Gluten-Free Brown Butter Caramel Snickerdoodles – The BEST gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies are made with brown butter! This simple flavor trick will change your cookie-baking life!
Do you ever tune in to people’s hot takes on Instagram? Basically, people share unpopular or unexpected opinions about something it seems like everyone else likes, like “coffee is overrated” or “I’m just not into The Bachelor” or “I still wear skinny jeans even though I know we’re all moving on to mom jeans.” Can I tell you one of my hot takes?
Most snickerdoodles don’t deliver.
I LOVE cinnamon-sugar together and I REALLY love cookies, so snickerdoodles should be a total winner for me, right? Well, historically…I haven’t thought so. Most of them smell incredible, and look delicious, but one bite in and the flavor just isn’t quite there for me.
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles changed everything.
Brown butter makes a LOT of things taste even better—Brown Butter Brownies, Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Butter Banana Bread… I could go on for DAYS, but trust me when I tell you that brown butter snickerdoodles are a total GAME CHANGER.
Here’s why you might never go back to making regular gluten-free snickerdoodles again…
Gluten-Free Brown Butter Snickerdoodles At A Glance:
- What Makes Brown Butter Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles Amazing
- How To Make Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies, Step-By-Step
- Try Them With Caramel! How To Make CARAMEL Stuffed Snickerdoodles.
- Tips & Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
- FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Brown Butter Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Our Favorite Tools & Ingredients For Making GF Snickerdoodles
- RECIPE: Brown Butter Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
What Makes These Brown Butter Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles Amazing
- Swapping Regular Butter For Brown Butter. With its golden color and caramel/toffee notes, brown butter adds a richness and depth to traditional snickerdoodles that’s INCREDIBLE with the cinnamon-sugar. But don’t worry, the cinnamon-sugar flavor still shines. Using brown butter in the base is just like turning up the volume on all the flavors!
- Using More Brown Sugar. Since we’re already playing up some caramel and toffee notes and color with our brown butter, I also use a higher ratio of brown sugar to regular sugar in my gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies than most recipes call for. It makes a huge difference in flavor for me and adds moisture, which means the cookies don’t end up dry, like some snickerdoodle recipes do.
- A Little Extra Cinnamon. My last flavor trick is using a higher ratio of cinnamon. Snickerdoodles are supposed to taste like cinnamon-sugar right? Many recipes use less cinnamon and more sugar in their dough and for rolling the cookies, which leave the flavor a little lackluster for me. My gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies have all the cinnamon-sugar flavor you’re looking for thanks to a higher ratio of cinnamon to sugar.
- An Egg + An An Egg Yolk. Gluten-free cookies have a tendency to get dry if you don’t adapt the recipe some, but I’ve found that using an egg + 1 egg yolk in this gluten-free snickerdoodle recipe gives better texture than just using 1 egg (dry) or 2 eggs (less spread). I know it’s an extra step to separate an egg, but I promise it’s worth it! Learn how to separate eggs here.
- Stuffing Them With Caramel! It’s technically optional, but you can also level up the flavor in these snickerdoodle cookies by turning them into caramel stuffed snickerdoodles! It’s FABULOUS.
How To Make Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies, Step-By-Step
Along with our flavor tricks, there are a few things you really want to pay attention to when it comes to snickerdoodle technique. Making sure to follow each of these steps will give you the best possible gluten-free snickerdoodles!
- First, Brown The Butter, I’ve written a really in-depth post about How To Make Brown Butter that’ll walk you through every step and trick for making brown butter. I’d recommend it if it’s your first time making it or it’s been a while. But in short, aim for deep golden butter that smells caramel-y and tastes a little sweet.
- Cool The Brown Butter. You’ll want to cool the brown butter to room temperature (or close to it!) before you mix it with the sugar, so that the sugar doesn’t just melt (which will lead to cookies that spread too much!) I usually take this cooling time to measure and prep all my other ingredients and prep my pans.
- Mix The Cooled Butter With Sugars. Once it’s cooled, mix the brown butter and sugars until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Add Egg, Egg Yolk & Vanilla. You’ll add the egg and yolk 1 at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Then, add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
- Mix In The Dry Ingredients. Add the cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and gluten-free flour to the mixer. Mix until just combined (no dry spots left).
- Chill The Dough. Transfer the dough to an airtight container and cover. Chill the dough in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours. (This will help with the texture and spread of the cookies, so don’t skip it!)
- Prep To Bake When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before scooping. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. (So you can alternate baking sheets with each batch. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon and stir or whisk until well combined.
- Scoop & Roll. Use a medium cookie scoop to measure 1.5″ balls of dough. Roll each ball smooth in your hands, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place 6-8 cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.
- Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the edges are set the centers look *just* underdone. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Repeat! Then, repeat this process with each batch of cookies until all the cookies are baked. (I recommend putting the cookie dough back in the fridge in between batches.)
Try Them With Caramel! Here’s How To Make Caramel Stuffed Snickerdoodles
Yes, you read that right! These brown butter snickerdoodles are amazing enough on their own, for sure, but if you really want to put them over the top, try stuffing them with caramel!
- Cut 16 caramels in half. Use SOFT caramels (they should easily pull apart with your fingers)
- After scooping a cookie dough ball, roll it smooth in between your palms, then flatten it out, starting at the center and moving in a circular direction.
- Place the caramel half in the canter of the flattened disc and fold the sides up and over to completely enclose the caramel in the cookie dough.
- Roll it between your palms again to smooth out the ball.
- Roll in cinnamon-sugar and bake as usual!
PSST! You want to use SOFT caramels for caramel snickerdoodles. (They should be soft enough to easily pull apart with your fingers.) Not all store-bought caramels are gluten-free, so make sure you read your labels!
Tips For The Best Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles:
If you want to make the very best gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies, there are a few tips that can make a big difference.
- Make Sure To Cool The Brown Butter To Room Temperature Before Adding The Sugar! Since we’re using melted brown butter for these cookies, it’s important not to add the sugar to hot butter. Melted sugar will change the shape and texture of your gluten-free snickerdoodles, so be patient and wait for the butter to cool to room temperature (or close to it) before adding that sugar!
- Don’t Skip The Chill Time! I know it’s hard to wait, but the chill time is REALLY important for these gluten-free brown butter snickerdoodles. It allows the flour to absorb liquid from the dough which means it’s fully hydrated so it can spread correctly and won’t have any gritty texture. The gorgeous texture and flavor are worth the wait!
- Consider Scooping The Dough Before Chilling. To make things easier on yourself, you can opt to scoop the dough into balls *before* chilling the dough, chilling cookie dough balls rather than the whole batch of cookie dough in one ball. Don’t roll them smooth with your hands until just before baking though, since the warmth of your hands will make it easier for the cinnamon-sugar to stick.
- Wait To Roll The Dough In Cinnamon-Sugar Until Just Before Baking. Similarly, you want to wait to roll these gluten-free snickerdoodles in cinnamon-sugar until JUST before you bake them. It’ll help them look prettier and will prevent the sugar from dissolving.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Brown Butter Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
Why Do You Need Cream Of Tartar For Snickerdoodles? Cream of tartar adds a subtle tangy flavor and chewiness that makes snickerdoodles distinct from sugar cookies. Without it, your cookies won’t have that same signature flavor.
What’s A Good Substitute For Cream Of Tartar In Snickerdoodle Cookies? I don’t recommend substituting here because you’ll lose that tangy flavor. But if you are in DIRE circumstances, you can use 2 tsp, baking powder instead of using the 2 tsp. cream of tartar + 1 tsp. baking soda called for in our gluten-free snickerdoodle recipe. Just know the texture and flavor of your cookies will not be quite the same. (They’ll be more like cinnamon flavored sugar cookies.)
How Do You Know If Snickerdoodles Are Done? You’re looking for a few things. First, the edges should look set and matte in appearance (not wet or shiny), while the center of the snickerdoodles will be puffed slightly and should still look a bit bubbly and shiny in the center. The residual heat from the pan will help the cookies set as they cool. Pulling them out when the center looks slightly underdone ensures you’ll get a soft, chewy snickerdoodle cookie instead of a dry one.
How To Freeze Snickerdoodles. Can you freeze snickerdoodles? You absolutely can! To freeze the dough, follow the tips in our How To Freeze Cookie Dough post. (Don’t roll them in the cinnamon-sugar before baking!) To freeze baked snickerdoodles, I recommend separating layers of cookies with parchment or waxed paper and storing them in a freezer-safe bag or air-tight container. Frozen snickerdoodles will stay fresh in the freezer
Our Favorite Tools & Ingredients For gluten-free snickerdoodles:
- The Best Gluten-Free Flour – makes light cakes & muffins, fudgy brownies, and gorgeous cookies!
- Light-Colored Baking Sheets – For even baking. These last forever!
- Pre-Cut Parchment Sheets – To make things easier on yourself. Especially great when you’re working with multiple batches or baking for the holidays!
- Medium Cookie Scoop – Makes portioning dough quick and easy. These wash well, too!
- Inexpensive Kitchen Scale – Weighing your flour will give you the BEST bakes possible!
- Stand Mixer – I love my mixer and use it for EVERYTHING. All of the things.
- Paddle Attachment – Great for mixing cookie dough and cake batter! It’s got a spatula edge that naturally scrapes the sides of the bowl so you don’t have to pause to scrape down the sides as often.