Made with cassava flour, coconut sugar, and vanilla bean, these gluten free snickerdoodle cookies really are the best you'll get your hands on!
Snickerdoodles fall into the “unassuming cookie” category. They’re such a classic that they seem to get passed over for more trendy, more complicated cookies.
But snickerdoodles, buttery-soft and coated in warm cinnamon, top cookie rankings time and time again.
My gluten free version folds vanilla bean into the cookie batter, adding a new depth of flavor to this rich cookie. These cookies are great to have around any time of year, but they’re especially necessary during the holidays.
Tips for great homemade cookies
Snickerdoodles don’t take much effort, but it’s one recipe you have to follow pretty closely.
Read a snickerdoodle recipe and it’ll instruct you to be very particular about the amount of time you beat the batter. Pay attention to that! If you enjoy experimenting, though, this is definitely one that’s fun to play around with.
I tried this recipe numerous ways, and I can attest that it does make a big difference in the outcome. A 30 second beat time makes a chewier cookie, but the full 3 minutes makes a lighter, crisper-on-the-outside cookie.
Another experiment? Using ghee instead of butter, a swap that makes these cookies paleo. Truthfully, the best outcome uses butter. But after trying ghee for both a 30 second beat time and a 3 minute beat time, I can say these cookies were excellent as well! They just don't spread out as much as snickerdoodles with butter. So you may have to flatten them just a touch before popping 'em in the oven.
Essential snickerdoodle ingredients
Gluten free snickerdoodle cookies are really quite simple when you glance at the recipe. Just swap out wheat flour for cassava flour and you've already got a good thing going!
Since I tend to avoid cane sugar, I used all coconut sugar in my take on snickerdoodles. That means these cookies come out a little more browned than a traditional snickerdoodle, but they still have a soft and fluffy texture. If you'd prefer, you can use a blend of brown sugar and white sugar for these cookies.
Another change I made to your typical snickerdoodle recipe? Vanilla bean. I picked up this tip from Bon Appetit's recipe. I definitely recommend it!
But, if fresh vanilla beans are out of your budget, you can swap a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Seriously, though, I don't recommend skipping the fresh vanilla bean!
Kitchen gear to have on hand
If you love making homemade cookies, there's three essential items you need in your kitchen: an electric mixer, baking sheets, and mixing bowls.
Everything else is a bonus.
If you want to see my favorite kitchen equipment, shop my Amazon Page, where I've rounded up my top picks!
Or check out my dream kitchen collection on Food52.
These gluten free and paleo snickerdoodles use cassava flour and coconut sugar for a soft, deeply-flavored cookie classic! Make sure you follow the instructions exactly - blend too little and the texture changes dramatically. See notes for more info.
- In a medium bowl, combine cassava flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and sea salt. In a separate, large bowl, beat melted butter and 1 ½ cups coconut sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until incorporated. Scrape in the seeds from a vanilla bean.
- Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, continuing to beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened, is a pale yellow, and falls from the beaters in a ribbon-like stream. You’ll want to time this — the 3 minute time makes a big difference in texture!
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, scraping down the sides as necessary, until just combined. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. The dough should thicken as it sits.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons coconut sugar in a small bowl.
- Using a heaping tablespoon, portion the dough and roll into small balls with your hands. Toss in cinnamon-sugar until completely coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 3” apart. No need to flatten; the cookies will spread as they bake.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. The edges should be lightly browned, but the centers will be puffed and soft. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
If using ghee, the cookies won’t spread as much, so you may have to flatten them a tiny bit with the bottom of a drinking glass just before baking them.
If you beat the egg/butter/sugar mixture for only 30 seconds, the cookies will turn out chewier and won’t spread as much. But if you like a chewier cookie, I LOVED the 30 second beat time with ghee instead of butter!
Keywords: snickerdoodles, gluten free, paleo, gluten free snickerdoodles, cookies