This is the best Snickerdoodle Recipe made without Cream of Tartar! Perfect for the holiday season, these cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and use simple ingredients that are already in your pantry. You'll never have to put your baking on hold for a missing ingredient again!
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We've all been there. You're settling in to make a batch of snickerdoodles and forgot that one key ingredient: cream of tartar.
Well, those days are over friends! This easy snickerdoodle recipe is made with no cream of tartar and is just as soft, chewy, and delicious as the traditional snickerdoodle cookies -including the cinnamon crackle top!
For this recipe, the cream of tartar is replaced with a combination of baking soda, baking powder, and lemon juice to get the tangy flavor and texture just right.
We include cream cheese in the dough for added tanginess and to make the cookie extra soft and chewy.
These sweet cinnamon cookies are typically served around the holidays, so make sure to have a warm cup of homemade hot chocolate or a festive eggnog latte on hand to go with them! If you're looking for more cozy cinnamon treats, try baking up a batch of my flaky cinnamon pinwheel cookies or iced oatmeal cookies too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- No cream of tartar - This is not a very common ingredient, so it's hard to have it on hand at all times. Instead, this snickerdoodle cookie recipe uses a combination of baking powder, baking soda, and lemon juice to replicate the same tanginess and texture found in traditional snickerdoodles. It's a classic cookie recipe made simpler!
- Chewy snickerdoodles - Each delicious cookie comes out perfectly soft and chewy and melts in your mouth with every bite.
- Easy snickerdoodles fast- No chilling or resting is required for the cookie dough, so you'll have a batch of homemade snickerdoodles in about 30 minutes.
- All-purpose Flour - For cookies, I prefer Gold Medal or King Arthur brand all-purpose flour. These brands don't cause the cookies to spread in the oven quite like other store brands of flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda - Classic snickerdoodles call for cream of tartar, but in this recipe, we use good old fashioned baking powder and baking soda for leavening. The baking powder will make the cookies puff and rise, while the baking soda creates a chewy texture, with a cracked top. For best results, use fresh baking powder and baking soda.
- Kosher Salt - I use the coarse variety.
- Unsalted Butter
- Cream Cheese - For best results, use full-fat cream cheese.
- Granulated Sugar - For the cookie dough and the cinnamon-sugar mixture the cookie dough will roll in.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - This will add a little tangy flavor to the cookies and work with the baking soda to make tender and soft snickerdoodles.
- Large Egg
- Vanilla Extract
- Ground Cinnamon - All classic snickerdoodle cookies need to have a cinnamon sugar crust on the outside!
Full ingredient amounts can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the post
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350º and line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper. To make the cinnamon sugar mixture, combine the ground cinnamon and ¼ cup of granulated sugar, in a shallow pie dish and mix until fully combined. Set aside to make the cookie dough.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
Step 3: Add the cream cheese to the bowl and beat until the butter and cream cheese are smooth.
Step 4: Add the sugar and mix at medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Turn the speed up to medium for 10 seconds until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the lemon juice and give a quick stir.
Step 5: Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
Give the sides and bottom of the bowl another good scrape with a rubber spatula.
Step 6: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the flour is just incorporated.
Step 7: Turn the mixer up to medium-low speed and give one final mix to ensure everything is combined and no streaks of flour are showing. Do not overmix!
Step 8: Scoop the snickerdoodle dough, one tablespoon at a time ( a #40 cookie scoop), and drop it into the cinnamon sugar mixture. The dough will be soft and a little sticky.
Roll the dough around in the cinnamon sugar until evenly coated and you have a nice round ball.
Step 9: Place the coated dough ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls, spacing cookies about 2" apart.
Step 10: For best results, gently flatten the center of the cookies using two fingers.
Hint: Gently indenting the centers of the snickerdoodles will allow the cookies to bake and flatten evenly.
Step 11: Bake the cookies in a 350º oven for 11-12 minutes, until the cookies are puffed, crackly on top and golden brown on the bottoms. The cookies will flatten a little as they cool.
Allow cookies to sit for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before eating or transferring to a cooling rack.
