A soft snickerdoodle is elevated by the rich, caramelized flavor of browned butter and the tang of cream cheese. Browned butter snickerdoodle cookies are a symphony of flavors, all complimenting each other perfectly. I like to make these for any family party or BBQ, they are always a crowd pleaser.

How do you brown butter?

Browning butter is very straightforward. Once you better recognize the signs to watch for, you’ll achieve perfect results every time! Start by chopping up the butter cubes into a few squares and placing it in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Watch and listen to your butter. At first the butter will melt, then start to boil. As it boils it makes constant popping sounds. After boiling for awhile, the butter will get very foamy and will continue to make popping sounds. At this point you will want to listen closely because, as soon as the popping stops, you are done. The foam is so thick it makes it difficult to tell, but your butter has indeed been browned. If you wait any longer it will burn. As the butter cools down you will see beautiful brown flakes.

Note: You will want to fully cool your brown butter before using it. This takes about 1 hour, so be sure to plan ahead.

melting butter
Step one: melt the butter
boiling butter
Step two: boil the butter
foaming browned butter
Step Three: Let the butter foam up until it stops making popping sounds
finished browned butter
Step Four: Immediately remove from heat and let it cool
cooled brown butter
Finished browned butter

What does browned butter do for cookies?

Browned butter adds a completely different flavor than regular butter. When I say “different”, I really mean “so much better”! It’s glorious! Keep in mind, you can substitute here with plain butter, but the cookies will not taste the same and will lack a lot of the flavor. Here’s the tasty secret about browning butter: It cooks down the water present in the butter and caramelizes the milk. This results in more of a nutty & caramel flavor. So yummy!

Note: It’s important to always use unsalted butter while baking, but even more so when you are browning the butter. It’s vital! If you use salted butter the result will taste…. well, super salty!

Why are my cookies ending up flat and greasy?

There could be a few reasons. Here are some of the most common:

Butter is too warm. If the butter is too warm it will liquify too quickly in the oven, which results in your cookie spreading out more. When your cookie spreads out too thin it becomes very easy to over-cook and become crunchy.

Not creaming your butter & sugar. What does it mean to cream your butter & sugar? Whip it in the mixer on high for at least 2 minutes. When you do this you emulsify the ingredients, adding tiny air bubbles into the mixture. The air bubbles help rise your cookies.

Not enough flour. Too much flour and your mixture is dry, crumbly and way too thick. Not enough flour and your mixture is greasy and much too thin. If you don’t measure your flour properly then it could leave your treat a paper thin mess.

Expired rising agent. Expired baking soda or powder will result in flat, greasy and sad cookies. Both the soda and the powder only last for 3-6 months, once they’re opened. If you’d like to test your rising agents, just add the baking powder to a bit of water and make sure it bubbles. Then add your baking soda to some vinegar and make sure it explodes.

How do you tell when your browned butter snickerdoodle is done?

The best way to tell your cookies are done is the visual test. If your cookies no longer look shiny, especially in the middle, then they are done and ready to indulge in. Cookies should have a dull look on top. You want to be sure to not overcook your cookies. Kind of a no-brainer, right? The best way to achieve the golden crunchy outside with a melty chewy inside, is to bake your cookies on the convection setting.

Browned butter snicker doodle cookie dough being rolled in cinnamon sugar and placed on a pan

What is in the Browned Butter Snickerdoodle?

Browned butter

It really makes a difference to take this extra step and actually brown your butter, I wouldn’t use softened butter in its place.

Cream cheese

Not all snickerdoodles call for cream cheese, but this one does. The cream cheese adds a nice tang to the flavor melody, but the extra fats also soften up the final product making a puffy, soft cookie.

Granulated sugar

This is the basic type of sugar, and most commonly used. I like to keep clear of any larger granule sugar. I find most organic sugars are too course and don’t melt down in the oven correctly when baked.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is just granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses increases the acidity in your batter. It will also increase the shelf life of your treat. The brown sugar helps activate your baking soda and make a puffier cookie.


Eggs are the magic of all cookies. They add some fats, to give structure to your cookie, and some protein in the egg whites. The egg whites can actually hold little air bubbles when whisked that will help your cookies rise. Pretty fun fact there.

Vanilla extract

Always use the real stuff. The rich flavor cannot be beat. Imitation vanilla will never do the trick.

Fine sea salt

Always use a fine salt when baking. Fine sea salt ensures even distribution and melting during baking, preventing uneven salty bites all throughout your baked good. Talk about ruining the flavor of a dessert!

Cream of tartar

Tartar is a cool ingredient. It stabilizes your batter while also adding tangy flavor. It also helps with the rising of your cookie.


A great spice to add and a must have for all snickerdoodles.

Baking soda

The rising agent in this cookie recipe. Baking soda is 3-4 times more powerful than baking powder, but it needs both a liquid and an acid to react. Baking powder only needs a liquid. Also, baking soda only has 1 reaction, right when it hits the batter. Unlike powder, which reacts both when it hits the batter and then again when it goes in the oven. Because of this, you would never want to let cookie dough, with baking soda, sit in the fridge for more than 3 hours before baking.

All-purpose flour

The median of flours. The gluten content is right in the middle and between cake flour (little gluten and fine) and bread flour (most gluten and hearty).

Freshly baked browned butter snickerdoodles

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Browned Butter Snickerdoodles

5 from 3 votes
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24
The browned butter brings in a rich, caramelized flavor that pairs so well with the tangy flavor of cream cheese. These snickerdoodle's are like none you have ever tried before and are sure to be a crowdpleaser!


  • 1 cup browned butter (cooled)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • cinnamon sugar mix ratio is personal preference


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Place butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Melt, then allow to boil until the butter stops making popping sounds. Immediately take off the heat and pour into a bowl. Allow to cool completely (1 hour)
  • Add cream cheese, butter & sugars to a standing mixer. Stir until combined, then whip on high for 1-2minutes until lighter in color.
  • Add eggs & vanilla, stir until just combined. Be sure to not over mix.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together salt, cinnamon, tartar, soda & flour
  • Start your standing mixer on low, slowly pour in the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture
  • Stop mixing as soon as dough comes together. Be sure to not over mix
  • Scoop cookie dough with cookie scoop into a bowl of cinnamon & sugar mix. Roll the ball until coated
  • Place dough ball onto a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 9 minutes
  • Remove from oven & allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes
  • Transfer cookies off of cookie sheet and enjoy


Calories: 134kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 3g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.001g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 116mg Potassium: 78mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 13g Vitamin A: 84IU Vitamin C: 0.003mg Calcium: 14mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.