Here is my reader favorite recipe for soft and thick snickerdoodles. These soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies only require about 30 minutes start to finish!
Snickerdoodles are a timeless classic, just like a good batch of chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies. Like drop sugar cookies 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!
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. We use it for the best flavor in maple pecan snickerdoodles also. 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. Shortbread cookies are another easy no chill recipe to keep in your back pocket.
If you’re looking for other snickerdoodle favorites, here are my pumpkin snickerdoodles and peanut butter snickerdoodles. And are you craving cake? Here’s my snickerdoodle cake & swirled snickerdoodle cupcakes recipes.Print
Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 26-28 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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.
- 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 + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 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.
- Make the topping: Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- Make the cookies: Whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- 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, egg yolk, 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.
- Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons (35g) 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.
- 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.
- Cookies remain soft & fresh for 7 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
- Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is required for this recipe. Please see the text of the post for more information.
- Extra Egg Yolk: To bring this dough together so it isn’t quite as crumbly use 1 large egg, plus 1 extra large egg yolk. I’ve been doing this recently and the snickerdoodles taste even softer, moister, and richer.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Reader Comments & Reviews
I made these with cardamom instead of cinnamon and they we delish! Mine took 12 mins in the oven at 5K ft. elevation. Otherwise followed the recipe and they were perfect.
I usually have great success with Sally’s recipes, but this one is a dilemma! I tried it three times, and all three times it produced flat, crispy cookies. I was hoping for thick and chewy, as the name suggests. I made sure to follow the recipe exactly. Any thoughts why they weren’t soft and thick? Help!
Hi RJ! Is it possible that your butter was a bit too warm? Room temperature butter may be cooler than you think. This post on how to prevent cookies from spreading will be a helpful resource. We’re glad you still enjoyed this recipe!
These are the worst cookies I have ever made. They were not soft at all! I wonder if it was the brand of butter? I will not be using this recipe again. What a disappointment!
After years of trying to replicate my mother’s cookies, this is my go-to snickerdoodle recipe. Thank you. I scoop the balls and keep some in the fridge for a few days, so I can roll them in sugar-cinnamon, flatten a bit, then bake. A few fresh cookies in minutes (mine take 12 minutes). This last batch I accidentally put in an extra ½ teaspoon baking soda, and they still were delicious. So they’re tasty AND forgiving. 🙂
Omg these are so yummy my favourite cookies
Simple and delicious! I teach FACS and plan to have my middle school students make these for a food lab.
Want to try baking these because my daughter says they are amazing but I can’t find any cream of tarter here in Perú. I know they won’t have the tang without it. Will they still puff up and stay soft?
Hi Kathryn! You can leave the cream of tartar out or replace with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice if you wish.
Thanks so much, I’ll give them a try.
I love this recipe. Everyone who eats them loves them. Now I need some advice. I’m in the middle of a mega cookie baking and gift giving binge…AND I’m out of butter. I have crisco and butter flavored crisco, but haven’t made cookies with either of them for over 30 years. Does anyone know where I can find some cookie recipes using Crisco? I’ve already mixed 6 batches of cookies and they are cooling in the fridge.
Is this the version of the recipe that was online in 2015? The picture looks different and I remember there being 2 whole eggs, I may be misremembering though!
Hi Maura! This snickerdoodles recipe has only ever called for 1 egg, and a few years ago I added an extra egg yolk which helps bind the ingredients together a bit. Are you thinking of these soft caramel snickerdoodles instead?
What are the recommended changes to make this recipe gluten free?
Hi Rachel, we haven’t tested these with gluten free flour but let us know if you try it!
This recipe is perfect! I’ve never made Snickerdoodles before, but they turned out exactly how I wanted them. They do have a slight tang, but I think that’s what makes them delicious. They’d be overly sweet otherwise, in my opinion. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
This is my 3rd year baking these for Christmas. My family loves them.
When I combine the dry ingredients I put them in a large ziplock bag instead of a bowl. I seal the bag shake it up to blend. When it’s time to add the dry ingredients I cut a hole in the corner of the bag. This makes it easier to mix it together without spillage
I made these last night and hands down, they are the best Snickerdoodle I’ve ever baked up – thanks Sally (and I’ve made a gazillion recipes of everyone from The Pioneer Woman to Bon Appetit)! They are soft and pillowy with the perfect amount of chew, and yes there is a tang but an OG snickerdoodle isn’t supposed to taste like a sugar cookie people! It’s supposed to have that gentle tang from the cream of tartar which is part of what makes it a true snickerdoodle. The dough, while thick as advertised, came together beautifully after some arm work to clean up/incorporate what my mixer didn’t get off the bottom and sides of the bowl, and to get the cookies to flatten a bit I slammed the tray on the counter (on a towel) mid-bake, then used a measuring cup to gently press on the fresh from the oven cookies. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did (and my mail carrier and water delivery person and office staff did too)!
Is there a way to incorporate sour cream into this recipe?
We have not tried adding sour cream to this recipe — they’re plenty soft and chewy without!
These turned out great. I added a cheesecake filling to replicate a cookie I’d had from a fancy cookie bakery and they did not disappoint. Everyone loved them and they quickly disappeared..
They were delicious! I can’t stay out of them.
Would you recommend baking these in a convection mode or regular oven mode? My first round of these made the most fluffy and delicious cookies. My later attempts have yielded flat (still tasty) cookies. I replaced all of my potential issues…baking soda, powder, cream of tartar. I really want to get back to that first bake! They were so good!!
