These cookies combine all the cinnamon sugar flavor of a classic snickerdoodle with the fun of cut out cookies! Snickerdoodle cut out cookies are no-chill, no-spread, and your new favorite holiday cookie.
There’s nothing more satisfying than the classic snickerdoodle recipe– that combination of pillowy softness, cinnamon sweetness, and the signature tangy flavor! This easy recipe for cut out cookies delivers on all of those elements while adding in the ability to roll the dough and cut it into any shape under the sun. These cookies do not require chilling to get those perfect edges — you can whip them up in under 20 minutes!
Of course, if you want the classic cookie, you can check out my favorite snickerdoodle recipe here.
Many snickerdoodle cut out recipes are just cinnamon sugar cookies. Not around here! I love that tang too much, which is why these snickerdoodle cut outs have been developed to include the tang of cream of tartar — the signature flavor of snickerdoodle. If you’re looking for snickerdoodle roll-outs, these are the best cookies around.
I love these as a simple addition to cookie plates. The cinnamon sugar topping means that I can forgo hours of decorating, but still produce a delicious cookie well worth eating!
Why you want this recipe:
- no chilling required
- clean edges
- super easy!
- fantastic snickerdoodle flavor
- no decorating skill necessary
- perfect for parties and cookie plates
Snickerdoodle vs Sugar Cookie?
Well, historically, sugar cookies come to use from Germany and England, and are pretty darn old. Snickerdoodle cookies, however, are a purely American invention. They were created by Cornelia Campbell Bedford, a New York recipe developer, in 1891. She’d been trying to come up with a new cookie for Cleveland Baking Powder to use in their marketing. She started with a standard sugar cookie base, then experimented with adding new flavors and leaveners to create something different.
The defining elements and flavors of Bedford’s invention are:
- Sweet Cinnamon Sugar – Snickerdoodle flavor is often reduced to this single piece (even though there’s more to these unassuming cookies!) Classic snickerdoodles are rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking.
- Tangy Cream of Tartar – Martha Stewart claims that only “purists” believe that the zip cream of tartar gives these cookies is important. Call me a purist, ’cause it just ain’t snickerdoodles without the tang!
- Pillowy Soft Centers with a Crackly Exterior – Snickerdoodles are a soft cookie dough rolled in sugar before baking. The sugar creates a crackly top, giving them their iconic look. These cut out cookies don’t have those crackly tops, but they are pillowy soft!
While both use a similar base sugar cookie dough made with sugar, butter, and flour, snickerdoodles have a distinct flavor profile and the addition of both baking soda and cream of tartar, which gives them a lighter, more chewy texture than sugar cookies.
The butter in this recipe helps the cookies to form properly, while giving them that gorgeous golden color once cooked. That’s aside from the delicious richness it adds in the flavor department!
I recommend unsalted butter in this recipe. I have also tested this with margarine, and the cookies come out with perfect edges. The only thing that changes is the flavor, so if all you’ve got is margarine, go for it!
Flour gives structure to cookies, which is especially important in no-chill cut outs. I have only tested this with all-purpose flour, so that is what I recommend!
Note that the sugar in this recipe is divided — some for the cookies, some for the cinnamon sugar coating. White granulated sugar works best here, but you can sub brown sugar in for the cinnamon-sugar mixture. I don’t recommend using brown sugar in the cookies.
Eggs provide both structure (through their whites) and moistness (through the yolk). If you want that gorgeous softness and clean edges, you’ll need the eggs!
Not only is the warmth of cinnamon part of the flavor profile of a snickerdoodle, that cinnamon smell that permeates your house is enough reason to bake these cookies.
Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is actually an acid — really! That fine white powder is the leftover result of fermenting grapes. Who knew? That acidity is why cream of tartar leaves that little zip of flavor in the cookies. It’s also a leavening agent, which is part of why these cut outs are so soft.
Step 1 | Cream the Butter and Sugar
Start by creaming your room temperature butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and your eggs in a large bowl on medium speed using an electric mixer. Make sure everything is well incorporated.
Step 2 | Make the Snickerdoodle Dough
Next, we’ll add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. You’ll want to mix them until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. If you need to, you can add more flour until you get the dough to clean the sides. Wet climates might need to add as much as 1/2 cup more!
Step 3 | Roll and Cut
Now, take your large dough ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness. If you prefer a thick cookie, you can roll to 1/2″ — you just might need to increasing your bake time.
Once you’ve rolled the dough, use your cookie cutters to cut out your cookies.
Step 4 | Cinnamon Sugar Topping
After you’ve cut your cookies, mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon to make your cinnamon sugar mixture. Press the cookies lightly into the mixture, then place on a cookie sheet lined with silicone or .parchment paper
Step 5 | Bake
Now you can bake the cookies at 350° for 8-10 minutes. If you want your cookies soft all the way through, bake for 8 minutes, then leave them on the baking sheet for several minutes after they’re done. The cookies will develop gently on the sheet, making them fully cooked but soft. If you like crispy edges, then roll your dough thin and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 6 | Serve!
You can move your cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to cool thoroughly. Once they’re cool, you can serve them! I have some ideas for serving below!
Ideas for Decorating your Snickerdoodle Cut Outs
- Royal Icing: Decorate the snickerdoodle cut outs with royal icing in various colors. Use piping bags or squeeze bottles to create intricate designs, outlines, or even flood the cookies with a smooth layer of icing. If you don’t have meringue powder, this easy recipe for royal icing without meringue powder is perfect!
- Cinnamon Frosting: Whip up a cinnamon-flavored frosting or buttercream to pipe or spread onto the cooled cookies. You can use a star-shaped tip to create rosettes or other decorative patterns.
- Sprinkles: Use frosting to add sprinkles to liven things up.
- Enjoy Them Plain: Snickerdoodle cut out cookies are delicious on their own, with their soft and chewy texture and warm cinnamon flavor. Serve them as is, and allow that gorgeous taste to shine!
- Dipping Sauces: Provide a selection of dipping sauces to accompany the snickerdoodle cut out cookies. Caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, red velvet dessert dip, or cream cheese frosting make fantastic choices. Guests can dip the cookies into their favorite sauce for an extra indulgent experience. These would also be a great dipping item for a chocolate fountain.
- Cookie Platter: Include snickerdoodle cut out cookies on a dessert platter alongside other cut out cookies, brownies, and sweet treats. They’d be perfect for a dessert charcuterie.
- Hot Drinks: These cookies are perfect for dipping in hot chocolate or coffee!
Storing, Freezing, and Thawing
To store your baked cookies, first let them completely cool. Then, you can put them in an airtight container for up to a week. These can be stored at room temperature on the counter. However, if you’ve frosted them, you may need to refrigerate them based on the frosting.
If you need to store the undecorated cookies for an extended period, consider freezing them. Place the cookies in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, separating layers with parchment paper. Thaw them at room temperature when you’re ready to enjoy them. They’ll keep for up to 3 months.
No Chill Snickerdoodle Cut Out Cookies
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 ¾ cups flour
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs.
- Add flour and cream of tartar and mix until dough scrapes the sides of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface. Roll to 1/4″ thickness.
- In a bowl, mix together ingredients for the topping.
- Cut out cookies.
- Dip cookies in cinnamon sugar topping, then lay on a lined or greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.