- Swap the ground cinnamon for your favorite chai spice blend or pumpkin pie spice
You can swap the cream cheese in the recipe for 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of sour cream.
- Always measure flour accurately by spooning it into your dry measuring cup and leveling it flat before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Gently indenting the center of the cookies before baking will allow them to flatten and bake evenly.
- It's okay if the cookie dough looks slightly underdone through the cracks on top. The residual heat from the sheet pan will finish cooking and setting the cookies as they cool.
Store snickerdoodles in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for a longer shelf life. These snickerdoodles will stay soft and delicious for up to 3 days at room temperature.
Freezing Instructions: For long-term storage, fully baked cookies can be frozen and stored for months. Once the cookies are out of the oven, let them cool completely, pop them into a freezer bag, and freeze.
When you're ready for cookies, take 1 (or 12) out of the freezer and let them soften up, uncovered, at room temperature.
Once thawed, your cookies are ready to eat! They'll be wonderfully soft and chewy, and the cinnamon sugar coating will remain intact.
Cream of tartar--also known as potassium bitartrate--is a dry, acidic powder and is a byproduct of winemaking!
It's typically used for bringing stability to egg whites (think angel food cake) and providing a chewy texture to baked goods.
The acid helps to keep the sugar from crystalizing, giving cookies, for instance, a light and chewy texture. This is also where the "tang" flavor in snickerdoodles comes from.
When cream of tartar is combined with baking soda, the combo produces carbon dioxide gas, becoming a leavening agent for baked goods (aka baking powder)!
Yup, baking powder is pretty much baking soda and cream of tartar, plus a little bit of cornstarch for anti-caking.
I got my info from this really great Allrecipes.com article if you want to read more about it!
This recipe for snickerdoodles uses a combo of baking soda, lemon juice, and baking powder as a replacement for the cream of tartar.
In a traditional snickerdoodle cookie dough, cream of tartar and baking soda are used to tenderize, leaven, and flavor the cookies. It also makes the cookie nice and chewy.
Too much flour may have been added. It's important to measure flour accurately when baking. Make sure to level off the flour in your measuring cup before adding it to the cookie dough. I also recommend spooning the flour into your measuring cup for a more accurate measure. As an added measure, I indent the centers of each cookie before baking, helping them bake and flatten evenly.
Theses recipes pair really well with freshly baked Snickerdoodle Cookies
Other Cookie Recipes You May Like
- 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 3 oz of cream cheese, softened but still cool
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of sugar (for rolling)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (for rolling)
- Preheat the oven to 350º and line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
- To make the cinnamon sugar mixture, combine 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and ¼ cup of granulated sugar in a shallow pie dish and mix until fully combined. Set aside to make the cookie dough.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add the cream cheese to the bowl and beat until the butter and cream cheese are smooth.
- Next, add 1 cup of sugar and mix at medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Turn the speed up to medium for 10 seconds until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add in the lemon juice and give a quick stir.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
- Give the sides and bottom of the bowl another good scrape with a rubber spatula.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the flour is just incorporated.
- Turn the mixer speed up to medium-low and give one final mix to make sure everything is well combined and no streaks of flour are showing. Do not overmix!
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the batter a quick stir by hand to check that everything on the sides and bottom of the bowl is incorporated.
- Scoop the snickerdoodle dough, one tablespoon at a time ( a #40 cookie scooper), and drop it into the prepared cinnamon sugar mixture. The dough will be soft and a little sticky.
- Roll the dough around in the cinnamon sugar until evenly coated and you have a nice round ball.
- Place the coated dough ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls, spacing cookies about 2" apart.
- Gently indent the center of the cookies using two fingers. This will allow the cookies to bake and flatten evenly.
- Bake the snickerdoodles in a 350º oven for 11-12 minutes, until the cookies are puffed, crackly on top and golden brown on the bottoms. The cookies will flatten a little as they cool.
- Allow cookies to sit for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before eating or transferring to a cooling rack.
When softening the butter and cream cheese for this recipe, I let my ingredients sit out for about 2 hours (in the cold weather months). I want the butter and cream cheese to soften slightly, but still feel a little cool to the touch. You should be able to bend your butter without is squashing in your hand.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 72mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g