Classic Snickerdoodles Recipe
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Here’s another recipe I borrowed from my Aunt’s recipe box when I was home from Thanksgiving.  This Snickerdoodles recipe is scribbled on a stained, yellowed piece of paper and was copied from who knows where.  It even has a missing ingredient penciled in with a question mark at the end.  Sounds like a winner to me!

We all have these stained, well-used scraps of paper tucked into our recipe box, right?  They’re the recipes that get used all the time but for some reason never make it onto a real recipe card.  Well this one will finally be copied onto a real recipe card, because I need to return the original to my Aunt’s recipe box at Christmas!

I’ve written about a variation on Snickerdoodles before, but I’ve never posted a recipe for the classic cookie.  In my mind, Snickerdoodles have always seemed a bit boring.  I know I liked them when I was young, but as an adult, I just haven’t given them much of a chance.  But after testing this recipe a few days ago, I realized once again how much I love this cinnamon-sugar cookie!  I’m still not a big fan of the name (how did they end up with such a silly name?), but these have certainly moved onto my list of favorite cookies!

The only change I made to the hand-written recipe was to add some vanilla extract.  I added one teaspoon, but I think they could even take a bit more if you prefer.  Although the recipe directs you to make one-inch balls of dough, you can make the cookies as big as you like!  I made some giant ones and some medium-sized ones, because I can never bring myself to make tiny cookies.  Just make sure you leave lots of space between the cookies, because they really spread out.

If you want to add a little zing to your Snickerdoodles, you can use pumpkin or apple pie spice in place of the cinnamon.  I made half of my cookies with plain cinnamon and half of them with pumpkin pie spice.  They were both really good, but my husband actually preferred the ones made with pumpkin pie spice (I thought it was a toss-up).  It’s a tasty experiment and a good way to use up the pumpkin pie spice that will be sitting around unused all year long!

Snickerdoodles

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (or more)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture (or stir in by hand) until well combined.
4. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon (or pumpkin/apple pie spice).
5. Shape spoonfuls of cookie dough into 1″ balls, then roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place 2″ apart on ungreased (parchment-lined, if you prefer) cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove to a wire cooling rack.  They will be slightly puffed when removed from oven but will flatten completely as they cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

Recipe Notes: For softer, chewy cookies, take the cookies out of the oven at 8 minutes (or maybe earlier depending on your oven). For crisp cookies, allow them to bake longer.  If you like an extra spicy cookie, add extra cinnamon to the sugar mixture (some recipes call for a ratio of 2 tablespoons sugar to 2 teaspoons cinnamon).  Save the leftover cinnamon/sugar and try adding it to your coffee or hot chocolate!

I found that I could put a few balls of dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and then shake the whole bowl around to coat them all at once.  It was faster and easier!

I found that I could put a few balls of dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and then shake the whole bowl around to coat them all at once. It was faster and easier!

Roll the balls of dough around until they are fully coated with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Roll the balls of dough around until they are fully coated with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Space cookies 2" apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Keep in mind that these cookies will spread a lot!

Space cookies 2″ apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Keep in mind that these cookies spread a lot!

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.  If you want a chewy cookie, try taking them out at 8 minutes, before the cookies take on any color.  If you want a crisp cookie, bake until edges are just slightly brown.  Cookies will be slightly puffed when you remove them from oven, but will flatten completely as they cool.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. If you want a chewy cookie, try taking them out at 8 minutes, before the cookies take on any color. If you want a crisp cookie, bake until edges are just slightly brown. Cookies will be slightly puffed when you remove them from oven, but will flatten completely as they cool.

Since I like some of my cookies crisp, I left these in the oven until the edges turned brown.  They were very crisp, without any chewiness in the center.  I like them this way, but if want chewy, make sure to take them out before they take on any color!

Since I like some of my cookies crisp, I left these in the oven until the edges turned brown. They were very crisp, without any chewiness in the center. I like them this way, but if want chewy, make sure to take them out before they take on any color (like the photo above).

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46 Comments
  1. RecipeGirl

    My all time fave! Perfect for a cloudy baking day :)

    12:25 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  2. patsyk

    Snickerdoodles are one of my fav’s! I need to make some to include in my gift baskets this year.

