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This chewy snickerdoodle recipe is among our very favorite cookies. They’re simple and perfect and equally great for kids and newly middle-aged women who just want a lightly sweet, totally frank cookie if you don’t mind. (Or so I’ve heard.) Here’s how to make a good thing truly great.

the best chewy snickerdoodle recipe on a cooling rack
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Why we love this recipe

Snickerdoodles need no introduction. This beloved cookie has been wildly popular in the U.S. for many decades. But I didn’t grow up with them, and to be honest, they’ve been kind of a revelation to me over the past few years. Their perfectly calibrated simplicity is at least as appealing in adulthood as I imagine it would have been in childhood.

They’re:

  • Crisp outside, chewy inside
  • Buttery and sweet, but not over the top
  • Coated in a generous amount of cinnamon sugar

I originally published this recipe here in 2016. I’ve updated the post for clarity and increased the coating quantities a bit, but the recipe otherwise remains the same. We return to it again and again, and I hope you will, too.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. It’s truly nothing fancy.

ingredients in bowls
  • With so few ingredients, quality really makes a difference. You can use any butter, but a cultured one from grass-fed cows will level up your cookies. It sounds fancy but isn’t — for example, Kerrygold is widely available and not super-expensive.
  • The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but to make the cookies chewier, you can substitute bread flour for some or all of the total quantity. The additional gluten in bread flour provides a bit more chew.
  • Same goes for good eggs.
  • Cream of tartar is an acidic byproduct of winemaking. It plays a few critical roles in this recipe, contributing to leavening, giving the cookies their characteristic tang, and keeping them chewy by preventing the sugar from crystallizing.
  • Note that sugar is called for twice in this recipe, once for the cookie dough and once for the coating.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll do to make a perfect batch of our chewy snickerdoodle recipe. I recommend baking with a tiny sous chef! (Our youngest has become the resident expert on snickerdoodle-making over the past few years, and she also helped me make the video.)

You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.
  3. Chill the dough for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix up the cinnamon sugar coating on a plate.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, coat with cinnamon sugar, and place on ungreased baking sheets. These cookies spread a lot, so leave plenty of room between them. Bake for about 8 minutes in the center of a 400°F oven, until set but still soft.
a stack of chewy snickerdoodles on a light background

Expert tips and FAQs

Got any variations?

I’m not one to mess with perfection, but occasionally we like to dip one side of these cookies in melted chocolate. You can melt chocolate chips on half power in the microwave, dip the cookies, and then place on parchment to let them set.

If you’d like the cookies to be even chewier, you can substitute bread flour for some or all of the all-purpose flour. The higher gluten content of bread flour adds a bit more chew.

Wait, you didn’t grow up with snickerdoodles?

Nope. This recipe came into our lives via my friend Ellen. One day years ago our older child came home from her house and said, “Mrs. Phillips makes the BEST snickerdoodles, and we HAVE to make them.” So we did.

Ellen’s daughter used to joke that our kid was deprived as a child because we were pretty terrible about watching all the childhood movies that EVERYONE ELSE was watching. For a while there she was mildly pop-culture illiterate, just like I was as a kid.

(We were out learning how to speak with native London accents and visiting Prague and stuff, but I can’t argue with the fact that she didn’t always know all the words to Hairspray.)

Reasonable people can disagree on which of those things is most important.

But every kid should have access to a chewy snickerdoodle recipe.

Can I make these in advance? How should I store them?

Sure thing. They’re at their peak of soft chewiness the day they’re made, but they’ll keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days. Or wrap well and freeze for up to three months.

Alternatively, shape the dough into balls and freeze on baking sheets until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and keep frozen for up to a few months. Remove them from the freezer about 30 minutes before baking to give the outsides a chance to defrost, then roll in cinnamon sugar and bake. They may need an extra couple of minutes in the oven.

More of our favorite classic cookies and bars

a chewy snickerdoodle on a light background with crumbs and a bite taken out of it

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a stack of chewy snickerdoodles on a light background
4.75 from 16 votes

Chewy Snickerdoodle Recipe

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This chewy snickerdoodle recipe is among our very favorite cookies. They're simple and perfect and equally great for kids and newly middle-aged women who just want a lightly sweet, totally frank cookie if you don't mind. Would make up to 48 cookies if you didn't eat any of the batter, but come on.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 28 minutes
Servings: 40
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Ingredients 

For the cookies

  • 2 ¾ cups (330 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (224 grams) butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

For the coating

  • 3 tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.
  • Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, about three minutes. (Start on low speed and increase to medium.)
  • On low speed, beat in flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Chill dough for 10 minutes.
  • For the coating, stir together sugar and cinnamon on a small plate. Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in coating to cover completely.
  • Place cookies 2-3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake for about 8 minutes, until set but still soft. Cool slightly on pan before removing to a cooling rack.

Notes

  1. For even chewier cookies, you can substitute bread flour for some or all of the all-purpose flour.
  2. One cup of butter = 2 sticks = 16 tablespoons = 224 grams.
  3. With so few ingredients, quality really makes a difference. You can use any butter, but a cultured one from grass-fed cows will level up your cookies. It sounds fancy but isn’t — for example, Kerrygold is widely available and not super-expensive.
  4. Same goes for good eggs.
  5. Cream of tartar is an acidic byproduct of winemaking. It plays a couple of critical roles in this recipe, contributing to leavening, giving the cookies their characteristic tang, and keeping them chewy by preventing the sugar from crystallizing.
  6. Note that sugar is called for twice in this recipe, once for the cookie dough and once for the coating.
  7. I’m not one to mess with perfection, but occasionally we like to dip one side of these cookies in melted chocolate. You can melt chocolate chips on half power in the microwave, dip the cookies, and then place on parchment to let them set.
  8. They’re at their peak of soft chewiness the day they’re made, but they’ll keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days. Or wrap well and freeze for up to three months.
  9. Alternatively, shape the dough into balls and freeze on baking sheets until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and keep frozen for up to a few months. Remove them from the freezer about 30 minutes before baking to give the outsides a chance to defrost, then roll in cinnamon sugar and bake. They may need an extra couple of minutes in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 14.9g, Protein: 1.3g, Fat: 4.9g, Fiber: 0.3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cookies + Bars
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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2 Comments

    1. Hi, Kae! You sure can. They’ll be slightly chewier. Thanks for asking this — I’m actually going to add a note to the recipe. xx