Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar

Making homemade snickerdoodles without cream of tartar is easy. The classic cookie can be made with a simple substitute and be just as sweet, soft, and delicious.  For the perfect cinnamon sugar-crusted vanilla cookie, this snickerdoodle recipe is the one you want to bake. When they are baking the house will smell like a holiday party with warming vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar. These snickerdoodles are great for everyday cookie enjoyment but also special enough for birthdays and holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. 

That cinnamon sugar coating on the outside and the sweet tender inside is what makes a snickerdoodle a classic yummy cookie.  Thick or thin, they are fantastic and an easy homebaked dessert, snack, or lunchbox treat.  To make homemade snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, this recipe uses a substitute that you likely have in our pantry already. This quick and easy alternative is the best way to make fresh-baked snickerdoodle cookies when you have no cream of tartar. 

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Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar PN1 plated cookies and a cookie jar in the background

 

Baking Powder vs Cream of Tartar

Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in baking such as with these cookies. Baking powder is made from an alkali, bicarbonate of soda, and an acid, cream of tartar, plus something to absorb moisture, usually cornstarch. These cookies technically are not made without a cream of tartar since it is an active ingredient in baking powder. This recipe simply does not call for cream of tartar as its own ingredient but instead uses baking powder as the substitute for the snickerdoodle cookies. 

In this recipe, we will be using baking powder as a substitute for cream of tartar to make snickerdoodle cookies.  Baking powder is the leavening agent that helps puff up snickerdoodles when they cook. The baking powder does not settle like cream of tartar will so these cookies will be thick and have a lovely soft fluffy texture inside with the cinnamon sugar crispy outside. You can enjoy them this way or you can help them flatten and become thin by manually pressing them. Snickerdoodles when flattened leaves the trails of cinnamon and sugar that design the tops of the cookies. 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE SNICKERDOODLES

This recipe makes the traditional snickerdoodle cookies except for one ingredient change. Instead of using baking soda and cream of tartar, this recipe uses baking powder.  This cream of tartar substitution will still make a wonderful cookie with the rest of the snickerdoodle cookie dough.   So when you are without cream of tartar, use baking powder in your snickerdoodle recipe.

Ahead of time, be sure to bring your salted butter and eggs to room temperature.  You will also need all-purpose flour, salt, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, and the cinnamon that these cookies are known for.  
 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar ingredients

 

 

HOW TO MAKE SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES

Once the eggs and butter are at room temperature you can begin mixing the ingredients for homemade snickerdoodles.   The first steps are to mix the separate ingredients into bowls before combining or using them later.  Begin by mixing the 2 topping ingredients in a small bowl. Set the cinnamon-sugar mixture aside to use later when rolling the cookie dough before baking. 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar stir cinnamon and sugar

 

 

Mix the Dry Ingredients

For the snickerdoodle batter, mix the dry ingredients separately. In a medium bowl add dry ingredients and whisk or use a fork to fluff and combine. Then set it aside.

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar combine dry ingredients

 

Mix the Wet Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl or stand-up mixer bowl, add the sugar & softened butter. Beat on medium for 2 minutes until creamed together and fluffy. It will be combined quickly but you want to continue beating so that it gets more air incorporated into it and has a fluffy texture. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla, beat on medium-low until combined. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to be sure it comes together evenly.
 
Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low. Scrape down the sides as needed again.  Once it is combined, add the other half and again beat on low until it is mixed well and the dough is smooth.

 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar fluffy butter mix with added egg to batter

 

Chill Snickerdoodle Dough

Chill dough for 15 minutes, it makes it easier to scoop and roll.  Preheat the oven to 350° and spray or use a nonstick baking mat on your cookie sheet pan to prepare it – while the dough chills
 

ROLL & PREP THE SNICKERDOODLE DOUGH TO BE BAKED

Once chilled, Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out about a golfball-sized amount of dough (roughly 1 Tablespoon worth).  Roll in your hands and then roll in the cinnamon & sugar topping.  

Place each coated cookie dough ball on the prepared cookie sheet leaving space between so they can spread out when baking. You should get a dozen on each cookie sheet.  Between batches, keep dough chilled in the refrigerator

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar rolling the dough in cinnamon sugar and place it on the cookie sheet

 

 

HOW TO MAKE THIN OR THICK & FLUFFY SNICKERDOODLES

Decide if you want soft & fluffy thick snickerdoodles or the classic thin ones with cracked cinnamon trails.

FOR THICK & FLUFFY – bake the snickerdoodles balls as is. they will flatten only slightly and you will have a thick and fluffy snickerdoodle.

