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

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



  • 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.

How to Make Snickerdoodle Cookies 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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  • 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.


  • 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!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ashleigh, I’m so glad you liked the cookies! And Iceland? Cool!

  • 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!


  • 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!


  • Just a Plane Ride Away

    I just finished the last crumb from the double batch I made this weekend. Delicious! And much preferred over the cream of tartar version. Thanks so much for another great recipe, Elise :-)

    Oh, the lovely and talented Shuna Fish Lydon gets all the credit for this recipe, it’s her post! :-) ~Elise


  • Ansh

    I made these for the first time ever today, and everyone loved them. Thank you for the recipe. I have not had snickerdoodles before, so I have nothing to compare with, but we just loved the crisp crunch, the great chewy center and the cinnamon flavor.

    Thanks much.


  • 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

  • Sara

    I also followed the recipe but with the two exceptions of (1) halving the salt because I used table salt instead of kosher salt and (2) using dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.

    The cookies turned out very much like my chocolate chip cookies sans chocolate chips due to the mixture of sugars. Were I to do this recipe again, I would reduce the brown sugar. The color and taste were definitely wrong for snickerdoodles (but ok in itself).

    The cookies also baked up cakey and fluffy. The moisture was nice, but not like other snickerdoodles I’ve had. I live in Oregon, not much above sea level. I mixed the dough by hand, making sure not to overbeat the mixture once I added the eggs.

  • johanna

    I was so excited to try this recipe, as I have been wanting to make snickerdoodles for a while. But my cookies looked nothing like the ones in the picture. I followed the recipe carefully but the cookies are pretty cake-like, and definitely much puffier than I would have hoped. Your picture depicts cookies that are chewy in the middle but mine were real disappointing.

    Hello Johanna,

    Perhaps you could share with us a little bit about what you made the recipe with or where you are geographically? These two details mean a lot in baking.

    My first guess at why yours were fluffy is that your eggs were quite large, or you creamed the butter-sugar mixture until the mixture was both light in color and volume. These 2 possibilities could make cakey cookies. Also if you used baking powder instead of baking soda it could account for a higher rise.

    My next guess is that you used a convection oven? or perhaps you substituted cake flour by accident?

    Please do let us know, should you wish to improve the next batch of snickerdoodles. My own experience is that almost all recipes I’ve come across create a cakey cookie and the ones in the photos are much more like the kind of snickerdoodle I appreciate. I assure you that I made the cookies and photographed them that day. And then I ate the evidence! ~ Shuna

  • Rachel

    I remember back in high school, you could smell them when you walked into the cafe in the morning. Then it was a bunch of high school kids climbing over one another to get their paws on the limited amounts of snickerdoodles they made. Working behind the counter, I managed to always get dibs on at least 4. After that, I had to jump in line with the rest of the wolves. The teacher always refused to give the recipe, and these turned out the closest I ever got to re-tasting those high school tasties. Thank you so much.

  • Theresa

    Eating one now, made from salted butter which turned out fine… though Norwegians claim their dairy products are always excellent anyway! They’re delicious, even though I baked them about 2 minutes too long!

    And by the way – I love, love, love the “recipes for a dozen cookies”- just the perfect amount!

  • Paprika

    I want to make these at a family reunion up in the mountains at approx 6500 ft. Any high altitude guidance for this recipe?

    Hello Paprika, This is a fantastic question! I once baked chocolate chip cookies in Idaho and wondered why they were so… odd, or different! The absolutely best advice I can give isn’t mine, but from someone else. Look for the book Pie in the Sky Successful Baking at High Altitudes by Susan G. Purdy. I met her at a Bakers Dozen many years ago and she blew me away with her research and knowledge about high altitude baking, which is tricky, at best. First ruloe of thumb: be prepared to bake them a long time! ~ Shuna

  • J-me

    Do you know of a way to make the Snickerdoodles puffier? This cookie was a regular for slumber party cookie baking when I was a kid, but I remember the cookies being rounder going onto the baking sheet and not flattening out quite so much during baking. As an adult I’ve tried to make these from many recipes and they come out squishy. What’s going wrong? Also, count me as one who’s never seen cornstarch, only cream of tartar, in a Snickerdoodle recipe.

