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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 was surprised to discover that 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 the dough is warm to start with, or if you place them on a hot pan.
My suggestion is to chill your dough for about 15 minutes and 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.
Adapted from Recipes to a Young Poet No-Butter Snickerdoodles
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!
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!
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