No-Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies {Recipe}

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One bowl, no-butter Snickerdoodles are the easiest and cheapest cookie to make! Last week I was was craving some yummy cinnamon and sugar coated Snickerdoodle cookies like my grandparents used to make. I was all excited to make some when I discovered I was out of butter, one of the main ingredients in my recipe. Arggghh.  I’m a determined sort of gal so I scoured the web for a no butter Snickerdoodle recipe.  It wasn’t easy, but I eventually tracked one down!

I’m sharing my version of the recipe with y’all because the cookies turned out so soft and delicious, you really would never guess they are butter free. I knew that vegetable oil is cheaper than butter, but when I did the math I was surprised to discover that butter is actually six times more expensive than vegetable oil!

I’m trying to make more of our snack foods as opposed to buying them, both to save money and keep scary ingredients out of our house. I have a feeling this no-butter Snickerdoodle recipe will be in constant rotation at our house.

They even come together in 5 minutes and in one bowl! Now that’s my kind of cookie. 

No-Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yield: 4 Dozen Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • For Sugar Coating:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon on top, then mix everything together to form a thick dough.
  3. Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and roll each ball in the sugar coating.
  4. Place cookies a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, flattening them slightly if desired.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on the bottom. Do not overcook or they will be hard as rocks!
  6. Adapted from I Can't Believe It's No-Butter Snickerdoodles
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20 Responses to No-Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies {Recipe}

  1. Samantha says:

    I substituted extra virgin coconut oil instead of butter. I didn’t have vanilla and used maple syrup. Added in chocolate chips. Definitely not the healthiest, but great for a cheat day! Absolutely amazing!

    • Leah says:

      Wow, Samanatha, those sound amazing. I bet they were so good with coconut oil! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Alta says:

    To turn hard cookies soft put them in a Ziploc bag with a piece of bread. Overnight, the cookies will be soft!

    • Leah says:

      That’s a great tip, Alta… thank you!

      • Alta says:

        Also, I was out of vanilla but i had almond extract instead, it’s aroma and taste is a little strong so i only uses about half a tsp.

  3. Erica says:

    I don’t have any backing soda, do you know what I can use as a substitute

    • Leah says:

      Hi Erica, if you were really in a bind you could use baking powder, but I would use an extra 1/2 tsp. Hope that helps!

  4. JJ says:

    Tried these and they turned out pretty good! Never tried snickerdoodles before but these tasted good!

  5. Christine says:

    These are absolutely the best cookies! I also just used the basic recipe and instead of vanilla I used the juice of one lemon, and mixed the zest with the sugar.

    Best lemon cookies ever! ( if you like lemon cookies)
    Thanks for a great versatile cookie recipe!

    • Leah says:

      Thanks for the brilliant idea, Christine! I can’t wait to get home and try out some lemon cookies!

  6. lindsay says:

    These are seriously the best snickerdoodle cookies they are perfectly soft in the center and have the perfect amount of crunch on the outside. I will only use this recipe for snickerdoodles from now on, thank you

  7. Vivian Telodias says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you SO MUCH! I love to bake, but my family is extremely weight-conscious. When they finally let me bake a batch of cookies, I was so excited, only to find I had no butter! AH! You saved me! Thank you!!!

  8. Shawn says:

    At what tempersture do I bake them and what kind of sugar do I coat them with?

  9. Brittany says:

    Had the same thing happen to me – wanted to make cookies but not enough butter in the house! Just tried these and they came out pretty good! Not overly sweet and tastey even without butter! Thanks internet!!

  10. Paul Branning says:

    Made these last night and they turned out delicious! Definitely dont cook longer than 10 minutes and they are nice and soft the next day. I was skeptical about the oil instead of the butter, but dont worry!