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 sound perfectly calorific with just the right amount of center goo. I’m feeling a bit miffed though as I can’t get cream of tartar here, but will be asking someone to bring some over really soon!


  2. Just when I thought Snickerdoodles couldn’t get any better.

  3. Could I turn these into pumpkin snickerdoodles?
    If so, would I add about 1/4 – 1/2 C of pumpkin purée when adding the egg and vanilla?

    Can’t wait to make these regardless!

    1. Hi Jill! I have a recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodles that you could use instead. 🙂 It’s much different. Pumpkin is a tricky ingredient in cookies!

  4. Hi Sally, first I need to tell you I’m a huge fan of all your ideas and recipes. Right now I’m stuck in a sort of baking frenzy (today I made the soft pretzel bites) and I really wanted to try these cookies – but I’m from Germany and have never heard of or seen cream of tartar. I think we don’t get it in supermarkets here. I looked it up on the internet and they say you can buy it at pharmacies in the form of a powder. Also there is “Weinsteinbackpulver”, some sort of tartaric baking powder. I don’t think it’s the same, though. Do you have any idea if it can be substituted somehow? Or maybe there is an online shop shipping to Europe also? I’d really love to make the cookies as soft as possible!

    1. Hi Julia! Thank you so much.

      Is the kind sold at pharmacies edible? Like, is it the same cream of tartar sold over here in the US? If all else fails, you can simply leave it out.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I’m not entirely sure but I think it is. I guess I might give it a shot soon. I’ll let you know how it turned out, then! 

      2. I used vinegar instead of cream of Tartar and it worked nicely. Heres the link I made the Chia spiced snickerdoodles- yum!

    2. Hi Julia,

      We don’t have the cream of tartar in the Netherlands as well, but I do use the Weinsteinbackpulver (Wijnsteenbakpoeder) and it works perfectly! I bought it at the reform section of my supermarket ( a large one though, the smaller shops don’t seem to have it). And these cookies with the cream of tartar (or Weinsteinbackpulver) are a huge hit in this household! 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Hi Sally!

    I attempted to make these wonderful cookies today and refrigerated them covered with foil for one hour. After the hour, i pulled them out and starting rolling them and popped them in the over. I found that they spread a lot. They still tasted amazing! but were stuck together. Anything you can recommend I do in the future when making these? Thank you!

    1. Hi Karen, your best bet is to chill the cookie dough for even longer. Super firm and chilled dough is best. You can even chill for 1 hour, assemble/roll the cookies, then chill for an additional 2 hours. This will help reduce the spread.

      1. Hi Sally, I had the same spreading problem too and I left the dough in the refrigerator overnight and used a silpat to keep them from spreading, all to no avail. I even had to flip the cookies upside down on the wire racks to cool because the caramel was starting to fall through the wire. Any suggestions?

      2. Oh no! Ok, my suggestion is to add 1/4 cup of flour to the cookie dough if you decide to try them again.

  6. Do you know if they can be made with Gluten free all purpose flour, and also do you know where I can find dairy free caramels to use.? I have to learned all new cooking since my daughter has to cut both of these products out of her diet. 

    1. Hi Helen! I’m so sorry but I’m unsure about both. I can’t see why a cup-4-cup GF flour blend wouldn’t work though. If you can’t find dairy free caramels, you can make them plain snickerdoodles.

  7. I made these today…. soooo good! My Mom gave me a hard time cause I sent her a pic and since she looooves caramel she wasn’t happy she couldn’t have any, she lives in GA I’m in OH. So I shipped her a batch overnight so she will get them tomorrow. 

  8. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    I so need these snickerdoodles in my life. That caramel filling is everything!


  10. I made these at a holiday baking party and everyone loved them! I did not have the time to refrigerate the dough, and was able to make them just fine. I just had a little bit of dough hanging onto my hands. I’ll make again, as long as someone I know has a mixer with the paddle attachment

  11. These are amazing! The flavors are subtle, yet unique and delicious. I wouldn’t have thought to combine Snickerdoodles and caramels, but it’s a winner for sure. We made these for Thanksgiving and I’m sure they’ll make another appearance soon.

  12. I have made these 4 times already. They are a favourite at work and home. I would recommend getting a higher quality caramel then the kraft ones. Kraft were good but when I found some nice British ones it upped the quality of the cookies. Thanks so much Sally. 

  13.  I made these tonight and they came out perfect. Softand puffy.  Wasn’t sure if I would like the combination of flavors but it was amazing! I love your recipes!

  14. Hi,
    I love snicker doodles and I love caramel…. it just feels right to bring them together! Let’s get to the kitchen and just do it!
    @Julia from Germany: I’ my also German and when any recipe calls for cream of tartar I substitute with Weinsteinpulver- it won’t make a difference at all.

  15. I love cinnamon and caramel, but wasn’t wowed over with these cookies given that there is some effort involved with chilling, forming, etc. Just so-so.

  16. I love cinnamon and caramel, but was not wowed with these cookies given the degree of effort with chilling dough, forming and stuffing dough balls, etc. Far better recipes.

  17. Chelsea Timmons says:

    Omg! These came out so good. They were thick and chewy. I didn’t have a problem spread. I chilled my dough for about 45 min, rolled out balls of dough and stuffed them and let them chill a bit more before the cinnamon and sugar coating. I did have one simple hiccup. I transferred the 1st batch to a wire cooling rack too soon. The caramel broke through the bottom of the cookie. By the time I noticed I had a stalactite of caramel hanging down.

  18. carol mitchell says:

    Can these be made with caramel dip?

    1. It’s much too liquid-y, I do not recommend.

  19. Do you have to use a paddle attachment?

    1. The whisk attachment could work, but the basic paddle is best for this cookie dough.

  20. Hi Sally
    Can I ask why should I change the oven temperature? What would happen if I keep the oven temp at 350 all the baking time?
    Would that affect on the cookies??
    Thank you for an excellent work.

    1. Sorry posted on wrong recipe..
      That wahts happen when I read too many recipes from you

    2. Hi Abrar! These snickerdoodles are baked at 350°F (177°C) the entire time.

  21. Hello Sally! Do you think it’s okay if i add 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter here? Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily! I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure. But let me know if you do!

      1. Hey Sally, so i made these yesterday. My first time to bake cookies with filling inside and i’m ashamed to admit that i got a little intimidated if the caramels are covered enough so i tend to add more dough. The result: i have them so much bigger in sizes that makes the filling seemed tiny. But the flavor is spot on! Especially with the peanut butter that i added makes them more yummy so no problem gobbling them : ) Thanks again Sally!

  22. These are really delicious cookies but I have a question about why the caramel sometimes falls through the bottom of the cookie, melts onto the tray and leaves a hole in the cookie? I have made them a few times and sometimes this happens and sometimes it doesn’t and I don’t think I’m doing anything differently between batches.

    Any help would be much appreciated 🙂

  23. Hi Sally,

    Is it possible to substitute the caramel candies with your homemade salted caramel recipe somehow?


    1. Hi Anna! Unfortunately not. The salted caramel will ooze and spill out of the cookies– it’s just not the best consistency for baking inside cookies. If desired, you can try my homemade caramel candies instead.

  24. What’s the difference in cookie type between this one and the caramel snickerdoodle surprise? We like a chewy (not too soft and cakey), dense, crisp on the outside cookie. Which recipe of the two should I follow?

    1. These are chewier so I recommend this recipe! Enjoy!

  25. Hi Sally, I have some leftover cookie dough from your snickerdoodle recipe. Can I use that cookie dough to make snickerdoodle caramel cookies? Or do I have to follow this recipe to use the caramels? I hope you reply! I’m making these for my MIL 😐

    1. Hi Rose, You should be able to use that cookie dough with the caramels. Enjoy!

  26. Do you know if the baked cookies will freeze well? I’m hoping to make a batch and freeze to take on a trip. I’ll be short on time before we leave and didn’t want to deal with baking just prior. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tara, I freeze baked snickerdoodles without the caramel center often. I find that the caramel in the center of these cookies doesn’t freeze well.

  27. Dang it Sally. I just stuffed these with Nutella. They’re ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
    I halved the recipe and made 5 huge cookies. I double rolled in cinnamon and sugar and then put a fat pinch of the cinnamon sugar on the top of the cookie. This might be the best contribution I’ve ever made to the world.

  28. Hi Sally. A batch of these cookies are in the oven as I type this lol. The first batch was such a flop. When i scooped it up from the baking tray it broke. I then thought i maybe used too little dough so then i added more and the second batch was better, its holding and looks good. However, the cookies are spreading so much that the caramel is seeping out from under the cookie. What did i do wrong?

  29. This is my fav snickerdoodle recipe. I don’t use caramel, just make plain snickerdoodles.
    I’ve tried probably 30 other recipes and this one is by far my favorite.

  30. Is it possible to use gluten free flour to make these? They look incredible!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi MG, We haven’t tested these with gluten free flour but let us know if you try it.

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