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Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

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Crispy edges, chewy centers, and yummy cinnamon flavor makes these gluten-free snickerdoodles a delicious treat to enjoy fall, winter and really, year-round.

Bowl with Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

I’ve been making these gluten-free cinnamon sugar Snickerdoodles for several years, so it is my tried and true recipe. I make these multiple times every fall and winter.

They’re always a hit wherever I bring them, as everyone loves a classic Snickerdoodle cookie! People say they can’t tell the difference between these gluten-free Snickerdoodles and the ones they’re used to!

plate of gluten free snickerdoodle cookies

Let’s talk about what you need for making these gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies:

Ingredients for gluten-free snickerdoodles

Notes on ingredients and substitutions for these gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies:

  • Gluten-free flour: Try these out with your favorite gluten-free flour blend first. If you don’t have a favorite, some of my favorites are gfJules, Authentic Foods Multi-Blend, King Arthur Measure for Measure, and Gluten Free Mama’s almond blend. 
  • xanthan gum: If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe. If your flour blend doesn’t have xanthan or guar gum, then you’ll need to add it like the recipe says. One bag of xanthan gum lasts me over a year, even with all the baking I do! You can buy it here on Amazon.
  • Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is always included in snickerdoodle cookie recipes. Don’t skip the cream of tartar! And if you haven’t used yours in a while, do check the expiration date. You want it to be fresh so that it works properly. 
  • Cinnamon: Use a good cinnamon. I was amazed at the difference when I switched from the regular generic cinnamon to this Saigon Cinnamon that Costco sells (and Amazon does here too).

I wondered cream of tartar was such an essential part of snickerdoodle cookies, so I read this article about cream of tartar and found that “It’s what separates a tangy, chewy snickerdoodle from an ordinary cinnamon-coated sugar cookie. The acid in cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their distinctive tangy flavor, and the chew happens because cream of tartar prevents sugar in the cookie dough from crystalizing into crunchiness.”

Can you make these gluten-free snickerdoodles dairy-free too?

Yes! Try different dairy-free alternatives for the butter. Some just don’t melt as good as others. I wish I could remember which dairy-free butter alternative I used in these cookies below. I’ll definitely try with some different dairy alternatives and report back. But if you try this dairy-free, please comment with your substitution and how it worked. 

You can also make these gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies as small 2-bite cookies if you’re wanting to bring them to a potluck style gathering. I made them this way using my small cookie scoop and got 4 dozen cookies from one batch. Here’s a pic of them smaller like that (also made dairy-free which caused them not to spread as much):

platter of Small Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

How to make gluten-free Snickerdoodles:

  • First you’ll whisk together your flour, xanthan gum (if needed), cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together. Set that aside.
  • In your mixer bowl, you’ll beat the sugar and the melted butter together. Then you’ll add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
  • Next you stir in the flour mixture that you had set aside. Beat on low just until mixed. Now your dough is ready

I used to recommend that you would chill your dough after mixing it, but with some flour blends, it makes the dough way too hard very quickly. Now I recommend you chill the dough only if it’s too sticky to roll. Just cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about an hour so that it will be easier to roll. Also, always bake a test cookie first and if it spreads too much then chill the dough.

Now it’s time to make the cinnamon sugar mixture to roll the dough balls in. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons of sugar with 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Whisk them together. Also, yes I actually have a 2 tablespoon measurer as well as a 1 1/2 tsp measuring spoon! You can get the 2 Tbsp one here and the 1 1/2 tsp one here in this set.

Cinnamon and sugar for topping gluten-free snickerdoodles

Roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Then place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

I recommend using parchment paper instead of spraying the pans. Spraying the pans will usually result in cookies that spread out more.

making gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies with cookie scoop

I recommend spacing the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart. 

After I put them on the parchment paper, I press down on each dough ball to flatten out the dome. If you want yours more domed, then you can skip this.

Unbaked gluten-free snickerdoodles on cookie sheet

These gluten-free snickerdoodles bake in a hot oven, 400°. Make sure your oven is fully preheated before putting the cookie sheet in there. I always recommend using a cheap oven thermometer so you can check and make sure your oven is at the right temperature.

After they bake, remove from oven and set hot pan on a cooling rack.

Baked gluten-free snickerdoodles on cookie sheet

While I like most cookies warm from the oven, I think Snickerdoodles are best when they have a chance to cool to room temperature. Then they firm up and are chewier and perfect for dipping in milk!

