Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting

Introduction to Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes are a delightful twist on the classic snickerdoodle cookie, transforming its signature flavors into a soft, moist cupcake form. Originating from the traditional snickerdoodle cookie, known for its sugary cinnamon coating, these cupcakes incorporate the nostalgic taste into every bite. The term “snickerdoodle” itself is believed to have German origins, though the exact history is shrouded in mystery, adding to the charm of these sweet treats.

The popularity of snickerdoodle cupcakes has soared due to their comforting, homely flavor and the growing trend of transforming classic cookies into cupcake variants. Variations include adding a cinnamon swirl, introducing different frostings like cream cheese or vanilla, and even incorporating caramel or apple fillings for an autumnal twist. Learn more about the science of baking to better understand how ingredients react to create these delectable treats.

Ingredients and Supplies



For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • For the Cinnamon Swirl:
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Make the Cupcake Batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed until combined.
Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then half of the milk. Repeat until everything is added, then beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
Make the Cinnamon Swirl: In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Fill the Cupcake Liners: Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each cupcake liner. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Spoon another tablespoon of batter on top of the cinnamon sugar, filling each cupcake liner 2/3 full.
Bake: Bake for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Cinnamon Swirl Frosting:
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Make the Frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If frosting is too thick, add 1 more tablespoon of heavy cream.

Frost the Cupcakes: Frost cooled cupcakes using a piping bag or knife.
Storage Instructions: Cupcakes taste best on the same day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Enjoy your homemade Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting!

Step-by-Step Baking Guide

The heart of making delightful Snickerdoodle Cupcakes lies in the process. From preparing the cupcake batter to baking and cooling, each step is vital to achieving that perfect bite. Let’s walk through these essential steps to ensure your cupcakes come out fluffy and flavorful every time.

Preparing the Cupcake Batter

The journey to cupcake perfection begins with the right mix. Follow these steps for a smooth batter:

  • Start by combining your dry ingredients—typically, this includes all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. For precise measurements and a better understanding of the role of each, check the Science of Baking.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together melted unsalted butter and sugar until the mix is light and fluffy. This is crucial for creating a base that’s rich and airy.
  • Gradually mix in the egg, followed by vanilla extract, yogurt (or sour cream), and milk. The order and method are vital for emulsification, ensuring your batter is homogenous without overmixing.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients gently until just mixed. Avoid overbeating to ensure a fluffy texture.

Mixing the Ingredients

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature to facilitate better mixing.
  • Use a spatula to fold in ingredients gently, preserving the air bubbles that contribute to the cupcakes’ lightness.
  • For a deeper dive into mixing techniques, visit King Arthur Baking’s guide.

Tips for a Fluffy Texture

  • Sifting dry ingredients helps aerate the flour, contributing to a lighter cupcake.
  • Be cautious not to overmix once flour is added; mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Baking the Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to the correct temperature before starting – usually around 350°F (177°C). Oven readiness is key for even baking.
  • Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners for easy removal and cleanup. Spraying a light coating of oil can prevent sticking.
  • Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter before sprinkling a layer of cinnamon-sugar. Top with additional batter until each liner is ¾ full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean – usually between 18-22 minutes.

Cooling and Prepping for Frosting

  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This prevents the bottoms from becoming soggy.
  • Ensure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting to prevent the frosting from melting.

By meticulously following these steps, you’ll ensure your Snickerdoodle Cupcakes are baked to perfection, setting the stage for the equally important act of frosting. Patience during the cooling process is key, as it affects not only the texture but also the overall taste of your cupcakes.

Frosting and Decoration

Creating the perfect Cinnamon & Vanilla Swirl Frosting involves more than just combining ingredients; it’s about crafting a balance between sweetness and spice that complements the snickerdoodle cupcake. The key to achieving this balance is through meticulous mixing techniques. Begin by beating the unsalted butter until creamy, then gradually add confectioners’ sugar, alternating with a splash of heavy cream or milk for smoothness. For that distinct snickerdoodle taste, split the frosting batch in two, adding ground cinnamon to one half while keeping the other plain vanilla.

