Get ready to enjoy traditional snickerdoodle cookies again with my slightly chewy and semi-crispy gluten-free snickerdoodles. I also provide vegan and dairy-free options so more of my allergy-free family can enjoy them. Get ready to bake these delicious Christmas cookies for your family and Santa! This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Making delicious and gluten-free cookies can be challenging for people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and gluten intolerance.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, acts as the “glue” that holds baked goods together. Without it, cookies made without wheat flour (gluten) would literally crumble.
I created this cookie recipe so the gluten-free community could enjoy the iconic taste of snickerdoodles without worrying about getting glutened.
My gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookie recipe offers crisp edges with a soft and chewy center. They’re rolled in cinnamon and sugar for added sweetness. And of course, they have that iconic tang thanks to the cream of tartar.
In this post, I’ll show you how to make these delightful gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies. I have a feeling this classic cookie will be part of your holiday traditions from this day forward.
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
Here’s what you’ll need to make gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies:
Gluten-Free Flour Blend: I recommend using Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour for this recipe. If you do, your cookies will come out stellar. You could, of course, use your go-to gluten-free flour blend. Just make sure it contains xanthan gum or add one teaspoon of it.
I also tested the recipe with Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour and thought it might have tasted a bit better with a skosh less flour since this particular flour blend absorbs more moisture than others. Use 1/4 cup less flour if using Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour.
Butter: You’ll need six tablespoons of unsalted butter for this recipe. If you’re making it vegan and dairy-free, I recommend using four tablespoons of vegan butter plus two tablespoons of palm shortening. The vegan butter will give them good flavor, and the palm shortening will give them structure and keep them from spreading too much.
Baking Essentials: You’ll also need granulated sugar, an egg (or egg substitute if vegan), vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
Cream of Tartar: What separates a Snickerdoodle from a sugar cookie is its tangy flavor, which comes from the cream of tartar. The cream of tartar also activates the baking soda to create lift in your cookies and help them spread.
Cinnamon-Sugar Mix: Roll the dough in the sugar-cinnamon mixture before baking. Without the cinnamon-sugar coating, they wouldn’t really be considered snickerdoodles, would they?
How to Make Snickerdoodle Cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix at medium speed until smooth.
3. Add the baking soda, cream of tartar, and cinnamon to the wet mixture and mix at low speed for 15 seconds, then add the flour (see notes if using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour because you’ll use 1/4 cup less of it) and continue mixing at low speed for another 15 seconds before adjusting the speed to medium-high. Continue to mix until a malleable dough forms.
4. Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. You could use a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop (if you have one) or your kitchen scale to ensure each dough ball weighs 29-30 grams. You’ll have enough dough to make 18 cookies.
5. Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll each dough ball in the sugar-cinnamon mixture until each dough ball is coated. Place the dough back onto the cookie sheet.
6. If using all butter, you may want to chill the dough in the refrigerator for one hour since butter melts quickly and may cause your cookies to spread. This is optional. You can bake the cookies immediately using vegan butter with palm shortening.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they have spread and lose their doughy sheen. Remove them from the oven before they look fully done; they will continue to cook and set on the baking sheet. A slightly undercooked cookie will be soft and chewy.
7. Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before handling them.
Store the cookies in an airtight container or zip-top bag for 3-4 days at room temperature—freeze for extended storage.
Substitutions and Notes
If you use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour, use 1/4 cup less flour. The popular flour blend absorbs a lot of moisture, meaning you’ll need less of it to get the same results. I recommend adding 1 1/4 cup of flour, then add the remaining flour one tablespoon at a time until you have a scoopable dough you can roll in the cinnamon sugar coating.
Dairy-Free Options: Instead of using six tablespoons of butter, you could use four tablespoons of vegan butter plus two tablespoons of palm shortening. Better Batter Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour are both dairy-free.
Vegan Option: You’ll need to make a few simple swaps for vegan snickerdoodes. First, use dairy-free butter. Second, swap out the egg for an egg replacer or a flax egg.
If you’re using Bob’s Red Mill’s Egg Replacer, use three tablespoons of water instead of the two tablespoons as directed on the packaging.
Mix three tablespoons of warm water with one tablespoon of flaxseed meal to make a flax egg. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes until it forms a gel.
Should You Chill Your Dough? Chilling your dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours before baking is optional. If you use all butter, consider chilling the cookies before baking since butter melts quickly and causes the cookies to spread.
However, if you’re using part butter (or vegan butter) and part shortening, you can bake the cookies immediately because shortening melts at a higher temperature. This means the cookies won’t spread as fast and furious.
Chilling the dough before baking generally results in softer and thicker cookies, which some people prefer. Of course, it’s a matter of taste and preference.
Tip! Form the dough into balls, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then freeze them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. You can then bake the cookies on demand as desired.
Additional Cookie Recipes
I hope you enjoy this classic cookie during Christmas or whenever the occasion calls for cookies! They are always a hit at holiday cookie exchanges.
Also, enjoy any of the cookies featured in my 13 Easy & Impressive Gluten-Free Holiday Cookies roundup. All of these cookies are perfect for baking during the holiday season.
- 1 electric stand mixer hand-held mixer
- 2 baking sheets
- Parchment paper or silpat mats
- bowls, spatulas, etc.
- cookie scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or 4 tablespoons vegan butter + 2 tablespoons palm shortening for a dairy-free option
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature (or egg substitute – see notes)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour see notes for other options and tips
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix at medium speed until smooth.
- Add the baking soda, cream of tartar, and cinnamon to the wet mixture and mix at low speed for 15 seconds, then add the Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour (please see notes if using Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour because you'll use 1/4 cup less of it) and continue mixing at low speed for another 15 seconds before adjusting the speed to medium-high. Continue to mix until a malleable dough forms.
- Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of dough, roll it into the ball, and place it on the baking sheet. You could use a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop (if you have one) or your kitchen scale to ensure each dough ball weighs 29-30 grams. You’ll have enough dough to make 18 cookies.
- Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll each dough ball in the sugar-cinnamon mixture until they're all lightly coated. Place the dough back on the cookie sheet.
- Chilling the Dough:If using all butter, you may want to chill the dough in the refrigerator for one hour. This will deter the cookies from speading. Optional.If using vegan butter + palm shortening, you can bake the cookies right away. The palm shortening will give the cookies more structure since shortening melts at a higher temperature than butter.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they spread and lose their doughy sheen. Remove them from the oven before they look fully done; they will continue to cook and set on the baking sheet. A slightly undercooked cookie will be soft and chewy.
- Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before handling and eating.