    12:40 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  3. Amanda

    I just made these a couple of days ago and they were perfect. They are totally the underappreciated cookie of the season. I normally turn to the extra rich peanut butter, or toffee chocolate kind. But snickerdoodles remind me of being a kid, and they taste wonderful. I used vanilla in my recipe and it really helped the cookie, although I didn’t use shortening.

    1:00 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  4. Debbie

    I have forgotten about snickerdoodles.. I am making these for xmas… thanks

    1:42 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  5. Curt

    Those look pretty similar to my wife’s snickerdoodles. I love cinnamon, and these are some of my faves. I want to try a snickerdoodle/choc chip combo cookie!

    Great looking cookies, as usual!

    2:49 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  6. Laurel

    I think snickerdoodles are my favorite…though they are in a close running with chocolate chip cookies (which I am still trying to perfect). I prefer using the half shortening/ half butter recipe for snickerdoodles. I think the texture is perfect and they hold their moisture/crisp edges well. Check out my fun post on snickerdoodles.

    http://bakememore.com/2008/11/29/tracing-the-history-of-the-snickerdoodle/

    Love your site!

    4:12 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  7. ttfn300

    such a classic! easy to overlook, but also easy to enjoy :)

    4:45 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  8. RI Swampyankee

    Thanks for posting this recipe; it brought back many happy memories. My mom made these cookies often.

    5:15 pm  Dec 7th, 2008
  9. ovenhaven

    What a coincidence, I just made snickerdoodles for the first time today! I wish I tried them out earlier. I love how yours look uniform :) Mine were puffy, but my friend who tried the same recipe got flat ones like yours. Would you have any idea why?

    7:31 am  Dec 8th, 2008
  10. Nikki Smith

    My mom used to call me “snickerdoodle,” though I’m not exactly sure why. These were one of my favorite types of cookies as a kid, though. I like that their light and sweet. You can eat a whole bunch of ‘em! I found some other tasty cookie recipes that might be of interest to you and your readers. One recipe with banana (and chocolate) chips. Another made from ginger. Some great baking tips, too!

    http://www.whgmag.com/index.php/403-recipe-of-the-day-cookies

    9:27 am  Dec 8th, 2008
  11. julo

    Oh yay! I’ve been looking for a good chocolate-free dessert for one of my coworkers who doesn’t like chocolate (I know, he’s nuts). These sound great! I can’t wait to try them!

    11:06 am  Dec 8th, 2008
  12. Paula B.

    I just pulled my recipe out to compare and mine is EXACTLY the same as yours. Mine also calls for no vanilla, and they are wonderful that way. You and I even coat the dough balls with the cinnamon /sugar the same…by putting a few balls into a bowl and shaking the bowl to coat.

    My recipe came from my husband’s high school /college buddy, who got it from another buddy’s mom.

    Our kids really want to make snickerdoodles for Santa this year. Of course, we all get to do some quality testing before leaving some for St. Nick. I’m so looking forward to it. Yum!!

    1:38 pm  Dec 8th, 2008
  13. Paula B.

    Oops! I just noticed one difference on our recipes…the oven temp. My recipe states 350 degrees, and it’s perfect. My cookies might not spread as much as yours at the lower temp.

    1:43 pm  Dec 8th, 2008
  14. Fit Bottomed Girls

    You can never beat a good snickerdoodle, and these look extra good!

    1:55 pm  Dec 8th, 2008
  15. DD

    I’m usually a snob about non-chocolate cookies but snickerdoodles have a special place in my heart. My German aunt makes the best ones and always says, “Would you like some snick-air-DOODLES?” Classic.

    5:56 pm  Dec 8th, 2008
  16. maris

    I’m excited that you posted this! I want to include snickerdoodles in my cookie lineup this year but I’ve never made them before. What makes them spread so much?

    9:46 pm  Dec 8th, 2008
  17. Elizabeth

    ooooh I love snickerdoodles and those look perfect!

    6:20 am  Dec 9th, 2008
  18. Deborah

    Snickerdoodles are actually one of my favorite cookies – so I don’t find them boring at all! Delicious!