Frosting the Cupcakes:

To ensure a professional look, employ the right tools and techniques:

  • Use a piping bag fitted with a star or round tip.
  • Practice the swirling motion on parchment paper before moving to the actual cupcakes.
  • Combine both the cinnamon and vanilla frostings in the same bag to achieve a beautiful swirl effect.

Understanding the science behind the frosting’s consistency can be further explored through Frosting Tips and Techniques, which offers detailed guides on achieving the perfect swirl.

Adding Decorations:

Once frosted, elevate your snickerdoodle cupcakes with a variety of creative decorations:

  • Mini snickerdoodle cookies perched on top
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or a cinnamon stick for an extra spice hit
  • Edible gold dust or white chocolate chips for a touch of elegance

By utilizing a mix of textures and flavors, your cupcakes will not only taste delightful but also stand out in presentation.

Serving and Storage

When it comes to serving Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, timing and presentation are everything. Serve them on a vintage cake stand for a touch of nostalgia, or arrange them on a modern platter for a more contemporary look. Pairing these cupcakes with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee can enhance their comforting, homey feel.

Storing for Freshness:

To maintain the cupcakes’ freshness:

  • Store them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.
  • Keep them at room temperature if consuming within 24 hours, or refrigerate for longer storage.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and areas with high temperature or humidity.

For more tips on maintaining the quality of your baked goods, reference The Science of Baking, which offers insights into the best practices for storing and serving baked treats.

By following these guidelines, your Snickerdoodle Cupcakes will be as delightful to eat the next day as they were fresh out of the oven.

Troubleshooting Common Baking Issues

Baking is an art filled with joys and occasional setbacks. Even the most experienced bakers can encounter issues. Let’s tackle some common problems that may arise when baking Snickerdoodle Cupcakes.

Soggy Bottoms:

  • Ensure your oven is properly preheated before baking.
  • Avoid overfilling cupcake liners. Ideally, fill them two-thirds full.
  • Use a baking tray that conducts heat well to ensure even baking.

Frosting Fails:

  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature for a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  • If the frosting is too runny, add more confectioners’ sugar. If it’s too stiff, incorporate a little more milk or cream.
  • Practice patience: only frost cupcakes when they have completely cooled.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Baking Snickerdoodle Cupcakes can raise questions, especially if it’s your first time. Here are some common FAQs:

Can I substitute ingredients?

  • Yes, substitutions can be made, but they might alter the final taste and texture. For example, sour cream can replace Greek yogurt for moisture.

Can these cupcakes be made gluten-free?

  • Absolutely. Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend. Be mindful to mix well to avoid a gritty texture.

Best ways to ensure frosting consistency

  • Achieve the perfect frosting consistency by adjusting the amount of confectioners’ sugar and liquid. Start with the base amounts and adjust as needed.

For further insights into perfecting your cupcakes, explore The Science of Baking which provides in-depth knowledge on how ingredients interact, essential for troubleshooting and ensuring the success of your Snickerdoodle Cupcakes.

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Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cinnamon Swirl Frosting

  • Author: Wendy Balderas
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes


These Snickerdoodle Cupcakes are a delightful twist on the classic cookie, featuring a soft vanilla cupcake with a cinnamon-sugar swirl, topped with a luscious cinnamon-vanilla frosting. Perfect for cinnamon lovers, these cupcakes are sure to be a hit at any gathering or simply as a treat for yourself.


  • Cupcakes: 1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 large egg, 1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream, 3/4 cup milk, 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon-Swirl Frosting: 1 cup unsalted butter, 3–4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon.
  • Decoration: Mini snickerdoodle cookies.


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the cupcake batter by mixing the dry ingredients separately from the wet ingredients, then combining them.
  2. Fill cupcake liners and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mix before and after adding more batter.
  3. Bake and allow to cool before frosting.
  4. Prepare the two-toned frosting, then swirl together and apply to the cooled cupcakes.
  5. Decorate with mini snickerdoodle cookies or other toppings as desired.


  • Cupcakes can be made ahead and stored at room temperature or frozen.
  • Substitute milk for cream in frosting for a different consistency.
  • Visit Sally’s Baking Addiction for more detailed baking tips.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: Approximate per serving
  • Calories: 350
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg

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