How To Make Snickerdoodles


When I was little, I had a cookbook for kids. It had twelve recipes, one for each month. The only one I remember is October: Snickerdoodles. I loved those things.

For some reason I didn’t have them for a long time. Then, several years ago, I had them at a Christmas party. One of the few things I remember from my childhood that are as good as I remember.

Why don’t more people make these?


091223-212730_Lg1 stick butter (½ cup, ¼ pound)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Beat the butter until softened, about 30 seconds on medium-high speed.

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Mix in half the flour.

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Add the sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar and beat well.

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Beat in the remaining flour. Make sure to scrape the beater and the edges of the bowl at least once along the way.

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Mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

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(I swear there’s sugar in that first shot.)

Scoop up bits of dough with a melon-baller or a teaspoon and roll between your hands until round.

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Toss in the sugar/cinnamon mixture until it’s completely covered.


Arrange balls on a baking sheet with plenty of room between them.


Bake at 375° for 10-11 minutes, until edges are golden and starting to crack.


And that’s it.

Nope, no pretty picture of them this time. They umm … they all got eaten a little faster than I expected. Oops. (Did I mention they’re my favorite?)




  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup, 1/4 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Beat the butter until softened, about 30 seconds on medium-high speed. Mix in half the flour.

Add the sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar and beat well.

Beat in the remaining flour.

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Scoop up bits of dough with a melon-baller or a teaspoon and roll between your hands until round. Toss in the sugar/cinnamon mixture until it's completely covered. Arrange balls on a baking sheet with plenty of room between them.

Bake at 375° for 10-11 minutes, until edges are golden and starting to crack.


  1. Drew,

    They look yummie, but what is cream of tartar and could i get it in Europe?

    • Cream of Tartar is the common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate and is used in baking as a stabalizer. It is a thick, white powder. You can find it in the spice aisle. It is pretty common in baking, so I dont think you would have a hard time finding it.

      • Thanks Amy, you beat me to it. As for what it would be called in Europe, I can’t find any other common names for it. Some sites suggest using the same amount of white vinegar as a substitute if you can’t find it, but you’d have to try it to be sure.

    • Cream of tartar might be also known as wine stone, wine diamonds or wine crystals, as it is one of byproducts of wine clarification in winemaking. And if cream of tartar is used in recipe in combination with baking soda, you can replace both (soda and cream of tartar) with baking powder.
      In the kitchen cream of tartar is also used to stabilize beaten egg whites

  2. Drew,

    These are part of my Christmas Cookie’s that I make every year. Everybody just loves them!

  3. My favorite too! I make a big batch of them and freeze them (raw) so that I can bake a couple at a time when I want them. I also like to eat them raw straight from the freezer!! (but not for the next 8 months….)

  4. Barbara Cool says:

    I DO make these cookies… every Christmas season and sometimes during the year, too! Yummy delicious…

  5. Barbara Cool says:

    Oh, I just read your steps after making my first comment… I’ve never heard of starting the flour in the butter before creaming the sugar and butter… What is the science in this? Or shall I say, the advantage???

  6. Barb, if you cream the butter and sugar together first, you’ll get more rise and less tenderness. This method will get a denser, more tender cookie, instead of a puffy-crisp one. (See here for more.)

  7. Why don’t more people make these?

    Because few have “cream of tartar” hanging around.

    This site is a fraud. There’s nothing about “cooking like your grandmother” — it’s mostly, “let me fuck around in the kitchen and I hope you like what I do.”

    Sheesh. Figure it out. When you can complete a single dish without help, let me know, wanna-be FNTV boy.

  8. Most people don’t have chocolate chips hanging around, either, until they decide they’re going to make cookies. Then they do something called “grocery shopping”.

    Thanks for the feedback. It’s always nice to hear from a satisfied reader.

    • Whoever doesn’t keep chocolates chips on hand in their kitchen at all times lives a sad and lonely life. Why would you not keep a giant bag of chocolate chips in your kitchen?

      I mean really. 😉

  9. Drew, I had that book too. I got it at the book fair at school. We made them at home for a while, but really got into making Toll House cookies. Always make the snickerdoodles with butter rather than the shortening that some recipes call for – just so much richer and better!

