Brown Butter Snickerdoodles - Best Homemade Snickerdoodles Recipe! (2024)

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December 12, 2012 (updated Oct 26, 2023) by Jennifer McHenry //


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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles take the classic cookies and give them an irresistible flavor twist, thanks to brown butter!

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles - Best Homemade Snickerdoodles Recipe! (1)

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

This year, I very excitedly signed up to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I missed out on the fun last year, so I was sure to get my name on the list this year. Not only is it a fun way to share cookies, it also benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

The idea is that food bloggers sign up and then receive addresses of three food bloggers to send cookies to for the holidays. In return, you receive cookies from three different bloggers. I received some delicious cookies from Wine Imbiber, Kara Miller, and Mika Abogado. Thanks, ladies!

I boxed up and sent cookies to Joanna of Go Ahead and Snicker, Camilla of Caffay Way, and Jill of Baking by Precious.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles - Best Homemade Snickerdoodles Recipe! (2)

When it came to decide what kind of cookies to send, I wanted to go traditional but with a twist. That’s exactly what these cookies are! The recipe comes to us from Baked Elements, one of my favorite cookbooks from this year.

At their heart, these are traditional Snickerdoodles, bursting with sweet cinnamon flavor. But, that one little change of using browned butter really makes them something special. If you aren’t familiar with browning butter, it’s a simple process that yields a nutty flavor. It’s one of my favorite recipe tweaks.

I really wanted to come up with a description befitting the awesomeness of these cookies. But, I think the guys from Baked say it best. They describe these cookies as “a unicorn fairy dream of cinnamon and sweet.” What could I possibly add to that?

More Snickerdoodle Recipes

  • Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles
  • Classic Snickerdoodles
  • Toffee Pecan Snickerdoodles
  • Cookie Butter Snickerdoodles

Get the Recipe:

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Yieldabout 24 cookies

Prep Time25 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Additional Time1 hour

Total Time1 hour 45 minutes

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles are a rich, nutty flavor twist on classic Snickerdoodles! You'll love these chewy cinnamon cookies.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles - Best Homemade Snickerdoodles Recipe! (3)


For the cookies:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 & 3/4 cups (330g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar

For the cinnamon-sugar:

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and foams. Continue cooking until the foam subsides, brown specks form in the bottom of the pan, and the butter turns nut brown (8-10 minutes).
  2. Pour the butter through a strainer* into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed for 5-7 minutes to cool the butter to room temperature.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Combine the eggs and milk in a small bowl. Whisk lightly.
  5. Turn off the mixer when the butter has cooled to room temperature. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Beat until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and pour in egg mixture. Beat until well-combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture in three portions, beating just until combined after each addition.
  7. Gather the dough into a mound in the bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least an hour, or up to 24 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
  9. Stir together the cinnamon-sugar ingredients in a wide-mouth bowl.
  10. Using about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll dough into balls. Roll each ball in cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place the cookies about 1 & 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are cracked and set.**
  12. Cool on the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.


*You can skip straining the browned butter if you like the browned bits. I didn't strain it and loved the cookies.

**I bake cookies one pan at a time. If you bake two pans at once, be sure to rotate pans halfway through baking.

Recipe slightly adapted from Baked Elements.

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    21 Comments on “Brown Butter Snickerdoodles”

  1. Living The Sweet Life December 12, 2012 @ 11:55 am Reply

    Mmmmm GREAT choice, you can never go wrong with brown butter and add a little snickerdoodle to the mix – – well we’re in business 😉

  2. Mr. & Mrs. P December 12, 2012 @ 3:08 pm Reply

    Craving one of these now!

  3. Mr. & Mrs. P December 12, 2012 @ 3:09 pm Reply

    Craving one of these now! OK.. not sure what happend so let try this again… =)

  4. JEP December 12, 2012 @ 7:45 pm Reply

    Now THAT is the perfect Snickerdoodle!

  5. Jess @ OnSugarMountain December 12, 2012 @ 10:33 pm Reply

    As if I wasn’t a browned butter addict before! Agh, this just takes it over the top. 😀 Delicious looking cookies and for such a great cause. Bravo!

  6. e / dig in hobart December 12, 2012 @ 10:44 pm Reply

    i love the idea of making ‘snickerdoodles’ just so i can say the word ‘snickerdoodles’ – it’s such a giggle!

