The Sweet History of the Snickerdoodle (2024)

Because some of us are interested in that sort of thing.

Trending Videos

The Sweet History of the Snickerdoodle (2)

Snickerdoodles are soft, chewy, slightly tangy, and full of sweet cinnamon-sugar flavor. What would we do without the cozy, classic cookie? Luckily, we'll never have to know. If you've ever wondered how snickerdoodles came to be, you've come to the right place.

The cinnamon cookie that we know and love was likely brought to America by Dutch-German immigrants, cookbook author Ann Byrn says in American Cookie. While they were always popular in Mennonite and Amish baking communities, their popularity skyrocketed in 1891.

The Sweet History of the Snickerdoodle (3)

According to Byrn, a New York City cooking teacher and newspaper columnist shared her recipe for the cookies in a local newspaper. Cornelia “Nellie” Campbell Bedford’s recipe—sugar cookie dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar—quickly went viral, so to speak.

“Which, at the end of the 19th century, meant the bar cookie was discussed in newspaper columns daily for the next year,” Byrn writes.

Since then, the snickerdoodle has been a staple of American baking.

Get our top-rated snickerdoodle recipe: Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles

The standard recipe has seen only minor tweaks over the years. Most notably, its shape shifted from bar to round cookie in the ‘30s.

The origin of the funny-sounding name is a bit more unclear than its rise to popularity.

The Sweet History of the Snickerdoodle (4)

The Joy of Cooking claims that “snickerdoodle” comes from “Schneckennudel,” a German word that literally means “snail noodles.” Schneckennudels don’t have anything to do with snails or noodles, though—they’re actually delicious-looking German cinnamon rolls.

Other experts say that the word doesn’t actually mean anything, and it’s just a product of New Englanders’ tendency to call cookies whimsical names.

Meanwhile, The Food Lover’s Companion suggests that the name appears to have “no particular meaning or purpose … other than fun.”

Got a hankering for some sweet, cinnamon-y goodness now? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Tell us why!

The Sweet History of the Snickerdoodle (2024)


The Sweet History of the Snickerdoodle? ›

The cinnamon cookie that we know and love was likely brought to America by Dutch-German immigrants, cookbook author Ann Byrn says in American Cookie. While they were always popular in Mennonite and Amish baking communities, their popularity skyrocketed in 1891.

What is the history of snickerdoodles? ›

A few cookbooks explain that snickerdoodles are German in origin. They state that the cookie's name comes from the German word shneckennudel (which is a kind of cinnamon bun). Others trace its origin to New England's tradition of whimsical cookie names.

What is an interesting fact about snickerdoodles? ›

The cookie is common to Mennonite and Amish communities and was a favorite treat of the Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley. In more recent times, the snickerdoodle cookie has transformed into a popular flavor of desserts, sugary sweets, drinks, candies, etc.

What is the meaning of snickerdoodles? ›

Meaning of snickerdoodle in English

a type of cookie made from butter or oil, sugar, salt, and flour, and covered in sugar and cinnamon (= a spice made from the bark of a tropical tree): The honey cinnamon almonds tasted like a snickerdoodle.

What does "snickerdoodle" mean in slang? ›

The Oxford English Dictionary Describes the etymology as “uncertain." They suggest it is perhaps a combination of the words snicker, a smothered laugh, and doodle, a silly or foolish fellow.

What are the oldest cookies in the world? ›

Pizzelles are the oldest known cookie and originated in the mid-section of Italy. They were made many years ago for the “Festival of the Snakes” also known as the “Feast Day of San Domenico” in the village of Colcullo in the Italian region of Abruzzo.

What is the nickname for snickerdoodles? ›

“Snickerdoodles, also called snipdoodles or cinnamon sugar cookies, have been around since the late 1800s. They probably originated in New England and are either of German or Dutch descent.

What does snickerdoodle translate to? ›

Word History

Note: An alternative etymology derives the word from Palatinate German dialect Schneckennudel, Scheckennurel, Schleckenurrl "sweet pastry made from yeast dough twisted into a spiral" (from Schnecken "snail" and Nudel "dough in various forms"), with variants in other dialects (Baden, Swabia, Saarland).

Do snickerdoodles go bad? ›

Yes they do have an expiration date printed on the box. I buy a dozen boxes each December to last the year which is when the expiration date is on mine.

Why do snickerdoodles 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.

What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle? ›

Snickerdoodle cookies have a unique flavor profile due to the addition of cream of tartar and cinnamon, which gives them a slightly tangy and spicy taste. In contrast, sugar cookies have a more neutral, buttery flavor with a hint of vanilla.

Why do my snickerdoodles taste bitter? ›

Cream of tartar is what gives snickerdoodles that tanginess. I've found that a lot of people are very sensitive to the tangy flavor of cream of tartar and the bitter, metallic flavor baking soda can have.

Why is snickerdoodle dough so sticky? ›

When cookie dough is too sticky, you may have an imbalance of wet and dry ingredients. You can fix this by adding a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch at a time until your dough is just how you want. The added flour or cornstarch will absorb the excess liquid and reduce the dough's overall stickiness.

Why do snickerdoodles go flat? ›

Why are my snickerdoodles flat? Snickerdoodles can come out flat if 1) the leaveners you used (for this recipe, it's both the baking soda and the cream of tartar) are on the old side and no longer work, and 2) if you baked them at a lower temperature. First, figure out if it's your leavener.

Why do my snickerdoodle cookies taste like flour? ›

Improper flour measurement is the #1 cause of your cookie dough being too dry or the cookies tasting like flour.

What is the difference between a snickerdoodle and a cookie? ›

While both cookies share some similar base ingredients, the addition of cream of tartar and cinnamon in snickerdoodle cookies sets them apart from traditional sugar cookies.

What is the history of half moon cookies? ›

Half-moon cookies can be traced to Hemstrought's Bakery in Utica, New York, who started baking half-moons around 1925. Half moons are still very popular in Utica, and local media often debates which bakery makes the best half-moons. Half-moons are often frosted higher on one side than the other.

What were cookies originally called and where did it originate from? ›

The Dutch word "koekje" was Anglicized to "cookie" or cooky. The earliest reference to cookies in America is in 1703, when "The Dutch in New York provided...'in a funeral 800 cookies...'"

Why do snickerdoodles crack? ›

Almost all recipes call for a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda (an acid and a base); the idea is that when they bake the reaction of these two ingredients will cause the cookies to puff up and then collapse, creating those cinnamon-y cracks on top.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated:

Views: 5749

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.