Snickerdoodles are one of those treats that everyone seems to prefer in a slightly different way. Some prefer their snickerdoodles to be light and cakey, while others (myself included) prefer them to be crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the center.
I have tested so many different recipes and methods of making snickerdoodles. I’ve discovered that, depending on how you and your family like snickerdoodles, you can very easily modify this recipe to achieve your desired texture.
HOW TO MAKE SOFT AND CHEWY SNICKERDOODLES
I tend to prefer my snickerdoodles crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the center. To do this, after creaming the butter and sugar together, only beat in the eggs for about 30 seconds. This incorporates less air into the batter and will prevent them from rising as much in the oven.
Next, before baking them, use the back of a spatula to gently press down on the balls of dough and slightly flatten them.
Finally, take the cookies out of the oven while they are still soft in the center to ensure a chewier texture.
Keep in mind: this will give you the texture you are looking for, but will result in fewer cracks on the surface of the cookie (which some like the look of).
I also find that making snickerdoodles in this way makes them stay soft for longer, while a more cakey snickerdoodle tends to dry out faster.
HOW TO MAKE PUFFY AND CAKEY SNICKERDOODLES
Snickerdoodles have a light and cakey texture when there is more leavening power, making them rise up in the oven, well, like a cake!
To achieve this texture, after creaming the butter and sugar together, beat in the eggs for a full 3 minutes (it’s longer than you think!). This incorporates more air into the batter and will cause them to rise more in the oven.
They will have a cakey texture and will likely have more cracks on the tops. Also, don’t flatten them before baking!
DO YOU NEED TO ADD CREAM OF TARTAR FOR SNICKERDOODLES?
Technically speaking, no. You could substitute the cream of tartar and baking soda for 2 teaspoons of baking powder. However, the cream of tartar is what gives snickerdoodles that signature tang and flavor!
Start by preheating your oven to 400℉.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter on a medium speed for about 2 minutes, until pale yellow, light, and fluffy.
Then, turn the mixer down to low speed and add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate everything evenly.
For soft and chewy snickerdoodles, turn the mixer to a medium-high speed and mix for about 30 seconds.
For puffy and cakey snickerdoodles, mix for a full 3 minutes (it’s longer than you think!).
If the mixture appears curdled at this point, don’t panic, it’s completely normal!
Turn the mixer back down to a low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture until well combined.
Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, portion out the dough into balls, 2 Tablespoons each, and then roll them between the palms of your hands until smooth. The dough should be soft, but not overly sticky.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar topping and place them on a lined cookie sheet or sheet pan about two inches apart.
For soft and chewy snickerdoodles, press down and flatten each cookie using the back of a spatula.
Sprinkle the tops of each snickerdoodle with more of the cinnamon sugar topping.
Bake them for 8 to 9 minutes. They will be very soft. Allow them to cool for five minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store them in an airtight container to stay fresh and chewy!
Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodles
Snickerdoodles are a classic favorite — and a staple recipe for any home cook. These snickerdoodles are crisp on the outside, soft and chewy in the center, and ready in less than 30 minutes!
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400℉.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set aside.2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour¾ tsp kosher salt1 tsp baking soda2 tsp cream of tartar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until pale yellow, light, and fluffy (about 2 minutes).1 ¼ cups white sugar1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- Reduce mixing speed to low. Add in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla. Beat mixture just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.2 large eggs, at room temperature2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Increase mixing speed to medium/high.For soft and chewy snickerdoodles: Beat mixture for only about 30 seconds.For puffy and cakey snickerdoodles: Beat mixture for 3 full minutes.If mixture appears curdled, don't panic! This is normal.
- Reduce mixing speed to low. Slowly add in flour until well combined.
- With a spoon or ice cream scoop, portion out the dough into balls (of 2 Tablespoons each) and roll them between the palms of your hands until smooth. The dough should be soft, but not overly sticky.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.¼ cup white sugar1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar topping and place them, two inches apart, on a cookie sheet or sheet pan lined with parchment paper.For soft and chewy snickerdoodles: Using the back of a spatula, press down to slightly flatten each cookie.
- Sprinkle the top of each snickerdoodle with more cinnamon sugar topping.
- Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. (They will be very soft!)
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes on sheet or pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To keep snickerdoodles fresh and chewy, store in airtight containers at room temperature or in the freezer.
- If you find the cookie dough is too sticky to handle, chill it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before forming it into balls. However, allow them to come back up to room temperature before baking.
- You can freeze the unbaked balls of dough on a baking sheet and then transfer them to a sealed plastic bag once they are frozen. When ready to bake, allow the balls to come back to room temperature, roll them in the cinnamon sugar topping, and bake.