This is easily the BEST snickerdoodle recipe. They are soft, thick, slightly chewy, and full of that sweet cinnamon flavor. The addition of maple is so delicious and should honestly just be in every snickerdoodle recipe from here on out. Trust me when I say that these are an absolute crowd pleaser!
What makes the perfect snickerdoodle recipe?
The texture of these cookies is perfectly soft and almost doughy. It’s like a cross between cookie dough and cake. The flavors are sweet and warm and the maple adds just a little extra kick of sweetness. And those wrinkles! I never thought I’d think a cookie was so cute.
What makes these especially good is how they are slightly under baked, creating that doughy center. Once cooled, it has that satisfying break when you split open a soft but perfectly dense cookie. Ya’know that feeling?
The maple not only adds flavor but adding a sugar syrup to cookies helps to keep them moist and chewy. It’s the secret but also not-so-secret ingredient that makes this snickerdoodle recipe so good!
Why do you put cream of tartar in snickerdoodles?
The key ingredient to any snickerdoodle recipe is cream of tartar. That, along with the cinnamon sugar, is what sets it apart from a standard sugar cookie recipe.
Cream of tartar is what gives snickerdoodles that signature soft texture. The acid in cream of tartar creates tiny air bubbles all throughout the cookie as it bakes. It also breaks up the gluten and lifts the cookie, leaving a soft and pillow-like texture.
It also provides a slightly tangy flavor which helps cut through the ultra sweet cinnamon sugar. But you have to be careful with it. Too much and your cookies can turn out bitter with a strange aftertaste.
The trick is to add just the tiniest amount. For this snickerdoodle recipe, you only need 1/4 teaspoon. It’s just enough to give that soft texture and flavor without overpowering the cookie.
How to ensure your snickerdoodles don’t flatten when baked
It can be so frustrating when your snickerdoodles don’t bake properly. The edges melt too quickly, leaving you with something like a snickerdoodle pancake…which actually sounds kind of amazing.
But we’re baking snickerdoodle COOKIES here! Which means perfectly rounded edges, a uniform shape, and sweet wrinkly tops.
First and most importantly, you must refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. Just prep the dough the night before and bake the morning. Easy peasy!
Refrigerating the dough allows it to dry out while also creating a deeper flavor. Kind of like marinating meat overnight…I know, strange to connect those two but it’s the same concept.
But when I say “dry out”, that doesn’t mean you’ll have a dry cookie. It just allows the dry ingredients to fully absorb the wet ingredients, leaving a more stable cookie dough.
Chilling the dough also slows the spread of the cookie as it bakes. Since it’s cold, it takes a little bit longer for the cookie to heat up in the oven. That’s how you get that perfectly baked edge with the slightly doughy and soft center. It’s shear heaven.
Prepping your snickerdoodle cookie dough for baking
Since we’ll be refrigerating the dough, you will need to scoop the dough BEFORE it is chilled. Otherwise, the dough is too hard to dig your cookie scoop into.
I like large and in-charge cookies which is why I almost always use my 2 oz cookie scoop. It creates the perfect mounded shape and adds those wrinkly ridges on top.
Scoop your cookie dough onto a small baking sheet and refrigerate. If you don’t have a large scoop, you could use a smaller scoop and bake for 3-5 minutes less. Just make sure to keep them in that dome shape – the same shape as your scoop.
Once chilled, this is when it’s time to roll them in the cinnamon sugar. If we did this when the dough was soft and fresh, the cookies would lose their shape.
Simply mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and coat the chilled cookie dough.
To bake, place about 4-5 cookies on a large baking sheet. They spread quite a bit so leave 2 inches between each cookie.
You know they’re done with they’re slightly puffed, golden around the edges, and still pale in the middle. They’ll look pretty light in color when they’re fresh from the oven but as they cool and settle, they’ll look more like the pictures you see here.
The best part about this snickerdoodle recipe is that they can be enjoyed at any time! Fresh is always best, but that soft texture remains for days. Keep them in an air tight container at room temperature and enjoy for up to 5 days.
For more of the BEST cookie recipes, check out my:
- Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Bakery-Style Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make this Snickerdoodle recipe. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print