Cardamom Currant Snickerdoodles

December 2, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: What's a holiday open house without cookies? And when it comes to baking, there's nothing I love more than cardamom. I'm generally uninspired by snickerdoodles, but they're really fast and easy (translation: great for open houses), so I decided to mix up the flavors in them to make them something I could adore, switching out the standard cinnamon for fragrant cardamom and little tangy bursts of dried currant. These are soft, chewy and flavorful, and have earned a permanent place on my holiday cookie tray.fiveandspice

Food52 Review: WHO: fiveandspice lives in Duluth, Minnesota with her husband, where they plan to open a distillery!
WHAT: You thought you knew snickerdoodles -- until you met this one.
HOW: Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients together, roll your balls in sugar, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This cookie has an ideal texture: they're sandy, they're chewy, they're crispy, they're buttery. And did we mention the cardamom and currants? Pour a glass of milk and get to work.
The Editors

Makes: a bit over 2 dozen


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground, or at least fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (for cookie coating)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (for cookie coating)
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat your oven to 425F. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the sugars, flour, 1 tsp. cardamom, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  2. Whisk the eggs into the melted butter, then stir in the vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients and the currants into the flour mixture, stirring just long enough for everything to come together into a dough.
  3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the 3 Tbs. sugar and 1 tsp. cardamom for the coating. Take out the chilled dough, roll it into 1 ½ inch balls, roll each ball in the sugar coating, then place onto ungreased cookie sheets with about 2 inches of space in between them.
  4. bake for 8-9 minutes, until they look golden and cracked on top but still a bit doughy in the middle. Transfer immediately from the baking sheets to a cooling rack and allow to cool. (Or, eat them nice and warm off of the cooling rack with a cup of coffee or glass of milk. No one will know some are missing!)

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Reviews (57) Questions (0)

57 Reviews

Lauren B. November 23, 2016
These are fantastic. I didn't have currants or raisins, so I subbed chopped dates, which were wonderful. I was also about 2 tablespoons short on butter, and it didn't matter at all. I'll definitely be making these again... a lovely Christmas cookie, too!
Den January 24, 2016
These are wonderful. Currants are a nice change (not as domineering as a raisin) and go really well with the soft texture of the cookie. I have a history of being a bad cookie-baker, but these turned out really well and have encouraged me to make more cookies. Great recipe!
Gretchen November 21, 2015
Delicious and different! I love snickerdoodles and was excited to try this variation. The cardamom is a nice change from cinnamon, and this cookie really highlights the unique flavor of this less-common spice. I didn't have currants, so chopped up some dark raisins instead. The cookies are moist, tender, light and full of flavor.
Karen C. December 14, 2014
This a very good moist cookie for those that like soft chewy cookies. I added some orange zest and liked that layer of flavor with the cardamon. Recipe worked perfectly. Great for a tea party.
annag May 28, 2014
The first time I made these I left out an entire stick of butter, and they were tasty enough that I wanted to make them again a month later, when I realized my mistake! With both sticks they are fabulous, but I am pretty impressed that this recipe can stand up to such abuse. :-)
Sarah H. May 3, 2014
If anyone is interested, I made these (really successfully) gluten free using 420g (add slightly more at the end if the consistency seems a bit too wet) of all purpose gluten free flour (
betty888 April 2, 2014
I made these twice - once with the currants and once without. So good both ways - perfect for cardamom lovers (me!), and when you're craving a soft, chewy cookie. I love them.
rldougherty December 13, 2013
Yum! These are out of this world. Can't wait to bring them to a cookie exchange tomorrow. I have to admit, I was skeptical about them, but wanted to try something different and am pleasantly surprised.
rmullins April 29, 2013
I made these over the weekend and really had a great flavor, I think a bit more cardamom would give it even more. I think I would like a firmer cookie however these were very soft. (i like to dip in coffee like biscoti) maybe if I left out an egg and some butter?
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 29, 2013
Yes, these are very soft. I purposely made them that way because I really like soft cookies - though I can appreciate the allure of a dippable cookie. :) To make them crispier, I would use room temperature butter instead of melted, and I would cream the butter and sugar together well, then add eggs and vanilla, then dry ingredients, like a more traditional cookie. And I would bake them for a little longer. You can also certainly up the amount of cardamom to your liking. The intensity of cardamom flavor can vary a lot with how fresh your cardamom is, as well.
caroberts77 April 29, 2013
I made these for a small gathering this weekend and got rave reviews for them. I think I made them a bit small though as I ended up with 4 dozen cookies. I had some leftover and brought them in to work this morning, and again, rave reviews. I added a very tiny bit of orange extract to them which I don't think the orange flavor came through very much but it seemed to brighten them up a bit. Love this recipe and it will be one of my staples from here on out. :-)
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 29, 2013
Thanks! Glad they went over well! How many you get definitely varies with how large you make the cookies. I almost always scoop a little generously, I think!
krusher April 13, 2013
I have no inclination for such baking. However, with all the interesting chatter I decided to attempt top produce a batch. To my complete surprise they were great. Don't fall over dead Cynthia ... I may begin to bake!
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 13, 2013
Thanks Krusher! I'm thrilled you tried out the cookies and that you enjoyed them.
cookinginvictoria April 13, 2013
Congrats f&s on the Wildcard win! This is one delicious looking cookie. Can't wait to try your recipe!
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 13, 2013
Thank you CIV.
inspiredbyyou April 12, 2013
fiveandspice, only two TEASPOONS of cardamom for three cups of flour, and you call them Cardamom Cookies??That to me is like Hawkeye making his martini by pouring a glass of gin and then opening a vermouth bottle and wafting it over the glass!! In my cream cheese cardamom cookies, I put 3 Tablespoons of freshly ground cardamom for 3 cups of flour(plus 3/4 lb of butter/cream cheese)! I guess you can tell- I loooves my cardamom! :-}
hardlikearmour April 12, 2013
LE BEC FIN aka inspiredbyyou (yes, it is obvious), enough already. Snickerdoodles are not oozing cinnamon flavor so why would a cardamom flavored version be any different? Shouldn't a variation from the normal spice used be noted in the recipe title? Seems sensible to me. Being negative toward fiveandspice solely because she has been recognized at food52 is unnecessary. Her success (or anyone's for that matter) should not belittle you, and frankly, your recent hotline rant and comment here seem very petty. If you feel you are not getting the recognition you need or deserve, or if the success of others lessens you in some way, then perhaps food52 is not a good community or venue for you.
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 13, 2013
Hi Le Bec Fin! I didn't even know you had a cardamom cookie! These are directly inspired by the seasonal cardamom currant snickerdoodles from Crema Cafe in Harvard Square, and I developed the recipe to have a similar level of cardamom as I tasted in those (I describe the process in my blog post on them from a couple years ago: As HLA points out, the reason I titled them as I did is that regularl snickerdoodles have neither cardamom nor currants, so I wanted to put that in the title to make the distinction clear. You must REALLY love your cardamom to use 3 Tbs. That's hardcore! :) I, and many others, find cardamom to be a flavor that is beautiful, but easily overwhelming, so I try to generally use a moderate amount. But, I shall certainly have to find your cookie recipe and give it a try to see what I think of that amount of cardamom. I've never actually made cream cheese cookies, actually, so it'll be a new experience on two accounts. :) (Do you use freshly ground cardamom? It's SO potent when it's freshly ground.)
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 13, 2013
Oh wait, I'm confused, Le Bec Fan or inspiredbyyou, I guess I'm not sure who I'm talking to!
inspiredbyyou April 13, 2013
hi five; whew, I'm so glad you didn't get upset by my jibe! your response seems to say you received it as I intended it. Of course, I SHOULD have started w/ a Congrats on your wild card pick. How do you know Crema Café if you're in Duluth? Were you in Cambr. undergrad? I'll email you my recipe through your page. I am a big fan of cream cheese dough- both for cookies and for savory pastry crust. Adds richness(duh!) to the dough but also a certain texture/chew quality to the cookie, and flakiness/ease of handling to the pastry crust.

