With cinnamon-kissed tops, crisp edges, and tender middles, these gluten-free snickerdoodles taste like a hug in cookie form. This well-tested recipe uses a blend of gluten-free flours (almond, oat, rice, and tapioca) and no xanthan gum. Cream of tartar gives them their quintessential snickerdoodle tanginess which, along with big cinnamon flavor and a good hit of salt, makes them super addictive.
Whip up the dough with a bowl and a spoon in 10 minutes, and after a brief chill, roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar and bake for cinnamon cookie bliss. Enjoy them fresh from the oven, or store them for up to a week; they stay moist and tender for days!
These can easily be made egg-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar free. Thanks to Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
For years I've dreamed of a gluten-free snickerdoodle with the same addictively soft and chewy texture as these gluten-free ginger molasses cookies, a community favorite cookie recipe here on TBG made with sweet rice, oat, and tapioca flours. I've previously shared these wheat-based cardamom snickerdoodles, and I wanted to capture their sugar cookie goodness in GF form.
But this turned out to be a formidable task, since molasses adds a lot of stickiness in the ginger cookies that didn't translate into snickerdoodles.
They key turned out to be bringing in almond flour, with the protein from the almonds adding heft and cohesiveness. 16 tests later (!), I had my ideal gluten-free snickerdoodles with a soft yet sturdy texture, just-right spread, and rumpled tops. You'd think we'd be sick of snickerdoodles by now, but I just had one with my coffee and now I'm craving another batch already!
Readers are also loving these GF snickerdoodles. Here's what one happy baker had to say about them:
5-Star Reader Review
“This will be a go-to for years to come. Made the recipe as Alanna wrote it. It's delicious and the cookies were nice and soft. The amount of sweetness is just right and not overly sweet. Minimal ingredients and very easy recipe.”—Sandy
Like gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free oatmeal cookies, I like my GF snickerdoodles thick, soft, chewy, and sturdy, not too sweet, with a good hit of salt, and with just the right level of spread.
These gluten-free snickerdoodles are:
- thick and chewy
- balanced: not-too-sweet, with addictive salty tanginess
- perfectly cinnamony
- easy and fun to make in one bowl and 20 minutes active time
- stay magically moist for over a week after baking
I hope that baking a batch of these super-simple GF snickerdoodles sparks joy in your kitchen today!
Snickerdoodles made with alternative flours
These gluten-free snickerdoodles have all the comforting flavors of classic snickerdoodles: butter, sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of tangy flavor from acidic cream of tartar.
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
These gluten-free snickerdoodles come together with a handful of simple ingredients.
A combination of gluten-free flours gives these cookies a classic flavor with a tender, chewy texture that is to-die-for.
They get tender texture and earthy flavor from oat flour and almond flour, while sweet rice and tapioca flours give them chew and bind them together. I love this combination of flours and I've used it in many other recipes including these tender gluten-free scones, gluten-free tart crust, and gluten-free gingerbread, all community-favorite recipes here on TBG.
You can read more about why it's best to combine alternative flours for baking in my beginner's guide to gluten-free flours, and in my cookbook Alternative Baker: reinventing dessert with gluten-free grains and flours. I use Bob's Red Mill flours, which are widely available, and milled in a gluten-free facility.
- Blanched almond flour adds protein which helps bind the cookies together. Its mild flavor blends beautifully with the other flavors.
- Sub by weight almond meal, hazelnut flour, or other nut or seed flours. Or try tiger nut or more oat flour for nut-free.
- Sweet rice flour adds chewiness.
- Sub by weight Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 flour or cassava flour.
- Tapioca flour makes the dough extensible (stretchy) and adds denseness.
- Sub by weight arrowroot flour or cornstarch.
- Oat flour adds a touch of nutty flavor while making the cookies extra tender.
- Sub by weight sorghum or millet flour, or more almond flour.
- Butter moistens the dough. Use good-quality, fresh butter for the tastiest cookies.
- For dairy-free, use plant butter such as Miyoko's unsalted cultured butter.
- Egg binds the cookie dough together.
- For egg allergies, melt 2 ounces cream cheese (dairy or plant-based) into the hot butter, then combine with the sugar. (Thanks to my reader Debbie who figured out this genius substitution!)
- Sugar sweetens the cookies and adds moisture which gives the cookies the proper spread without tasting overly sweet. I use organic granulated sugar. Some snickerdoodle recipes call for a portion of brown sugar, but I like the lighter flavor that white sugar adds.
- For refined sugar free, sub by weight maple sugar (which I've tested and it works great; even better than white sugar IMO!) or coconut sugar (which I have not yet tested; this will make the cookies darker with brown sugar notes.)
- Cream of tartar adds acidity and works with baking soda to lift and spread the cookies. It gives them their signature tangy flavor.
- If you don't have cream of tartar, the cookies should work find with 1 teaspoon baking powder subbed in for both the cream of tartar and baking soda (which is what baking powder is made of!)
