The Sweet Snickerdoodle Story

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The snickerdoodle cookie has been around a long time and the basic recipe varies little. However, there are some definite tips and tricks to making the perfect snickerdoodle with crispy edges and a soft middle.

I've varied my snickerdoodle cookie recipe many times in an attempt to bake the perfect cookie. But in many ways, the basic recipe IS the best cookie, with some minor variations that involve tricks more than ingredients.

“The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln, which means “snail dumpling.” A different author suggests that the word “snicker” comes from the Dutch word snekrad, or the German word Schnecke, which both describe a snail-like shape. Yet another theory suggests that the name comes from a New England tradition of fanciful, whimsical cookie names. There is also a series of tall tales about a hero named “Snickerdoodle” from the early 1900s which may be related to the name of the cookie.” ~ Source Wikipedia

Tip No. 1: The texture of your cookies will benefit greatly from hand mixing the dough, as opposed to beating with a mixer. I don't know the technicalities behind this, but I know I've seen this advice several times and I've tried it myself, and it DOES seem to make a difference. Try your snickerdoodles both ways, and see what you think. 

Tip No. 2: Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature. The obvious? Not only is it easier to mix the butter by hand when it's soft, but having these ingredients at room temperature also benefits the final cookie texture.

Tip No. 3: Be sure your baking soda and cream of tartar are fresh. Outdated ingredients will compromise the final cookie.

The Recipe
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs (use large, not extra-large)
2 tsp vanilla
2-3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbls sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 400. Mix the butter and shortening thoroughly (by hand!)… yes, it is a strange feeling to cream by hand. But hey, the pioneers must have done it, right? I doubt they had any electric hand mixers in the 1800s. 

After you've mixed the shortening and butter, add the sugar and cream further.  Add eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed mixture.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small plastic bag.  Shape dough into rounded teaspoons - I make mine a little bit larger because we like big cookies - and shake balls gently in plastic bag with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  I use parchment paper and airbake cookie sheets for the most even baking.

Bake 6-10 minutes, depending on your preference.  If you prefer a crispier cookie, then bake for 8 mins or more.  I baked mine 6-1/2 minutes for a soft middle; be sure this timeframe suits your oven temperature.  When the cookies look like they are beginning to crack on the top and they look moist between the cracks, it's time to take them out.  Let sit on the cookie sheets for a minute or two while they finish baking, then remove from sheets.  Makes about 6 dozen.

Be adventurous and experiment with your sugar coating.  I've added nutmeg, allspice, ginger, etc.  It all depends on your taste preference!

Snickerdoodles store well in airtight containers at room temperature.  I don't know if they freeze well, because they don't last more than 3-4 days around here.

Happy Snickerdoodling!


  1. Ha! They don't last around here either, but it's ME who eats them all up. Hubby doesn't like them. Go figure - that's just UNAmerican.. lol. Thanks for the tips & recipe - may have to try these again soon. -Tammy

  2. I loooove snickerdoodles!
    My mom never really baked when I was a kid, but a neighbor did. I had my first snickerdoodle at her house. I came home and promptly told my mom i had tasted the best cookie ever-nickerbockers.

    Imagine her surprise when she called the neighbor and asked her for the recipe of nickerbockers!!!!


    My family still calls them this!!
    xo, misha

  3. I've never made snicker doodles, whats wrong with me!?!? I guess we get in cookie ruts and stick with a few favorites. I do really like your outhouse in the snow picture:)

  4. Ok, this is a wierd comment, but I love the photo of the bowl with the eggs laying on top of the dough! What a cool picture!

  5. Oh my, your pictures are delicious! I've gained two pounds just reading your blog. Now I have to go and make snickerdoodles! I will try them by hand, but it's a real chore when one has arthritis. I can just smell them now! Take care

  6. glad their aren't any calories for lookin'

  7. I can't wait to try this recipe; I have never been able to make the perfect snickerdoodle...

  8. Oh my Hubby LOVES Snickerdoodles!! I will definitely have to try and make them! I can honestly say that is the only cookie I don't think I have made LOL!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ahh, I should not read your blog on an empty stomach. Looks great!

  10. I may have to try these for the Hubster, I know he loves them thanks. Now you need to come and enter my blogiversary giveaway neighbour!

  11. I love Snickerdoodles almost as much as I love to say Snickerdoodles. Thanks for the recipe, I might make these today while I'm snowed in.

  12. Gar loves snickerdoodles and this is a new recipe for me. Maybe he will be getting some for Valentines day.


  13. I used to make these sweet treats often when the kids were growin' up. I haven't thought of them in years! I think this is a great project to share with the grandkiddos! Yes, we shall have a snickerdoodle day!

    God bless sweet one and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!!

  14. I love the name - bet they taste as good as they sound too

  15. Hmmm...reading this and I'm beginning to crave some! Love the name Snickerdoodle, and think I'll have to try making some now.

  16. yuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm. Snicker Doodles....... your recipe sounds out of this world!

  17. Snickerdoodles orrrrrrrrrrrrr coffee cake either one of them would be worth the time, if i eat all of the coffee cake i am sure to be the one to eat all the Snickerdoodles, maybe think of the elevation levels we live in too for baking.

  18. Another Kansan -- I love snickerdoodles -- one of my favorite cookie!

  19. These are one of my all time favorite cookies... I love them better than chocolate chip!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  20. They look delicious Susan...I'll be sure to print off the recipe for some practice.

  21. Awww, Snickerdoodles....LOVE them, with a BIG glass of cold milk! Will have to try your recipe too.

    I just took a cheesecake out of the over. YUM, I always make one for hubby on Valentine's Day. This is a made from scratch one too, I DO NOT like the boxed ones....uck! But of course this one has no calories in it, I took them all out first! LOL

  22. Hey, I have something for you on my blog!

  23. Oh yummo! I didn't know that both butter and shortening were added. That might explain why mine don't turn out right.
    And what is the shelf life for baking soda and cream of tartar? I don't know how old mine are. At least 2 years old. gah! Is that old?

    And how freezes cookies? Ya gotta eat them fresh. Everyone knows that! heheh!