Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Cream of Tartar are quick to make with chewy and soft centers and a crisp coating of cinnamon sugar, just like your traditional snickerdoodles but without the tang!
These snickerdoodle cookies without cream of tartar taste just like the classic but they’re made with pantry-friendly ingredients.
No cream of tartar? No problem!
Similar to when you want to make pumpkin pie cookies but have no pumpkin puree!
Easy and quick to make, they’re created in one mixing bowl and you only need to chill the dough for 20 minutes.
Made with baking soda instead, these snickerdoodles puff up around the edges but remain light and chewy in the middle.
They’re not cakey, thick or dense.
With each cookie dough ball generously rolled in cinnamon sugar, you won’t miss the tangy taste of cream of tartar.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- No cream of tartar is required.
- One bowl recipe.
- Rolled generously in cinnamon sugar.
- Soft & chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside.
What Makes These Snickerdoodles Chewy?
To get that perfect chewy texture in snickerdoodles without using the cream of tartar, we use cornstarch.
Cornstarch helps in softening the protein in the flour, contributing to a tender and chewy cookie.
The molasses in the brown sugar also helps to retain moisture, enhancing chewiness.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
A comprehensive recipe card featuring all the ingredients can be found at the end of this post.
- Unsalted butter: Use butter that comes in a block. Can be substituted with salted butter, just remove the added salt later in the recipe.
- Granulated sugar: Use golden/raw granulated sugar. Substitute with white granulated sugar.
- Brown sugar: Use regular light brown sugar. This recipe has not been tested using dark brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Egg: You’ll be adding the egg to the melted butter mixture, although it should be cooled down, ensure your egg is at room temperature before adding it to avoid it curdling.
- Vanilla Extract: Can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste.
- All-purpose flour: Is also known as plain flour in Australia. Make sure to accurately measure your flour and basic baking ingredients for the best results.
- Cornstarch: is also known as cornflour in Australia. Cornstarch contributes to the chewy texture but if you don’t have it on hand, omit it from the recipe or arrowroot flour makes a good substitute.
- Baking soda: This replaces the cream of tartar. Do not substitute baking soda with baking powder.
- Salt: Use fine salt. If using salted butter, leave out this additional salt from the recipe.
- Cinnamon: Use ground cinnamon. Either Ceylon or Cassia cinnamon.
Step By Step Instructions (with photos)
There is a full and detailed recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step one: Melt the butter then pour it into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes until it’s only slightly warm. Don’t let it firm back up again.
Step two: Add both sugars and whisk for 20 seconds until well combined.
Step three: Add egg and vanilla, and whisk until well combined, about 15 seconds.
Step four: Sift over flour, cornstarch, and baking soda. Add the salt.
Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold and mix until a cookie dough forms, for about 40 seconds, it will be thick.
Step five: Chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 356ºF (180ºC). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step six: In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Set aside.
Step seven: Working one cookie at a time, scoop and weigh 45g (1.5oz) or 3 level tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.
Place the ball into the bowl with the cinnamon sugar. Gently roll it in the sugar until it’s generously coated.
Step eight: Place the cookies on the lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Leaving 4 inches between each cookie to allow for spreading.
Step nine: Bake for 9-10 minutes until edges are lightly golden and cookies are puffed up. The centers may look slightly under-baked; that’s what keeps them soft and chewy. They will deflate as they cool.
Step ten: Remove the cookies from the oven to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
- Measure your baking ingredients accurately: Check out my helpful guide on how to measure basic ingredients.
- Melt butter first: Melt butter and cool for 10-15 minutes until slightly warm; if too hot, the egg may curdle when added.
- Room temperature egg: Ensure your egg is at room temperature before starting to prevent it from curdling when it’s whisked with the warm melted butter.
- Don’t overmix: Avoid overmixing after adding the flour to prevent tough cookies.
