Classic snickerdoodle cookies! Cinnamon sugar topped cookies, crackly on the outside while pliable on the inside.

Photography Credit: Shuna Lydon

Featured in 12 Easy Recipes for New Cooks

Please welcome guest author and pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater, who shares with us her secrets for making snickerdoodles. ~Elise

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What is a Snickerdoodle?

While people argue about where the name Snickerdoodle comes from, few people who love them waste time with words. Here is a cookie with a following!

Tender and crisp, plain and aromatic, sweet with a dash of salt, the Snickerdoodle has made quite a place for itself in the canon of cookies. But as loyal as its fans are, it’s not the easiest cookie to find on bakery shelves.

A Snickerdoodle cookie has two signature characteristics: an exterior of cinnamon sugar, cracked on top, and a perfect textural balance of crunchy and pliable.

With other cookies born from the same method — creaming, getting just the right texture can feel like an impossible journey with way too many cookies to eat along the way.

Snickerdoodles, on the other hand, have a built-in fail-proof ingredient, saving them from the place where cookies that aren’t “just right” go. Cornstarch.

snickerdoodle ingredients

Why Cornstarch is so Important for Snickerdoodles

It’s simple and yet extraordinary: cornstarch absorbs moisture, binds the dough like flour but has no gluten. Gluten is a protein in wheat flour that creates a “toughness” in many baked goods. “Do not overmix” is an instruction based on this property.

In Snickerdoodle dough, cornstarch is what makes those edges light as air, but provide a middle you can sink your teeth into.

snickerdoodles recipe

Snickerdoodle Cookies Demand the best Ingredients

This is not a puffy cookie, it spreads a lot. It’s simple, meaning there are few ingredients. Please use the most delicious butter you can find.

Organic cinnamon will also make a huge difference, and if you can get your hands on true Ceylon cinnamon, Snickerdoodle cookies all over the land, and I, salute you.

Snickerdoodles Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12-18 cookies

It’s important that all your ingredients be room temperature when making the cookie dough.



  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup White, Granulated Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Cinnamon Sugar - whisk well to incorporate

  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Ground cinnamon


1 Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Beat the butter until it's soft, smooth and light.

Creamed butter for Snickerdoodle cookie dough

2 Add sugars, salt: Add both of the sugars to the beaten butter and mix until they are fully incorporated, and lighter in color. Add salt.

Creaming snickerdoodle cookie dough

Beat until the dough is light and fluffy.

3 Add egg: Stirring vigorously, add the egg to the mixture and beat until the batter looks uniform.

4 Fold flour mixture into wet: Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking soda, and fold, in three additions, into the butter egg mixture to create the cookie dough.

5 Form balls of dough with a soup spoon and plop them in cinnamon sugar, swirling to coat.

6 Flatten dough balls on lined cookie sheet: On a buttered or parchment lined cookie sheet, place the dough balls 3 inches apart. Flatten the dough slightly and sprinkle about half a tablespoons worth of cinnamon sugar on the flattened surface.

Snickerdoodle cookie dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar

7 Bake: Put into the 350°F oven. Set the first timer for 7 minutes. Turn the pan around and set a second timer for 7 minutes. If you are using a buttered pan they might be done at this point, or need another minute. If you’re using parchment, cookies will take 2-3 minutes more. You are looking for golden edges and a blonde middle.

8 Cool: Cool on a baking sheet and eat as soon as possible. Snickerdoodles will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature for 3 days, but they are best eaten the day they’re made.

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Shuna Lydon

Pastry chef Shuna Fish Lydon has worked in such notable kitchens as Gramercy Tavern and Verbena in Manhattan, The French Laundry and Bouchon in Yountville, California, and Citizen Cake and Aziza in San Francisco. Shuna's writing can be found on her highly acclaimed food blog Eggbeater. Shuna is now based in New York City.

More from Shuna

39 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Amy

    My favorite snickerdoodle recipe so far. It’s everything you say it is. A favorite of my husband’s, I have to make sure I don’t eat them up, too. Recipe moves to the top of the list! Thank you.


  2. Ashleigh

    I just love this recipe. Thank you for sharing. It brings back great memories of the first thing I learned to make in the kitchen with my aunt and mom. Our recipe was from my mom’s 1963 Betty Crocker home ec cookbook so it called for crisco – something I am happy to delete from current baking though it does being back a fond memory for me. This cookie will always be associated with a warm, happy home for me. I thank you for sharing a recipe that has all natural ingredients! It’s so soft and lovely. Last Christmas I baked dozens of these and mailed them to my international friends – I am happy to report that cookies I made from this recipe made it all the way to Iceland and were happily received!


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  3. Jenny

    I liked the chewiness of these cookies and have compared the recipe to others and it has a much lower butter to flour ratio which I like but definitely are lacking in a buttery flavor unlike this other recipe I tried. Also, the cornstarch is key! I tried substituting it with wheat germ and the cookie turned out very dry. Good recipe!


  4. Barry

    I made these cookies, and they were just okay. I feel the butter ratio was a tad off. Only 4 tablespoons? I also added some vanilla extract (only 1/2 teaspoon). Not sure if that changed the chemistry, though I doubt it. I tend to prefer cookie recipes that call for both baking soda and baking powder, too—although I’m not sure why this matters.

    Anyways, thanks for the recipe. Any input you might have in regards to my comments would be useful, too :D

  5. Sosabaca

    Thank you for the recipe. It is snowing and I thought it would be great to bake these and serve with Mexican hot chocolate after dinner. They were so yummy!


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