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Why Are My Snickerdoodles Flat? 3 Reasons

Why Are My Snickerdoodles Flat? 3 Reasons

There are few experiences more frustrating than slaving over your cookie batter, and then when you pull out the cookie sheet, the finished product looks nothing like it should.

Many people have fallen victim to flat cookies. If you are a snickerdoodle lover, then read on to find out how to avoid flat snickerdoodles.

Why are my snickerdoodles flat?

A flat snickerdoodle can be the product of several mistakes. Your snickerdoodle can be flat due to overmixing of the butter and sugar. It could also potentially be that you are baking them at too cool a temperature. And finally, the cookies may be flat due to the dough not being chilled or cool enough when baking.

Reason 1: Overmixing your Sugar and Butter

Often, a cookie recipe will have you mix together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar towards the beginning of the process.

While it is essential to ensure that these ingredients mix well, it is also important not to overmix.

Overmixing overheats the butter so that when you get the cookies in the oven, the dough spreads out and produces a flat cookie.

There is a delicate balance between mixing and overmixing.

And, some may find it frustrating to find the right amount of mixing.

Often, recipes will use the word cream when talking of mixing butter and sugar.

To properly cream together the butter and sugars at the outset of your cookie recipe, it may be helpful to time yourself.

Mixing these ingredients for one or two minutes should be fine to cream them together.

Another critical factor for creaming together the butter with the sugar is the softness of the butter.

Many recipes encourage you to use softened butter. If that is the case, make sure that the butter is not right out of the fridge.

One would think using colder butter will help, but cold butter from the fridge requires you to mix the ingredients more.

And eventually, this extra beating overheats the butter because of overmixing.

Ensuring that you do not overmix the butter and sugar can help you avoid some flat snickerdoodles.

But another common mistake is the oven temperature at which you bake the cookies.

Reason 2: Oven Temperature

Even if you are baking the cookies at the temperature the recipe suggests, that doesn’t mean that is the correct temperature for your particular oven. If your cookies regularly come out flat, perhaps increasing the baking temperature will help.

Not all ovens are created equal, and some run hotter or cooler than others. If you increase the temperature from 350 degrees to 375, you might find a better baking temperature for your oven.

Cooking your cookies at too low a temperature will melt the butter and cause the cookies to spread without giving the rest of the dough time to set up. A hotter temperature bakes all cookie components faster, helping the cookie set up without spreading out.

If you wonder if your oven is too cool, try increasing the heat for your next batch. It may help your cookies fluff up some more.

Reason 3: Dough Temperature

Often, cookie recipes will ask you to chill the dough before baking. This is an important step that should not be ignored—chilling the dough before baking can be the difference between a flat cookie and a fluffy one.

Chilled dough prevents the cookie from spreading too quickly when it first starts to bake. This provides a more uniform baking of the dough and a fluffier cookie.

I do not advocate that you chill the dough if the recipe doesn’t ask for it. However, if the recipe asks, the dough is chilled to prevent flat cookies, so follow the instructions on the recipe.

Some other factors for flat cookies

There are a few other specifics to pay attention to so your cookies don’t come out too flat. One of these is to check the expiration date of your rising agents.

Make sure that expired baking soda or baking powder is not the reason that your cookies are coming out flat.

Another ingredient that can cause your cookies to spread out too much is white sugar. If you put too much white sugar in your cookies, then this can cause them to spread out.

And, finally, if you do not have enough flour in your dough, the cookies will spread out flat.

Each of these can be avoided by checking the expiration date on your ingredients and making sure you measure correctly when mixing your dough.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Are My Snickerdoodles Flat

Is it possible for your butter to be too soft?

If your butter is too soft when making the dough, you will have similar results to overmixing your butter and sugar. So absolutely, this is possible.

How long should I have my butter out before baking?

Take your butter out a couple of hours before baking your cookies. This should soften the butter enough so that it creams well with the sugar. But, you do not want your butter to get too warm. Avoid taking it out the night before or letting it sit out on a sweltering day.


The key is in the butter and making sure your measurements are accurate. There are a lot of factors that can affect the butter in your dough. You can avoid flat snickerdoodles by practicing good baking habits, precise measurements, and ensuring that your dough and oven are at the correct temperature before baking. Happy baking, now go make some fluffy snickerdoodles!