Chef John's Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles


I'm usually not a big fan of snickerdoodles, but I had a feeling the pumpkin spice would work perfectly with the buttery, cinnamon sugar cookie, and it did.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
18 to 20 cookies


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • teaspoon nutmeg

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

Rolling Sugar:

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Glaze (Optional):

  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon milk, or as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

  2. Place flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove, and nutmeg. Whisk until thoroughly mixed, 1 or 2 minutes.

  3. Place butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a separate mixing bowl. Cream together with a spatula or wooden spoon until mixture is smooth, 2 or 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg. Stir until thoroughly combined.

  4. Pour flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir until just combined or until the flour disappears.

  5. Wrap bowl in plastic wrap. Chill dough in refrigerator for about 1 hour.

  6. Stir cinnamon and sugar together in a shallow bowl or plate.

  7. Scoop dough into 2 tablespoon balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat all sides. Roll into smooth ball and place on prepared baking sheet, 3 to 4 inches apart. Flatten slightly.

  8. Bake in preheated oven until browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

  9. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes; sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar mixture, if desired. Transfer cookies to cooling rack to cool completely.

  10. If you'd like to add a bit of a shine to your cookies, you can brush them with a simple glaze. Mix confectioners' sugar with milk or lemon juice to achieve brushing consistency. Brush onto cookies. Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

    close up view of a pile of Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles on a white platter
    Chef John

Cook's Notes:

1 1/2 cups flour, if weighed, should equal 6 1/2 ounces. If using fine salt instead of kosher, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon.

You can add a few pinches of the pumpkin spices to the rolling sugar, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

144 Calories
6g Fat
22g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 18
Calories 144
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 95mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 33mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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