- Cinnamon and vanilla flavor the dough, and a coating of cinnamon sugar is what makes them snickerdoodles. I tested these with and without vanilla, and I slightly prefer the ones without it because the flavors are more clean, so I've made it an optional ingredient.
- I love swapping cardamom for the cinnamon, especially when made with maple sugar. Other fun flavors to swap in are matcha powder, golden milk powder, or a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger for a chai-spice vibe.
- Salt sharpens the flavors and balances the sweetness here.
How to Make Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles with Almond Flour
This recipe makes a small batch of snickerdoodles – just 9 hefty cookies. Double or triple the recipe if you're baking for a crowd!
Make-Ahead Options & Storage
Easy options for fresh-baked cookies on the fly.
- Snickerdoodle dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to several months. (If frozen let the dough thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then proceed with the recipe.)
- Baked cookies keep well, layered between pieces of parchment paper, for up to 7 days.
- You can "refresh" baked cookies in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes at 350ºF for fresh-baked flavor.
Tips for Baking Better Snickerdoodles
Drop cookies like these GF snickerdoodles one of the simplest treats to bake and also one of the most sensitive. Here are a few tips to ensure almond flour snickerdoodle bliss.
- Make sure your oven temperature is accurate. I recommend using an external oven thermometer.
- Make sure to measure accurately. For best results, weigh your ingredients with a food scale. This is the one I use.
- When measuring by volume, use the dip and sweep method for flours and sugar: fluff up your flour, dip in your dry measuring cup, and use a flat butter knife or small offset spatula to sweep away the excess so that the flour is level with the cup.
- Bake off a single test cookie before baking the full batch. This way you can adjust the oven temperature before baking off the full batch. (This is a tip I learned from my pastry chef days!)
- Pull the cookies from the oven when they look underbaked. The edges should be just starting to color, while the tops should be puffed and soft, collapsing when you touch them gently with a fingertip.
Here are some common cookie troubles and how to fix them:
- The cookies spread too much.
- Increase the oven temperature by 25-50 degrees. Next time you make them, add 1-2 tablespoons more rice flour.
- The cookies didn't spread enough.
- Lower the oven temperature by 25-50 degrees and/or flatten the dough balls before baking them. Next time you make them, use a little less rice flour.
Snickerdoodles for Everyone
These almond flour snickerdoodles can satisfy many different dietary needs. See the substitution notes above or in the recipe card for options that are:
However you make these GF snickerdoodles, I hope you love them as much as we do!
Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my award-winning gluten-free baking cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free snickerdoodle recipe, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and rating below, and tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.
Thick & Chewy Gluten-Free SnickerdoodlesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (75 g) organic granulated sugar*
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter*, melted and hot
- 1 large egg*
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)*
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the dough
- Place the sugar in a large bowl and when the butter has melted, pour it over the sugar. Let sit to cool slightly, 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift together the sweet rice, almond, oat, and tapioca flours with the cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- When the butter has cooled a bit, whisk in the egg and vanilla (if using) until the mixture is smooth and emulsified.
- Stir in the flours and when they’re incorporated, beat the batter for 60 strokes. This will help the cookies bake up chewier.
- Chill the dough until it’s firm enough to scoop, at least 30 minutes and up to 48 hours. The dough will become more smooth as it sits, allowing the starches to absorb moisture and bake up into thicker cookies.
- When you’re ready to bake, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line two rimless cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- If the dough has been chilled longer than an hour and is very firm, let it soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it's easier to scoop.
- Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into balls (a #24 scoop, or about 2.5 tablespoons, will make 9 hefty cookies).
- Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar and place them on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies at 350ºF, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven until the edges are set but the centers are still underbaked, 8-10 minutes. The centers should be puffed and collapse slightly when touched.
- Give the pan a firm rap on the counter for extra dense, chewy cookies.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes to firm slightly, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be delicate at first but will firm up as they cool.
- Store covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. They're best same-day, with crisp edges and tender middles, but they will stay moist and soft for up to 5 days.
- In place of sugar, use ½ cup (75 g) maple sugar or coconut sugar
- In place of butter, use vegan butter for dairy-free
- In place of egg, melt 2 ounces cream cheese (dairy or plant-based) into the hot butter, then combine with the sugar.
- The vanilla is optional; I slightly prefer the cleaner flavors of cookies made without it, but it's a traditional ingredient, so you do you!
- In place of almond flour, sub by weight almond meal, hazelnut flour, tiger nut flour, or teff flour
- In place of oat flour, sub by weight sorghum flour, millet flour, almond flour/meal, tiger nut flour, or teff flour
- In place of sweet rice flour, sub by weight GF AP flour (such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1) or cassava flour
- In place of tapioca flour, sub by weight arrowroot flour or cornstarch
- In place of cinnamon, sub cardamom, or try my golden pumpkin pie spice
- If you don't have cream of tartar, make these with 1 teaspoon baking powder in place of both the baking soda and cream of tartar