  10. OMG – I think I had that same cookbook as a kid!! 😉

  11. colby sheron says:

    i made the cookies but they were all runny and i was not able to roll them in my hands without them sticking a lot

  12. Colby, did you melt the butter? That’s the only thing I can think of that would have made them runny.

  13. Lucy Younkins says:

    I just found this site when I wanted recipe for snickerdoodles. I chose cooking like Grandma and I love it!
    But will you tell me the correct way to measure flour when not sifting??


  14. Lucy, take a look at my latest post, about how to measure ingredients by weight. At the end of that is a link to Jenny’s video, where she shows all the different ways that people weigh dry ingredients, including sifting, packed, level, etc.

  15. its been 12 min. and they are still in little balls and are pale. I measured everything correctly. Im just wondering wat im doing wrong :/

  16. Did you pre-heat the oven or put the pan in when the oven was still cold? That’s the only thing I can think of. I just looked back and I didn’t explicitly say that you needed to pre-heat, but you definitely do when baking.

  17. Thanks for the recipe! We’re trying it tonight!:)

  18. How many cookies does this recipe make? :)

  19. We made 24 with this batch using a melon-baller to make even scoops.

  20. dou you actually NEED the cream of tartar? because i dont have any.

  21. Thomas, you could do without but the texture might be a bit dense, and possible grainy. See here for more:

  22. I believe the cookbook you refer to here is ‘The Cookie Book’ by Eva Moore, published by Scholastic Book Services in 1973. I had a copy when I was a child and I loved it. Several years ago I found an old copy in a thrift store and bought it. It is out of print but available online.

    Here’s a link:

    Thanks for the fun recipe and happy memory!

  23. Marnie, that was it. :-)

  24. Grayson says:

    If your baking at a high altitude do you need to use more flour or anything?

  25. The two best references I’ve found are this page about baking in Southwest Colorado. Note where they say cookie recipes are frequently good as-is, but in any case try the recipe as written the first time, then adjust one thing at a time.

    Then there’s the King Arthur Flour page on high-altitude adjustments. Lots of charts of things to try.

    For cookies, I think the key idea is try them at a higher temperature for a shorter time. Things rise faster in high altitude, and can over-rise than fall. Cooking at higher temperature will “set” them before they fall. But be careful of burning chips, nuts or raisins.

  26. Janine Isles says:

    Just made these today. I didn’t have any Cream Of Tartar so i used 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder instead ( i live in the UK ) and they turned out really good. Will be making them again as they taste delicious

  27. Michelangelo says:

    Hi Drew,

    I like to make these cookies a lot, but for some reason my dough always comes out sticky and it’s really hard to make the balls without the dough sticking to my hand. They still taste really good after I make them though. Any suggestions of what I may be doing wrong? I follow the instructions the tea and I like in California so I’m not in an high altitude.

    • My guess is it’s warm in your kitchen and the butter is getting too soft. Try putting the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes after mixing before you try to roll the cookies out.

  28. Just about the most amazing thing I have ever eaten! Don’t understand why they have this kinda thing here in Australia!

  29. I have made Snickerdoodles from alot of recipes, but this is definately the best!! Just made some to send to my grandson for his birthday!!! YUMM Its hard to put them in a bag to send, I have to really use will power to not eat them all right out of the oven!! Thank You so much!!

  30. Bailey says:

    How come there two sugars?
    1 cup and 2 tablespoons?

    • Bailey, first a cup of sugar to mix into the dough, then two tablespoons to mix with the cinnamon to roll the dough in.

  31. do i have to use cream of tartar because i don’t have it and it’s storming and snickerdoodls seem like the ideal rainy day snack.

    • Amy, this isn’t an exact substitution, but if you don’t have cream of tartar then also leave out the baking soda and instead use a teaspoon of baking powder.

      Baking powder is made from baking soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch. The proportions aren’t exactly the same, but the substitution I gave you above should be close enough.

  32. I make Snicker doodles all the time, but instead of just cinnamon and sugar I add nutmeg and cloves. I also add colored baking crystals depending on the holiday, red and green for Christmas or orange for Halloween.

  33. Daniel Regan says:

    Our cookies came out and they werent flat??? why is this??


  35. I love this recipe! I’ve been using it for awhile now and it’s the only one I’ll use! Everyone who eats my cookies always asks for more! :)
    Just wanted to say thanks for posting this! 😀


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