When it comes to cookie varieties, I rarely play favorites. Today, however, I’m making an exception by introducing you to my (current) favorite – the Snickerdoodle. If you are new to a Snickerdoodle, it is a charming, old-school sugar cookie that has a fragrant, tender-chewy interior with a crispy, cinnamon-sugar exterior. Every bite is meltingly delicious and as comforting as a grandma’s hug. This is a must-make treat that is sure to bring a smile to your family and friends — and don’t forget bus stop buddies, neighbors and postal workers. Snickerdoodles make everyone happy.

For this rendition of the classic, I added a touch of cornmeal to the batter. It lends a slightly nubby, sandy texture to the baked cookie, making each bite feel lighter and crisper on the palate while still retaining its classic, chewy-tender consistency. I’ve also used a bit of vegetable shortening along with butter to ensure a tender, plump and sightly chewie cookie. It’s close enough to the classic version but, dare I say, it’s better. I’m eager to hear what you think so please leave a comment here in the recipe.

Susie Middleton

The batter mixes up quickly and easily using a spoon and bowl, a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer, and the whole batch can be baked immediately or scooped and stowed in the freezer for future use. So easy. So delicious. So satisfying. Mary Poppins would say that this Snickerdoodle recipe is “practically perfect in every way”.

Kitchen Notes


  • For those with a strong aversion to using vegetable shortening, I’ve had success substituting coconut oil for the shortening using the same amount (2 tablespoons = 1 ounce; it’s a bit heavier than shortening). It’s not a perfect substitute as the cookies will spread a bit more than those made with shortening and their texture won’t be quite as tender-cake-y. But they will still be tasty.


  • I use Indian Head Stone Ground yellow cornmeal which, in my mind, implies a coarse texture BUT it’s a finely ground product similar to the Quaker brand.


  • For these cookies, the butter temperature is important. For the best texture in the baked cookie, it should be about 65°F which means that it is cool to the touch but a light finger-press will leave an indent.

Cinnamon Sugar

  • For the optimum cinnamon- to-sugar ratio when rolling the cookie dough, it’s important to stir or gently shake the mixture in between rolls. Otherwise, the cinnamon settles to the bottom with the sugar rising to the top and the cookies won’t be evenly coated with both. 
  • For more cinnamon-sugar goodness, double the coating mixture and give each dough ball a second roll before baking. Sometimes, more really is more.

Make It Lemon

  • Add 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest to the batter along with the butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla and mix as directed. Omit the cinnamon from the rolling mixture and add an additional 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.


  • The baked cookies are best served the same day, but they can be stowed at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 days.
  • They also freeze beautifully and thaw quickly at room temperature. You can also freeze the uncoated dough balls (see Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies for freezing and storing directions) and thaw on the cookie sheet before rolling in the cinnamon sugar and baking according to the directions.