    Hello J-me,
    If you want your cookies to be “puffier” add more eggs, use baking powder & cream of tartar instead of baking soda and cornstarch, respectively. You could also cut down on the butter. If you don’t want any chew at all, omit brown sugar and use only white sugar.
    When you are asking, “What’s going wrong?” as it pertains to squishy-ness I can only guess as I have no idea what geographical location you’re baking and storing your cookies in. After that there are many reasons including what kind of baking sheet you’re using. And then of course all butter, flour, eggs and sugar are not created equal.
    Cookies are and remain soft when they are high in moisture to begin with. Look at the comments above– some people use corn syrup to make their cookies “squishy.” So nothing is ever wrong unless they taste off. After that it’s up to you to play and get this cookie exactly as you want it! Best of luck– and if you have the time– let us know what you came up with… ~ Shuna

  • chris w

    Tried the recipe for the Snickerdoodles last night and had some problems. So I have some questions if you can answer that would be great…

    First as as consistency of the dough, is it wet or more dry? Mine were wet and it made it hard to pat them down for the sugar part.

    Is the butter at the beginning supposed to be softened or hard when creamed out?

    The cinnamon sugar seems like a lot for 12 to 18 cookies, 1/2 cup of sugar? Even the 1/2 tablespoon per cookie seemed a bit excessive as not all of my sugar became absorbed by the dough in baking. Also my sugar was dark from the cinnamon and the picture showed a very sugary light colored mixture.

    thanks, chris

    hello Chris,
    The dough is on the wet side, yes. This made it hard to pat down? I can see how this would be, but first you get the dough into what seem like balls, then plop them in cinnamon sugar, toss, place on sheet pan, flatten a bit, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. I agree that it was a messy job, but not an impossible one.

    The butter, as all the ingredients, should be room temperature. Not too warm, not too cold. Just right, as Mama Bear would say. If you are mixing this dough with a mixer your butter can start out a little cooler because the beaters/paddle attachment will soften the butter a bit.

    Yes, you will have leftover cinnamon sugar. Cinnamon toast? French toast the next day? More cookies? {I will often sprinkle cinnamon sugar under my ball of dough as well…} Depending on what sort of cinnamon you use, your mixture will alter in color. Snickerdoodles are as much about the cinnamon’s strength as they are about their intriguing texture. I say your sugar should be heavy on the cinnamon, but as it is with all things, your own preference will determine the outcome.

    I hope this helps. Remember that recipes are guides. If your dough is too wet, refrigerate it a wee bit and it will be easier to handle. Think the butter is too soft? Don’t get it as warm next time. Hate having leftover cinnamon sugar? Make half the amount and cut it close. Some of baking is an exact science, but truth be told, most of it is alchemy and whim. Magic and touch… ~ Shuna

  • Jaden Hair

    Hey Shuna!
    Trying your recipe this week. In fact, I think I might have to be on a diet next week b/c I also want to try the choc chip cookie recipe on NY Times site.

    I read that you said, “Snickerdoodle dough oxidizes in the refrigerator” – what does this mean?

    This NY Times article uncovers that refrigerating dough for 36 hours produces the best choc chip cookie.

    Hello Steamy Kitchen,
    In answering another person’s question above I said that it’s best to use snickerdoodle dough sooner rather than later because the raw dough will oxidize, yes. If you are not going to bake all the cookies as soon as you make the recipe, it’s best to freeze the dough, pre-portioned.
    Oxidization means that the dough will go off in color and then soon after go bad– like molding bad. But we’re talking weeks here, not hours or days.
    I agree with you that the article and recipe in the NY Times was a revelation! In commercial baking we are always baking dough that was made on another date, but I have never timed it against dough that was just made so it should be really interesting… Thanks for your question, I hope I answered it. ~ Shuna

  • Andrea

    Oh, I am glad to see a Snickerdoodles recipe! I have tried two other, different recipes but I just don’t like them very much. They seem too flat. (My son loves them though–they are his favorite, so I bake them for him!)

    Next time I will use your recipe and see if it is better. Thanks!

