soft, gluten-free brown butter snickerdoodle cookies on a baking tray with star of anise
Baked Goods & Desserts, Recipes

How to Make Soft Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

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These Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies are so soft and delicious that you won’t even be able to tell that they’re gluten-free!

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The BEST Snickerdoodle Cookies

There are few things better than the perfect cookie. Especially snickerdoodle cookies with their pillow-like texture and signature cinnamon-sugar coating! But when you’re gluten-free, it can be hard to find a really good snickerdoodle with that infamous consistency. Many gluten-free cookies tend to be on the crunchier side and lack that soft interior. So, what do you do when there’s a lack of good cookie options? You make them yourself!

When I say this recipe yields the BEST snickerdoodles, I truly mean it. These Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies have an irresistible consistency with a slight crisp around the edges and a pillowy middle. Plus, these gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies are also made with brown butter! The nutty, rich taste of the butter combined with the cinnamon builds layers of flavor in this sweet treat. While there’s never a bad time to enjoy these cookies, they’re especially ideal during the holiday season! Their warm, cozy flavor profile makes them the perfect cookie to leave out for Santa!

tray of snickerdoodle cookies with cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl and white napkin with cup of milk sitting on top
No matter the season, there’s never a bad time to make & enjoy these delicious gluten-free sweet treats!

The snickerdoodle cookie is one of the most popular cookies, but do you know what’s actually in the dough of these baked treats? First, snickerdoodle cookies use a seasoning called cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is a powdery, acidic byproduct of fermenting grapes into wine. The acid in this ingredient gives the cookies their signature tangy taste that sets them apart from other cinnamon-sugar cookies or desserts. It also plays a crucial role in the texture of the cookie by preventing the sugar from crystalizing; which, yields that delicious chewy consistency!

Most commonly, snickerdoodle cookies are known for their cinnamon-sugar exterior. Before the cookie is baked, the cookie dough is rolled in a combination of cinnamon and cane sugar. When baked, the cookie dough spreads and the exterior of the snickerdoodle is solidified. This yields that beautiful, golden speckled appearance that snickerdoodle cookies are known for. As well, the cinnamon-sugar mixture provides the cookie with their signature warm, cozy flavor.

ingredient list on a flat lay with sugar, egg, vanilla extract, flour

How to Make Brown Butter

Brown butter is a signature ingredient for creating decadent cookies. Brown butter is created when butter is cooked down enough to toast the milk solids in the butter. As the butter melts and cooks down, it transforms into a beautiful golden brown liquid. Ultimately, it yields a nutty aroma that you just can’t replicate with regular butter. This nuttiness adds layers of flavor into our snickerdoodle cookies!

However, making brown butter can quickly go from great to burnt in just seconds. To avoid that, follow these steps:

  1. Cook the butter in a heavy-bottom pan
  2. Melt over medium-low heat from the start!
  3. Stir continuously as the butter starts to melt
  4. Once the color moves from light golden to a golden brown, remove from heat
  5. As it cools, stir occasionally

At the bottom of the pan, there will be brown specks. These are the toasted milk solids that we discussed earlier. While they add a lot of flavor to the butter and are great for savory recipes, I like to strain my brown butter through a colander to remove these specks. This ensures that my dough will be smooth. Finally, make sure that you allow the butter to cool to room temperature before adding it to the recipe.

collage of four steps of the cookie dough process

The Dry Ingredients

Now that we’ve made our brown butter and it’s cooling to room temperature, it’s time to start on the dough! I always like to start by combining the dry ingredients; furthermore, this gives the butter more time to cool before creaming together the butter and sugar. For the gluten-free flour, my favorite is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. I love this flour because it yields a light and fluffy consistency, without having to combine multiple flours. I use it for the majority of my baking recipes and it always yields the best results!

Next, add one teaspoon cream of tartar, three-fourth teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of baking powder, and one-fourth teaspoon of salt. The cream of tartar, although a small quantity, is the key to make true snickerdoodle cookies! As well, the combination of baking soda and baking powder here will ensure these cookies rise just enough to be fluffy but also spread to create the perfect consistency. Mix the dry ingredients together to combine, then set to the side.

