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Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream of Tartar

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Soft, easy snickerdoodles without cream of tartar. Baking powder is used as a leavening agent, yet the cookies are just as delicious as ever. And they are ready in less than 30 minutes.

stack of snickerdoodles and a cinnamon stick.

Easy snickerdoodle recipe made from scratch, these melt-in-your-mouth American cookies are sure to please. What’s not to like about these snickerdoodles? They are soft and so comforting; they taste of cinnamon and are just perfect for dunking into your milk on a cold evening spent in front of the TV. If you like cookies with milk, why not try these Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut Cookies or these Condensed Milk Cookies?

What are snickerdoodles?

Snickerdoodle cookies are a type of sugar cookie. But unlike typical sugar cookies, which are thin and crunchy, snickerdoodle cookies are soft and pillowy.

Although I read on Wikipedia that the snickerdoodle cookies may have German origins, I really cannot think of any German cookie I know (and I have baked loads of different German cookies over the years) that are anything like these snickerdoodles. As far as I am concerned, these easy snickerdoodle cookies are as American as they can be.

Can you make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar?

The classic cookie recipe is made with cream of tartar; that’s what makes them soft, unlike typical sugar cookies. However, a great cream of tartar substitute is baking powder. So, I replaced the cream of tartar and baking soda required by the recipe with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

I could not have been happier with the result: best snickerdoodle cookies, soft and pillowy, perfectly spiced with cinnamon.

Recipe ingredients

the ingredients for making snickerdoodles without cream of tartar arranged on the table.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter; make sure it’s at room temperature so that you can cream it well.
  • Baking powder: As mentioned above, we will use that instead of cream of tartar.
  • Spices: Vanilla extract for the dough and cinnamon mixed with sugar for coating the snickerdoodles.
  • Other ingredients: All-purpose flour, white sugar, eggs, salt.

How to make the recipe?

  • Wet ingredients: Beat the soft butter and the sugar with a hand mixer until the mixture is creamy (1). Add the eggs and continue beating until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl (2).
collage of two pictures of stirring sugar and eggs for cookies.
  • Dough: Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl (3). Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and incorporate shortly (4). Don’t overmix!
collage of two pictures of flour and cookie dough in a bowl.
  • Form balls about the size of a larger walnut, about one tablespoon of dough.
  • Coating: Mix cinnamon and additional sugar in a shallow bowl or plate.Roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture (5).
coating cookie dough balls in sugar and cinnamon on a small plate.
  • Flatten them slightly and place them on baking trays, leaving some space in between (6).
  • Bake cookies for about 8 minutes, depending on your oven, or until just set around the edges. The middle should still look undercooked (7).
  • Rest on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, giving them time to set properly. Then, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
collage of two pictures of unbaked and baked cookies on a baking sheet.

Expert tips and FAQ

  • Best tip: Use a digital kitchen scale when measuring the ingredients; it guarantees for best results. If you use cups, you will probably go wrong when measuring the flour and the butter, which will alter the results. Using too much flour will make the cookies too puffy and floury; using not enough flour will make them too flat and crispy.
  • Make sure the butter is soft; take it out of the fridge a few hours before baking so that it can reach room temperature.
  • After adding the flour mixture, don’t overmix the batter; that could cause the snickerdoodles to become tough, and that is the last thing you want; these cookies should be nice and soft.
  • You will probably need to bake the snickerdoodles in 3 or 4 batches, depending on the size of your trays.
  • If using a fan oven, you can bake two baking sheets at a time. If using a conventional oven, bake the snickerdoodles without cream of tartar one cookie sheet at a time. Use the time the first batch is in the oven to form and coat the second batch of cookie balls with the cinnamon sugar topping.
snickerdoodles on a silver platter and on a black cloth.

Recipe FAQ

What’s the difference between using cream of tartar or baking powder?

They both taste delicious, like a butter sugar cookie with lots of cinnamon. But the higher acidity of the cream of tartar imparts the traditional snickerdoodles a tangy flavor, a bit metallic, while the baking powder causes them to be milder. This is why I prefer to use baking powder instead of cream of tartar.
Also, the snickerdoodles without cream of tartar are slightly less puffy but still puffy enough; just have a look at the pictures.

Do I have to chill the dough?

Many recipes ask for the dough to be chilled before baking, but there was absolutely no need for that in this easy snickerdoodle cookie recipe. Instead, work quickly and don’t leave the dough sitting around at room temperature for too long.
If your kitchen is very warm, and you are worried about the cookies spreading too much during baking, you might want to chill the formed and coated snickerdoodles for about 30 minutes.

How to make the snickerdoodles stay soft?

Don’t overbake them. It is better if you slightly underbake them, the edges should be set, but they should be slightly underdone in the middle. Remove the tray from the oven and let the cookies rest on the tray for about 10 minutes; the residual heat will continue to bake them. After that, transfer them to a cooling rack.

How to store?

Keep the snickerdoodle cookies in an airtight container; otherwise, they will become crispier. But that’s not bad; I love them when they are crispier just as much.
They will keep well for at least 3 days.

Can I freeze them?

Freeze the dough for up to 3 months and defrost in the fridge.
Freeze unbaked cookies: form the cookies, freeze them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper until they’re solid. Then, transfer the cookie dough balls to freezer bags. Bake from frozen as instructed but increase the baking time to 10-11 minutes.
Freeze baked cookies in airtight containers and defrost them on the counter.

overhead view of snickerdoodles made with baking powder on a black cloth with cinnamon sticks around.

More Christmas cookies:

Do you like this recipe?

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snickerdoodles on a silver platter and on a black cloth.

Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream of Tartar

Easy snickerdoodle recipe without cream of tartar. Melt-in-your-mouth and made from scratch, these famous American cookies are sure to please.
4.5 from 40 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 35
Calories: 97kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

Snickerdoodles:

  • 160 g unsalted butter 5.5 oz/ 2/3 cup, soft
  • 180 g granulated sugar 6.3 oz/ ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs medium Germany, large the US
  • 330 g all-purpose flour 11.5 oz/ 2 ¾ cup
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Cinnamon-sugar coating:

  • 50 g granulated sugar 1.7 oz/ ¼ cup
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

Snickerdoodles:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line at least two baking trays with baking paper (Note 2).
  • Cream the soft butter and the sugar. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and continue beating until fully incorporated.
  • Dough: In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and incorporate shortly. Do not overmix the batter, or the cookies might become tough.

Cinnamon-sugar coating:

  • Mix the cinnamon and the sugar on a plate or shallow bowl.
  • Form cookies: Take about 1 tablespoon of the dough and form balls about the size of a larger walnut. Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon coating and place them on the prepared trays leaving some space in between. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand.
  • Bake the snickerdoodles for about 8 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the cookies are set around the edges but still look slightly undercooked in the middle. Leave to rest on the trays for about 10 minutes; they will set nicely during this time.
  • Next batch: Transfer to wire racks to cool and bake the next batch.
  • Keep in an airtight container.

Notes

  1. Use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients when baking; it guarantees for best results.
  2. You will probably need to bake the snickerdoodles in 3 or 4 batches, depending on the size of your trays.
  3. If using a fan oven, you can bake two baking sheets at a time. If using a conventional oven, bake the snicker-doodles without cream of tartar one cookie sheet at a time. Use the time the first batch is in the oven to form and coat the second batch of cookie balls with the cinnamon sugar topping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 36mg | Sugar: 7g
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Recipe Rating




grace

Friday 4th of January 2019

snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie of all time!

angiesrecipes

Sunday 30th of December 2018

They look soft and chewy...simply perfect!