  • Mrs B

    Oh yum! This takes me back to my first Home Ec class in 7th grade! I was SO disappointed at first that there were no Snickers candy bar ingredients in this recipe, but any doubt was soon assuaged by these beauts.

    Hubby is going to be so excited to be reminded of these little treats!

  • Darby "The Dessert Diva"


    My grandmother, who was of German desent used to make us this in which she called shephards dessert. Maybe this will fill your need…

    Shephards Dessert

    Topping (optional)
    2 cups of packed light Brown Sugar
    2 Tablespoons Butter
    1 1/2 cups cold Water
    1/8 teaspoon Salt
    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

    2 cups All-purpose White Flour
    1 cup granulated Sugar
    2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
    1 cup Milk
    2 teaspoons Cinnamon
    2 teaspoons Baking Powder
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    1 cup Pecans, coarsely chopped

    Mix topping ingredients first and place aside. For topping- In a medium sauce pan, combine brown sugar, water, butter and salt.Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.Remove from heat and add vanilla.Stir well and set aside.

    Pudding- In a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Combine the milk, melted butter, and vanilla and add all at once to the flour mixture. blend quickly. Spread in an greesed 9×13 pan, then pour the reserved sauce mixture over the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center bubbles up. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

    For another option, pour topping over it and sprinkle with a few chopped nuts, if desired. Bake 45 minutes at 350*. Serve with whipped cream or thawed non dairy whipped topping.

  • Sandy

    Snickerdoodles were wonderful. I do have an odd question for any one that might know. Years ago my Grandma made something she called Smodden. Im trying to find a recipe and have had no luck. Anyone have any ideas? It was kind of like pudding and had sugar and cinnamon on it. Thank you.

  • Amy

    Do you have any tips for freezing cookie dough before baking? Can you freeze this dough the way you can with some slice-and-bake cookies?

    Amy! Hello!
    This is what I’ve done: Made dough, wrap in plastic (not a ball, but what more looks like a small flat pillow), and refrigerate. The next day, or within a few days, scoop dough with ice cream scooper of preferred size and lay on parchment lined sheet and freeze. When frozen solid, package in freezer ziplock bags or tupperware.

    But I am not experienced in baking this dough from frozen, not at home in a home oven. It would be hard to flatten then and get enough cinnamon sugar on the dough, for example. I have always taken frozen dough and “tempered” it in the fridge before baking it. But, as you say, if they are sliced, this might be possible.

    Snickerdoodle dough oxidizes in the refrigerator and this changes the cookie flavor. So freezing it helps, yes. If you do roll it up and slice & bake it, please do let us know how it works for you. Thank you for your question! ~ Shuna

  • Vivian

    Hey, thanks for the awesome recipe! It looks delicious :D just one question, do you have to use kosher salt in this recipe, or will table salt work as well? This might seem like a silly question, but I’m still not quite sure the difference between kosher and table.

    Hello Vivian,
    I understand that you may not want to buy a whole either kind of salt for these cookies, but my own experience is that table salt tends to be bitter and I keep it away from my baked goods.
    Table salt is much smaller and weighs more, teaspoon to teaspoon, so I would use half as much table salt as I’ve called for Kosher. ~ Shuna

  • BeJane

    Shuna, my standard recipe for chocolate chip cookies includes 2 tablespoons corn syrup as the magic ingredient that makes them the chewiest ever. Or so claimed the recipe author. The best chew I’ve come up with involves the corn syrup along with using only brown sugar instead of white and brown.

  • Ruth Case

    The Snickerdoodle recipes that I am familiar with through three generations in my family all called for sour cream and only white sugar, everybody loves them. I am going to try this recipe, it sounds delicious.

  • EB

    This was one of the very first cookies I ever made. Now I’m on an ice cream kick and looking to recreate an amazing flavor made at the Bi-Rite Creamery. It’s, at it’s core, a cinnamon ice cream base with pieces of snickerdoodle in it! I was going to buy the cookies… now, after memories of making them and this inspiring recipe… I must make them!