  7. Camilla ~ Caffay Way December 12, 2012 @ 11:10 pm Reply

    I am one lucky girl to have received these goodies in the mail, thank you! Tasted amazing.

  8. Precious December 13, 2012 @ 9:20 am Reply

    I was so happy to receive your cookies. So very tasty and they smelled fantastic!

  9. Lauren December 13, 2012 @ 3:14 pm Reply

    Those look SO GOOD!

  10. Marcie @ Flavor the Moments December 19, 2012 @ 1:38 am Reply

    I just made these cookies today to give away as gifts. I normally don’t call a cookie beautiful, but these really were. Big, thick, soft, chewy, crispy, and the cinnamon-sugar filled cracks on top just made look even better. Your photo really did them justice, and the recipe came out perfectly. I don’t think that I cooked the butter long enough, as I did not get a pronounced brown butter flavor, but I will get it right next time. There will definitely be a next time. I’ll be posting this on my blog tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. Austin Brady February 27, 2013 @ 7:38 pm Reply

    I’m making these right now, and I have to say, these are a perfect representation of what snickerdoodles should be. The flavor, texture, and even appearance are all spot-on. I believe I should note, though, a couple of things that I did differently:

    1. I used aluminum foil in place of parchment paper. These cookies slid right off, and I didn’t even grease or flour the aluminum foil either. So if you’re fretting over that little detail, you can rest easy.

    2. I discovered that, if you roll them into balls and leave them like that on the baking sheet, they hardly spread out. The result is a really small, meaty cookie. So instead of keeping it in a ball, I flattened the ball of dough out using my palms and then dredged each side in the cinnamon sugar mix. That worked like a charm and made it come out exactly like the picture.

    Also, you can use a little less than 2 tablespoons per cookie. It’ll make your dough go a long way if you don’t want to have to make 2 full batches.

  12. Nikki Moranville May 30, 2018 @ 3:30 pm Reply

    Jennifer, you are KILLING me!!! We are leaving for 3 months in France in a couple of weeks and I am TRYING to empty my stash of food supplies! But you keep teasing and teasing me with goodies! I am just a gone-er……………………OK… don’t give me a break. I’ll be making some of these while we’re in France!

    • Jennifer McHenry May 31, 2018 @ 10:31 am Reply

      Enjoy your trip, Nikki! I’ll vicariously enjoy all the macarons and baguettes you’ll have while you’re there.

  13. Julie T. December 21, 2020 @ 10:37 am Reply

    I made these Snickerdoodles as party of my Christmas cookie lineup. After refrigerating for a few hours, my dough was hard as a brick. After I managed to form the balls, I baked according to directions for 10 minutes and then left them on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes. That was a mistake. The cookies looked great when I took them out, but became overcooked and dry leaving them on the pan for those 10 minutes. They tasted great, though, with the brown butter.

    If I try them again, I will only refrigerate for 30 min. and take them off the pan a minute or two after baking.

    • Jennifer McHenry December 21, 2020 @ 11:01 am Reply

      I’m sorry you had troubles, Julie! Tough cookies are usually a result of over-mixing. Dry cookies are usually a result of too much flour. You can read more about common cookie problems here.

  14. Julie T. November 14, 2021 @ 12:52 pm Reply

    Tried these again and they turned out much better. The browned butter really elevates these cookies.

    • Jennifer McHenry November 15, 2021 @ 3:24 pm Reply

      So glad you liked the cookies, Julie! Brown butter is pretty magical. 😉

  15. Lauren Zarin December 11, 2021 @ 3:23 pm Reply

    Thank you for the recipe. I was wondering how many days in advance I could make the dough? Could it sit in the fridge for like 3 days? Or could I freeze them in balls then thaw overnight?

    • Jennifer McHenry December 12, 2021 @ 5:43 pm Reply

      Hi, Lauren. Well-covered, you could chill it up to 3 days. Personally, I would rather portion and freeze them for anything longer than a day or two. They should keep for at least a couple of months that way.

  16. Hope December 20, 2021 @ 8:33 pm Reply

    I made these yesterday and they were perfect!
    I had to substitute baking powder for baking soda and cream of tartar because I didn’t have any cream of tartar. I don’t think it made a difference. They were crisp outside and chewy inside.
    The ratio I found online but basically in this recipe I used 4 tsp of baking powder.

    The dough looked more wet than I was used to in a lot of cookies, but I didn’t doubt the recipe and they turned out perfectly!! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Also I kept the brown bits in.
    The brown butter flavor made the cookie taste just like my Mamaw’s cinnamon sugar toast as a child.

