These gluten free snickerdoodles are the classic, super-soft cookies you remember, with that classic, crisp cinnamon-sugar crackle outside. The perfect cookie!
The Best Recipe?
If you have childhood memories of snickerdoodles, then I bet your mom’s recipe is The Best (says you). I had never even heard of these perfect cookies with the funny name until sometime in the 2000s. Crazy, right?I don’t have anything to compare them to. Yet I’m still certain that this recipe for gluten free snickerdoodles is, in fact, The Best.
That means that I don’t have anything to compare them to. Yet I’m still certain that this recipe for gluten free snickerdoodles is, in fact, The Best.
And not for nothing, but they make amazing ice cream sandwich cookies in the summertime. ☀️ Try my 3 ingredient no churn vanilla ice cream for the perfect treat.
The cinnamon-sugar on the outside is kind of crunchy, and the inside is a bit chewy but almost cakey but smooth. The trick is to get the cookies to crackle, but not to brown much at all.
You want the color to come mostly from the cinnamon-sugar mixture. This recipe gets the job done.
Tricks and Tips
Whatever you do, don’t skip the cream of tartar in this recipe. It gives the cookies their iconic tang and chewiness, which transforms them from butter cookies to, well, snickerdoodle cookies.
Cream of tartar is a dry, white acidic powder that’s made when grapes are fermented into wine. You’ll find it in the spice aisle of most regular grocery stores, and it’s super useful for lots of things like stabilizing beaten egg whites instead of using lemon juice.
A proper snickerdoodle has a thick layer of cinnamon sugar that caramelizes slightly in the oven as the cookies bake and crackles as they spread. The key to getting that thick enough layer of cinnamon sugar is the double coat.
Simply toss the disks of raw cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture once, then chill the dough. Some of the coating will absorb into the cookies. Toss them again, and that extra layer of goodness is insurance that it’ll crackle in the oven.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Dairy Free: Since my oldest child is newly (and hopefully temporarily, but who knows?) dairy free, I’ve made these cookies with Earth Balance buttery spread in place of the butter. I made a gram for gram substitution of the buttery spread, and the recipe worked perfectly. I did find that they didn’t brown as quickly, so the cookies turned out more pale. No biggie.
Egg Free: I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg substitute, but I think it would work fine with a “chia egg.” Any recipe that has only one egg should work fine that way.
Click play ▶️ and watch me make them. Then it’s your turn!
Gluten Free Snickerdoodles
6 1/2 tablespoons (91 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (175 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I like Better Batter here)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cinnamon sugar mixture, for rolling (1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)
- In a large bowl, place the butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour, xanthan gum, salt, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, baking soda, and cream of tartar to the wet ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition.
- Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes to an hour). Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Divide the dough into 18 pieces of roughly equal size. Roll each piece of dough between your palms until it forms a ball, and then press into a disk. Toss each disk in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until it is well-coated. Place the balls of dough into the freezer for about 10 minutes, until firm again. Roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture once more, and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets.
Place the rimmed baking sheets in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or they are either pale but flat (8 minutes), or a tiny bit crisp around the edges (10 minutes). Cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Originally published in 2011 (!). Photos, video, text all new; recipe largely unchanged.