Apple Butter Snickerdoodles remind me of an apple cider donut. They are fluffy and light on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. Perfectly coated in cinnamon sugar, these cookies are everything we love about Fall.

Before you turn away because you don’t have any apple butter, I have great news – you can make these cookies with applesauce as well!

A pile of snickerdoodles on a plate and one in front with a bite taken out of it.

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles are a simple snickerdoodle recipe with the addition of apple butter and extra cinnamon. These snickerdoodles are soft, fluffy, a little chewy, and are the perfect Fall/Winter cookie.

Now, I like to make these particular cookies a little thicker than the traditional snickerdoodle. It reminds me of an apple cider donut and that is one of my favorite things about fall. If you are not into that, go ahead and flatten your cookies – but I am all about anything like a donut, whenever possible.

🥘 Ingredients Needed

The ingredients in apple butter snickerdoodles, laid out and labeled.

For the Cookies

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cream of Tartar – this helps give the cookies the signature “tang” that snickerdoodles have.
  • Baking Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Butter (Softened)
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Apple Butter (Or applesauce, cooked on the stove for about 10 – 15 minutes over low heat with a little sugar and cinnamon to thicken/sweeten up.)
  • Cinnamon

For Rolling/Coating the Cookies

  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Where Can You Get Apple Butter?

My first recommendation would be to make your own apple butter. I like to make Maple Bourbon Apple Butter in my slow cooker – it’s really easy and tastes so good!

If you don’t want to make your own you can buy apple butter at most grocery stores either with the jellies/jams/peanut butter or possibly with the applesauce. Sometimes you can find it in the baking aisle as well, but the jelly or jam aisle would be the first place I would look. I try to look for a locally made brand or one with labeling from an Amish distributer. If you can’t find either of those – Mussleman’s and Dickinson’s are both really good! If you really can’t find it – you can use applesauce, but add a little sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon and simmer it over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes (until it thickens a little) to get some of the similar flavors and texture that you get from apple butter.

Why Use Apple Butter in Baking?

Apple butter has this weird quality that makes it work like a fat in baking – it helps bring everything together and adds some seriously awesome flavors. (Though because of this, the dough bakes best if you chill it.)

The prominent flavor in these cookies is surprisingly not apple butter. When you take a bite you’re hit with a warm cinnamon flavor and a slight apple flavor. Just like a cider donut, coated with cinnamon and sugar – basically, a bite of fall.

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A Stand Mixer or Large Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups/Measuring Spoons
  • A Rubber Spatula
  • A Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper or a Non-Sitck Baking Mat
  • Wax Paper/Plastic Wrap/Plastic Bag

🥣 How to Make It

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles could not be easier to make.

Begin by creaming together the butter and 1 1/4 cups of sugar with a mixer. When it is fully mixed together, it should look like really light and fluffy butter.

A horizontal collage of images showing the process of creaming butter and sugar for cookie dough.

While the butter and sugar mix together, sift the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking powder together in a large bowl and place it off to the side. (If you don’t have any way to sift the dry ingredients, just combine them and fluff them around a bit with a whisk or a fork to get rid of any clumps.)

A horizontal collage of images showing how to sift flour and sugar for cookie dough.

Next, add eggs to the creamed butter and sugar until fully incorporated, one at a time. When the eggs are fully mixed in, add apple butter, vanilla extract, and 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and mix until well combined.

A horizontal collage of images showing the process of mixing apple butter and eggs into snickerdoodle dough.

Now, add the sifted flour in small increments – I usually just use a measuring cup and mix it in a little at a time. (If you add all the flour at once and turn on the mixer, the flour will poof up into a cloud and make a huge mess.)

A horizontal collage of images showing how to mix flour into snickerdoodle dough.

After the flour is fully mixed in, either cover the bowl or transfer the dough to wax paper and place in a zip-top bag. Move dough to the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. If you are in a hurry to bake cookies, you can put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, but do not bake the dough from frozen – it will take much longer and the cookies won’t bake the same. (You also want the dough to be soft enough to roll into balls.)

A horizontal collage of images showing the steps to refrigerate snickerdoodle dough.

When you are ready to bake cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then combine 1/3 of a cup of sugar with 1 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon. (I usually just mix the two together with a fork.)

