Dairy Free/ Original Versions/ Original Wheat and Dairy

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Recently, a friend of mine, who has to be gluten-free for medical reasons, went on vacation to South Carolina. She excitedly texted me because she found a gluten-free bakery where she was staying and she thought it must be a good bakery because it had a long line of customers waiting to make purchases. I asked her to bring me back a couple things if they were good- a little “professional curiosity.” She didn’t bring anything back for me after she bought two things for herself. She paid $4.00 for one Snickerdoodle cookie and $8.00 for a slice of cheesecake with a Snickerdoodle crust. And she threw them both away after just one bite each because they were grainy and had a “gluten-free” taste.

Well, that was all the challenge I needed. So I set out to make a gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookie that everyone would enjoy. But after the first two batches, I realized I couldn’t remember what the taste, texture and chewiness of a Snickerdoodle cookie was anymore. So I got out my Snickerdoodle cookie recipe and made it again- for the first time in over 30 years! And now, everyday when my husband wants dessert, he asks, “Do you have any of those cookies I really like?”

See also: Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies, Peach Cheesecake with a Snickerdoodles Crust, Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Glazed Peaches, and Peach Cheesecake with a Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles Crust, Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Glazed Peaches

The Inside Scoop

Snickerdoodle cookies trace back to the 18th century and have changed very little over the years. A true Snickerdoodle cookie is always made with shortening. NEVER USE BUTTER OR VANILLA. Snickerdoodles are chewy cookies that are crisp on the outside and chewy-tender on the inside. Shortening is used because it is 100% fat and contributes to the chewiness of the cookie. In the United States, butter is typically 81% – 82% fat and 18% to 19% water. The water in the butter gives the cookie a more cake-like texture, which is not the desired texture in a Snickerdoodle.

Vanilla is never used in Snickerdoodles. The acidic Cream of Tartar gives Snickerdoodles a tangy taste- this tangy taste is the trademark taste of a Snickerdoodle Cookie. Vanilla neutralizes this tanginess and diminishes the flavor of the cookie. So always use shortening, never use butter or vanilla, and enjoy Snickerdoodles the way they were meant to be enjoyed!

Because Snickerdoodles are meant to be chewy cookies, try to avoid getting excess air into the batter. I always either stir these cookies by hand or I use my stand mixer on its slowest speed. I have found that the slowest speed on a hand mixer is still too fast- it incorporates too much air, which results in a cakey cookie.

It is easy to identify a Snickerdoodle cookie because of the cracked top and the cinnamon-sugar coating. However, the cinnamon-sugar mix needs to stay on the OUTSIDE of the cookie; if it gets inside the cookie as one is rolling the dough into balls, the excess sugar will cause the cookie to spread. To solve that problem, I fill a sealable container with the cinnamon-sugar mix. The container needs to be tall enough so that it can hold the cookies without smashing them when the lid is put on the container.

Be sure to remove any cinnamon sugar from your hands before rolling the next batch of cookies.

I add a touch of freshly grated nutmeg to my Snickerdoodle batter. Nutmeg is traditionally not added to Snickerdoodles, but I find that I like that bit of extra flavor. Feel free to add it or stay traditional and leave it out.


Snickerdoodle Cookies

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By Connie Teunis Serves: Makes 21 1 1/2 ounce cookies
Cooking Time: 11-12 minutes

A delightful cookie that has a tangy flavor, is crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and rolled in cinnamon and sugar before baking.


  • Cookie:
  • 288g./ 1 ½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 192 g./ 1 c. Vegetable Shortening
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 330 g./ 2 ¾ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 t. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1 t. Freshly Grated Nutmeg (opt.)
  • Sugar and Cinnamon Crust:
  • 144 g./ ¾ c. granulated Sugar
  • 1 t. Cinnamon



In a large bowl by hand, or with a stand mixer set to its slowest speed, combine the sugar and shortening; mix until smooth. Do not use an electric hand mixer because it will incorporate too much air.


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add to the sugar and butter and mix until fully incorporated.


In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add to the sugar/butter/egg mix; stir until smooth.


Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to seven days.


When you are ready to bake, fill a resealable container with the Sugar and Cinnamon Crust ingredients.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.


Roll out 8 walnut size balls of dough (1 ½ ounces) or the number that will fit onto your baking sheet, and place them into the container with the sugar and cinnamon. Put the lid on and gently tip the closed container upside down to evenly coat the cookie balls with the cinnamon and sugar. Remove the lid and place the sugar-coated cookie balls onto the baking sheet, leaving at least 3” of space between each cookie.


Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes, until cookies begin to show a hint of browning; cookies will be soft to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use a spatula to remove the cookies from the baking sheet and place the cookies directly on the cooling rack to finish cooling.


While the first tray of cookies is baking, remove any sugar and cinnamon clinging to your hands and then roll out the next batch of cookies. Place the cookie dough balls into the container with the cinnamon and sugar, put on the lid, tip over to coat the cookie balls with cinnamon and sugar, remove the lid, place the sugar-coated cookie balls on the baking sheet and bake after the first batch is finished baking.


Repeat until all of the cookie dough has been used.




Store in an airtight container. Makes twenty-one 1 ½ ounce cookies.


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