Desserts

December 6, 2021

The Best Healthy Snickerdoodles

These healthy snickerdoodles taste just like the classic recipe but they're low sugar and low calorie! Each cookie is crispy on the outside, super chewy on the inside, and has cinnamon both in the dough and in the cinnamon sugar coating.

WELCOME! I am so excited because today is the first day of the first annual Ka Pai Cooking COOKIE WEEK!!! I'll admit, I only decided to do this about a month ago, so pulling this all together while my husband works and studies and I entertain a 2 month old baby was tricky. But I did it!

Today's recipe was definitely the hardest to get just right. Snickerdoodle cookies are known for their crackly tops, cream of tartar, and cinnamon sugar dusting. They're unique because most snickerdoodle recipes don't call for brown sugar, only white granulated sugar. Sugar isn't just a sweetener, it's also what helps cookies spread.

Since Stevia is a one-to-one swap for white sugar, I figured it would work just fine and I was excited to have a recipe for refined sugar-free snickerdoodle cookies. The dough seemed fine, but when I removed them from the oven they hadn't spread one bit. They were just round, cakey balls of baked cookie dough. They were GROSS.

So I went back to the drawing board and did some research on cookie science. After a few more tests, I finally nailed it. I had a low-sugar snickerdoodle that was still extra chewy with crinkly tops! I could confidently say I had created a recipe for healthy Snickerdoodles!

Healthy snickerdoodles with extra stevia cinnamon sugar

What makes these cookies "healthy Snickerdoodles?"

Almost every other snickerdoodle recipe calls for regular butter, all purpose flour, and lots of white sugar. I attempted using wheat flour and it overpowered every other ingredient, so I decided I would change the type of butter and sugar and the amount of all purpose flour. Here's the ingredients that make these cookies healthy snickerdoodles:

  • Olive oil butter: I opted for a plant-based butter made from olive oil because olive oil is a heart-healthy fat. Regular butter is pure saturated fat, but butter made from olive oil is pure monounsaturated fat. That simple swap doesn't change the texture or amount of fat in the recipe, but it does change the type of fat, which makes all the difference. I love this brand of vegan butter (not sponsored), but feel free to use any brand you like!
  • Stevia: yes, I did find a way to use Stevia. Since I couldn't use 100% Stevia like I wanted, I figured out the perfect ratio of brown sugar to Stevia that kept these healthy snickerdoodles as low in sugar as possible without sacrificing texture or flavor. We're using Stevia for the cookie dough as well as the cinnamon sugar coating on top.
  • All purpose flour: not my favorite flour nutrition-wise, but I did manage to reduce the amount of flour needed by almost 1/2 cup, so I consider that a "healthy" win. Better yet, these snickerdoodles still don't technically need chill time even with less flour!

Other ingredients you'll need for these healthy snickerdoodles:

  • Brown sugar: ok brown sugar isn't technically one of the healthy ingredients, but it does add stability to the recipe. It's also the reason these snickerdoodle cookies are extra chewy!
  • Egg: full of heart-healthy fats and protein, an egg also adds stability and moisture to the cookie dough.
  • Cream of tartar: the signature ingredient that truly makes a snickerdoodle, a snickerdoodle. If you don't have it, don't bother making these cookies!

A snickerdoodle with a bite out of it

Expert tips for making the best snickerdoodle cookies

  1. Beat until light and fluffy: when creaming together the butter and sugars, air on the side of leaving the mixer on longer. I usually cream for 60-90 seconds. This ensures the wet ingredients are well combined.
  2. Scrape the bowl: use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each step, including before you add the egg to the wet ingredients. This ensures everything is well combined for even baking.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients: we don't want a pocket of cream of tartar in one cookie and a patch of salt in another cookie. Sifting makes sure all the leavening agents are evenly mixed into the flour.
  4. Chill the dough: there, I said it. I tested the recipe both ways, chilling and not chilling the dough, and a mere 20 minutes in the fridge made all the difference! The cookies spread more evenly, they're tops are more crackly (is that a word?), and they're much chewier. Basically the snickerdoodles are just better cookies if you chill them!
  5. Eat quickly: it's hard not to honestly! They're SO good. However, if you find yourself with leftover cookies, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.

