Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

This Valentines, whisper "I love you" with home-baked cookies baked with love and, well – cinnamon! My recipe for cinnamon-y butter cookies (many people call them Snickerdoodles!) is specially written for new bakers who might wonder, Why does a recipe say that? What do they mean by that? You have questions, now you have answers!

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies ♥, a classic recipe for sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon, let's call them Snickerdoodles! Lots of baking tips for young cooks.


"... they are delicious!" ~ Angela
"... they were excellent." ~ Susan
"These cookies are delish. My 2 1/2 year old who doesn't like cookies absolutely loved them." ~ Anonymous

This Valentine’s Day, whisper “I love you” with a plateful of just-baked cookies. If you’re an experienced cook, how about sharing your knowledge and a cookie-baking afternoon with a young cook? Or if you’re a new cook baking on your own, let’s decode a simple but delicious cookie recipe step by step.

Why this? Why that? The cookie-baking answers are here!

BUTTER QUESTIONS Cookie recipes call for butter warmed to room temperature so the butter will mix more evenly. To get it to room temperature, just leave a stick on the counter for two to three hours. If you're in a rush, cut the butter into small cubes and separate them on a plate, they'll soften to the proper temperature in about 30 minutes. But hey, don't be tempted to just melt the butter in the microwave! Liquid butter doesn't have the same structure as unmelted butter. You'll end up with a buttery mess instead of cookies! Many American recipes call for unsalted butter, this allows the baker control over how much salt is added. Me? I prefer salted butter, especially for old-fashioned cookies recipes. It's the only butter I buy anymore. Who joins me with salted butter? European bakers, that's who! I do add a little bit more butter but if you prefer, omit the added salt when using salted butter.

SALT QUESTIONS Small grains of "table salt" are able to distribute evenly throughout cookie dough. Table salt is that every-day salt, Morton's sells it in containers with the girl under an umbrella. You can also use kosher or sea salt but only if it's very fine grained, is not always easy to find.

EGG QUESTIONS Barely-warm eggs capture more air, resulting in lighter cookies. If you think of it, get the eggs out to warm up alongside the butter, otherwise, a bowl of warm (not hot) water works like a charm. It's a great trick, one I use over and over.

FLOUR QUESTIONS Always fluff flour before measuring it, otherwise you’ll use more than needed (often 25% and up to 40%), that means more calories and worse, tough baked goods, not just for these cookies but for other cookies, breads, even pancakes. Better yet, better than even fluffing? Invest in a kitchen scale to measure the flour and sugar in grams. Consistency is the #1 benefit of measuring by weight, the #2 benefit is not having to find/dirty up measuring cups! I use a kitchen scale many times a day!

OVEN QUESTIONS Cookies baked in the middle of an oven benefit from even heat distribution from the top and bottom. It takes an oven 10-15 minutes to "preheat" an oven to reach the optimal baking temperature.

DRY INGREDIENT QUESTIONS In this recipe, the "dry ingredients" are flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and table salt. When dry ingredients are lightly but thoroughly mixed beforehand, it’s easier to not overmix the dough (which can cause toughness) when combining the dry and wet ingredients.

BAKING QUESTIONS Leave space between the dough balls when arranging them on the baking sheet, this prevents the cookies from touching as they spread while baking. A time range, versus a specific number of minutes, allows for variations in oven temperatures and other conditions. Check the cookies after 8 minutes, if they’re done, proceed; if not, bake another minute or two til done.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Soft and chewy, bright with cinnamon
Hands-on time: about 30 minutes
Time to table: about 4 hours
Makes about 30 small cookies
  • 1/2 cup unsalted or salted (why?) butter (1 stick/114g), warmed to room temperature (why?)
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 large egg, immersed in warm water for 5 minutes (why?)
  • 1-1/2 cups flour, fluffed with a fork before measuring (why?) or 187g
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table (why?) salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Place an oven rack in the center slot (why?). Set oven to 350F/180C and let completely heat up. (why?).

While the oven heats, use an electric mixer to mix butter and sugar in a large bowl until they're thoroughly mixed, a good couple of minutes, scraping the bowl every so often to make sure the butter and sugar are completely combined. Add the egg and mix until smooth, then another minute to aid some air.

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (what?) with a fork (why?). Mix the dry ingredients into dough (in two or three batches if you like) but stop mixing as soon as all the dry ingredients are incorporated. (Why?)

In a small bowl, stir together the 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Break off a piece of dough about size of a cherry tomato with your fingertips and shape the dough into a ball between your palms. (For nearly identical cookies, use a small cookie scoop to break off the dough, then weight each dough ball to weigh about 15 grams.) Roll each ball in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Arrange the dough balls in rows on a cookie sheet (no parchment is needed) about two inches apart (why?). When the sheet is full, place it in the hot oven to bake for 8 – 10 or maybe even 12 minutes (why?) until the bottom edges are turning golden and cookie tops are slightly soft (but not raw or buttery) in their centers. In my oven, the cookies need just 10 minutes on my favorite non-stick cookie sheet but need 12 minutes on a standard metal sheetpan.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool without touching them for about 5 minutes, then gently use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies onto a paper towel or a rack on a counter to finish cooling. Let the cookie sheet cool off completely, then repeat with the cooled tray until dough is gone. (Naturally, you can also use second tray).

Savor, share, be proud!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cookies, assumes 30: 72 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 15mg Cholesterol; 64mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1.5 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3

WHAT MAKES A SNICKERDOODLE A SNICKERDOODLE, ANYWAY? Truth be told, while I'd heard of snickerdoodles, I didn't grow up with them. I'm pretty sure that what I call "Cinnamon Sugar Cookies" here were inspired by an old church cookbook dating back to the 1960s and it wasn't until a reader clued me in that I realized they might be what others so fondly know as "snickerdoodles".

