Soft Caramel Snickerdoodles

stack of caramel snickerdoodle cookies with one broken in half showing the caramel inside

Happy mid-week everyone! As we close yet another summer month and welcome the (hopefully) cooler weather in September, let’s get in our kitchen and bake some cookies. Rightthissecond.

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for months! So do you remember when I told you how grateful I am for the blogging community? Well here’s a recipe from another dear friend’s cookbook. Jamielyn Nye from I Heart Naptime is launching her new cookbook, The I Heart Naptime Cookbook, in just 1 week. I was lucky enough to preview it earlier in the year, but am so excited (1) that it’s finally here and (2) to show you why you need this cookbook in your kitchen.

overhead image of caramel snickerdoodle cookies

Just as she does on her beautiful blog, Jamielyn shares expert tips, exciting crafts, gorgeous photography, and over 100 family-friendly, approachable, and quick recipes in her new cookbook. Each recipe can be made in less than 1 hour, which should seal the deal already. I mentioned this on the back cover of the book, but this is seriously the type of cookbook that will consistently inspire you. Also: the bright colors on each page will make you very happy. Win.

Let me share one of the recipes from her cookbook. I’ve actually made caramel snickerdoodles before and posted the recipe on my blog too. Can I admit that I like Jamielyn’s version better than my own? Her’s are sooooooo soft. Slightly chewy with lots of flavor. When I flipped the page, I suddenly craved cinnamon and caramel for dinner and was tempted to throw on a big chunky sweater and pretend it’s Fall. And totally would’ve done both if I didn’t already have salmon in the oven (damn you salmon!) and it wasn’t a sauna outside. But I did make the cookies regardless! And they rival any snickerdoodle my cookie sheets have ever seen.

I Heart Naptime cookbook by Jamielyn Nye

So naturally, I had to share these caramel cinnamon angels with you.

snickerdoodle cookie dough in a glass stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment

Check out that cookie dough. Look how soft it is!

The ingredients are quite standard for snickerdoodles, but it’s the ratio that makes these snickerdoodles so utterly dreamy. Lots of butter, brown sugar for a little flavor, white sugar, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla… the cookie gang’s all here. All super basic ingredients. Don’t forget that cream of tartar though; it imparts the signature tang as well as the chew in snickerdoodle cookies. Ever notice that snickerdoodles and sugar cookies each have the same ingredients, but snickerdoodles are much chewier with a pillowy texture? It’s the cream of tartar. I found this article super interesting if you’re bored.

Also important: CARAMELS. ♥ ♥

soft caramel candies

2 images of snickerdoodle cookie dough with a caramel candy stuck inside and covered up with more dough and cookie dough balls on a silpat baking mat

I have a special request. Use very soft caramels in these soft caramel snickerdoodles. I’ve had trouble baking cookies like this in the past– the hard caramel dilemma I call it. If your caramels are pretty hard when you stuff them into the cookie dough, the caramel will come out hard and won’t be all soft and gooey like you want it to be (the caramel goo is the best). This sounds very weird, but feel your caramels through the bag before you buy them/cut them for the cookies. Press on them, make sure they’re soft. You may look like a caramel lunatic in the candy aisle, but we are all right there with you. And I promise it’s worth the 10 second public weirdness.

To get the caramel inside the cookies, you’ll stuff them inside the cookie dough balls before baking. To do this, simply roll 2 small balls of dough. Stick half of a caramel inside, place the other ball on top and roll it all up to make a perfect circle. Then roll into cinnamon sugar. That’s all! The cookie will bake around the caramel, while the caramel will melt down inside.

stack of caramel snickerdoodle cookies with one broken in half showing the caramel inside

Jamielyn’s book will be released next week! You can pre-order at any of these locations or pick up a copy next week: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and IndieBound. When you get it, try her caramel frosted pumpkin cookies too. Doesn’t this make you so excited for Fall baking?!?!?

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stack of caramel snickerdoodle cookies with one broken in half showing the caramel inside

Soft Caramel Snickerdoodles

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft caramel snickerdoodles with chewy edges and a sweet surprise inside.


  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (135g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 soft caramels, cut in half


  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour* and up to 3 days.
  4. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Combine the topping ingredients. Set aside.
  7. Scoop a scant 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough. Break in half. Make a thumbprint into the bottom of one half and press a caramel half inside, as shown above. Place the other cookie dough half on top and roll the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball. Make sure the caramels are completely wrapped inside. Roll into cinnamon-sugar topping and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies in batches for 11-13 minutes, or until very lightly browned and crisp looking on the edges. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. I suggest freezing the cookie dough as a whole (for up to 3 months), then thawing overnight in the refrigerator before rolling/shaping. The caramels do not freeze very well.
  2. Special Tools: Silpat Baking Mat | KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Flex Edge Beater | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Bowl | Caramels
  3. Chilled Dough: Jamielyn does not chill her cookie dough, but I always run into issues with cookie dough spreading! So I chilled mine for 1 hour. The cookies were thick and soft.
  4. Check out my top 5 cookie tips before beginning. It includes how to prevent cookies from over-spreading and why room temperature makes a difference.
  5. Excerpted from The I Heart Naptime Cookbook: More Than 100 Easy & Delicious Recipes to Make in Less Than One Hour by Jamielyn Nye. Reprinted with permission from author and publishing company.

Keywords: soft caramel snickerdoodles, caramel snickerdoodles


  1. These look amazing! Perfect for the oncoming Autumn! I have one question – do you use a convection oven? I only have an oven with a fan function, which I feel would affect the baking time, do you know what changes I should make to ensure baking still goes smoothly?

    1. Hi Beni! That’s a great question. I use my oven’s conventional setting and all of the recipes in my books and blog are for conventional ovens. If you are using a convection oven/option I recommend reducing the temperature down by 25 degrees F and even baking for 1 less minute (for cookies). And if it’s cake/bread/cupcakes/muffins etc, reduce by a few more minutes.

  2. heather (delicious not gorgeous) says:

    oooh, had no idea that cream of tartar gave snickerdoodles their chewiness! and if knocking on all the watermelons in the bin is considered socially acceptable, then feeling up some caramels can’t be that bad (;

  3. Snickerdoodles are Christmas cookies in my family, but I don’t even care, because these seem like August-31st cookies to me! 😀 Thank you for sharing!

  4. Sally, you never fail to make me laugh -> “You may look like a caramel lunatic in the candy aisle” :’) I feel like the people at my local supermarket already think I’m crazy; last time I went there they were out of cake flour. One of the people there suggested to just use all-purpose (it’s almost the same, she claimed!), but I insisted I needed cake flour (I wanted to test the difference in a recipe). She smiled at me like I was coo-coo and slowly walked away.. The things we do for baking ^^” Anyway, these snickerdoodles look so soft and delicious! Also, I’d be happy to take in any leftover caramels you have btw 😛

    1. I totally understand the grocery store craziness. 😉

  5. Peppermint Dolly says:

    These look fantastic, they sound fantastic, the only problem is that they’re not in my vicinity like…right now!!


  6. So excited for the book! I typically am not a snickerdoodle girl, but with caramel in the middle it becomes LIFE.

  7. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    Nothing better than gooey caramel oozing out of a warm and soft cinnamony cookie!! 🙂 Ahh fall season, you are truly the best.

  8. These look great! We don’t really snickerdoodle cookies in England, and caramel and cinnamon are two of my favourite things, so these are a must try!

  9. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    As if snickerdoodles aren’t addicted enough, adding caramels mean I’ll never be able to stop eating them! Thanks for sharing Jamielyn’s cookbook. Now I’m off to order a copy!

    1. You won’t be disappointed. Over 100 recipes! All with photos.

  10. Leah @ Grain Changer says:

    The only thing better than a snickerdoodle: a caramel stuffed snickerdoodle! These look incredible!! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Jaimelyn’s cookbook!!!

  11. Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says:

    Oh, wow! These looks amazing! All that caramel in there! Can’t wait to try these, Sally 🙂 And sounds like a fantastic book!

  12. YES! When I saw this recipe in my inbox I thought to myself “I wonder if Sally includes any tips on making sure the caramels melt?” and OF COURSE YOU DID!!! I made soft and puffy gingerbread cookies filled with caramel once and the caramels stayed COMPLETELY solid so that it was a really awkward, sticky, and unpleasant experience biting into them. I’ve been afraid to make any caramel-stuffed cookies ever since, but now I think I will give it another try! I bet cutting the caramels in half also helps. Thank you!!! (and if you’re interested in the gingerbread cookies, they are AMAZING sans caramel plus the addition of some white icing –

    1. Icing on gingerbread cookies– is there really anything better?! But yes, starting with soft caramels is KEY. 🙂

  13. OMG! Definitely making these. I even think the kids will go crazy over them. Thanks for showing which caramels you used.

