Classic snickerdoodles are made even better with the addition of browned butter. These brown butter snickerdoodles are soft and chewy in texture, with a nuanced flavor that will have you reaching for a second cookie!

A stack of three brown butter snickerdoodles, surrounded by more cookies.

Just when you think snickerdoodle cookies couldn’t get any better, they do! The recipe I’m sharing with you in today’s post is for brown butter snickerdoodles.

To make them, butter is heated on the stove until it turns golden brown in color and develops a nuanced, slightly nutty flavor. Browning butter takes just 10 minutes to prepare, but it makes these snickerdoodles taste like you got them straight from a bakery.

Don’t reserve these cookies for the holidays either — they’re perfect any time of year, for any occasion! Even better, you can bake the entire batch now or freeze some of the raw cookie dough to bake later.

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make snickerdoodles with brown butter.

Recipe Ingredients

Like any good snickerdoodle, this brown butter version is chewy around the edges and pillowy soft in the center. Here are a few key ingredients to have on hand:

  • Sugar: Just like with my regular snickerdoodle recipe, I used a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar in these cookies. The brown sugar adds extra moisture to the cookie dough, helping to keep the cookies nice and soft.
  • Cream of tartar: This provides that classic “tangy” flavor we all know and love in snickerdoodles. It’s also a dry acidic ingredient that reacts with the baking soda to help provide some lift in the cookies.
  • Butter: I prefer to stick with unsalted butter in all of my baked goods because it allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe. If using salted butter, simply omit the salt from the recipe.
  • Ground cinnamon: Is added to both the cookie dough and sugar coating for extra flavor.

How To Make Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Brown The Butter

  1. Add the sliced butter to a saucepan (I recommend using one that’s light in color so you can track the progress of the butter more easily). Heat over medium heat to melt the butter, then keep cooking for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir or swirl the butter often to prevent it from burning! When you see milk solids form on the bottom of the saucepan and turn brown, remove it from the stove and pour into a heat-safe dish.
  2. Refrigerate the brown butter until it’s solid and cold. This should take about 2 to 3 hours.

Mix The Cookie Dough Together

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the browned butter until smooth.
  2. Mix in the sugars, followed by the eggs and vanilla.
  1. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Raw brown butter snickerdoodle cookie dough balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Assemble & Bake The Cookies

  1. Scoop out the cookie dough using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop and place onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  2. In a clean bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon to create the cinnamon sugar coating. Roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar, then return to the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the browned butter snickerdoodles at 375ºF just until the tops are set. Allow to cool before serving and enjoying.
A close up view of snickerdoodles made with brown butter, on parchment paper.

Recipe FAQs

Can cream of tartar be substituted in these snickerdoodles?

The cream of tartar is very important in this recipe. It adds the tangy flavor that snickerdoodles are known for, plus it reacts with the baking soda to create soft cookies. In a pinch, you can replace the cream of tartar AND baking soda with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

How can you tell when brown butter is done?

You’ll know the butter is done when you see browned milk solids at the bottom of the saucepan and the butter has a nutty aroma to it. If you’ve never made it before, I also have a full tutorial on how to brown butter here.

Can the cookie dough be made in advance?

Yes, you can make the cookie dough and then scoop it out as instructed. Once it’s been scooped into balls, you can freeze the dough for up to 3 months. I suggest thawing the cookie dough overnight, then adding the cinnamon sugar coating just before baking for best results.

An overhead view of browned butter snickerdoodles on parchment paper, with a dish of cinnamon sugar on the side.

Baking Tips

  • I recommend using a light-colored saucepan or skillet to brown your butter. This will make it much easier to see the color of the butter and help prevent overcooking it.
  • Feel free to prepare the browned butter a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it. If it’s too cold to mix, let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When measuring your flour, do not scoop it from the container. This can cause your flour to become compacted in the measuring cup and prevent your cookies from spreading in the oven. Make sure to use the spoon and level method by spooning the flour into your measuring cup and leveling it off with the back of a knife.

More Christmas Cookie Recipes To Bake!

Three snickerdoodles stacked on top of each other. The top cookie has a bite missing.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Classic snickerdoodles are made even better with the addition of browned butter. Brown butter snickerdoodles are soft and chewy in texture, with a nuanced flavor that will have you reaching for a second cookie!


Servings: 46 cookies

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter sliced into tablespoon sized pieces (230 grams, or 2 sticks)
  • cup packed light brown sugar (135 grams)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (345 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • To brown the butter: Add the sliced butter to a light-colored skillet or saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Once the butter is melted, allow it to cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring or swirling the pan often, until the butter is browned. The butter is browned once you see brown bits of milk solids on the bottom of the pan and smell a nutty-aroma. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the butter into a heat-safe dish.
  • Allow to cool slightly, then place the butter in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours or until the butter is solid and cold.
  • To make the cookie dough: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line three large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cold browned butter until smooth, then mix in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined (about 1 to 2 minutes). Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring tablespoon, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. You should end up with about 45 to 46 cookies.
  • To make the cinnamon sugar coating: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Roll each ball of cookie dough into a smooth ball, then coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place back onto the baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Storage Instructions: Cookies may be covered tightly and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies will freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before serving.
Cookie dough balls may be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and add the cinnamon sugar coating right before baking.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle Rye
Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.