What was it, exactly, that made the reader recognize my cookies as snickerdoodles? Two things.

First, an ingredient, the "cream of tartar". Cream of tartar is what we call an acid. In cooking, we use its powdered form, it's one of two components which make up baking powder. I use it in meringue to make the egg whites fluff up extra high.

Second, a technique, rolling the cookie dough in a cinnamon-sugar mix.

So it's the combination of an extra ingredient and a simple technique that turn my "cinnamon sugar cookies" into snickerdoodles.

And Now ... Snickerdoodle Bars!

Snickerdoodle Bars ♥, like snickerdoodle cookies except with the firm, chewy texture of blondies.

No cookie sheets? No patience to form cookies? Starving for snickerdoodles like, now? Try Snickerdoodle Bars! This recipe has gone round 'n' round the internet, soooo many fans!

More Old-Fashioned Easy Cookie Recipes for the Ones We Love

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies Cut-Out Spice Cookies Perfect M&M Cookies

More Romantic Recipes for Our Valentines

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Lavender Steak & Lavender Potatoes Cauliflower Risotto Seared Scallops with Chimichurri and Garlicky Polenta
~ more ideas for Valentine's Day recipes ~
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Well, I'm delighted that I found you. Congratulations on your site. Barbara Kafka

  2. Sounds like a great recipe and I'll definitely be trying it since I'm on Weight Watchers, but I wanted to make you aware.

    At 75 calories, 3g of fat and 0g of fiber, each cookie is 2 Weight Watcher Points, not 1. Two cookies is 4 Weight Watcher Points.

    It makes a difference to those of us on the plan! =)

  3. Hi Alora ~ Are you by chance using the Weight Watchers 'slide'? If so, my own experience is that it overstates the points for recipes within range of the cusp. Math-wise, the cookie is one point.

    That said, points are simply a guide, they help us make decisions. So if "two points" works for you, go for it. Good luck with your weight loss!

  4. Anonymous1/06/2009

    Hi Alanna!

    I just baked these cookies and they are delicious! Thank you for your many tips on how to create the perfect cookie (I had NO idea about the "egg in warm water" one!).
    I have recently began Weight Watchers and was so happy to find a recipe for cinnamon sugar cookies. To actually have it turn out to be one of the best cookies I've made was just an added bonus! I'm looking forward to trying out some of your other recipes. Thanks!

  5. Anonymous1/15/2009

    We call these snickerdoodles in the states. Wow, I can't believe that Barbara Kafka reads you! She is one of my favorite cookbook authors. I'm glad to have found you as well. It was the oatmeal recipes that reeled me in.

  6. Anonymous3/07/2009

    I like this 1-point cookie made with standard ingredients. It satisfies my cookie hunger while fitting in with the points system. I've tried a few modifications. The first batch, I added vanilla and they were excellent. Today I made two versions.

    Lime Sugar Cookies: add 1 1/2 teaspons of lime oil (Boyajian purchased from King Arthur catalog)to the butter/sugar mixture. For the sugar topping, add 1/8 tsp lime oil to 1 tblsp sugar and dip the cookie in that before baking.

    Cocoa Sugar Cookies: reduce the flour by 1/4 c. add 1/4 c. dark cocoa and 1 tsp orange oil. Dip in plain sugar (you could add orange oil here too but I didn't). This is a stiffer cookie dough and needs to be flattened with the back of a spoon before baking.

    Both of these ideas were my version of Dancing Deer Baking Co. cookies.

    Susan from Massachusetts

  7. Susan ~ I hereby appoint you 'chief recipe enhancement officer' -- what great changes, for sure, taking a tried and true recipe and giving it new faces. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas, you've got me hankering for lime cookies!

  8. Hi! I attempted to make these cookies today, and it didn't turn out so well for me. I followed the recipe to the letter, and my cookie batter was just a big crumbly mess. They wouldn't roll into balls. I did manage to get a few to stick together long enough to dredge into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. The flavor was nice, and they were soft straight out of the oven, but the longer they sat the crunchier they got. What did I do wrong? Maybe I didn't fluff the flour enough? Should I use less next time?

  9. Hi Taylor Family ~ So sorry the recipe didn't work out, it's much-much tested so something was different. Two things come to mind --

    Given the description of the crumbly dough, is it possible that you maybe used a half stick of butter versus a half cup which is a whole stick?

    What kind of flour did you use? I've had trouble, before, using King Arthur's 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, and even find some difference with the King Arthur all-purpose flour. As for fluffing, it's no particular trick, you just fluff it up with a fork two or three times, you can actually FEEL it lighten up.

    After that -- hmm, I'm not sure.

    But I do apologize -- I work really hard to make sure ALL recipes are real winners, both in taste and technique.

  10. Oh, you know what, I did do something different (sorry, mommy brain working overtime!)...I used butter flavored think that's what did it? I'll try it again with real butter, and let you know how it goes. I didn't have enough butter the first go round. Thanks!

  11. Yes, I'd bet so though honestly, I'd have made the same swap too without expecting too much difference in performance. Maybe this cookie just really likes butter. :-)

  12. Anonymous4/18/2011

    These cookies are delish. My 2 1/2 year old who doesn't like cookies absolutely loved them. I love them too as I am following the WW program and sometimes want a cookie (and one withour preservatives gets high marks from me). Thanks!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna