As we round out the year with the epic-ness of cookie season, it felt only right to get one more bake-off under our belts. And to celebrate the holidays, we decided to test what might arguably be the most beloved holiday cookie around. It’s time to find out once and for all: what is the best snickerdoodle cookie recipe?
While the spiced cinnamon-sugar cookies feel especially festive with their warm and sweet flavor, there are a few things that set a snickerdoodle cookie recipe apart. Have you ever wondered why your favorite snickerdoodle recipe calls for cream of tartar? Turns out, it’s the secret ingredient that gives the cookie its distinct texture and flavor. And after testing each of the cookie recipes below, we can confirm—the cream of tartar makes a huge difference.
Keep reading to get all the details on the different cookie recipes we tested and which snickerdoodle came out on top.
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Rules of the Road
As always, all recipes are followed exactly as written without any adjustments for personal taste or flavor preferences.
Unlike a chocolate chip cookie where everyone has their own preferences when it comes to texture, flavors, and techniques, a snickerdoodle has some key aspects that make it a snickerdoodle.
- Flavor. While the cinnamon sugar is the key flavor of a snickerdoodle, the cream of tartar gives it a signature tang on the backend that rounds out the sweetness. We looked for cinnamon flavor, overall level of sweetness, and the tangy flavor when ranking our cookies.
- Texture. Cream of tartar creates that delicious pillowy and chewy texture—exactly what we were looking for from our recipes. Not crispy, not dense, but a chewy bite that was still soft with a melt-in-your-mouth middle.
Scroll on for the best snickerdoodle recipe to make this holiday!
7. Martha Stewart: Snickerdoodles Recipe
While we had high hopes for these cookies, they came in on the low end of our textural hopes. These cookies were on the firmer and drier side of all the snickerdoodles we tested and they didn’t have much cinnamon flavor. There was also discussion about if we missed something in the recipe, as these felt more like a sugar cookie sprinkled with cinnamon to us. (We’re claiming user error if you don’t agree!)
6. Hummingbird High: Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream of Tartar
We very lovingly called these cookies “chunky monkeys.” And if you had given us these cookies on any other day and not eaten back to back with a bunch of snickerdoodle cookies, I would tell you that this was an absolutely excellent cookie. Overall, we all liked this cookie, but when comparing it to the texture and flavor of the other cookies, we didn’t think it was the most snickerdoodle.
The texture, while good for a sugar cookie, was a bit dense while also being extremely chewy. The flavor also didn’t have the same tang because as the recipe mentions, it doesn’t use cream of tartar. Instead, it swaps in a healthy dose of baking powder. Again, we really liked this cookie and are saving this recipe for the pinch evenings when you can’t find any cream of tartar in the pantry.
5. Smitten Kitchen: Snickerdoodles
We love Smitten Kitchen recipes, so it was imperative that we had these snickerdoodles in the running. These cookies had a rich buttery flavor, that little bit of tang, and a touch of cinnamon spice. But as for texture, they came out a bit flatter than our other cookies, so we docked points for a bit of that pillowy melt-in-your-mouth factor that some of the other recipes had. However, if you like thinner and very chewy cookies, add these to your must-bake list.
4. Rick Martinez: BA’s Best Snickerdoodles
This was one of two recipes that used melted butter in the cookie instead of softened, in addition to brown sugar. These also have the extra step of letting the dough rest for 30 minutes to hydrate.
A couple of thoughts. We didn’t feel like resting the dough made it any easier to work with, as the dough remained just as soft and difficult to work with after resting. But with that aside, this was an extremely chewy and buttery cookie, and it leaned the most savory of the bunch. We liked this cookie a lot, but some of the steps make it a little hard to knock out cookies on a whim if that’s what you prefer.
3. Ree Drummond: Snickerdoodles
If you are looking for a cookie that’s reminiscent of the giant, pillowy-soft grocery store cookies, these will be the ones of your dreams. On the larger side, these cookies have that melt-in-your-mouth interior with a bit of chew on the edges. Our only complaint was that we wanted a little more cinnamon flavor, but the signature snickerdoodle tang was perfect. Would make these again.
2. Jessie Sheehan: Epic Snickerdoodles
There was a razor-thin margin between our top two cookies, so know that they are both exquisite examples of a snickerdoodle. Jessie’s recipe from her book Snackable Bakes uses part shortening and part butter, making these super tender. The middles are puffy, fluffy, and soft, while the edges get a nice chew and a very subtle crisp. Surprisingly, this was the only recipe to use cinnamon in the dough itself. This led to several tasters calling out the most cinnamon-y in flavor. With a buttery, sweet perfection, we’ll be making these cookies on repeat.
1. Broma Bakery: Soft Snickerdoodles
And our winner for the best snickerdoodle cookie recipe is from none other than… Broma Bakery! I’ll admit that I was skeptical because this recipe uses one very different ingredient that I was quoted as saying “will not make a difference at all.” I’ll admit my wrong, but the added tablespoon of Greek yogurt in these cookies made what taste testers called the moistest cookie of the bunch. These were fluffy and airy in texture, buttery and cinnamon-y, with that nice tang, chewy edges, and all around goodness. That’s right—these had it all.
And that’s another edition of the bake-off! Did we try your favorite recipe?
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