Snickerdoodles Like You Know & Love, Only Better

March  4, 2016

I’ll go out to a bakery for a croissant or a perfectly-shaped loaf of artisan bread, but I rarely look past my own kitchen when I'm in the mood for cookies: They're almost always better homemade.

The classic snickerdoodle cookie is leavened with a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar, which gives them their characteristically cakey-chewy centers and crisp edges. Cream of tartar also gives the cookies the slightest tang, which, along with their cinnamon-sugar coating, differentiates them from a straight-up sugar cookie. This take on the classic has a little chocolaty secret, thanks to a spoonful of Nutella tucked inside each ball of cookie dough, which melts into a delicious filling.

(Fun behind-the-scenes note: When I tried chocolate ganache in place of Nutella, it did not melt in the same fashion, which created mounded cookies that resembled Emiko's minne de Sant'Agata, if you know what I mean—see below.)

Shield your eyes! These are not the final version.

They are the perfect example of a cookie that's at its absolute best homemade, warm from the oven. Let them sit on the baking sheets until they are just cool enough to touch, then dive in.

Photo by Yossy Arefi

And yes, you could certainly bake them without the chocolate centers, but I don’t know why you would.

Preheat oven to 350° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shop the Story

In a bowl, stir the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir until well mixed, with no dry spots remaining.

Photo by Yossy Arefi

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for rolling. Spoon the Nutella in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Scoop the cookie dough into rounded tablespoon-sized balls, about 1 1/2 inches big. Flatten the balls, making a small well to fill with the Nutella.

Pipe a scant teaspoon of Nutella into each well, then use your fingers to press the cookie dough around the Nutella, sealing it in the ball. You can also use a small spoon to carefully spoon the Nutella into the wells.

Photo by Yossy Arefi

Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar, then place them on one of the prepared baking sheets. Freeze the dough balls for 15 minutes before baking.

To bake: Arrange the cookies on the baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 11 to 15 minutes, until puffy and barely golden around the edges, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time.

Cool completely on the baking sheets.

Photo by Yossy Arefi

What's another baked good that you'd never buy from the store? Tell us what's better homemade in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Johan Zeeman
    Johan Zeeman
  • aleeda
  • Smaug
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &


Johan Z. March 5, 2016
If you put nutella in it, it's not a snickerdoodle any more, is it? Stop trying to gild the lily.
aleeda March 4, 2016
Oh nooooo! Chocolate has come to one of the last non-chocolate bastions of cookiedom! As a person who doesn't like chocolate, the snickerdoodle has always been one of my favorites to bake; tasty and chocolate free. I'm no purist, but I'll leave the Nutella out of's gilding the lily. :-)
Smaug March 4, 2016
As a person who loves chocolate but hates the combination of chocolate and cinnamon, I'm on your side.