- Chill the dough: You only need 20 minutes to chill the cookie dough in the fridge. This makes it easier to roll the dough and prevents flat cookies.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: These cookies need space to spread out and strut their stuff. Give ’em room to groove!
- Do not flatten balls: No need to flatten the dough balls on the baking sheet. Keeping them tall allows them to spread naturally during baking in the oven.
- Don’t overbake: These snickerdoodle cookies bake in 9-10 minutes. Any longer and they will dry out and become too crunchy.
- Ice Cream Sandwich: Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two snickerdoodles for a decadent dessert.
- Gingerbread Latte: Pair your caramel cookies with a mug of homemade gingerbread latte during the holidays for a cozy evening by the fireplace.
- Rum Hot Chocolate: Make this rum nightcap for guests or just yourself, alongside a slice of these
- As a gift: Present them in a vintage cookie jar for that cozy, thoughtful homemade gift or as christmas cookies for friends and family.
- Coffee or Tea: For afternoon tea or as a relaxing dessert after dinner, enjoy it with a hot cup of tea, coffee or homemade hot chocolate.
Store: Allow cookies to cool completely and store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week.
Freeze: Place baked and cooled cookies in a freezer-friendly zip-lock bag or container, layered with parchment paper between each layer of cookies to prevent sticking. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw: At room temperature for 1-2 hours until soft enough to eat.
Freeze Cookie Dough for Later Use
- Preparation: Form the dough into individual balls as instructed, do not roll them in the cinnamon sugar coating. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they’re not touching.
- Freezing: Freeze the baking sheet for 1-2 hours, or until the cookie dough is firm.
- Storage: Transfer the frozen cookie balls to a zip-lock bag or airtight container, layering them with parchment paper if needed. Label with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Bake from Frozen
Thaw Before Baking:
- Thaw the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for several hours until soft enough for the cinnamon sugar coating to stick to the dough.
- Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar as directed in the recipe.
- Bake as per the original recipe, extending the baking time by an additional 2-3 minutes if needed, as they were previously frozen.
If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x
Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Cream of Tartar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt in microwave in 30-second intervals.
- Pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes until it’s only slightly warm. Don’t let it firm back up again.
- Add both sugars and whisk for 20 seconds until well combined. Tip: The mixture will thicken gradually; avoid leaving it too long, as it will become harder to whisk the egg in the next step.
- Add egg and vanilla, and whisk until well combined, about 15 seconds.
- Sift over the flour, cornstarch and baking soda. Then add the salt.
- Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold and mix until a soft cookie dough forms, it will be thick.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or if the bowl is too large, wrap the dough and refrigerate without the bowl. *For overnight chilling, see notes below.
- While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 356ºF (180ºC) fan-forced. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Set aside.
- After the 20 minutes, remove the dough from the fridge.
- Working one at a time, scoop and weigh 45g (1.5oz) of dough, roll into a ball and place into the bowl with the cinnamon sugar. Note: Without a food scale, use 3 level tablespoons per cookie.
- Gently roll dough in the sugar until generously coated.
- Place cookie ball on the lined baking sheet, do not flatten the ball.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing cookie balls apart by 10cm (4 inches) to allow for spreading, and leaving gaps near the tray edges. Bake in batches, as they won't all fit on one sheet.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes until edges are lightly golden and cookies are puffed up. The centers may look slightly under-baked; that's what keeps them soft and chewy. They will deflate as they cool.
- Remove from the oven allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. They’ll still be soft and delicate so handle with care to avoid breakages.
- Chill dough overnight: To chill your dough overnight, make it per the recipe instructions and instead of chilling it for 20 minutes, leave it wrapped in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to shaping the cookies to let it soften until you can easily roll it into balls.
- Store: Allow cookies to cool completely and store in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week.
- Freeze: Place baked and cooled cookies in a freezer-friendly zip-lock bag or container, layered with parchment paper between each layer of cookies to prevent sticking. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw: At room temperature for 1-2 hours until soft enough to eat.