What Is A Snickerdoodle? (2024)

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posted by Michelle Lopez on July 6, 2022 (last updated Sep 7, 2022)

What Is A Snickerdoodle?

Ever since publishing My Best Snickerdoodle Recipe and Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream Of Tartar, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the cookies. Specifically: what even is a snickerdoodle, anyway?

So let’s clear the air about one of the most popular cookie recipes on Hummingbird High:

Snickerdoodles are sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar gives the cookies their distinct flavor, texture, and appearance.

Some food historians argue that sugar cookies recipes use baking powder to leaven the cookies, while snickerdoodles recipes use cream of tartar. If using cream of tartar, the cookies will have a slightly tangy flavor.

You can learn more about the difference in my TikTok video below:

@hummingbirdhigh snickerdoodle WITH cream of tartar versus snickerdoodle WITHOUT #baking #bakingtiktok ♬ Happy Pizza – Tom Howe

Where Do Snickerdoodles Come From? How Did They Get Their Name?

A few cookbooks explain that snickerdoodles are German in origin. They state that the cookie’s name comes from the German wordshneckennudel(which is a kind of cinnamon bun).

Others trace its origin to New England’s tradition of whimsical cookie names. Stella Parks, former pastry chef at Serious Eats, writes inher cookbookthat the cookies evolved from a popular cinnamon-scented cake recipe called the “snip doodle”.

So the TL/DR is this: there seems to be no consensus on where the cookies actually come from. Or how they got their name, for that matter!

What Does Snickerdoodle Taste Like?

A classic snickerdoodle tastes like a sugar cookie generously flavored with cinnamon. And if the recipe uses cream of tartar, the cookie also tastes a little sour and tangy.

What Flavor Is Snickerdoodle?

Bakers exclusively flavor traditional snickerdoodles with cinnamon.

But I’ll be honest—cinnamon has never been my favorite flavor in the spice rack. In my opinion, cinnamon works best when I pair it with other spices. So when developing the snickerdoodle recipe for my cookbook,Weeknight Baking, I had the brilliant idea to swap out the cinnamon for other spices.

So in my book, you’ll find other flavors! Flavors like “black sesame snickerdoodles”, “matcha snickerdoodles”, and my personal favorite, “raspberry sumac snickerdoodles”. Even on this blog I have recipes forraspberry lemon snickerdoodles andblack halva snickerdoodles.

@hummingbirdhigh cinnamon #snickerdoodles are basic, let’s yassify them #bakingrecipe #yassification #bakingtiktok #kitchenhacks ♬ The Great British Bake Off – Tom Howe

Moral of this story? If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, don’t be afraid to swap out the cinnamon in the recipe for your favorite spice. You can also use other ingredients like tea powder, seeds, and sprinkles to make a unique snickerdoodle flavor.

What Is A Snickerdoodle? (2)

Best Traditional Snickerdoodle Recipes

  • My Best Snickerdoodle Recipe
  • Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
  • Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream of Tartar

Unique Snickerdoodle Recipes

  • Black Halva Snickerdoodles
  • Raspberry Lemon Snickerdoodles
  • Strawberry Rose Snickerdoodles

get new recipes via email:

Baking Tips Cookies Drop Cookies Snickerdoodles

posted by Michelle Lopez on July 6, 2022 (last updated Sep 7, 2022)

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5 comments on “What Is A Snickerdoodle?”

  1. Ren Reply

    Those pumpkin snickerdoodles are beyond amazing! They’re a staple for me, especially in the fall! Great post, thanks for the info.

  2. Snoopy Reply

    Where are exact measurements of ingredients.?

    • Michelle Lopez Reply

      You can find a recipe for snickerdoodles here: https://www.hummingbirdhigh.com/2020/04/my-best-snickerdoodle-recipe.html

  3. Colette Llorca Reply

    No recipes but explanations on Schneckennudel !
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schnecke_(Geb%C3%A4ck) Also in English.

    A “Nudel” is not only the noodle/pasta you cook in water but in Bavaria, and Austria and former parts of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy any sweet roll made of yeast dough, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchteln

    Snickerdoodle may have gone from the Palatine dialectal “Schneckenudel” to snickenoodle and ended up in snickerdoodle.

    With my best wishes
    an old Palatine girl

  4. madena Reply

    so what then is a snickerdoidle? For whatever reason iI remember them being a dab of cookie dough with a hershey kiss plopped in the middle. I now know that isn’t a snickerdoodle but also could be if “swapping out” ingredients. hey why not swap out Raspberries instead of using those peaches in your peach jam. maybe I’m seeing your post with my snarky colored glasses on… but if its a cinnamon cookie (which seems to be its definition) aren’t you being a bit….umm weird… calling all those other recipes snickerdoodles (personally the name brings up the flavor of musty long dog hair that is single-handedly humidifying and warming a room… leaving its taste/dander/smell behind… “Snickerdoodle deodorizer…you’ll never miss your dog again on those long road trips…just bring a snickerdoodle scented bottle on your road trip. you won’t remember by our dog!” meanwhile black sesame and your other flavors sound amazing!! so maybe i’m not completely bonkers

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What Is A Snickerdoodle? (2024)


What is the explanation of a snickerdoodle? ›

A snickerdoodle is a type of cookie made with flour, fat, sugar, and salt, and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Eggs may also sometimes be used as an ingredient, with cream of tartar and baking soda added to leaven the dough.

What does "snickerdoodle" translate to? ›

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).

Why do people like snickerdoodles? ›

“Good snickerdoodles are light and pillowy, with a sweet tangy overall flavor, and a glistening cinnamon crust. They are easy to make, require few ingredients, and require no chilling time in the fridge. Plus kids have fun rolling them into balls and coating them in cinnamon sugar. What's not to love?”

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

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.

What is a fun fact about snickerdoodles? ›

The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word , a Palatine variety of schnecken. It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.

What is the nickname for a snickerdoodle? ›

A snickerdoodle is a type of cookie made with butter or oil, sugar, and flour, and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Eggs may also sometimes be used as an ingredient, with cream of tartar and baking soda added to leaven the dough. Snickerdoodles are often referred to as "sugar cookies".

Do snickerdoodles go bad? ›

A: 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 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.

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 does cream of tartar do for cookies? ›

What Does Cream of Tartar Do in Cookies? Cream of tartar makes cookies chewy, as it precludes the sugar in the dough from crystalizing, which would lead to crispiness (ie: the opposite of chewiness).

Why is it called a snickerdoodle cookie? ›

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.

What is the historical story of a snickerdoodle cookie? ›

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 does snickerdoodle flavor taste like? ›

It's a slightly spicier take on the classic, plain sugar cookie, perfect for cold weather but enjoyable at any time of year. If you're a fan of the warm, cinnamon-sugar flavor combination in the form of cinnamon buns or cinnamon toast (or even Cinnamon Toast Crunch), you're probably going to love snickerdoodle cookies.

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