Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles

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Here is my reader favorite recipe for soft and thick snickerdoodles. These soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies only require about 30 minutes start to finish! 

The thickest soft snickerdoodles you'll bake! No cookie dough chilling for this easy snickerdoodle cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Snickerdoodles are a timeless classic. Like a sugar cookie wrapped in a cinnamon sugar hug, these irresistible cookies never go out of style. My recipe yields the softest and thickest snickerdoodles you’ll ever taste. I like to call them snickerdoodle pillows because they are perfectly fat and puffy! Much too often you’re left with flat, crispy, and thin cookies. The only remedy is to submerge them in a tall glass of milk. But what about starting out with a kitchen tested recipe for soft-baked snickerdoodles? You’ve come to the right place. 🙂

How to Make Soft Snickerdoodles

How do you make snickerdoodles puffy and soft? The secret’s in the ratio of butter to leavener to flour to egg. Don’t use shortening here; you’ll miss the flavor of butter. Slightly under-baking the snickerdoodles also guarantees a softer cookie. Take them out of the oven after about 10-11 minutes. This will keep the interior of the cookie soft and chewy.

These snickerdoodle cookies aced the true “soft test” meaning they remained soft on day 2! In fact, they were still soft on day 4. (And I’m surprised there are any leftover by that point, but I was trying to make a point!) Since they remain so soft, snickerdoodles are the perfect cookie for gift-giving. I know there are many snickerdoodle lovers out there!

Snickerdoodles cookie recipe

The thickest soft snickerdoodles you'll bake! No cookie dough chilling for this easy snickerdoodle cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Why is Cream of Tartar in Snickerdoodles?

Instead of baking powder, use cream of tartar and baking soda in snickerdoodles. 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 adds a unique tangy flavor to the cookie, which sets it apart from sugar cookies and makes it a classic snickerdoodle. It’s absolutely delicious!

No Cookie Dough Chilling!

Great news! You can skip the cookie dough chilling step with this snickerdoodle recipe. There’s enough flour in this cookie dough to create a strong and sturdy cookie without the crutch of chilling the dough first. There’s also no fancy-pants ingredients required. These snickerdoodles are EASY.

The thickest soft snickerdoodles you'll bake! No cookie dough chilling for this easy snickerdoodle cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What to pair with your snickerdoodles? Serve them with slow cooker hot chocolate. 🙂

Slow cooker hot chocolate on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles

Here is my reader favorite recipe for soft and thick snickerdoodles. These soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies only require about 30 minutes start to finish! No dough chilling required.

Ingredients:

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

Topping

  • 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground 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: Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  3. Make the cookies: Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough will be thick.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough each. I recommend this cookie scoop. Roll the dough balls in cinnamon-sugar topping. Sprinkle extra cinnamon-sugar on top if desired. Arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake cookies for 10 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.
  7. Cookies remain soft & fresh for 7 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

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, but I recommend freezing 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. You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Recipe Notes:

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

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673 Comments

  1. I made this dough twice in a row today. The first time it was dry and crumbly and wouldn’t even hold together. I thought I mismeasured so I tried again and the exact same thing happened. Did one of the wet ingredients get left out?

    1. Trust me when I tell you to work with it. I used a small scooper and molded the balls together. The dough will form in your warm hands.

      The dough texture will think you’ve failed but it’s a trick!

    2. This happened to me as well. I believe it’s because I live in a dry, high altitude climate. I added 3tbsp of half and half. The dough looks great now. Haven’t made any yet but I don’t think I’ll have a problem 🙂

    1. Hi Monica! No, do not grease your baking pans. How about aluminum foil? Parchment or a silicone baking mat really is best!

  2. Follow directions exactly (used wight measurements for flour and brand new cream of tarter) except I had no butter so substituted margarine. I also had the problem of the dough being super “crumbly”. I saw a user state she added an egg. I added half an egg and dough was much easier to work with. The cookies are gigantic! Like Costco gigantic but maybe because mine were not super thick… not like the picture… but they were perfect in my opinion. Crunchy outside and soft inside. The last few batches I made smaller balls (20 grams …. and at the risk of sounding neurotic, I’m not admitting to weighing each one). I cut baking time to 8 mins. These also were perfect.

  3. Hi Sally! If I were to make this recipe with brown butter, should I add a couple tablespoons of milk to make up for the lost moisture?

    1. Hi Annie! Yes, I recommend additional liquid (milk). Probably just 1-2 Tablespoons. Make sure the brown butter has solidified so it can be creamed.

  4. I was wondering how you adjust this recipe specifically and if there is a good rule for most other cookie recipes for high altitude?

  5. These were so good! Definitely a keeper recipe. Mine stayed soft for a week (maybe could have lasted longer but we ate them all)- I put a small apple slice in my container to add moisture, and it worked great. I used two eggs based on some other reviews, but otherwise followed the recipe.

  6. Made this recipe twice this week and came out so good (didn’t have large eggs, so I used 2 medium eggs). Also, let my kids roll dough into little palm sized balls to bake. #KidsApproved

  7. Similar to other reviews, my dough was completely crumbly as the recipe is written. I added a second large egg which made a huge difference to the dough. The cookies are still soft and will crumble if you don’t hold them properly, but they taste amazing!

  8. I’ve been making these cookies for Christmas for years now and I have to say they are the absolute best. The only snickerdoodle recipe I will ever use. For a seasonal touch I add nutmeg, ginger and clove. They have become my signature bake and they have actually caused fights amongst family and coworkers. I also find that they are best when taken out just before they look done.

  9. Did a test run this past weekend for my cookie swap at work this Friday – they are DELICIOUS, but not puffy like the pictures. They flattened out quite a bit. Is there a trick to keeping them puffy??

  10. I am not able to get a hold of cream of tartar where I live, but I read that lemon juice can act as a substitute. Would you know if this is the case for these cookies? I’d really like to try them but it seems it may not be worth it without that ingredient.

  11. These cookies are so delicious! They were crumbly as dough, but I followed your direction and they came together nicely when baked. But, they became very hard, within a day. What should I do to keep them soft. I had stored them in a gallon ziploc bag.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Lindsay! My recommendation to keep cookies soft is to store them in a tightly closed container with a slice of plain bread– nothing crazy flavored or anything. The cookies soak up the moisture from the bread, it’s incredible! I swear by this.

  12. Sally, how would brown sugar affect these cookies? I noticed you add some in your caramel snickerdoodles and the chai snickerdoodles…could I add some brown sugar into these? Maybe 1/3 cup brown and 1 cup white? How would the brown sugar affect the texture/thickness of the cookie? Thanks! I’m planning on making these as soon as our new oven arrives!

    1. Absolutely. The cookies won’t spread as much when replacing some or all of the white sugar with brown sugar. They’ll be a little chewier too. Let me know how it goes!

      1. I have the last cookie sheet in the oven now, 1 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar. I’ve tasted one that’s cooled, not chewy at all! They also didn’t spread much either. I didn’t realize till after I’d added, however my cream of tartar is expired. They still taste delicious!

  13. These are probably one of my favourite cookie recipes ever! Snickerdoodles don’t exist here in the UK, but I’ve gotten all my friends and family hooked on them (although we still agree the name is kind of funny!). Do you think you could try using a mix of gingerbread or chai type spices instead of the cinnamon for a different flavour profile?

  14. Just made these for a meeting tomorrow and my husband so many I barely have enough!! These were GREAT!!! I have made many different recipes for snickerdoodles and this was the easiest and the best!!

  15. This recipe did not disappoint! The snickerdoodles taste absolutely fabulous; the best recipe I’ve used, by far. I don’t think I’ll ever have to stray from this winning recipe! I changed a few things, though. Like several other reviewers mentioned, the dough was quite crumbly and slightly dry, even after a decent stretch of mixing, so I added an additional egg. To compensate for the extra liquid, I chilled the dough for a while before baking the cookies. They turned out perfectly thick and puffy, and the taste is outstanding! Beautifully soft texture, too! I sprinkled leftover cinnamon sugar over top the cooling cookies for extra sparkle. I’m bringing them to our connect group tonight; they are sure to receive rave reviews! Keep up the good work, Sally!

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