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Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar

These snickerdoodles made without cream of tartar are just as chewy, sweet, cinnamony, and a little bit tangy as the classic snickerdoodle cookie.  Serve year-round or put out as holiday cookies.

snickerdoodles piled on a plate

Unlike Chocolate crinkle cookies, snickerdoodles are not common here in Israel.

In fact, they aren’t common outside of America and Canada at all. 

So, I decided to make them myself.

I had one problem, though… cream of tartar. 

Cream of tartar is almost as scarce in Israel as snickerdoodles themselves are.

At first, I thought maybe I could leave it out, but after a little research, I realized that’s not much of an option.  

The cream of tartar helps the cookies rise and makes them soft and chewy. 

Next, I discovered that you could use baking powder instead, as long as you also leave out the baking soda. 

This is because baking powder is often made using two parts: one part cream of tartar, one part baking soda. 

In fact, most recipes that give a substitute for cream of tartar recommend baking soda. 

At first, I thought I had my solution too. 

Then I read that cream of tartar adds the tangy flavor found in snickerdoodles.  So, the search continued.

Finally, I discovered that lemon juice could be used in place of cream of tartar.  

This wouldn’t work for all recipes, but it works well in baking.

It gives the acidity that interacts with the baking soda as well as the tart flavor.

The end result?  Delicious snickerdoodles that are soft, chewy, and just slightly tangy.  

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

20% of all profits are donated to a women’s shelter to support the fight against domestic violence.

WHAT YOU NEED

Dry measuring cups and spoons
Liquid measuring cup
Whisk
Rubber spatula
Mixing bowl
Baking paper
Cookie sheets
Cooling rack

TO CHILL OR NOT TO CHILL?

Oil cookies do not need to be chilled.  I’ve tried chilling them as well as putting them directly into the oven.  

I haven’t found that chilling made any difference whatsoever.

BAKING WITH OIL

In general, oil in baked goods makes for a superior texture than those made with butter.  

Oil cakes tend to bake up taller with a better crumb. They also stay moist and tender far longer than recipes made with butter.

Furthermore, since oil is lighter than butter, the texture of oil cakes is lighter too. Also, given that oil is 100% fat while most American butter is 15% water, it creates a more tender crumb.

This is due to the fact that the extra water strengthens the gluten, resulting in a crumb that’s more dense.

Which Type Of Oil to Use

I use neutral oils like canola oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil.  However, it’s not unheard of for oils with stronger flavors like olive oil or coconut oil to be used.

If using olive oil, I recommend using pure olive oil for its milder flavor and higher smoking point.

Baking with Oil Conversion Chart

If you want to convert your butter recipes to oil recipes, check out my baking with oil butter to oil conversion chart.

HOW TO MEASURE FLOUR AND OTHER DRY INGREDIENTS

Using a dry measuring cup, scoop ingredients from the bag or spoon them into the cup.  Next, level off the ingredient by removing the excess with an upside-down butter knife.

The one exception to this is brown sugar.  Brown sugar should be packed down and then any excess should be scraped off as well.

DRY VS LIQUID MEASURING CUP

Ever wonder why measuring spoons often come with a set of measuring cups?  I used to.  I didn’t see why we needed a set when we could have one large measuring cup. 

After a quick search, I had my answer.  I discovered that the large measuring cup is used for liquids, whereas the set is used for dry ingredients.

As it turns out, if you try to measure dry ingredients with a liquid cup, the measurements get messed up. 

First, you pour the flour or cocoa in, next you shake it around to get it level, and then you add more. 

By shaking it, you are causing the powder to settle, and when you add more, you end up using more than called for.

WHY SIFT FLOUR and Other Powder Ingredients

There are a number of benefits to sifting flour and other ingredients like cocoa ingredients: 

It removes any unwanted debris and you can get a more accurate measurement than when packed tight in a bag. 

It also removes any lumps that can get into the batter and be hard to break up later, or be missed altogether before baking.

If you sift the powdered ingredients together, it helps combine them and mix more evenly with other dry ingredients like sugar.

Understanding Sugar

Sugar may seem very basic if you’ve baked before, but I’ve been asked about it before, so I’m explaining.

There are many different types of sugar, including white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, and demerara sugar.

When a recipe – any recipe, not just mine – says “sugar” without specifying anything else, it is regular white sugar.

White Sugar

White sugar (sometimes called granulated sugar, table sugar, or white granulated sugar) is made of either beet sugar or cane sugar, which has undergone a refining process.

It is the easiest to find and most commonly used.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it.

