These easy small-batch snickerdoodles are thick and soft. The dough is super quick to make and there is zero chill time required.
Snickerdoodles are always a favorite when it comes to cookie recipes. These delicious cookies hold a special place in many people's hearts. They are thick and soft and generously coated in cinnamon sugar. Make these cookies in less than 30 minutes!
And, they stay soft for days!
What makes snickerdoodles different?
Snickerdoodles are not your regular sugar cookies. They are slightly chewy cookies. They have the best soft texture and slightly tangy flavor from the added cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar is one of the key ingredients in the best snickerdoodle recipe. It is there for both texture and it helps to leaven the cookie (along with baking soda.) Cream of tartar is very acidic. In baked goods, it helps stop the sugars from crystalizing which leads to a softer cookie.
The first snickerdoodle
The first printed recipes for snickerdoodles were actually more of a cake that was cut into cookie-like bars. Later on, they were baked as drop cookies, where the batter is spooned from the bowl onto a baking sheet. The drop cookies were sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on the baking sheets.
These days the cookies are often rolled entirely in cinnamon sugar as opposed to just being sprinkled with it.
Can you make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar?
If you have no cream of tartar, you can use baking powder. The baking powder actually already contains cream of tartar and baking soda. When using baking powder omit both the cream of tartar and baking soda. Less cream of tartar is in baking powder than used in this recipe so the taste will be a little bit different and will mellow the flavor. However, it is still a great substitute if you have no cream of tartar.
Replace the 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar + ½ teaspoon of baking soda with ¾ teaspoon of baking powder.
For these small-batch snickerdoodles cookies, you will need.
- Butter, at room temperature. This can be unsalted butter or salted butter. If using salted butter you can slightly reduce the salt in the rest of the recipe.
- Granulated white sugar. Use it in the cookie dough and the sugar mixture for rolling.
- Vanilla. Use a vanilla paste or a good quality vanilla extract.
- A large egg. This small-batch recipe uses a whole egg which helps to bring a softer more cake-like texture to the cookie.
- All-purpose flour.
- Cream of tartar. (See substitutions above)
- Baking soda. The other leavening agent in the cookie. (see substitutions above)
- Ground cinnamon. Some ground cinnamon goes in the cookie dough and some in the sugar mixture for rolling.
- Salt. A flavor enhancer.
This is a small batch of snickerdoodles cookies. If you want to make this a full batch of cookies, all the ingredients can simply be doubled.
This small batch recipe is easiest to make using an electric mixer or a stand mixer. If you have none it can be made by hand. This will take a little effort to cream the butter and sugar together.
The cookie dough
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set this flour mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream together the room temperature butter and granulated sugar. Beat for about a minute and a half until lighter in color and creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed to combine it all into a thick but slightly sticky cookie dough.
In a separate small bowl combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the rolling.
Roll the cookie dough into 12 large balls. Use a medium cookie scoop or around 1 ½ - 2 tablespoon of cookie dough per ball.
Roll each cookie dough ball into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, rolling it around so the entire cookie ball is covered.
These brown butter pecan cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar too!
Snickerdoodles are baked at a higher temperature than most cookies. This encourages the cookies to puff up higher and quickly to give a more cakey-soft texture in the middle and slightly crispy edges. The fast puffing up of the cookie will give the cracked look that snickerdoodles have, and it will slightly deflate as it comes from the oven.
Place the cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced at least 3inches/7.5cm apart. Bake for around 10 minutes at 375°F (190°C) until the cookies are puffy and thick with ever so slightly crispy edges.
The bake time will change depending on your oven. Look for the tops of the cookies to still be quite soft. As the tray comes from the oven you can bang it once or twice onto the bench to slightly flatten the cookies if you like.
Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool down further.
Extra round cookies
If you would like to achieve the extra round cookie look, you'll need a circle cookie cutter or glass that's bigger than your cookies.
Once the cookies are baked, and straight out of the oven, use the cutter or glass and place it over the hot cookie, then swirl it gently around the cookie.
This will help form it into a circle. The cookies need to be very hot, and not over-baked for this to work. It's a little harder to do this trick with a softer cake-like cookie than it is with a chewy cookie, like these brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
The baked snickerdoodles can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 days in an airtight container.
The dough for these cookies can be made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Freezing instructions - The cookies can also be rolled into balls, and frozen for future cookies. Let the cookies thaw at room temperature for around 20 minutes until the edges are sticky, then roll them in the sugar and cinnamon coating.
Other small-batch recipes
Try these delicious small-batch recipes next!
- 188g ( 1 ½ cups*) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 113g (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 large egg
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) regular oven. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, and set this flour mixture aside.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the room temperature butter and granulated sugar for a minute and a half until lighter in color and creamy.
- Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed to combine it all into a thick but slightly sticky cookie dough.
- In a separate small bowl combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the rolling.
- Roll the cookie dough into 12 large balls (use a medium cookie scoop or around 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of cookie dough per ball.)
- Roll each cookie dough ball into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, rolling it around so the entire cookie ball is covered.
- Place the cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced at least 3inches/7.5cm apart. Bake for around 10 minutes until the cookies are puffy and thick with ever so slightly crispy edges. The bake time will change depending on your oven. Look for the tops of the cookies to still be quite soft.
- As the tray comes from the oven you can bang it once or twice onto the bench to slightly flatten the cookies if you like.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool down further.
*The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use grams.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g
This is an informational estimate only. I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist