Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Butter Recipe

Posted in DIY & Recipes, Recipes
on December 1, 2017

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Enjoy my popular Snickerdoodle cookies without butter – they are the best no butter cookies!

Last week I 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 recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies without butter.  It wasn’t easy, but I eventually tracked one down!

I’m sharing my no butter adapted version with y’all below because they turned out so soft and delicious, you really would never guess they are made without butter. 


Turns out that Snickerdoodle cookies without butter might be even more delicious than those made with butter! 

Also, I knew that vegetable oil is cheaper than butter, but when I did the math I made a discovery. 

Butter is actually six times more expensive than vegetable oil!

So not only are these cookies with oil instead of butter delicious, but they are also frugal. 

How To Make Cookies Without Butter

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.

This has been my go-to cookie recipe for a while now and it is so much easier to make compared to other cookies since it is butter free.

If you are wondering how to make cookies without butter, you’ll be happy to know that you make them just like any other Snickerdoodle cookie. You mix up the dough, roll it into a ball in your hand, coat it in cinnamon sugar, and bake. 

The only challenge to making cookies with oil instead of butter is that they might flatten out too much if you place them on a hot pan. 

My suggestion is to use a cool pan each time. This will help your cookies keep their shape and not flatten out!

I bake ALL of my cookies on a silicone baking mat like this one from Target.

I’ll never go back to dirty pans or parchment paper again. My silicone baking mat and silicone muffin pan might be my most-loved kitchen items.

To keep this recipe simple and easy to make with ingredients on hand, I have omitted the cream of tartar called for in some traditional recipes.

This ingredient is supposed to make the cookies rise better but I think you’ll find that these Snickerdoodle cookies without cream of tartar are plenty light and fluffy without it!

Butterless Cookies Variations & Substitutions

As you can find in the almost 100 comments below, there are MANY substitutions and variations you can make on these butterless cookies!

Here are some common substitutions people have tried and that appear to work:

  • Using almond flour or gluten free flour in place of all purpose flour
  • Substituting 2 packets of hot cocoa mix for 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Using rice bran oil, olive oil, or avocado oil in place of vegetable oil
  • Replacing the teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1/2 tsp of almond extract

And if you’d like to try a chocolate variation, check out my new chocolate cookies without butter recipe here!

As you can see there are many options for making Snickerdoodle cookies with oil instead of butter.

These butterless cookies even come together in 5 minutes and in one bowl (now that’s my kind of baking). Here is the recipe so you can give them a try. 

Check out these other great cookie recipes on my site: 

Yield: 4 Dozen

Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Butter

Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies Without Butter

Easy Snickerdoodle cookies made with vegetable oil. Classic cinnamon sugar cookies without butter. Adapted from Recipes to a Young Poet No-Butter Snickerdoodles.

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


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


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

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. 

Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and roll each ball in the sugar coating.

Place cookies a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, flattening them slightly if desired. 

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on the bottom. Do not overcook or they will be hard as rocks!

The best Snickerdoodle cookies without butter. Easy cookie recipe with vegetable oil instead of butter that makes delicious and soft Snickerdoodles. Substitute oil for butter in this easy recipe. #easyrecipe #snickerdoodles
One bowl, no-butter Snickerdoodles are the easiest and cheapest cookie to make!

The best Snickerdoodle cookies without butter. Easy cookie recipe with vegetable oil instead of butter that makes delicious and soft Snickerdoodles. Substitute oil for butter in this easy recipe for no butter cookies. #easyrecipe #snickerdoodles #snickerdoodlecookierecipe #nobuttercookies #butterfreecookies #easycookierecipe #butterlesscookies


  • Brieaunna Richardson

    Hi this is my first time inquiring or even thinking of trying to b bold enough to attempt a homemade from scratch sweet but I’m low really low on ingredients… I have no Baki g powder or butter but I do have flour sugar almond extract cinmon and that’s about it if you guys well ladies could help me out it wodbb greatly appreciated ty.. Sorry for the mispelling of my words jusvtrimg to do this b4 the kids wake up

    April 4, 2020 at 7:33 am Reply
    • Leah

      I think if you threw an egg in there you would be fine – the cookies won’t rise much without any baking soda or baking powder but they will still be delicious. If you don’t have an egg try it anyway and see how it goes!

      April 4, 2020 at 7:38 am Reply
  • Mihika

    Hi! My cookies have been baking for about 5 mins and it doesn’t seem like they are baking right… what should I do?

    April 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm Reply
  • Laura Korhonen

    These are a favourite around my house now, I’ve made them several times. This time I made them a little bigger and cooked them a couple of minutes longer and they still turned out great!! Glad I googled “no butter cookie recipes”. 🙂

    April 1, 2020 at 6:09 pm Reply
    • Talia

      Me toooo!!

      April 3, 2020 at 11:05 pm Reply
  • Bella

    These were super easy to make but when they were done, I didn’t know if they tasted burnt or like eggs. What could I do to make them taste better?

    March 28, 2020 at 6:00 pm Reply
  • Margaret Anzalone

    I am in COVID19 lockdown with lots of pecans and walnut and not much butter. Is there any way to incorporate the nuts into this recipe? Thanks. Peg

    March 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm Reply
    • Leah

      I think you could definitely add nuts to the recipe. I want to give it a try right now as a matter of fact!

      April 2, 2020 at 6:54 am Reply
  • Grace

    Hi Leah, I was wondering if I could refrigerate the dough for a few hours before I bake it? Thanks so much!

    March 27, 2020 at 1:46 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Yes definitely! I have done this and while they turn out a little less puffy they are totally delicious.

      March 28, 2020 at 7:02 am Reply
  • Leah

    these came out great!!! the recipe made a ton so i have lots of leftover cookies, which taste amazing when microwaved and topped with ice cream!!

    March 25, 2020 at 7:28 pm Reply
    • Amber

      Why da hell my cookies taste bitter???? Did i make a mistake or it should taste like that????But i followed the procedures properly….

      April 1, 2020 at 4:58 am Reply
      • Kay

        Use baking powder instead of baking soda to avoid the bitter taste. Also, this recipe,does not call for cream of tartar.

        April 1, 2020 at 11:49 pm Reply
  • Ann-Marie

    Absolutely delicious! Made this with my kids and was a little worried they would be scared off by the cinnamon but it’s a perfect ratio and makes for a great cookie! Thank you!!

    March 24, 2020 at 7:10 pm Reply
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