Stevia cinnamon sugar being sprinkled on healthy snickerdoodles

More cookie recipes to try

Healthy Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Banana Cream Pie Cookie Cups

Healthy Chewy Monster Cookies

Secretly Healthy S'mores Cookie Bars

The Best White Chocolate Chip Funfetti Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

A platter of healthy snickerdoodle cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between snickerdoodles and sugar cookies?

Sugar cookies use most of the same ingredients as snickerdoodles (butter, white sugar, eggs, and all purpose flour), but in different ratios. What makes snickerdoodle cookies truly unique is the cinnamon sugar coating and the addition of cream of tartar. The cream of tartar does a few important things: it acts as a leavening agent with the baking soda, it prevents the sugar in the cookie dough from completely binding, and it gives that signature "tang" you're familiar with.

What sugar do I use if I don't have Stevia?

Since there's already some brown sugar in these cookies, I recommend using regular granulated sugar. However, if you want to keep the added sugar and calories to a minimum, grabbing a bag of Stevia is worth it! I always buy this bag from Walmart.

Do these healthy snickerdoodles need time to chill?

Yes and no. Your snickerdoodle cookies will still bake well and turn out yummy, but when I tested the recipe with no chill time and just 20 minutes of chill time, I preferred the batch that had been chilled. They were slightly chewier and the tops were more beautiful. If you're rolling your eyes at me, think about it this way: 20 minutes of chill time is about how much time it takes for the oven to preheat and the dishes to be washed. It's not that bad!

Can these snickerdoodles be made gluten-free?

Yes! I recommend using only a high-quality one-to-one all purpose flour like this one. It should have xanthan gum in it. Gluten-free flours like almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour will not work. If you're looking for a grain-free snickerdoodle recipe, I recommend this one from Ambitious Kitchen!

Can these healthy snickerdoodles be made vegan?

Unfortunately not. This snickerdoodle recipe requires an egg to bake properly. If you want a naturally vegan snickerdoodle recipe, I recommend this one from Chocolate Covered Katie or this one from Eat with Clarity.

A snickerdoodle with a bite out of it

I know you'll love my healthier version of snickerdoodle cookies! They're perfectly chewy and they're the perfect cookie to share with your loved ones this Christmas season.

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below so other readers know how you liked the recipe! You can also tag me on Instagram while you enjoy your cookies. I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen! Merry Christmas!

The Best Healthy Snickerdoodles

These healthy snickerdoodles taste just like the classic recipe but they're low sugar and low calorie! Each cookie is crispy on the outside, super chewy on the inside, and has cinnamon both in the dough and in the cinnamon sugar coating.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

25

min

cook:

15

min

total:

40

min

servings:

20

Ingredients

For the Snickerdoodles

  • 1 C Country Crock Olive Oil stick butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ C brown sugar
  • 2 C Stevia
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

For the Cinnamon Sugar

  • ½ C Stevia
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and Stevia until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs and beat until light and fluffy, about another minute.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes* while you preheat the oven and clean up the kitchen.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon sugar ingredients.
  6. Portion out 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll into a smooth ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar and place on the baking sheet. Gently press to flatten slightly into a thick disk. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Place no more than 7 cookies on a sheet at a time in a checkerboard pattern.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. When the cookies are finished, bang the pan on the counter 2 or 3 times, then let the cookies cool on the pan at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Notes

*This step is not necessary but will make the cookies even chewier. It's only 20 minutes while you clean!

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1 snickerdoodle.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookie / Calories: 198 / Fat: 9.3g / Saturated Fat: 4.2g / Carbohydrates: 25.8g / Sugar: 12g / Protein: 2.4g