Soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies made with nutty brown butter are exactly what you should be baking this fall. I promise you’ll love these brown butter snickerdoodles!

brown butter snickerdoodles in a stack

Why you’ll love these brown butter snickerdoodle cookies

Brown butter makes everything better, and I’m only slightly exaggerating. It adds a nutty, caramel-like depth of flavor and turns a classic cookie into something more.

My brown butter snickerdoodles are thick, with a soft and tender texture, and lots of delicious brown butter flavor and hints of cinnamon. They’re like classic snickerdoodles, but extra!

These cookies have cozy written all over them. I love to bake them during the fall and winter (and during the holidays too!), but really these cookies are amazing any time of year.

What is brown butter?

I had a friend recently ask me this question, and I realize not everyone is as obsessed as I am (at least not yet).

Brown butter is simply butter that has been cooked over the stove until it eventually turns brown and fragrant. The milk solids caramelize, extra moisture evaporates, and what your left with is butter that is more flavorful, nutty and aromatic. Use brown butter in all kinds of savory and sweet recipes, like these snickerdoodles!

making brown butter

How to brown butter

It takes only a few minutes to make brown butter, and it’s actually quite easy!

  1. Add cubed butter to saucepan over medium low heat (cubing the butter first allows it to melt more evenly).
  2. Butter will melt and start to foam. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  3. Continue to cook butter until you see brown specs in the butter and it has a nutty aroma.
  4. Remove from heat immediately and pour it into a heatproof container. If left in the pan it will continue to cook and burn.
  5. Use the melted browned butter right away or put in the fridge for later use (such as to make these cookies!).

This extra step of browning, chilling and then softening the butter is well worth it, I promise!

Ingredients you’ll need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make these snickerdoodle cookies (full recipe at the bottom of this article):

brown butter snickerdoodles ingredients

How to make brown butter snickerdoodles

  1. Prepare brown butter. It needs to be solid, but softened to room temperature, so plan ahead to prepare it at least 1 hour in advance of when you want to make these cookies.
  2. Make cookie dough. Beat the brown butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract, mixing after each. Add flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt and mix until incorporated.
  3. Roll in cinnamon sugar. Whisk together cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Portion dough with a cookie scoop, and roll cookie dough balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Bake. Place dough balls on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake until cookies just start to crack on top and edges are slightly golden brown.

And, enjoy!

making cookie dough and rolling it in cinnamon sugar

brown butter snickerdoodles on cookie sheet pan

Tips for baking the best cookies

  • Brown butter should be soft enough that a pressed finger will leave an indent, but not soft enough that your finger can press all the way through. If it’s shiny or melty at all, the butter is too warm and your cookies may spread. Be sure to plan ahead so you have time to chill the brown butter and then let it come back to room temperature
  • Brown butter can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for several weeks or in the freezer for many months.
  • You can use either salted or unsalted butter in these cookies, but I love the additional flavor that comes from using salted butter.
  • Be sure to measure flour correctly! All of my recipes are tested using the spoon and level method (more info through that link).
  • These pre-cut parchment sheets are perfect for cookie baking.
  • For show-stopping cookies like you see in this post, I like to make them big and use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon). Smaller cookies can be shaped with a medium cookie scoop (1½ tablespoon).
  • If cookies come out slightly misshapen, use a spatula to press them back into a circle right after they come out of the oven. See more of my tips for how to bake pretty cookies.
  • Cookie dough freezes really well. I like to keep a stash in the freezer for fresh-baked cookies on demand. See how to freeze cookie dough here.
  • These cookies will keep at room temperature for about a week, but are best within a few days of baking.

brown butter snickerdoodles in a stack with one in half

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Recipe originally published September 2014.

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Soft-baked snickerdoodle cookies made with nutty brown butter are exactly what you should be baking this fall. I promise you'll love these brown butter snickerdoodles!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, 226 grams)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (105 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (330 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until butter turns deep brown. Watch it close to make sure it doesn't brown. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and chill in the fridge until solid. When ready to make the cookies, remove butter from fridge and let it come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat 350° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Then add the vanilla.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixer and mix until combined.
  • Combine sugar with the ground cinnamon to make cinnamon-sugar mixture. Portion the dough into rounded tablespoons for small cookies, or use a large 3 Tbsp cookie scoop for larger cookies. Roll dough balls in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Place on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 7-9 minutes for small cookies, 10-11 minutes for larger cookies. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store tightly in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Sodium: 79mg, Calcium: 10mg, Vitamin A: 256IU, Sugar: 9g, Fiber: 1g, Potassium: 70mg, Cholesterol: 34mg, Calories: 160kcal, Trans Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Fat: 8g, Protein: 2g, Carbohydrates: 20g, Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review below or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.