Learn how to make soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies with no cream of tartar!
You can make soft and chewy snickerdoodles without cream of tartar!
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When I was a kid, one of the first cookies I learned how to make were snickerdoodles.
I would bring them to family gatherings and church events, as a no-frills dessert that was a crowd-pleaser.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with other varieties, including pumpkin snickerdoodles in the fall.
There’s just something about a soft and chewy cookie coated in cinnamon sugar that everyone loves!
I’ve shared the recipe with many people over the years, and upon reading the recipe and seeing an ingredient they aren’t familiar with, most people have one question:
“Can you make traditional snickerdoodles without cream of tartar?”
Can You Make Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar?
Cream of tartar is a white powder you can buy in the baking aisle of your local grocery store.
It’s an acidic byproduct of fermenting grapes into wine.
Cream of tartar can act as a leavening agent in baked goods, and it can also keep sugar from crystallizing, and help stabilize egg whites.
In classic snickerdoodles, it gives a bit of tangy flavor that separates them from regular sugar cookies, plus activates the baking soda.
But the fact is, many home kitchens don’t have this ingredient on hand. So do you really need it in your snickerdoodle cookies?
The answer is, no, it’s not a necessity.
You can make a few simple tweaks of the recipe and make your snickerdoodles with no cream of tartar needed.
Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream of Tartar
These days, the easy snickerdoodle recipe that I make most often originally came from my husband’s grandmother.
If you’ve seen my recipe for old-fashioned pumpkin bread, you’ll know that I received a box of recipes that originally belonged to her.
So I’ve taken her snickerdoodle recipe and made some tweaks so you don’t have to have cream of tartar on hand to enjoy these cookies.
To substitute for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles, you omit the cream of tartar and the baking soda from the recipe, and use baking powder instead.
I’ve already done the adjustments for you!
So if you’re looking for a classic cookie, you can’t go wrong with these delicious snickerdoodles.
They’re not-too-sweet and the hint of cinnamon flavor is a subtle change that sets these apart.
Plus, the crackly tops and sugar sparkles on top means they’re pretty, too.
Although they’re great any time of year, these soft snickerdoodles are also perfect for gifting, adding to a Christmas cookie tray, or bringing to a get-together!
More Delicious Cookie Recipes:
- Swedish Dream Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
- Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
How to Make Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar
Snickerdoodles are sort of like sugar cookies that have been rolled in cinnamon sugar. Once baked, a pretty crackly pattern forms in the top of the cookie.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Vegetable shortening
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Cinnamon-sugar mixture
How to Make These Cookies:
(Full printable recipe card is located below)
Mix the dough. First, you’ll cream the shortening and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Next, add the eggs and mix to combine.
Add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.
Roll the dough. Scoop and roll dough into balls roughly the size of a ping pong ball (you can use a cookie scoop or just pinch off bits of dough and roll them).
Then, roll those cookie balls in a small bowl containing a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place the dough balls on a lined baking sheet.
At this point, I like to use the bottom of a glass to press them slightly flatter.
Many people leave them as-is and don’t flatten them, but I prefer the texture and consistency of the flatter cookies.
Bake. I like to underbake these cookies ever-so-slightly, which results in soft, chewy cookies with crisp edges.
If you prefer your cookies to be more crispy, simply bake for a couple more minutes.
When you initially remove the cookie sheet from the oven, the cookies will look like they aren’t *quite* fully baked, and they’ll be a little puffy.
That’s normal! As they cool, they reach that “just right” chewy texture and thickness.
Let them cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Then, enjoy! They’re seriously the best snickerdoodle cookies!
Notes and Adaptations:
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Easy Snickerdoodles Without Cream of Tartar
Soft and chewy, these snickerdoodles are a delicious treat. And you don't need the traditional cream of tartar for this easy recipe!
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For Rolling: 2 Tbs sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon, combined in a small dish
- Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with an electric hand mixer), cream together shortening and sugar until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until incorporated.
- Scoop dough and roll into balls about the size of ping pong balls or small walnuts.
- Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space in between them.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are very lightly golden brown and the centers of the cookies are still soft. (The 8 minute bake time will result in softer, chewier cookies, whereas the 10 minute bake time will result in more crispy cookies.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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