  • katy

    Oh wow, I will definitely try this. I have a snickerdoodle recipe that I’ve made probably two dozen times (they’re my fiance’s favorite), including once as the ball was dropping on new year’s eve. :-) my recipe does not, however, use cornstarch OR brown sugar, so I’m excited to compare them! It’s funny how the same thing can be made in so many different ways. (Also, my recipe uses half butter and half shortening, which kind of grosses me out, so I’m happy to switch to an all-butter recipe)!

  • Mona

    Yum! One of my favorite cookies! My husband works with all men…….and they BEG ME for these cookies! My recipe calls for Cream of Tartar though….I will have to try yours and see how they compare. :-)

    Marie, I love the idea of a Chai-doodle! My new sister in law would love that (she loves chai-flavored anything!)

    Love this blog, Elise. I just found it this week. Keep up the great work! :-)

  • Marie

    A few weeks ago, in a bout of creativity, a coworker of mine decided to twist up this classic recipe. With the cinnamon and sugar she added ginger and cardamom. The result was what we named a “Chai-Doodle,” or Tripledoodle (depending on who you talked to). It was amazing, and tasted incredibly like chai. It’s a great twist. I’m not much of a baker, but I’m sooo happy to have a good recipe for them now, I can’t wait to try it!

    Hello Marie, What a great idea– thanks so much for sharing it! ~ Shuna

  • CursingMama

    Another thought. Would the addition of cornstarch to a chocolate chip cookie produce the same results? I do love a chewy yet crisp chocolate chip cookie.

    CursingMama, You bring up an interesting point. Yes, the addition of cornstarch would do the same thing in the batter of a choc-chip cookie, but if you like crunch more than soft, lower the amount of brown sugar and increase white. Brown sugar has a far higher moisture, as well as acidic content, and by playing with these ingredients, and changing little else, the chocolate chip cookie as we know it can be altered. ~ Shuna

  • CursingMama

    I am one of those fans you speak of, despite my love of all things chocolate, Snickerdoodles are by far my favorite cookie. Finding the perfect recipe was a difficult task that took many attempts as far too many end up tasting like a sugar cookie with cinnamon added. The recipe I’ve been using for years differs greatly from yours, calling for baking powder instead of cornstarch and includes a small amount of corn syrup and vanilla extract.

    I’ll have to do a blind taste test to see how they differ. – darn.

    CursingMama, I am most intrigued by the corn syrup in these cookies. Obviously it’s a very new addition, historically speaking, and I’m not sure I understand it’s “meaning,” if you will. Please do let us know how you find your comparison. So many variables! ~ Shuna

  • emilia

    I had try several time to make cookies but every time also failed. It’s feel like soft cookies after i baked. why will be like that? is that my ingredient not accurate or my oven problem.. Please advise.

    Hello Emilia,
    Can you tell me where you are baking, geographically? I agree that the snickerdoodle is mostly a soft cookie, but the edges begin to gain color first and if you want them crunchier I would suggest these things:
    Increase the white sugar the same amount you decrease brown. Bake cookies on parchment. Increase cornstarch by, let’s say, 200% and keep flour the same or add a few more Tablespoons. Substitute cornstarch for cream of tartar and baking soda for baking powder. Keep cookies in oven longer.
    Do let us know, if you have the time, if any of these suggestions help. Best of luck, and remember, the worst thing that can happen is your neighbors and co workers will be happier than you… ~ Shuna

  • debinsf

    I didn’t grow up with snickerdoodles – my mom wasn’t a baker. But I love to bake and my 8 year old recently BEGGED for snickerdoodles. I looked through a bazillion recipes, looking for one without shortening (I’ve got a – probably unfounded – prejudice against it). It seems like it’s such a common recipe that it wasn’t in any of my books. Anyway – they were good, but not great (fully 1/3 of the batch got composted because no body ate them! Can you imagine?!). I can’t wait to try out your recipe. I’m putting money on them all going. I thank you, and my kids thank you!

  • kkmack

    Snickerdoodles are a longtime family favorite. We use buttermilk which gives them a nice flavor and I bet it does similar things to the gluten like cream of tartar.

    My daughter loves these cookies – she also prefer chocolate chip cookie dough w/o any chips! Just keep it plain and simple!

    Thank for this recipe as I will definitely be trying it this weekend!

  • Karen

    Thanks for posting a recipe on such a simple, but delicious favorite. Its amazing how something so simple can taste so good, isn’t it? Like a few others have commented, I’ve always made this with cream of tartar…I’ll look forward to trying your version and seeing how it compares.

  • Marianne

    Snickerdoodles have always been a favorite, thanks for the info about the cream of tartar… My recipe always had it but I am going to try yours. My 3 “boys,” (the youngest is 19 and just moved away) will love to get a box of these!!!!!

  • Dennis

    I just have to ask this….. so many recipes call for unsalted butter, and then add salt as an ingredient.
    Why not just use salted butter?

    Hello Dennis,
    Another great question. In dessert making we want to control how much, and the flavor of the salt we use. Salted butter, depending on what brand it is, has different percentages of salt. And because I’m not sure what kind of salt that is, I would prefer to control the overall taste on my end. All that said, I have been known to use salted butter when I want salt to be a through-line in a particular baked good or dessert component, like caramel for example.

    This is a small batch recipe. If you have time to make some dough with salted butter and more following this method I’d love to know what you think after doing a taste test. ~ Shuna

  • Jennie

    Interesting… I have a snickerdoodle recipe everyone always begs for every time I make them, but it doesn’t include cornstartch. Instead, the secret ingredient is MILK. Now why do you think milk might make them extra addictive in texture? I just figured that was the way snickerdoodles were made. Never compared recipes before. :)

    This is a great question. After having looked at dozens of snickerdoodle recipes, it seems to me that the recipe’s list of ingredients and instruction is designed to produce a really tender cookie. Milk adds extra fat, but more importantly, moisture.

    In recipes for baked goods every ingredient plays a role, like in a play. But some characters play multiple roles, not all of them obvious. I agree that milk is an interesting ingredient for a cookie (it’s more prevalent to see it in cakes), but the theory behind all recipes is science, alchemy, and… Practicality! If someone didn’t have one thing on hand they made a substitution to compensate.

    If you do make your recipe against this one please do come back and tell us your findings. ~ Shuna

  • Rosie

    I was surprised to see butter as my mother (b 1913) and grandmother (b 1874) always swore that the key to an excellent snickerdoodle was to use vegetable shortening. Especially surprising as they made their own butter and I would have thought that would have made it a first choice for them. Guess I’ll have to do a side-by-side test with their and your recipes. A tough chore but I will step up and do it!

    I agree with you, this is surprising. But for a long time butter wasn’t the first choice for anything because it usually went bad easily and was used right away if it was made at all. My mother and grandmother said they still associate salted butter with off butter because salt was used as a preservative before refrigeration was consistent, both for home and shipping.

    Also butter for cookies was considered a double luxury for a long time, and still is, depending on someone’s class, geographical location and culture. Shortening still has the reputation that it makes everything its in incredibly tender. I prefer to place taste before structure of crumb, though, so I stick with butter… Thank you for your excellent inquiry. ~ Shuna

  • Karen

    My recipe always has cream of tarter in it instead of cornstarch…. are they similar in function? These are my boys’ favorite cookies and I have to make a double or triple batch when I make them because they just disappear!!

    Hello Karen
    I am so glad you asked this question. According to the Baking and Baking Science website, “When cream of tartar is used without a counteracting alkali such as baking soda, it increases the acidity of the dough or batter. The higher acidity produces a whiter crumb color and a lighter crust color because sugar caramelizes at a higher temperature in an acid media.”

    According to Cookies-In-Motion, “In baking cookies, we can substitute cornstarch for a certain amount of wheat flour to make more tender and spreadable cookies.” I have found that cornstarch gives cookies a “melt-in-your-mouth” smooth texture. I think that the cookies are more tender because when you use cornstarch, you reduce the percentage of gluten in the total recipe.”

    My own recipe has cornstarch, but I have seen many other recipes with cream of tartar, as well as shortening and baking powder. I am not the official spokesperson for the Snickerdoodle, but I say keep doing what’s the most delicious for you and your family! ~ Shuna