Snickerdoodle Cookies

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Slightly soft, just a bit cakey, and totally coated in cinnamon sugar, these snickerdoodle cookies are a perfected version of the classic. They're different from other versions you might have had because of their unique melt-in-your-mouth texture, thanks to shortening and cream of tartar. Check out the tips for an over-the-top caramel-stuffed version of snickerdoodle cookies, too!

Want to reduce the carbs and calories in this recipe? Substitute our King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative for the sugar called for. See how in "tips," below.

30 mins
11 to 12 mins
41 mins
about 40 medium cookies


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the shortening and sugar until smooth, then beat in the eggs, again beating until smooth. The mixture will become lighter, and lighter-colored, as you beat; this is the result of air being absorbed.

  3. Beat in the vanilla, cream of tartar, baking soda (or baking powder, in place of the cream of tartar and soda), and salt, then add the flour, mixing slowly until combined.

  4. Place about 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar in an 8" or 9" round cake pan.

  5. Drop the soft dough by tablespoonfuls into the pan with the sugar, about 6 to 8 balls at a time. Gently shake the pan to coat the dough balls with sugar.

  6. Place the snickerdoodle cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2" between them. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie until it's about 1/2" thick. Repeat until you've used up all the dough.

  7. Bake the snickerdoodle cookies for 11 to 12 minutes, reversing the position of the pans (top to bottom, and back to front) midway through.

  8. Remove the snickerdoodle cookies from the oven once they're set and just starting to turn golden. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

  9. Store snickerdoodle cookies, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For caramel-stuffed version of snickerdoodle cookies, place a gumball-sized piece of soft caramel into the center of each ball of dough before rolling in cinnamon sugar. See our blog post, Caramel-Stuffed Snickerdoodles, for complete instructions.

  • To make the coating, mix cinnamon and sugar until you've got just the flavor and color you want; if you have no idea where to begin, try 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1/4 cup sugar, which makes a "middle-of-the-road" version of cinnamon-sugar.
  • Skip the scooping and cut down on prep time by using an ingenious technique outlined in our blog post, A simple way to shape cookies.

  • Here's an easy way to reduce the carbs and calories in this recipe: substitute King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative, cup for cup, for the sugar(s) called for. Be sure to substitute by volume (not weight); follow mixing directions as written. Since our Baking Sugar Alternative will bake and brown more quickly, reduce the recipe's suggested oven temperature by 25 degrees; and start checking cookies for doneness three-quarters of the way through the suggested bake time.