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Snickerdoodles Without Cream Of Tartar

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Baking in quarantine means going through a lot of the classic cookie recipes for a lot of people. These are the types of uncomplicated recipes that call for pantry staples that most people have at home like flour, sugar, and baking powder.

Baking is also a wonderful way to spend time with family and enjoy a home-baked treat. Who doesn’t love a batch of homemade cookies?

I have always thought of snickerdoodles as one of those essential cookie recipes. They can be found in vintage Betty Crocker cookie recipe books alongside popular recipes like thumbprint and sugar cookies. 

Snickerdoodles are the perfect cookie for any time of the year. I love making them around Thanksgiving and Christmas in large batches to bring to parties along with chocolate chip, chocolate crinkle, and peanut butter cookies.

They’re also great for springtime too, not too heavy or indulgent. Snickerdoodles have a nice light and fluffy texture and a very slightly tangy flavor.

Sometimes store-bought snickerdoodle cookies can be thin and crunchy which is not how they should taste at all!

Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Cream of Tartar

The perfect snickerdoodles should be soft and chewy on the inside and just a little bit crispy on the outside. The light coating of sugar and cinnamon is also a distinguishing feature of this cookie recipe.

Creating the perfect texture for these cookies has a lot to do with certain ingredients. Cream of tartar is traditionally used when baking snickerdoodles to help create the desired texture and flavor.

Cream of tartar is not used in a lot of modern-day baking recipes so many people don’t often have it available.

So can you make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar? Luckily, yes, it’s possible to make delicious snickerdoodles without cream of tartar. My favorite recipe, and the one you’ll find in this post, uses baking powder and lemon juice in place of cream of tartar.

Later on, I’ll explain why and what other options will also work for this recipe.

What Are Snickerdoodles?

These cookies have been around since at least the late 1800s and have become very popular worldwide. The flavor of snickerdoodles has been developed into many different commercial products from big brands such as coffees and ice cream.

So what are snickerdoodles? Snickerdoodles are very similar to sugar cookies but they are rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar instead of just sugar. They are also known for having a slightly tangy flavor due to the use of cream of tartar.

Some people enjoy this flavor and others prefer a Snickerdoodle that tastes more like a sugar cookie with cinnamon. I personally enjoy the slightly tangy flavor, which reminds me a little of yogurt.

However, it’s easy to modify the recipe for either flavor preference while still maintaining the soft and chewy texture.

What Is Cream Of Tartar?

Most casual bakers have purchased a small container of cream of tartar for a recipe at one time or another. However, most people don’t know exactly what it is or why it needs to be used.

So what is cream of tartar? Cream of tartar is actually a byproduct of winemaking and its proper name is potassium hydrogen tartrate. This powdered ingredient is acidic and can be used as a stabilizer to bond ingredients together. Cream of tartar is usually used with baking soda. The acidic cream of tartar is activated by the alkaline in the baking soda.

Cream of tartar is used mainly in recipes like cookies, cakes, and meringues.

It helps to create light and fluffy textures in these recipes. It also prevents sugar from crystalizing and helps to stabilize whipped egg whites.

Because it is acidic, it can give your recipes a slightly tangy flavor.

The Best Substitutes For Cream Of Tartar

There are a few options for cream of tartar substitutes:

Lemon or Vinegar – Acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice can both be used as a replacement. To replace cream of tartar with either of these ingredients, be sure to use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar.

Baking Powder – Baking Powder can also be used as a substitute. Baking powder is actually made of both baking soda and cream of tartar. To use baking powder as a substitute use 1.5 teaspoons for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar.

This recipe uses both baking powder and lemon juice to produce the slightly tangy flavor as well as the same texture as using cream of tartar.

If you prefer a less tangy flavor, you can omit the lemon juice and simply use the baking powder as a substitute.

Butter Vs Oil – Which To Use

Many people have their own preferences when it comes to butter or oil in cookie recipes.

Softened butter in this recipe helps to give it the perfect flavor and texture that is expected from a snickerdoodle recipe, but it is possible to use vegetable oil as a replacement. 

If using vegetable oil in this recipe, use ¾ of a cup to replace the 1 cup of butter.

Using other oils such as coconut or olive oil may alter the flavor too much in this recipe. This particular recipe really tastes best with butter but vegetable oil will definitely work in a pinch.

The Best Baking Sheet For Cookies

Keep in mind that this dough can be a bit sticky so make sure you have a good cookie sheet or line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

If your cookie sheet tends to stick and you don’t have parchment paper, be sure to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet before they are cooled to prevent sticking.

You can also use a silicone baking mat if you have one to place over your cookie sheet. Our favorite silicone baking mat is this one by Di Oro.

How Long To Bake Cookies

The baking times for cookies can vary slightly by 1-3 minutes depending on the oven and which rack the cookie sheet is placed on.

The bottoms of your snickerdoodles should be only slightly golden. You do not want to overcook these cookies or the texture inside will not be soft and chewy.

I often check my first batch of cookies 1-2 minutes before the time listed on the recipe to be sure they are not overcooked.

How Long To Chill Cookie Dough

When you chill cookie dough, it will solidify the fat which can determine how much the cookies spread.

In this particular recipe, I did not chill the dough and still found the texture to be perfectly soft and chewy.

If you choose to chill your dough, you can chill for as little as 30 minutes or for a few days. Chilling the dough is really a matter of preference and the difference in some recipes can be very subtle.

If you decide to make your dough ahead of time and keep it refrigerated you can still use it to make this recipe without too much of a difference in texture.

Best Substitutes For Eggs In Cookies

It is possible to make a delicious snickerdoodle recipe without eggs and this is a common question when baking cookies.

The easiest and most popular substitute for eggs in baking is vegetable oil and water. For each egg that the recipe calls for use 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

There are many other egg substitutes that can work for texture such as applesauce or banana however this would likely alter the flavor of the snickerdoodles too much.

Oil and water would likely be the best egg substitute for this recipe.

How To Make Snickerdoodles Without Cream Of Tartar

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and white sugar. 

Step 2: Beat in eggs and add vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

Step 3: In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Step 4: Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.

Step 5: In a smaller mixing bowl add sugar and cinnamon and whisk together.

Step 6: Roll dough into balls and gently roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture, coating all sides.

Step 7: Place coated balls on dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.

Snickerdoodles Without Cream Of Tartar

Snickerdoodles Without Cream Of Tartar

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

These delicious, melt-in-your-mouth snickerdoodle cookies are made without cream of tartar. Softened butter, baking powder, and lemon juice create a flavorful substitute. Enjoy!


  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and white sugar. 

3. Beat in eggs and add vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

4. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.

6. In a smaller mixing bowl add sugar and cinnamon and whisk together.

7. Roll dough into balls and gently roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture coating all sides.

8. Place coated balls on dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g

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