Now, using a spoon or a scoop, make uniformly sized balls of dough and roll them in the cinnamon sugar. I like to do a double roll and roll them in the sugar mixture two times – the first time gets sugar onto the cookies and the second sits on top and gets crispy when you bake the cookies.

A vertical series of images showing rolling snickerdoodles in cinnamon sugar.

Now, bake the cookies at 350°F for 12 – 14 minutes. I like to let the cookies get slightly browned and a little crispy on the outside – it gives them the texture of a cinnamon sugar donut.

A vertical series of images showing snickerdoodles before, during, and after baking,

Let cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn your mouth, but these cookies are best served while still warm!

A hand holding a pile of snickerdoodles over a plate of cookies and two cinnamon sticks.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What is a snickerdoodle?

According to Wikipedia, “The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudel, a Palatine variety of schnecken.[1] It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.” What a snickerdoodle is as far as I am concerned is a delicious, soft sugar cookie that is rolled in cinnamon sugar and is light, pillowy, and all things wonderful. A snickerdoodle also has cream of tartar in the dough and this gives the cookies a tang that is a signature sign of a snickerdoodle.

What is the difference between Apple Butter and Applesauce?

Apple butter is basically just applesauce that is cooked for a little bit longer (and usually with a little bit more sugar.) Cooking the apples for longer makes them thicken up and makes them more spreadable, like a preserve or jam.

Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

🍲 Serving Size

I like to measure the dough for these cookies using a cookie scoop/melon baller that is about 1 tablespoon. They usually end up a tiny bit bigger as it is usually a rounded scoop, but this ensures, at the very least, that the cookies are all about the same size. With this size scoop, it makes about 36 cookies. Of course, if you make the cookies bigger, you will have fewer cookies – smaller and you will have more cookies.

🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating

Snickerdoodles should be eaten immediately to enjoy the best results – aren’t cookies always best when eaten warm out of the oven? If making these cookies in advance, store them in an airtight container. I like to reheat them in the air fryer for just a few minutes to get the outside nice and crispy and keep the inside nice and chewy.

If you don’t plan on eating all the cookies at once or you aren’t making these cookies to bring somewhere, just make the cookies in batches for dessert when you want to serve them. For just my husband and myself, I will make 2 – 4 cookies every night for dessert until we run out of dough – the dough keeps well in the refrigerator and the cookies are always perfectly fresh and warm. (And we don’t have cookies sitting around to tempt us when it is not dessert time 😉 )

A plate of snickerdoodles with two cinnamon sticks and one broken in half on the top of the pile.

✏️ Helpful Tips

Use these tips to make the best Apple Butter Snickerdoodles:

  • This dough MUST be chilled before baking. Between the butter and the apple butter, this dough is just asking to be a flat cookie. If you like flat cookies or have no patience, you can certainly bake warm dough, but if you want a fluffy, delicious, and perfect snickerdoodle, you should chill your dough.
  • Make sure that you scoop your cookie dough using a spoon or a scoop to get uniform sizes so that your cookies bake evenly.
  • Double roll your cookies in the cinnamon sugar. It makes them extra sweet, extra sugary, and a little crisper on the outside.
  • These cookies are a perfect Fall treat with a glass of cold milk, a hot toddy, hot apple cider, or a seasonal latte.
  • I highly recommend making your own apple butter. Click here for a link to my favorite recipe. If you have to buy it, I try to look for a locally made brand or one with labeling from an Amish distributer. If you can’t find either of those – Mussleman’s and Dickinson’s are both really good!

If you aren’t totally sick of apples out by the time Christmas rolls around, these snickerdoodles make great Christmas cookies as well.

Two snickerdoodles surrounded by Christmas garland.

Looking for More Fall Recipes?

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
A hand holding two snickerdoodles over a plate of cookies and two cinnamon sticks.

