Learn how to make the BEST Snickerdoodles without cream of tartar. They are just as soft, chewy, buttery, and loaded with cinnamon sugar deliciousness. Double or triple this recipe to share with your friends!
Why These Are The Best Snickerdoodles:
- Deliciously chewy with a soft center and crunchy edges. Need I say more?
- There is no cream of tartar in this recipe. By leaving it out the cookies won’t have an acidic taste and the texture will be more dense than normal (in a good way).
- A quick and easy cookie. They are only 9 ingredients and done in under an hour (including chill time).
What Are Snickerdoodle Cookies?
This vintage cookie has been traced back to German roots but no one is quite sure how long they have been around. Snickerdoodles are basically a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar. They are known for their crinkly tops, crispy edges, and slightly acidic flavor (which comes from cream of tartar).
Why Leave Out The Cream Of Tartar?
There are a few reasons why people omit cream of tartar in snickerdoodles. One, they do not like the acidic flavor it gives the cookies. Two, cream of tartar is an ingredient many people typically do not have in their pantry. We can remedy both of these things in this recipe by using baking powder in it’s place.
Ingredients in Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar
- All-Purpose Flour: I recommend all-purpose flour, but gluten free 1:1 flour works great as well.
- Baking Powder: This is used to replace the leavening properties of cream of tartar. It gives them a slight puff and crinkly tops.
- Cinnamon: Essential for a snickerdoodle cookie. It goes in the cookie dough as well as in the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Salt: This helps to balance and boost the flavors.
- Unsalted Butter: Use softened to room temperature butter. You can use salted butter, just omit the added salt. Always remember to use high quality butter like Challenge or Kerry Gold.
- Granulated Sugar: This adds sweetness to the dough and is the main ingredient in the cinnamon sugar coating. It also gives the cookie a caramelized, crunchy exterior.
- Brown Sugar: This adds a more depth of flavor and sweetness.
- Egg: Make sure it is at room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract: Another level of flavor.
How to Make Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar
This is a quick summary of how to make these snickerdoodles, but the recipe card below will have all the details.
- Preheat oven and prepare your cookie baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Cream together the butter and sugars. Add and combine in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Fold in the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt) until the flour has been absorbed.
- Chill the cookie dough. You can either refrigerate it for 30 minutes or freeze it for 15 minutes (whichever you prefer).
- Whisk together the cinnamon sugar coating in a shallow dish.
- Roll the cookie dough into 1 to 2 tablespoon sized balls and then in the cinnamon sugar. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on a cookie baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and cool completely before enjoying.
These snickerdoodles should be stored in an airtight container or reusable bag. At room temperature they will last for 5 days, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, and in the freezer they will last up to 6 months. You can easily warm up a cookie by popping it into the microwave for 10 seconds.
4 Tips for Even Better Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar
- Measure the flour correctly. Never scoop flour out of the bag (it is always too much). Instead, fluff the flour with a whisk, scoop the flour into a measuring cup, and once it is filled, run a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level it out. You can also use a kitchen scale.
- Use room temperature, softened butter. I do not recommend using the microwave or other methods to soften your butter. This will make it too soft and your cookies will spread, flatten, and become oily. I typically set my butter out before I go to bed and then make the cookies in the morning.
- Creaming the butter and sugar is important. So creaming is the method of beating together butter and sugar to create light structure within baked goods. The cookies you see are thinner in texture because I only creamed the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Creaming the butter and sugar for 5 minutes will give you a thicker cookie. You can make this recipe either way.
- Don’t skip the chill time. I repeat, don’t skip the chill time! This gives the cookie dough time to rest and firms up the butter a bit. Skipping this will make your cookies even thinner and oilier from the butter melting too quickly as they bake.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Yes you can! This recipe doesn’t use cream of tartar and it is just as delicious. Cream of tartar in snickerdoodles is used as a leavening agent and as a flavoring. To mimic cream of tartar we use baking powder instead.
This snickerdoodle recipe has the texture of a traditional cookie. If you are looking to make them more cake-y then you will want to cream together the butter and sugars longer (about 5 minutes will do the trick).
These snickerdoodles are supposed to be on the flatter side but too flat means there was an issue. One, you may have used a low quality butter which has a higher water content and more fillers. Two, the dough was too soft by the time you baked the cookies. Avoid this by chilling the cinnamon sugar rolled cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and immediately putting them in your oven. Three, try creaming together the butter and sugars longer next time (3-5 minutes will result in a thicker cookie).
More Cookie Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Lemon Blueberry Cookies
- No Bake Birds Nest Cookies
- Snowman Snowball Cookies
- Edible Sugar Cookie Dough
- Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
- Chocolate Filled Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Matcha Cookies
- Red Velvet Oreo Cookies
- Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Brownie Cookie Cheesecake Bars
- Coffee Toffee Chocolate Cookie Bars
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Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter - softened to room temperature (1 stick)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 egg - room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating (for rolling)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 °F, and prepare a cookie baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes (for thin chewy snickerdoodles as pictured), or 4-5 minutes (for thicker snickerdoodles).
- Add the egg and vanilla extract, beat until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients that were whisked together earlier. Beat together until all the flour has absorbed into the dough.
- Place the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- In a small, shallow bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the coating.
- Scoop the cookie dough into 1 to 2 tablespoon sized balls and roll until they are a perfect sphere. Then roll the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Place the snickerdoodle dough balls on the prepared cookie baking sheet 2 inches apart. Continue rolling until all the cookie dough is used.
- Bake for 8 to 11 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the cookie baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer snickerdoodles to a rack lined baking sheet to cool completely.
- At room temperature, in an airtight container or reusable bag, for up to 5 days.
- In the refrigerator, in an airtight container or reusable bag, for up to 2 weeks.
- In the freezer, in an airtight container or reusable bag, for up to 6 months.
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
If you make my Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar, don’t forget to leave this recipe a rating, comment, or like. Tag me on social media using the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth when sharing your own personal photos making this recipe. I would love to see your version and know your thoughts!