FOR CLASSIC THIN – Use the bottom of a glass to gently flatten each cookie before baking. 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar pressing the dough on the cookie sheet before baking

 

 

This is what the thick & fluffy cookies will look like if you do not press them down before baking. They will puff up while baking and they will not settle.  I have to admit we really loved them this way.  Even the next day the insides were a great fluffy cookie texture and not at all dry or crumbly.  

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar tall and fluffy after baking when not pressed

 

 

HOW LONG TO BAKE SNICKERDOODLES

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of your preheated 350° oven.   You can bake two dozen at a time, simply rotate the cookie sheets in the middle racks of your oven halfway through baking.
 
Remove them from the oven and let them set and cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Once they are completely cool, enjoy them immediately.

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar cooling on a rack

 

HOW TO STORE SNICKERDOODLES

 

 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar hand holding a cookie close up to show the cracked cinnamon tops

 

HOW TO STORE SNICKERDOODLES

For leftover snickerdoodles, store them in an air-tight cookie jar, container, or Ziploc bag. They will keep for up to 3 days if stored properly in a cool dry place.  Fresh-baked snickerdoodles can also be frozen. You can freeze snickerdoodles stacked in an air-tight container or Ziploc for up to a month.  To enjoy frozen cookies that have been baked, place them in the refrigerator and let them defrost overnight.  Enjoy thawed baked cookies within 2 days. 
 
You can also make the snickerdoodle cookie dough ahead of time and bake later.  To freeze cookie dough, place it in an air-tight Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.  To bake frozen snickerdoodle dough, follow the steps from the point you roll and bake them.  
 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar plated and a few on the counter ready to eat

 

 

PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!

 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar PIN

 

 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar PINREDO CLOSEUP OF A PLATE OF COOKIES

 

 

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar recipe card plate full of cookies

Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar

Angela
Making homemade snickerdoodles without cream of tartar is easy. The classic cookie can be made with a simple substitute and be just as sweet, soft, and delicious.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 dozen

Equipment

  • hand mixer
  • cookie sheet pans

Ingredients
  

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cookie Dough

  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Ahead of time, be sure to bring your butter and eggs to room temperature.
  • In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients and set it aside.
  • In a medium bowl add dry ingredients and whisk or use a fork to fluff and combine. Then set it aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand-up mixer bowl, add the sugar & butter. Beat on medium for 2 minutes until creamed together and fluffy. It will be combined quickly but you want to continue beating so that it gets more air incorporated into it and has a fluffy texture. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla, beat on medium-low until combined. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to be sure it comes together evenly.
  • Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low. Scrape down the sides as needed.  Once it is combined, add the other half and again beat on low until it is mixed well and the dough is smooth.
  • Chill dough for 15 minutes, it makes it easier to scoop and roll.  
    Preheat the oven to 350° and spray or use a nonstick baking mat on your cookie sheet pan to prepare it - while the dough chills
  • Once chilled, Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out about a golfball-sized amount of dough (roughly 1 Tablespoons worth).  Roll in your hands and then roll in the cinnamon & sugar topping.  
    Place each coated cookie dough ball on the prepared cookie sheet leaving space between so they can spread out when baking. You should get a dozen on each cookie sheet.  Between batches, keep dough chilled in the refrigerator
  • Decide if you want soft & fluffy thick snickerdoodles or the classic thin ones with cracked cinnamon trails.
    FOR THICK & FLUFFY - bake the snickerdoodles balls as is. they will flatten only slightly and you will have a thick and fluffy snickerdoodle.
    FOR CLASSIC THIN - Use the bottom of a glass to gently flatten each cookie before baking. 
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of your preheated 350° oven.   You can bake two dozen at a time, simply rotate the cookie sheets in the middle racks of your oven halfway through baking.
  • Remove them from the oven and let them set and cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Once they are completely cool, enjoy them immediately.
  • For leftover snickerdoodles, store them in an air-tight cookie jar, container, or Ziploc bag. They will keep for up to 3 days if stored properly in a cool dry place.

Notes

Nutrition Facts per Cookie
Servings: 48
Amount per serving  
Calories 93
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.1g 5%
Saturated Fat 2.5g 13%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 13.5g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Total Sugars 8.1g  
Protein 1g  
Vitamin D 3mcg 16%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 22mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Keyword baked, cookie, dessert, fresh-baked, holiday, lunchbox, sandwich, lunch, dinner, easy, simple, snack, sweet

 

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