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles

5 from 7 votes
Apple Butter Snickerdoodles remind me of an apple cider donut. They are fluffy and light on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. Perfectly coated in cinnamon sugar, these cookies are everything we love about Fall.
Author: Kari
Servings: 36 cookies
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 29 minutes

Ingredients  

For Cookie Dough

For Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions 

  • Begin by creaming together the butter and 1 1/4 cups of sugar with a mixer. When it is fully mixed together, it should look like really light and fluffy butter.
  • While the butter and sugar mix together, sift the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking powder together in a large bowl and place it off to the side.
  • Next, add eggs to the creamed butter and sugar until fully incorporated, one at a time.
  • When the eggs are fully mixed in, add apple butter, vanilla extract, and 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and mix until well combined.
  • Now, add the sifted flour in small increments – I usually just use a measuring cup and mix it in a little at a time. (If you add all the flour at once and turn on the mixer, the flour will poof up into a cloud and make a huge mess.)
  • After the flour is fully mixed in, either cover the bowl or transfer the dough to wax paper and place in a zip-top bag.
  • Move dough to the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. If you are in a hurry to bake cookies, you can put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, but do not bake the dough from frozen – it will take much longer and the cookies won't bake the same. (You also want the dough to be soft enough to roll into balls.)
  • When you are ready to bake cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then combine 1/3 of a cup of sugar with 1 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon. (I usually just mix the two together with a fork.)
  • Now, using a spoon or a scoop, make uniformly sized balls of dough and roll them in the cinnamon sugar. I like to do a double roll and roll them in the sugar mixture two times – the first time gets sugar onto the cookies and the second sits on top and gets crispy when you bake the cookies.
  • Now, bake the cookies at 350°F for 12 – 14 minutes. I like to let the cookies get slightly browned and a little crispy on the outside – it gives them the texture of a cinnamon sugar donut.
  • Let cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth, but these cookies are best served while still warm!

Notes

Storage/Reheating
Snickerdoodles should be eaten immediately to enjoy the best results – aren’t cookies always best when eaten warm out of the oven? If making these cookies in advance, store them in an airtight container. I like to reheat them in the air fryer for just a few minutes to get the outside nice and crispy and keep the inside nice and chewy.
If you don’t plan on eating all the cookies at once or you aren’t making these cookies to bring somewhere, just make the cookies in batches for dessert when you want to serve them. For just my husband and myself, I will make 2 – 4 cookies every night for dessert until we run out of dough – the dough keeps well in the refrigerator and the cookies are always perfectly fresh and warm. (And we don’t have cookies sitting around to tempt us when it is not dessert time 😉 )
Tips
Use these tips to make the best Apple Butter Snickerdoodles:
  • This dough MUST be chilled before baking. Between the butter and the apple butter, this dough is just asking to be a flat cookie. If you like flat cookies or have no patience, you can certainly bake warm dough, but if you want a fluffy, delicious, and perfect snickerdoodle, you should chill your dough.
  • Make sure that you scoop your cookie dough using a spoon or a scoop to get uniform sizes so that your cookies bake evenly.
  • Double roll your cookies in the cinnamon sugar. It makes them extra sweet, extra sugary, and a little crisper on the outside.
  • These cookies are a perfect Fall treat with a glass of cold milk, a hot toddy, hot apple cider, or a seasonal latte.
  • I highly recommend making your own apple butter. Click here for a link to my favorite recipe. If you have to buy it, I try to look for a locally made brand or one with labeling from an Amish distributer. If you can’t find either of those – Mussleman’s and Dickinson’s are both really good!
FAQs
What is a snickerdoodle?
According to Wikipedia, “The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudel, a Palatine variety of schnecken.[1] It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.” What a snickerdoodle is as far as I am concerned is a delicious, soft sugar cookie that is rolled in cinnamon sugar and is light, pillowy, and all things wonderful. A snickerdoodle also has cream of tartar in the dough and this gives the cookies a tang that is a signature sign of a snickerdoodle.
What is the difference between Apple Butter and Apple Sauce?
Apple butter is basically just apple sauce that is cooked for a little bit longer (and usually with a little bit more sugar.) Cooking the apples for longer makes them thicken up and makes them more spreadable, like a preserve or jam.
I like to make these cookies using a melon baller that is about 1 tablespoon as the scoop. They usually end up a tiny bit bigger as it is usually a rounded scoop, but this ensures, at the very least, that the cookies are all about the same size. With this size scoop, it makes about 36 cookies. Of course, if you make the cookies bigger, you will have fewer cookies – smaller and you will have more cookies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5tbspCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 71mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 131IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: apple butter, apple butter snickerdoodles, christmas cookies, snickerdoodles
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

Filed Under: , , , ,

Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating