What would the holidays be without snickerdoodle cookies? These classic dairy-free snickerdoodles use a simple, time-tested recipe with everyday baking ingredients. It’s a no-frills formula that’s adorned cookie platters for many years and has been approved by hundreds of cinnamon fans.
Classic Dairy-Free Snickerdoodles that Keep with Tradition
Before you try making any substitutions, I recommend reading these quick ingredient notes.
Cream of Tartar
This and cinnamon are the two primary ingredients that set snickerdoodles apart from sugar cookies. Cream of tartar helps prevent sugar from crystalizing and leavens just a bit, lending that telltale soft and puffy snickerdoodle texture. It also adds tanginess to the taste. If you are timid with cream of tartar, you can reduce it a bit, to 1 1/2 teaspoons. It will change the cookies a little, but not too much.
You can find cream of tartar with the spices or in the baking section of almost every major grocery store. You can also order it online. If you don’t have any cream of tartar, just make dairy-free sugar cookies instead! You can always roll them in cinnamon.
More Dairy-Free Recipes for Cream of Tartar: Meringues, Chocolate Meringues, Peanut Brittle, Angel Food Cake, Sponge Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Cookies, Broccoli & Cheese Souffle, No Churn Horchata Ice Cream
Butter-Flavor Crisco is great in this recipe, and non-hydrogenated shortening like Spectrum works well. Many recipes use half butter and half shortening, but if you sub dairy-free butter alternative for half of the shortening, the cookies will come out very flat and will taste too salty. I recommend against it! We have tried this recipe with half buttery sticks and reduced salt, and it still just didn’t measure up.
A lot of people like to add vanilla to their dairy-free snickerdoodles. You can add about 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with the wet ingredients. In addition to the taste, it will affect the texture a wee bit.
If you want to infuse some cinnamon, feel free to whisk in a little with the dry ingredients, perhaps 1/2 teaspoon. I haven’t tried it myself, but imagine this would be tasty!
Special Diet Notes: Classic Dairy-Free Snickerdoodles
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian. Be sure to choose the shortening that suits your dietary needs.
- For gluten-free, dairy-free snickerdoodles, I recommend this Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Snickerdoodles Recipe.
- For egg-free and vegan snickerdoodles, this Vegan Pumpkin Snickerdoodles Recipe is delicious.
- 2 ¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift or whisk, then measure)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (see tips in post above)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 cup shortening (see recommendations in post above)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the 1 ½ cups sugar and shortening. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture until combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon.
- Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in the sugar mixture to coat.
- Place the cookies dough balls about 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. You can optionally flatten them a little with the bottom of a glass.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. They will crisp up as they cool, so don’t overbake them. The cookies should be just slightly golden around the edge.
- Gently remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.