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Sweet cinnamon sugar cookies topped with sliced almonds to make adorable little beach sand dollars!

sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies

I must admit, these cookies are pretty cute.

Edible sand dollars!

sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies

2 images of hands rolling cookie dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl and hand adding sliced almonds onto cookie dough ball

This recipe is straightforward. Making the cookie dough could not be easier and the ingredients are quite simple. Your usual suspects: all-purpose flour, leaveners, salt, vanilla, butter, egg, sugar. That’s it. Make sure you do not leave out the cream of tartar. It is required for this recipe and there are no substitutions that will work properly. Cream of tartar is also a key ingredient that gives snickerdoodles their signature tang.

sand dollar cookie dough balls on a silpat baking mat

The finished cookies are ultra soft and chewy. In fact, they passed the true “soft cookie test.” They were still soft (and even softer!) on day 2. That’s a cookie jackpot to me.

sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies

How fun are these adorable cookies for kids? The dough is quite easy to work with, making it perfect for little hands. The kiddos can help rolling each ball into cinnamon sugar and topping with almonds. Their reward is a cinnamon-spiced “sandy” snack.

And the cookies are THE treat to bring to a beach-themed party or shower. And if you don’t have a beachy-themed get together to attend, then throw one! Make a pitcher of pina coladas, some BBQ, Key Lime Pie Squares, and a batch of today’s cookies. And be sure to invite me!

Fun Fact: sand dollars are said to be the lost coins of mermaids. 🙂

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sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies

Cinnamon Sugar Sand Dollar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Sweet cinnamon sugar cookies topped with sliced almonds to make adorable little beach sand dollars!




  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. 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.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. 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.
  3. Scoop a large sections of dough (about 1 Tablespoon of dough each) and roll into balls. Make sure the balls are taller, rather than wide.
  4. Make the topping: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Roll each dough ball into the cinnamon sugar. Press 5 sliced almonds onto the tops of each dough ball, as pictured above. Chill the balls of dough for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This step will prevent spreading in the oven.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Arrange cookies 3 inches apart on baking sheets.
  6. Bake chilled cookie dough for 10 minutes. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes and move to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies stay soft & fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Cookies freeze well. Cookies may be rolled into balls and frozen up to 3 months to bake at a later date. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Larger Batch: Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
  3. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: sand dollar cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. These cookies are adorable! They would be so great and festive for a summer party.

  2. i love your blog! i just made these with almond extract instead of vanilla, there AMAZING! yum 😀

    1. Quick question…when you say you just made them does that include the 48 hours of chilling the dough in the fridge?? Just trying to figure out when would be best to make these suckers lol!

      1. Hi Rebeca! The dough may be chilled for 2 hours and up to 48 hours. So anywhere from 2 hours to 48 hours. So as long as you chill the dough for two hours, you should be fine. Enjoy!

  3. Help Sally!!!…I’m having a rough time deciding between THIS recipe and your Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle recipe…do you favor one over the other?…Is the only real difference between the two the height factor …and the chilling time (versus 20 minutes for the other recipe)?…Cream of tartar and cinnamon figure prominently in both…and my son is a HUGE fan of all things snicker doodle/cinnamon-sugar. He’s home from university…and I want to give him a culinary “hug” with your favorite?!…

    Thank you for ALL you do on such a consistent and appreciated..basis!

    1. Hi Donna! I love both cinnamon/sugar cookie recipes! My snickerdoodle recipe is VERY cinnamon-y. And very thick/puffy. And quicker b/c no chilling. I truly love them both, just go with how much time you have. Both cookies are fabulous.

  4. Hi Sally! I’m trying to make these for a beach themed bridal shower, of course !!! But mine keep coming out huge. I chilled the dough for about 3 hours yet it keeps spreading , (!) any suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong ? I would appreciate it!

    You’re go my go to baking girl !

    Thank you ! 

    1. As in, they are spreading quite a bit? Alyse, how about you add 3-4 additional Tablespoons of flour to the cookie dough. It sounds like your dough is a little too wet, which results in overspread.

      1. Ah yes ! Very likely since I’m scared to over flor lol thanks for saving the day 🙂 I really appreciate it !!! Enjoy your weekend 

  5. Can the balls be flattened a bit then the almonds added for a flatter cookie?

  6. Will not using the cream of tartar make a big difference in the cookie, or is there a possible substitute? 

  7. Hey, Sally! I LOVE your recipes and especially your cookie baking tips! These are amazing cookies!!
    I recently got a food scale to be a better baker. I have made these by measuring out with cups, but when I tried to make these with my scale, your recipe for how much flour in weight didn’t seem right. Would you please let me know what the weight is supposed to be? I’ve followed your other cookie tips lately, and they make a HUGE difference! Thank you so much for sharing with us!!

    1. Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad you enjoy these cinnamon sugar sand dollar cookies 🙂 190 is the accurate amount. Make sure you’re spooning and leveling it

  8. These cookies are just too pretty! They look like the perfect thing to bring to the beach with friends! Surprise ’em with an extra festive treat. I’ve been stockpiling on summer dessert recipes, including your pavlova, strawberry shortcake, lemon berry trifle, etc. These are definitely going on the list! 🙂

  9. Hi! I was wondering, if I freeze the dough to make later in the week what do I need to do when I take them out of the freezer? Do I roll them in the sugar first and then freeze them? And do I need to do any process of thawing before I go to bake them from frozen??

    1. Hi Whitney! For cookies rolled into cinnamon or sugar (or both!), freeze the cookie dough balls without the topping. When you are ready to bake, remove the balls from the freezer, let sit for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll into topping. Here’s how I freeze cookie dough:

  10. It is a warm day and my dough was a bit sticky ~ I added a small amount of flour. My only struggle was placing the almonds on the cookies. No problem shaping, or rolling in cinnamon. They are chilling now~ I had to flatten the cookies a bit~ hoping for the best ~ going to see “ The Tempest” so I needed a dessert that transports easily for picnic dinner ~ Shakespeare in the Park. Many thanks for your recipe.

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