  14. Melisa Dahmer says:

    Hi Sally! Can I ask exactly why you like this recipe better than your own? I was ironically just thinking about making your Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles this weekend, and now I’m not sure which recipe to make!

    1. I just love how soft these are! They’re a little chewier than mine, especially the edges. The recipes are quite similar though, so whichever you choose– I think you’ll be happy!

      1. Melissa Dahmer says:

        Thanks for the quick reply! I have to say, I get SO excited when you like or comment on my Instagram when I post photos of recipes of yours that I bake. You’re the best! 😀

  15. Johanna the baker says:

    Sally, there are 2 words that describe these…. MOUTH           WATERING!

  16. YES I am so excited for fall baking! Pumpkin, apples, maple and cinnamon EVERYTHING. I’ve never really been happy with how my snicker doodle cookie attempts turn out, but store bought snicker doodles are some of my favourites so I’ve got to keep trying at home 😉

  17. They look incredibly chewy and soft and I LOVE the stuffed caramel aspect 😀 Don’t know how I’d choose between yours and Jamielyn’s. Guess I’ll have to make both! 😉

  18. These look delicious! Kraft makes caramel bits which I’ve used for melting and making a quick caramel sauce. They are so much easier then unwrapping caramel squares. Have you ever used them in your cookies? Maybe fill the “thumbprint” with a few caramel bits equal to the size of 1/2 square? Just wondering if that would be another way of avoiding a too hard caramel center.

    1. Hey Allison! I can’t believe it, but I’ve never used those caramel baking bits before. From what I’ve seen online, I believe they melt in cookies. How about you test 1 cookie with those inside to see? If it doesn’t work, just make regular snickerdoodles with the rest of the dough. Let me know though.

      1. It just so happened that I already had an open bag of the regular Kraft caramels that had hardened a bit. I took Andi’s advice below and microwaved them unwrapped for 10-15 seconds and they did in fact soften so I used them. The cookies came out great! They were delicious! Even the next day the caramel was still gooey. I am still going to try the caramel bits eventually. I really think they will work beautifully. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  19. Gosh, these look delicious! I’d love to bake them, except that the only caramel thing I have available at the moment is a jar of dulce de leche. Would it be possible to try any kind of variation on these with that, instead of caramel candies?

    1. Hmm. That might be a little tricky stuffing into a cookie. What about dropping teaspoonfuls of dulce de leche onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freezing for 10 minutes until solid, then stuffing into the cookie dough?

  20. Kori Archbold says:


  21. I had 15 caramels left over from a previous recipe.  They were hard so I decided to microwave one.  I unwrapped it and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Voila!   A soft caramel.  I plan to microwave the rest and use them in this recipe.  

  22. Hi Sally! I only have a handheld mixer and I don’t have a paddle attachment. Would that still be okay or is it necessary? Thank you! 

    1. You can absolutely use a hand mixer.

  23. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Yes I am so ready for all the Fall food, football, and fall clothes!  Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies, and add caramel, YUM!  

  24. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    These cookies look gorgeous, Sally! I love how there is ooey, gooey, soft caramel in the middle! Yummy!

  25. Lucy @ Globe Scoffers says:

    These look so yummy! 

  26. Jessie @ Chasing Belle says:

    Oooh these look so, so tasty! I have never made cookies that have something in the middle. Quite the challenge, but I’m up for it!

    1. If you’re interested in trying out more, here are my peanut butter cup stuffed cookies. I love these!!

  27. These just scream fall to me. Fall, and “PLEASE EAT ME!” They look perfectly soft and chewy and probably addictive. Can’t wait to try them!

  28. These look divine 🙂 I might even have to drizzle a little chocolate on mine when I get baking this weekend, thanks.

  29. These look so good! My mouth i watering just thinking about it. I need to make them soon. Thanks for sharing!

    x. Cattleya |

  30. This looks so good!! 

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