One thing I think about when playing with the cookies-
is that it's so easy to experiment with different flavorings or spices within even ONE batch of cookies. I just divide the dough into equal portions and add different spices/flavorings or different AMOUNTS of spices to each portion. I keep paper and pen handy, of course, because I'd never remember it otherwise. I imagine someone might say that the dough toughens if you overwork it (as in working in more spice after the dough has already been worked/combined)but I haven't had noticeably tough cookies the few times I've done it. And when I make your snickerdoodles, who knows, maybe I'll like the cardamom slight and not even add any!
But now I better send that recipe before I forget.
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 13, 2013
Please do send it! I'll be excited to see it and to give the cream cheese a try. It sounds scrumptious. I know Crema Cafe because I spent the last 8 years in Boston (well, first Somerville and then JP) for graduate school. My husband and I just moved to Duluth at the very end of August this last year. I wasn't in Harvard Square super often, but when I was I liked to hang out in Crema and work.
LindaLK April 11, 2013
I've never been a huge snickerdoodle fan, but the cardamom caught my eye. I made them yesterday and they were very good. But today they are outstanding--the flavor has developed and the currants are nice and chewy. Thanks so much Emily, I look forward to trying your Cardamom bun recipe too.
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 12, 2013
Thank you! They flavors do develop and blend together nicely over a day or two, don't they? I hope you enjoy the cardamom buns too, if you do make them! They're a family staple. :)
creamtea April 11, 2013
Congratulations on the Wildcard, Fiveandspice! These look really good.
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 11, 2013
Thank you creamtea! They've become one of our favorite Christmas cookies.
mrslarkin April 10, 2013
congrats on the wildcard 5&S! You are on a roll!
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 10, 2013
Thanks MrsL! I was so surprised!
PRST April 10, 2013
Forgot to add: my yield was 48 cookies- used a 1.5 inch diameter cookie/ice cream scoop to measure the portions. Baking time was 9-10 minutes.
PRST April 10, 2013
Just made these gems. Hubbie said "good, really gooooood, WOW!". I ground my own cardamon- green. Mine were not as cracked as the photo- might be due to making adjustments for altitude... might try again with no adjustments in the leavening agents. I miss living at sea-level! Thanks fiveandspice for a keeper recipe!
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 10, 2013
Glad you guys liked them! The altitude adjustments may have made a difference. I think individual ovens can make a difference too. I'm impressed you got so many cookies out of a batch. I usually get thirty or so. But, I don't have a cookie scoop, so I eyeball my cookies and probably err on the slightly generous side.
gbatrucks April 10, 2013
RMULLINS: Green is for pungent & savory dishes.
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 10, 2013
Yes. Black cardamom is smokey tasting.
rmullins April 15, 2013
I've used Black Cardamom in ice-cream. It serves as a nice spin to the cloying-ness of fresh strawberries. Lots of savory goes with sweet.
rmullins April 15, 2013
Just saying, black isn't ONLY for savory.
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 15, 2013
Totally true. Smokey flavors can be delicious in sweet things!
rmullins April 10, 2013
Green or Black cardamom?
Author Comment
fiveandspice April 10, 2013