The texture of these cookies will be affected by the type of flour you use and the type of butter/alternative you use. I recommend baking a test cookie, and then adjusting from there. 

If the test cookie is too thick and puffy, then push the dough balls down more. If the test cookie is very thin and you want thicker, chill the dough for a little bit.

Heat or humidity where you live can also affect the temperature of your dough. If it seems too loose, then just chill for a while, maybe 30-60 minutes and see how it is then.

You can make these as small cookies or medium cookies. If you want to make smaller cookies, use a #60 cookie scoop to scoop your dough. My small cookie balls weighed 19 grams each. They took 7-8 minutes to bake, and yielded 4 dozen cookies.

When made with a medium size cookie scoop, a #40 cookie scoop, the dough balls weighed 34 grams before rolling in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. The medium snickerdoodles baked for 9-10 minutes and one batch yielded 2 dozen cookies.

Gluten-free Snickerdoodles on tray

I’d love if you would comment if you have a chance to try these! I hope they satisfy your craving!

Gluten-free Snickerdoodle Recipe:

Yield: 3 dozen

Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

Bowl with Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

Crispy edges, chewy centers, and yummy cinnamon flavor makes these gluten-free snickerdoodles a delicious treat to enjoy year-round. Everyone goes for seconds of these gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (325 grams) good all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum *(see note)
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (=8 Tbsp. or 1 stick) butter or dairy-free alternative, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

for rolling:

  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum (if needed), cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the sugar and melted butter or margarine for about 20-30 seconds until mixed.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat 20-30 seconds until well mixed.
  4. Dump the bowl of dry ingredients into your mixing bowl and mix on low until all combined. Don't overmix.
  5. If dough is too sticky to roll, then cover the dough and place in fridge to chill for one hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  7. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon together.
  8. Use a small or medium cookie scoop to scoop a ball of cookie dough. Small scoop dough balls weighed 19 grams for me, while medium scoop dough balls weighed 34 grams for me.
  9. Roll dough balls in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets. Push down a bit on the cookie dough balls so they aren't domed. (This helps them spread and get that crackly top snickerdoodles are famous for.)
  10. Bake small cookies for 7-8 minutes or until set; medium cookies for 9-10 minutes. For crispier cookies, cook longer; for chewier cookies, remove while cracks look just a bit "wet" still, but edges are set.
  11. Slide cookies off onto a cooling rack. I just slide the whole sheet of parchment right off so I don't have to worry about breaking any cookies.

Notes

*If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.

I almost always make these with gfJules flour but see blog post for other flour recommendations and information about other ingredients.

The texture of these cookies will be affected by the type of flour you use and the type of butter/alternative you use. I recommend baking a test cookie, and then adjusting from there. If the test cookie is too thick and puffy, then push the dough balls down more. If the test cookie is very thin and you want thicker, chill the dough for a little bit.

Dec 2020 note: Recent repeated testing of this recipe with different flours has led me to reduce the amount of flour (from 2 3/4 to 2 1/2 cups) and also melt the butter (instead of room temp), and no longer recommend chilling the dough before baking unless necessary. All instructions above have been changed to reflect this. If you had great results with the original recipe, as a reminder it used 2 3/4 cups gluten-free flour, room temp butter and I had recommended always chilling the dough for one hour.

Pin these to your gluten-free cookies board on Pinterest:
Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this gluten-free snickerdoodle cookie recipe as much as we do!

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Julie

Saturday 10th of April 2021

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I made these snickerdoodles for the second time this afternoon. They came out lovely (same as the first time) and I'm definitely going to be keeping your recipe!

Lem

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

I had some troubles with the dough crumbling at first; I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour and didn’t add xanthum gum. I added another 1/4 cup of butter to it, and it worked amazingly! Tastes great, and will defiantly use this recipe in the future!

Beth

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

I’ve made these for my mom, who’s now gluten-free, and they’ve turned out perfectly—twice! Everyone’s loved them. Thanks for a great recipe! ?

Ursula

Friday 25th of December 2020

Egg free, Gf, dairy free, nut free, seed free I made 2 substitutions. 7 tbsp of aquafaba(liquid from chick peas) for the eggs, and 1/2 cup Spectrum all vegetable shortening instead of butter. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour. I did not chill the dough(it has xantham gum in it) They turned out great!! ❤️

Viva Esquibel

Monday 7th of September 2020

I used Pamela’s all purpose gluten free flour and country crocks plant based butter with olive oil and these cookies were delicious and my family loved them!!

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