It is commonly used in chocolate chip cookie recipes, and it’s rare for a recipe that calls for brown sugar not to also call for white sugar as well.

When a recipe calls for “brown sugar” but doesn’t specify what type (light or dark), it is referring to light brown sugar.

In my recipes, you can use whatever type of brown sugar you have on hand whether it is dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, or demerara sugar – which is very common in Israel.

Just keep in mind that the flavor and color will be slightly different depending on what you choose to use.

Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar is better known as “raw sugar”. But, despite this name, the sugar is not really “raw.”

Instead, it’s partially refined sugar that retains some of the original molasses.

The term “raw sugar” may also give off the impression that it is somehow healthier.

In reality, turbinado sugar is nutritionally similar to white sugar.

Demerara Sugar

Demerara sugar is very popular in Israel and is especially delicious in tea but is also used for baking.

Unlike white sugar, demerara sugar undergoes minimal processing and retains some vitamins and mineral.

However, it is still not much healthier than white sugar.

Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar is not very common in the States. However, it is common in Israel and parts of Europe.

This is sugar that sat for an extended period of time with vanilla beans, giving it a vanilla flavor.

Caster Sugar

This type of sugar is common in the United Kingdom.

It has a finer grain than white (granulated) sugar and larger than powdered sugar.

Caster sugar is often called for in recipes for delicate baked goods like meringues, souffles, and sponge cakes.

You can use a 1:1 conversion rate between caster sugar and white (granulated) sugar.

Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar, sometimes known as confectioners’ sugar, is a sugar with a powdered texture.

This sugar is rarely, if ever, used for baking. Instead, it is used for dusting desserts and making frosting and icings.

In some countries, you can also find powdered vanilla sugar. It is made the exact same way regular vanilla sugar is made. However, the sugar used is powdered instead of granulated.

Vanilla Extract vs Vanilla sugar

In my recipes, I don’t specify what kind of vanilla to use.

The reason for this is that in the States, vanilla extract is exclusively used. Meanwhile in Israel, along with many European countries, vanilla sugar is common.

In most, if not all recipes, both vanilla extract and vanilla sugar can be used.

In recipes where vanilla sugar can be used instead of extract, you can replace them 1:1.

DO EGGS NEED TO BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

The short answer is “no”.  While a side-by-side comparison shows that baking with eggs at room temperature makes a better crumb, it’s not otherwise noticeable.

What are Eggs used for?

Eggs do three things in most recipes: they help bind the ingredients together, act as a mild leavening agent, and they add moisture.

EGG FREE OPTION

Eggs can be substituted with 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce per egg.  This means for recipes calling for 2 eggs, you’d need 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce.

The reason applesauce makes a good binder is that it’s high in pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch in fruits and berries that acts as a thickening agent and stabilizer in food.

This happens when combined with sugar and acid (if the fruit or berry isn’t naturally acidic).

Just keep in mind that it may change the flavor slightly.

ARE EGGS DAIRY?

No, eggs are not dairy.  Dairy is milk and any food products made from milk, including cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. 

So, while eggs are an animal product, they are not dairy. In fact, eggs fall under the protein food group.

BAKING POWDER VS BAKING SODA

I’ve had a number of comments asking me questions about baking soda and baking powder. 

I’ve also noticed that if the wrong one is used, things don’t come out as they should. 

Using baking soda instead of baking powder can give your recipe a terrible metallic taste, while using baking powder instead of baking soda leaves your baked goods looking flat.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a leavening agent, which means it helps things rise.  It does this by creating carbon dioxide when it reacts to an acid, such as cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar. 

When the carbon dioxide is released, it causes the familiar texture and crumb in pancakes, cakes, quick breads, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods.

Baking soda works well with sourdough because sourdough is acidic.  When combined, it makes a lighter product with a less acidic taste, since baking soda is alkaline.

A good rule of thumb is to use around 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour.

BAKING POWDER

Baking powder is also a leavening agent and it’s a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch.

Most baking powder sold is double-acting. This means that the leavening occurs in two steps.

The first time it’s activated is when baking powder gets wet, which is why you cannot prepare some batters ahead of time to bake later.

The second time is when the baking powder is exposed to heat.  This happens when the batter is being baked or fried.

Since baking powder already contains an acid, it’s most often used when a recipe does not call for an additional acidic ingredient or too little of one.

A good rule of thumb is to use around 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of flour.

WHY SOME RECIPES CALL FOR BOTH

Some recipes call for both baking powder and baking soda when the carbon dioxide created from the acid and baking soda is not enough to leaven the volume of batter in the recipe.  

