlessly cooking the entire week, so I offered to make a few dozen cookies for the dessert trays. I have a feeling these cookies will blow everyone’s mind.

caramel stuffed snickerdoodle cookies on a baking sheet

So what exactly do we have here? Why it’s another stuffed cookie!

You’re looking at a cinnamon-kissed snickerdoodle cookie stuffed with soft caramel candies. But not just any snickerdoodle – this recipe makes soft, chewy snickerdoodles. And guess what? You don’t even need a mixer to make them.

Yup. Mind-blowing.

stack of caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies broken in half showing the caramel inside on a baking sheet

The recipe is a little different from my wildly popular Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles, a cookie recipe I posted earlier this year. Those cookies are like little snickerdoodle pillows! And I completely love them.

However, I wanted a chewier snickerdoodle today. Still soft, but heavy on the chew. I didn’t stray too far from the originals because that recipe is so darn good.

I only changed a few simple things:

  • Switched from creamed butter to melted butter. Melted butter creates a chewier cookie. Since you’re not creaming butter, you don’t need a mixer.
  • Very slightly reduced the flour so the cookies could be a little flatter. But, as you can see, they’re still quite thick!
  • Subbed a bit of brown sugar for the white sugar. Brown sugar gives cookies a wonderful flavor as well as increases a cookie’s soft texture.

Oh… and I stuffed them with caramel. Surprise!

stack of caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies broken in half showing the caramel inside on a white plate

This cookie dough comes together quite quickly. Important: make sure you use a whisk when mixing your wet ingredients. The melted butter will separate from the rest of the ingredients if you do not whisk it all together very well.

After the wet and dry ingredients are combined, the dough will be very thick and heavy. In fact, you’ll work a few arm muscles stirring it all together.

Um, who says baking is not a workout?!

The thick cookie dough must chill for at least 1 hour. Otherwise, you’ll have some spreading issues. Not pretty, trust me.

snickerdoodle cookie dough in a pink bowl with a spatula

As the dough chills for a quick hour, get your caramels ready. You’ll need soft caramels like Kraft Caramels or Werther’s Original Baking Caramels. Alternatively, you could use Rolo candies – or any caramel candy bar like Snickers or Milky Way. (Yum.)

I used Kraft caramels. Cut the caramels into small pieces. Why cut them? Because you don’t want the entire caramel inside the cookie or else you will have pools of caramel all over your baking sheet. The entire caramel is too much for this cookie dough.

I cut each caramel square into 4 pieces. And then 2 pieces will go into the cookie.

Kraft caramels cut into small pieces on a white cutting board

(Yes, I have a pink polka dotted knife. And it’s awesome.)

Once your cookie dough has chilled for at least 1 hour, it will be sort of crumbly. That’s ok! As you roll the cookie dough into balls and stuff them, the dough will come together. Just keep rolling it between your hands.

Stuffing the cookie dough is quite simple. Roll 1.5 – 2 Tablespoons of dough. Mine were about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Break that dough ball in half. Stick two caramels inside one half. Smoosh the other half on top and roll it all up again, securing the caramel inside. Then, in true snickerdoodle style, roll into cinnamon-sugar.

Here’s a little visual:

collage of 5 images showing how to make caramel stuffed snickerdoodle cookies

Now what? Time to bake the caramel surprise cookies!

The snickerdoodles take about 10-11 minutes in the oven. They’ll be slightly puffy and look very soft when they’re done. You’ll be tempted to keep them in longer, but don’t.

Here’s what my snickerdoodles looked like right before I took them out of the oven. (Note: this was the last of the cookie dough so there are only 6 cookies on the sheet!)

snickerdoodle cookies on a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet in the oven

Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. They’ll slightly deflate as they cool. Depending on the caramel you use, it will stay soft inside the cookie for the first day or two. Otherwise you’ll have to warm the cookies up for a few seconds in the microwave to get the caramel gooey again. And um, that’s totally ok in my book.

I have these cookies set aside to bring home in the morning and it’s taking every ounce of self control to not dig in! However, the one cookie I did taste? Dunked it in some coffee and it was all kinds of amazing. I suggest you do the same. 😉

Snickerdoodle lovers and caramel lovers unite today. You’re all going to go nuts for this recipe! And the best part? They’re simple. Don’t lug out your mixer, don’t set aside hours in your day. Quick, easy, and taste like you slaved in the kitchen all day.

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

stack of caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies broken in half showing the caramel inside

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

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stack of caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies broken in half showing the caramel inside on a white plate

Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 20-24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft & chewy snickerdoodle cookies stuffed with caramel. You don’t even need a mixer to make them! This cookie dough requires at least 1 hour of chilling.



  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 soft wrapped caramel candies, such as Kraft Caramels or Werther’s Original Baking Caramels

For Rolling

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


  1. For the cookies: Toss the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until smooth. You must use a whisk in order to prevent the butter from separating. Whisk in the egg, then the vanilla until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very thick and heavy, yet slightly crumbly. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. Unwrap the caramels and cut each into 4 pieces. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. You’ll have about 20-24 balls, give or take. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact.
  5. Please use the visual above to help guide you through this step: Break each dough ball in half. Make a thumbprint into the bottom of one half and press two pieces of caramel inside, as shown above. Smoosh the other half of the dough on top and roll the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball. Make sure the caramels are completely wrapped inside.
  6. For the topping: Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Roll each stuffed dough ball into the mixture to coat evenly. Place 10 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes. The cookies will look very puffy, soft, and under baked. That’s ok. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week. Depending on the caramel you use, it will stay soft inside the cookie for the first day or two. Otherwise you’ll have to warm the cookies up for a few seconds in the microwave to get the caramel gooey again.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Cookies freeze well, up to 2 months. Cookie dough balls freeze well, up to 2 months.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: caramel snickerdoodles


  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    I love that you used melted butter thus no creaming required. All the step shots are GREAT. So time consuming to set camera down, wipe hands, take pics, do 1 more thing, repeat; but on a recipe like this is will be so helpful for people.

    And yes to not using 1 whole caramel. I made that rookie mistake years ago and ended up with the worst caramel goo melted (burnt) on my cookie sheet before I baked on silpats. Lessons learned!

    They’re gorgeous, Sally. And 10 in 12 days. BRAVO! pinned

    1. Thanks for pinning Averie! Yes, I posted so much over the past 2 weeks. I’m ready to relax!

  2. Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes says:

    Oh. My. I am still dreaming about the chewy brown sugar cookies, and now snickerdoodle pillows??? I think this could be my dream cookie…sigh.

    1. Haha! Well, let me know if you try them!

  3. Wow. Even with the changes, these still look so puffy and delicious! Caramel oozing out of cookies can only mean good things. Awesome job on the cookie palooza! They are seriously all top-notch recipes. Sally = cookie queen! 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend and have a wonderful start to your Christmas week!

    1. Have a very Merry Christmas week Erin! Thanks for all the kind words and for following along with my cookie palooza! xo

  4. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    You had me at caramel surprise! Best surprise for cookies!!

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    I love that caramel surprise, so fun!

  6. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate says:

    Great idea putting the caramels in the middle! I actually don’t know the last time I made cookies using a mixer. I always do it by hand even if it involves creaming butter. Apparently I am a glutton for punishment!

    1. Mallory, creaming butter by hand is no easy task! More power to you!

  7. Mind blowing is right!!

    The gooey caramel center looks to die for and in the soft snickerdoodle cookies too!! Oh my gosh, heavenly cookie. Pretty sure these will be gone seconds after you put them out to eat. People are going to freak. Kind of of jealous of you family right now! LOL! 🙂

    1. Thanks Tieghan. I’m sort of jealous of your fan eating all of the wonderful things you’ve been baking. Especially that butterscotch monkey bread!

  8. I made snickerdoodles today, only I jazzed ’em up a bit with molasses and ginger—amazing, but whoaa!! I never thought to stuff ’em with caramel! Absolutely mind-blowing. So sad that the Cookie Palooza is over! I will never tire of looking at your cookie recipes! 😀

    1. Thanks Sarah – and your snickerdoodles with molasses and ginger sound completely incredible!!

  9. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    These cookies so soft, like little pillows I want to rest my head on then eat! Super yummy Sally. Have a great holiday!

    1. Haha! They taste like little caramel cinnamon pillows too. Have a great holiday Pamela!

  10. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    Okay seriously, with that surprise caramel filling, how could I resist these?! I could easily go for a dozen right now at midnight!

  11. Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness says:

    Holy Moly! I thought I died and went to heaven with those Reeses stuffed cookies and then here you go stuffing caramel in a snickerdoodle! I didn’t think the classic snickerdoodle could get much better but I clearly underestimated your cookie baking prowess! Girl, these look out of this world crazy amazing and I need them right now. At 7am. Pinned!

    1. Hahaha it’s never too early for a snickerdoodle. They go well with coffee. 😉 Thanks for pinning Taylor!

  12. I didn’t think you could make snickerdoodles any better.

    I was wrong.

    Way to go, Sally!

    1. Thanks Nicola. 🙂

  13. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life says:

    I love all the photos in this post! You nailed the consistency of the dough – snickerdoodle dough is always a little different – and thanks for the note about cutting the caramels. I made the mistake of trying to stuff whole caramels in a pb cookie. That was not good! 🙂 My dad’s favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle and caramel stuffed makes it 10x better. Whew! You really did save the best for last! (well, those macaroons …) Anyway, way to go with 10 cookie recipes in 12 days:) Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and break Sally!

    1. Thanks Mary Frances. 🙂 And I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well! Sounds like you need to make these for your dad 🙂

  14. Delicious, Sally! I don’t know what is wrong with my family’s snickerdoodle recipe, but we have yet another year of rock-hard cookies that break our teeth. We’re going to try again with one of your recipes! I assured my family that you are completely ANTI hard cookies and that your recipes are always gorgeous, soft, chewy, and just PERFECT! I hope you have a great time seeing your mom and family for Christmas! 😀

    1. Hard cookies – I just can’t do them! Caley, if you give my snickerdoodles a try – let me know how they go! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. xo

  15. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    Sally these look SO good! I love caramel stuffed any kind of cookie, and with snickerdoodles? It just sounds awesome! PS: I love your knife. 🙂

    1. Haha I knew you’d love the knife Ari! Happy holidays to you!

  16. My office is overflowing with chocolates and caramels. When I got in this morning I snagged (among other things) fleur de sel caramels. Sally…this is like cookie karma, isn’t it? I have been telling my coworkers I am snagging stuff for cookies later but…but….I have one lonely egg in the fridge….this might be some Christmas day baking for me!

    Question…should I reduce the salt in the recipe since the caramels are salted? Or open one and make a game time decision?

    Happy holidays and thank you for all of the amazing recipes and photography and cookie LESSONS! 🙂

    1. How perfect! You can certainly leave the salt out of this cookie dough because your caramels are salted, Christine. Though I love salty/sweet so I would personally leave it in the dough.

    2. PS: Happy Holidays to you as well!

  17. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says:

    I can see the caramel melting out from the side of the cookie, makes me want to grab it and toss it in my mouth! Love caramel and I’m sure it tastes great inside these cookies!!

  18. Caramel is the best surprise! These look lovely!

  19. Abbie @ Needs Salt says:

    Oh Sally, you’ve outdone yourself. These cookies are just beautiful! So sparkly and snickerdoodle-y. I love them.

    1. Thanks for pinning Abbie!

  20. Omg, I love your polka dot knife!! And the cookies look so good 🙂

  21. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    Yummm! I’m posting a caramel stuffed cookie recipe tomorrow too, you would love it!

  22. Karen @ The Food Charlatan says:

    Um, YUM. I’ve been baking cookies all day and thought I was just about cookied out. WRONG.

    1. I thought the same thing this past weekend, Karen. I was very cookie’d out! But then these happened… and well, I love them the best!

  23. Kira - The Healthable Old Soul says:

    Snickerdoodles + Caramels = A cookie you’ve gotta try!

    1. My thoughts exactly. Thanks Kira!

  24. Beth @ bethcakes says:

    Snickerdoodles and caramel! What an awesome combo. Love all the melty caramel in the first picture. I haven’t been able to comment as much as I’d like, but I’ve really enjoyed all these wonderful cookie recipes!

    1. Thanks Beth – and I always appreciate hearing from you! Especially during this busy time of year. 🙂

  25. Snickerdoodles oozing with caramel? I can’t think of a better combination!

  26. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    Oh my! So many snickerdoodle recipes. I love it. 🙂 And great changes that you made to the previous recipe to make these even chewier! Though I do like the sound of little snickerdoodle pillows. 😀

  27. Mom loved the help with dessert, that’s for sure. I’m sure you had a sweet holiday as well Amy. Lots of goodies! Hope your New Years Eve is fantastic! The queen of cookies – thank you. 🙂

  28. Hi Sally! These cookies look yummy!! I have tried some of your other cookies before and they always don’t spread out they just puff up. . . I am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Your cookies always taste delicious but don’t look right! Do you know what i am doing wrong?

    1. Sounds like you are over measuring your flour. Make sure you are spooning and leveling, not scooping:

      1. Ok, thanks so much!!

  29. Laura Dembowski says:

    These totally take snickerdoodles to a whole new level! Love it! And baking is totally a workout 🙂

  30. I made these on Sunday and they are positively scrummy! I brought them in to work (lest I eat them ALL) and I am pretty sure some New Year’s resolutions were broken as a result!

    I love to bake but I might need to take a break…your recipes are TOO delicious! 🙂

    1. Christine, I love hearing from you and all the cookie recipes you’ve been making from my blog! I love these snickerdoodles. Easy to break NY resolutions with them for sure.

      1. Thanks for the kind reply! Quick question, one of my coworkers gave me regular size Kit Kat bars to use in cookies. Any ideas? Maybe just chop them up and use in the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip recipe? Or would the wafers in the Kit Kat maybe get weird?

      2. Christine, that’s exactly what I would do with them. Chop them up and throw into the Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookie dough. I don’t think the wafers will get weird!

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