Hi Cindy, We always recommend conventional settings for baking (not convection/fan). The flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven. If you do use convection/fan settings for baking, lower your temperature by 25 degrees F and keep in mind that things may still take less time to bake.
I wanted to love this recipe. Followed to the letter. Tested oven temp. Dough was very crumbly. I smushed the dough together to make the balls but the cookie was hard and crunchy.
Hi Sherri, When cookie dough is dry, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method (or use a kitchen scale). Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag. Doing so leaves you with excess flour in the cookie dough.
Sally, I love your recipes, but you need to do something about the website experience. It’s painful. I don’t know if it’s all the ads, if the videos are being hosted right on your site, or if the images aren’t compressed, but it is wildly slow and constantly breaks, and I’m using a new mac. Please, for the love of cookies, get some web dev help. I’m a long time fan, but this is crazy.
I’ve made this recipe 3 times and they’ve been amazing, but I made them today and they taste VERY bad. It’s a sour taste and they didn’t spread or brown how they normally do. The only thing I have changed is I’ve recently been buying real cream butter instead of vegetable oil butter.
Me encantaría, mi esposo las ama ,y más ami por que siempre busco recetas de galletas para consentirlo y estas son perfectas, suaves y deliciosas, puse 2 huevos pequeños ,y un poquito más de harina, son las mejores galletas que he echo, mil gracias
My mom and I love to bake we tried this out the first time was terrible they where to big and stuck together.But we tried again and they were Croft and delicious.
I made this recipe two years ago for New Year’s Eve and they went over extremely well. Last night my wife baked these for a work event and, while they tasted right, the texture wasn’t really the same. The outer surface of the cookie became a bit overly crispy and “puffed”, and it left little pockets of air between the surface of the cookie and the “meat” of the cookie underneath, which was soft and seemed like the right texture. The first time, it was more of a consistent texture across the cookie from top to bottom, with no air pockets or overly crisped surface or edge. What could have happened? We observed a similar issue with the pumpkin snickerdoodles when we made them for Thanksgiving.
Hi Mike, thank you for explaining what happened to the batch in detail because that helps. I’ve never experienced this before, but I wonder if the dough balls are just rolled too heavily in the cinnamon sugar mixture? Are you freezing or chilling the dough balls in the refrigerator before coating? (While I’ve done that without experiencing this issue, I wonder if that is what is causing that layer to “separate” a bit from the center of the cookie.)
Hi Sally. Thanks for replying! These cookies seemed to improve after being stored in an airtight container (we use plastic Snapware) overnight. The crisped tops noticeably softened and the air pockets seemed to shrink a bit. The dough was not refrigerated at all, but we did notice that the cinnamon sugar mixture seemed to be having an issue staying together. I’d never encountered this before, but it was almost like the cinnamon was “settling out” of the mixture and ending up at the bottom of the bowl, requiring us to re-mix it a few times. Maybe there’s an issue with our cinnamon? It’s just a fresh container of McCormick. Oh well.
My cookies spread out to be almost flat, will they still stay soft for days or will they dry out now?
Hi Joanna, the cookies may dry out a bit faster if they are on the thinner side. If it’s helpful, here is our post on how to prevent cookies from over spreading. Thank you for giving these cookies a try!
the only snickerdoodle recipe i’ll use. so good!
My boyfriend and i chose this recipe for our first ever Christmas cookies to make together, and we are so happy we did. We’re amateur bakers but the instructions were easy to understand. We were alittle worried when after 10 minutes they didnt look cooked, but after smashing and leaving on the hot baking sheet for the additional 10 min, they were perfect! So soft and fluffy, I cant wait to make these for all my friends and family this Christmas ❤️
I’ve been making snickerdoodle for years but the recipe I’ve been using always results in flat cookies that don’t get that nice cracked look on top. I was sceptical of this one because it doesn’t use 2 full eggs – the dough is very dry – but they have turned out to be the fluffiest! My 17 year old niece said they’re “bussin” haha Will make again 🙂
Haha oh well then know KNOW they’re good!
I baked these for 12 minutes at 375 and they still weren’t done in the middle. When I broke one in half to check them they were not fully baked. They are thick and soft and smell great but still were not done after 12 minutes.
Hi Debbie! All ovens and baking pans are different. Always use bake times as a guide and bake until cookies are done – did you let the cookie fully cool?
Hi Debbie! I thought this was going to be an issue too, but i took them out at the recommended time, and after smashing and letting cool for an additional 10 min on the baking pan (which also cookes it a little longer) then leetting them cool more on the rack. They were perfectly cooked and very soft .
Made these because we hadn’t had snickerdoodles in years – and SO GLAD WE DID! Amazing! Will be making snickerdoodles much more often (following with this recipe! 🙂
These are very yummy! I am not sure if I did something wrong or it was missing, but I wish I was told to flatten them before baking. I figured it out the last tray. I did double the recipe and I know these will be devoured! Great recipe thanks. I look forward to trying more of your recipes
I love this recipe! Everyone of my friends want me to teach it to them!
They were ok. Didn’t love the tang. Also wanted them to spread more. Maybe a little less flour next time so they spread more and crackle more
i wish i read this comment before making these! they did have a strange kind of tang to them, and they didn’t spread much at all… ended up having to scrap them because they just weren’t what i was looking for .
I really like this recipe! Made it for the first time last night to test. Will make a few more batches today. I followed the recipe and baking instructions to the letter and they are perfect. I strongly disapprove of over baked, hockey puck cookies and these did not disappoint. Just the right softness and “bite” for a snickerdoodle. Perfect amount of the signature tanginess.
tang is from the cream of tartar, you can drop it from the recipe, it wont affect the actual structure of the cookie