Snickerdoodle cookies are dressed up for the holidays in red, green, and gold sprinkles. Christmas snickerdoodles are soft and chewy, with a subtle tangy flavor and cinnamon sugar crust.
Snickerdoodles are the perfect cookie for the holiday season. Rolled in cinnamon sugar and colorful sprinkles for a cozy and festive holiday feel.
The addition of cream of tartar gives these cookies their traditional tangy flavor that sets them apart from a regular sugar cookie. Made with simple pantry ingredients, these cookies are surprisingly easy to make in your own home kitchen.
Serve Christmas snickerdoodles at your next holiday party, or have the kids help make a batch for Santa on Christmas Eve!
Ingredients and substitutions
Since baking is an exact science, I don't have many substitutions to offer. Each ingredient included has a purpose in the recipe, so I don't recommend omitting anything.
Your butter and eggs should be at room temperature so that they incorporate easily with the other ingredients.
I used three colors of sugar sprinkles - red, green, and gold. Colors can be adjusted for the season and holiday, or substituted with granulated sugar for a traditional snickerdoodle cookie.
Unsalted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
Cream of tartar
An important ingredient you'll need to make snickerdoodles is cream of tartar. If you don’t have this on hand, you can find it in the spice aisle at the grocery store.
Cream of tartar prevents the sugar from crystallizing and creating a crunchy texture in your cookie. I like to add it to cookie recipes when I want a soft, chewy cookie.
Cream of tartar also gives the cookies a unique, slightly tangy flavor, which sets it apart it from a regular sugar cookie.
Cooking making tips and tricks
- Room temperature ingredients give your cookies have a consistent, creamy, and even dough. When beaten, the eggs and butter form an emulsion, which traps air in the dough, which bakes up into a soft and fluffy cookie.
- Improperly measured flour is a common issue in baking. If you have issues with your cookies not spreading, or turning out extra thick and tall, you probably measured too much flour into your cookie dough.
- To properly measure flour, use a kitchen scale. Or, use a spoon to add flour to your measuring cup, then level off with a knife. By scooping flour directly from a container with your measuring cup, you’re compacting the dough into the cup. This can add up to 25% more flour to your dough.
Homemade cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a sealed container at room temperature, but will dry out over time.
I highly recommend storing leftover cookies with a slice of bread inside the container. The bread will eventually dry out, but keeps your cookies fresh and soft.
Cookies (and cookie dough) can be frozen for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed freezer safe container.
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup colorful sugar sprinkles reserved for rolling
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon reserved for rolling
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until creamed together and fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
- Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. Refrigerating will help the flavors meld and also create a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls.
- In small bowls, divide the cinnamon evenly between your different colors of sugar sprinkles. Gently roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Your cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a sealed container. To help keep cookies fresh, place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies. Replace the bread slice as needed.
- Raw cookie dough will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Cookie dough balls (and baked cookies) freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen balls to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
- For extra cinnamon flavor, add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your dry ingredients before mixing into the dough.
- Sugar sprinkles can be substituted with granulated sugar to make traditional snickerdoodle cookies.