    • Jennifer McHenry December 21, 2021 @ 12:47 pm Reply

      I’m glad you liked the cookies, Hope!

Leave a Reply

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles - Best Homemade Snickerdoodles Recipe! (2024)


Why are my snickerdoodles spreading so much? ›

Cookies spread because the fat in the cookie dough melts in the oven. If there isn't enough flour to hold that melted fat, the cookies will over-spread. Spoon and level that flour or, better yet, weigh your flour. If your cookies are still spreading, add an extra 2 Tablespoons of flour to the cookie dough.

Does brown butter make cookies taste different? ›

Not only is the color different, but so is the taste. Adding brown butter results in a rich and nutty flavor that is partly born out of the blending of the butter with the molasses found in the brown sugar. Here at Tasting Table, we love a good chocolate chip cookie made with browned butter and have our own recipe.

Why are my brown butter cookies hard? ›

Adding too little butter can cause the cookies to be tough and crumbly. You should use unsalted butter to control the salt content, but if you only have salted on hand, reduce the amount of added salt accordingly. Sugar sweetens the cookies and makes them an enticing golden brown.

Why do my snickerdoodle cookies get hard? ›

Snickerdoodles might turn out hard if they are overbaked or if the dough is too dry. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they bake – when the edges are set but the centers are still soft and puffy, they are done. Also, make sure you're not adding too much flour.

Why don t my snickerdoodles crack? ›

If yours aren't cracking, your oven may not be hot enough or your ingredients may not be fresh enough! Are snickerdoodles supposed to be undercooked? I always recommend slightly underbaking your cookies and then letting them finish baking through cooling on the pan.

What happens if you add too much cream of tartar to cookies? ›

Keep in mind that more cream of tartar doesn't necessarily mean a better, more stable result. “Too much cream of tartar will impart a metallic, tin-like taste,” Molly warns.

How do you tell if a snickerdoodle is done? ›

How do you know when the cookies are baked? The snickerdoodle cookies will only take about 10 to 12 minutes to bake, so be sure to keep your eye on them! It's best to rotate the cookies after about 6 minutes so that the cook evenly. The cookies are done when the edges are just set and the centres are soft and cracked.

Why did my snickerdoodle cookies not flatten? ›

One of the most common reasons why cookies didn't spread out in the oven is because you added too much flour. Cookies rely on the perfect ratio of butter to flour in order to spread just the right amount when baked. It's very easy to over measure flour when using cup measurements.

Why did my snickerdoodles come out cakey? ›

Generally when baking, cakey texture is from more flour and less sugar. The ratio of fat, sugar and flour is what achieves the texture of the cookie. Also, when you are whipping the eggs in the recipe as well.

Why does snickerdoodle dough need to be refrigerated? ›

Refrigerating snickerdoodle dough lets the butter resolidify and prevents the cookies from flattening out in the oven. I recommend giving the dough at least 45-60 minutes of chilling time in the fridge before baking.

What can I substitute for cream of tartar in snickerdoodles? ›

You can either replace cream of tartar with baking powder at a 1:1.5 ratio (1 teaspoon cream of tartar : 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder), or you can replace cream of tartar with the combination of baking soda and either lemon juice or vinegar (as with this recipe).

Why are my snickerdoodles raw? ›

If the cookie tastes raw or doughy, it needs more time in the oven. Flavour development: Cookies often develop more flavour as they cool down. If the taste is slightly lacking, allow them to cool entirely before finalising.

Does browned butter make cookies better? ›

In his recipe, he made the ingenious discovery that browning the butter before adding it to the mixture would give the cookies a much more pronounced nuttiness.

What does brown butter taste like in cookies? ›

Browned butter can add a subtle nutty flavor to baked goods (like chocolate chip cookies) and pan sauces, it makes roasted vegetables taste decadent and rich, and it's excellent in a cake frosting.

Is brown butter good for baking? ›

If you've never tried baking with brown butter before, you're seriously missing out. It lends cookies and cakes a wonderful toasty flavor that elevates them into something seriously special.

Does browning butter reduce the amount of butter? ›

During the process of browning, much of the water evaporates from the butter. So if you start out with 1 cup of butter, you'll be left with just a hair over 3/4 cup of butter. You'll lose a couple tablespoons in the process. This is the evaporating effect.

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