At last, it’s time for the fun part: making the cookie dough! At this point, the butter should be cooled to room temperature. Ensure you strain it through a colander first before adding it to a large mixing bowl. Then, add three-fourth cup of cane sugar and one-fourth cup of brown sugar to the bowl. To beat the sugar and butter together, use an electric mixer. Beat the ingredients for roughly two minutes on medium-low until throughly combined. Then, add one room temperature egg and mix again for one minute. Finally, add two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and beat for roughly thirty seconds.

Slowly sift in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, pouring in half at a time and mixing in between. This ensures that the ingredients are throughly combined. Next, it’s time to refrigerate the dough! Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least thirty minutes. Chilling the dough before baking allows the fat to solidify. So, as the snickerdoodle cookies bake, the fat will take longer to melt. This means that the cookie will spread less, allowing them to stay fluffy!

With the perfect consistency and a pillow-y textured, it’ll be hard to have only one of these cookies!

The Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

After the cookies have chilled in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes, it’s time to preheat the oven! Preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Now for the cinnamon sugar mixture! While the cream of tartar may be the signature ingredient to the dough, the cinnamon sugar exterior is the key to perfect snickerdoodle cookies.

Start by combining one-fourth cup of cane sugar in a small bowl. Then, add two teaspoons of cinnamon and mix. Take the chilled dough and roll a ball that is roughly two to three inches thick. Place the ball in the mixture and roll to coat the whole ball. Finally, place the ball on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake, Serve and Enjoy!

Once all of the dough has been rolled in the cinnamon sugar mixture, it’s finally time to bake the snickerdoodle cookies! Place one tray on the middle rack and bake for twelve minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t recommend baking both trays at once because one tray will be above the other; which will cause the top tray to cook faster, while the bottom tray bakes slower. For best results, bake one tray at a time on the middle rack of the oven.

After the cookies have finished baking, allow them to cool for five minutes. Then it’s finally time to enjoy them! This recipe yields sixteen cookies; which, in my opinion is the perfect amount! It allows you to keep a few for yourself, and give others to your friends. Or you can make this recipe before a party or family holiday gathering. Trust me when I say, you’ll be shocked by how fast these cookies go! Just be prepared to have the recipe on hand and ready to pass out!

Other Recipes You’ll Love!

If you’re a fan of this recipe, be sure to check out the list of recommended recipes below! From savory dishes to holiday treats, there’s an array of recipes on my blog that feature similar flavors to these brown butter snickerdoodle cookies!

  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi: If you’re a fan of the brown butter in this recipe, you’ll love this savory recipe! This dish features homemade sweet potato gnocchi in a brown butter sage sauce. It’s the perfect recipe to serve on an autumn night!
  • Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls: Here’s another savory recipe that includes a brown butter sauce! These pumpkin rolls are a fun twit on traditional lasagna! Don’t mis out on the delicious pumpkin filling or the brown butter mornay sauce that these rolls are baked in.
  • Snickerdoodle Cupcakes: As the name suggests, these cupcakes have all the delicious flavors of a snickerdoodle cookie! They’re topping with a delicious frosting and cranberries rolled in sugar for the perfect holiday treat!
  • Cinnamon Rolls: If you can’t get enough of cinnamon in your baked goods, then these classic cinnamon rolls are for you! This small batch recipe yields the perfect, gluten-free cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

Stay tuned for other delicious recipes coming to the blog! And remember to comment below if you and try and like this recipe!

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Recipe by Arianna LitrentaCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy


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These Gluten-Free Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies are soft and so good that you won’t even be able to tell that they’re gluten-free!


  • 1/2 cup brown butter, unsalted

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free baking flour

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup cane sugar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Place the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan and melt over medium-low heat, stirring continuously
  • After five minutes, the butter should be a golden brown with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat.
  • Allow the butter to cool to room temperature, then strain through a colander into a large bowl and set to the side.
  • Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Then, set to the side.
  • Add the cane sugar and brown sugar to the bowl with the cooled brown butter. Use an electric mixer to cream together for two minutes on medium-low speed.
  • Add the egg and mix on low speed to combine with the butter and sugars. Then, add the vanilla extract and mix on low speed to incorporate.
  • Slowly sift in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, adding half at a time and mixing between.
  • Once combined, refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking trays with parchment paper
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of cane sugar and the cinnamon
  • Take the chilled dough and roll into a small ball, then coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat for the rest of the dough. Place the cookie dough at least two inches apart from one another.
  • Bake for 12 minutes until golden, then remove from the oven.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • Store in an air-tight container for up to five days

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