Too much baking soda gives a terrible metallic taste, so baking powder is added to give it more lift.

WHICH ONE IS STRONGER?

You may have already guessed the answer since baking soda is used to make baking powder, and you need more baking powder per cup of flour. But I’ll tell you anyway.

Baking soda is four times stronger than baking powder.  That’s why you will more often than not see recipes that only call for baking soda rather than recipes that only call for baking powder.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is good indefinitely past its best by date, although it can lose potency over time.  A rule of thumb is two years for an unopened package and six months for an opened package.   

However, to be honest, I’ve used very old baking soda with good results.

BAKING POWDER

Like baking soda, baking powder is good indefinitely past its best by date, and can lose its potency over time.  For both opened and unopened, it’s ideal to use it within nine months to a year.

While storing it, make sure to keep it in a dry place and away from humidity.

HOW TO TEST IF IT’S STILL GOOD

BAKING POWDER

To test baking powder, pour 3 tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and stir. If the baking powder is good to use, it should fizz a little.

BAKING SODA

To test baking soda, pour 3 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar into a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and stir.  The mixture should rapidly bubble if the soda is fresh.

TROUBLESHOOTING

WHY IS IT TAKING LONGER THAN DESCRIBED TO BAKE?

Over time, the thermostat on ovens gets a little off,causing some ovens to run hot and others to run cool.  This is why recipes tend to say things like “10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.”  So, if it takes you longer than expected, that’s fine, don’t worry about it. Just keep baking until ready.

WHY DID MY RECIPE COME OUT TOO DRY?

Just like some ovens run cool, others run hot.  If your oven runs hot, bake these at a lower temperature.  Ideally, you should get an oven thermometer to know what temperature you’re really baking at.

HOW TO STORE COOKIES

Let cookies cool completely.  Place in a resealable bag or an airtight container.  Store at room temperature for up to a week.

HOW TO FREEZE COOKIES

Let cookies cool completely.  It is best to freeze cookies on a tray so that they freeze as individuals and then move to a resealable freezer bag. 

If this is not practical for you, place cooled cookies in a resealable freezer bag and freeze that way.  

Cookies will keep for up to 3 months.  After that, the quality begins to degrade.

When thawing baked cookies, remove from bag and let sit at room temperature. 

If desired, you can gently reheat thawed cookies to mimic that fresh-baked taste and texture: place them in a 275°F or 140°C oven until soft.

Recipe Tip:

If you love the idea of snickerdoodles but rather not have a tangy flavor, no problem.  Just drop the lemon juice.  

This will give you a cookie that is pretty similar to a chewy sugar cookie with a touch of cinnamon.

Yield: 36 cookies

Snickerdoodles without cream of tartar

snickerdoodles piled on a plate

Classic snicker doodles but made without cream of tartar

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (350 grams)
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar (300 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil* (175 milliliters)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cinnamon-Sugar for Rolling:

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs, oil, vanilla, and lemon juice to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  3. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
  4. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  5. Create tablespoon sized balls and roll them in the mixture.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C. Bake on the middle shelf for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  7. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling wrack.

Notes

*Click here to jump to notes on oil

Recommended Products

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo #thetasteofkosher on Instagram.

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chloe

Sunday 25th of October 2020

So thankful for all these dairy free recipies. Ive just made these with my 5yo and theyre delicious! We're from the uk so no idea what snickerdoodles are but we love all things cinammon-y. We did almost end up with a tray bake because i didnt realise they would spread so much, the picture looks tall and less flat. I did make each ball 40g though, which made 20 over all, so possibly a little big :/ still fab and such an easy process too. Thankyou

ElissaBeth

Monday 26th of October 2020

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed them :) Since you both love cinnamon you may like my dairy free cinnamon rolls they're also pretty easy to make :)

Jaci

Friday 26th of June 2020

Would it be possible to use lime juice Instead of lemon..? Thank you!

ElissaBeth

Friday 26th of June 2020

You could, but it's stronger so you may want to use less of it.

Gonzalo

Friday 22nd of May 2020

Good cookies used a banana instead of eggs turned out great

ElissaBeth

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Happy to hear it :)

ashley ackebo

Thursday 21st of May 2020

Will it work without lemon juice?

ElissaBeth

Thursday 21st of May 2020

Yes, but it will taste less like snickerdoodles. You also will probably want to replace the lemon juice with water so the dough isn't too dry.

Megan

Saturday 9th of May 2020

Are they supposed to be greasy ?

ElissaBeth

Saturday 9th of May 2020

The dough may feel a little greasy because they are made with oil but the cookies will not be greasy when baked.

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