    9:59 am  Dec 9th, 2008
  19. PaniniKathy

    I can’t decide whether I prefer my snickerdoodles to be soft or crisp. All I know is I really, really want to grab that entire stack of ‘em in that first pic! It’s the only thing I’ve ever made with cream of tartar…wonder what else it’s ever used for??

    10:05 pm  Dec 9th, 2008
  20. Laurel

    My daughter had to use cream of tartar as an ingredient in her home made volcano batter for school! LOL

    2:39 am  Dec 10th, 2008
  21. lesley

    These look so light! Just calling me to make some.
    I love anything with cinnamon in it at Christmas.
    Last week I made Apple & Cinnamon Swirl with filo pastry. I’ll be a cinnamon addict soon!

    10:46 am  Dec 10th, 2008
  22. julo

    Hey, congrats on making it into the Bon Apetit blog envy thing! Yay!

    1:12 pm  Dec 10th, 2008
  23. Karen

    You just can’t go wrong with Snickerdoodles :)

    3:58 pm  Dec 10th, 2008
  24. SarahKate

    Those look gorgeous! And I love the idea of using pumpkin pie spice.

    6:37 pm  Dec 10th, 2008
  25. peabody

    Snickerdoodles are my all time favorite cookies…I might have to try them with the pumpkin pie spice though.

    10:34 pm  Dec 10th, 2008
  26. Jessica

    I just made these and they were delish – just like I remembered from my childhood! Thank you!

    7:14 pm  Dec 12th, 2008
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  28. Petite Kitchen

    Those snickerdoole cookies look fantastic. I have got to make these, and will be opting for chewy baked goodness, instead of crunchy. Yum. Thanks so much for sharing.

    5:24 pm  Dec 18th, 2008
  29. Danny Gabriner

    Yum. I’ve been looking for a snickerdoodle recipe and these look great. Can’t wait to try and make them

    12:51 am  Dec 19th, 2008
  30. Rhonda

    I tried making snickerdoodles once because I love them, but the next day they were hard as a rock! I will give this recipe a try.

    10:03 am  Dec 23rd, 2008
  31. cheryl

    This is my favorite cookie. I have my grandmothers recipe for snickerdoodles. The difference is mine calls for 1 cup shortening and yours is 1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 cup butter. I am going to try your recipe the next time I make snickerdoodles!

    9:01 pm  Dec 26th, 2008
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  33. Kathryn Kersh Nicholson

    The next time my grandsons are over, we are making these! Thanks so much for posting this wonderful recipe. Your photos and hints are so helpful!

    3:06 pm  Jan 17th, 2009
  34. Ginger

    I’ve only made snickerdoodles once, though I must confess they were made entirely out of curiosity – My friends and I started calling each other “Snickerdoodle” as a term of endearment, but had never actually had any! I cannot for the life of me remember why I’ve only made them once as they were delicious… I suppose this weekend is as good a time as any to make them again!

    4:26 pm  Feb 20th, 2009
  35. amie

    i made these last night and they were soo delicious!
    my cookies didn’t flatten out to that size though but it might’ve been because i made the balls a bit too fat

    8:56 pm  Jun 1st, 2009
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  37. Medallion

    Oh my goodness I baked these today thanks they turned out lovely…an easy recipe for a beginner baker! Howver, they didn’t spread at all :( They were really small…I suppose that’s not exactly bad but I do wonder why tey didnt’ spread?

    10:35 pm  Aug 4th, 2011
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  40. Holly

    These were favs in my family before I was born in the early 50′s. My grandmother would make them softer or crunchier by substituting butter for shortening-I can’t recall which for which, but I’m making them for Christmas so am trying both! She also did that for her molasses cookies but never gave me her recipe (I lost a ring she gave me at 5 years old and she never gave me anything she felt was hers again!)

    10:58 pm  Nov 14th, 2011
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  44. Karen

    I make Snicker Doodles all the time. They are a favorite of my Husband and son. But, recently I began substituting Coconut Oil for the shortening. AMAZING difference in flavor and the consistency of the cookies. Highly recommend the change, it’s also much more healthy! Happy snacking!

    2:23 pm  Dec 29th, 2012
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