Who’s craving some grain-free and gluten-free snickerdoodles that are crispy, chewy, tangy, and perfectly sweet? These paleo cookies are made with natural ingredients like almond flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon, and are an absolute cinch to make!

A stack of paleo and gluten free snickerdoodle cookie on a white plate.

Healthier snickerdoodle cookies

Never had a snickerdoodle cookie? They’re like sugar cookies with a punch of cinnamon and a slight tanginess. I’m a big fan of snickerdoodles, but they’re typically made with wheat flour and refined sugar—two ingredients that don’t agree with me. That’s why I came up with this simple and craveworthy paleo snickerdoodle cookie recipe using almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut sugar, and other simple, whole-food ingredients. No gluten-free flour blends or xanthan gum necessary!

A closeup of freshly baked paleo and gluten free snickerdoodles on a cooling rack.

These paleo cookies have the perfect texture, with delightfully crispy edges and a chewy center. But of course, what really matters is how they taste—and these cookies passed with flying colors! In fact, my version tastes just like the classic recipe; not even your gluten-guzzling pals will suspect that you’re feeding them gluten-free snickerdoodles.

Tips on how to bake these cookies

  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature! This way, the dough will blend perfectly.
  • Measure the ingredients carefully! I always weigh out my dry ingredients on a kitchen scale and include the gram measurements in the recipe card below—just click on the metric button. If you don’t have a scale, the next best way is to spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it with a knife.
  • Don’t skip the chilling part! I know you’re impatient to chomp on these cookies, but please take the time to chill the dough first. The chilling process makes the dough easier to roll into balls and makes the cookies taste better!
  • Space the dough balls apart on the two sheet pans! The cookie dough will spread when baking so make sure you only place 8 dough balls on each pan and stagger ’em so they’re at least 2 inches apart.
  • Don’t over-bake these cookies! These cookies will finish baking in about 7 minutes. Smaller cookies (if you make more than 16) can be done in as little as 5 minutes! Use your nose as a guide and make sure you don’t burn your precious snickerdoodles!
An overhead shot of paleo and gluten free snickerdoodles on a wire cooling rack.

Ingredients

An overhead shot of the raw ingredients to make paleo and gluten free snickerdoodle cookies.
  • Blanched finely ground almond flour: The flour base of this cookie dough consists mostly of almond flour with a bit of tapioca flour. In terms of substitutions, I haven’t tried any. If you absolutely must eat nut-free, I’m guessing you might be able to replace the almond flour and tapioca flour with cassava flour. If you try this out, let me know in the comments how your nut-free cookies turn out!
  • Tapioca flour: No tapioca flour? You can substitute arrowroot powder.
  • Cream of tartar: This acid adds the signature tanginess to these snickerdoodles. It also reacts with baking soda to help leaven the cookies.
  • Baking soda
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt: I always like to add a little salt to all my desserts to balance the flavors. If you use a fine salt or Morton’s kosher salt, decrease the amount by half.
  • Refined coconut oil: In place of butter, I use melted refined coconut oil to keep these cookies dairy-free without adding a strong coconut flavor. You can easily melt the coconut oil in the microwave (~40 seconds on high power); let it cool to room temperature before using.
  • Coconut sugar: I love the caramel notes that coconut sugar gives to these snickerdoodle cookies! If you want to keep the cookies from being too dark colored, use golden or blonde coconut sugar or maple sugar. (I haven’t tried a keto sweetener in this recipe so don’t ask me which one works best.)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Large egg: The egg helps with the structure of the cookie. I haven’t tried using an egg substitute in this recipe. Please let me know in the comments if you try it and it works!
  • Ground cinnamon

How to make paleo and gluten free snickerdoodle cookies

In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, cream of tartar, baking soda, and kosher salt.

Combiing almond flour, tapioca starch, cream of tartar, and baking soda into a large glass mixing bowl.

Whisk well to combine and set aside.

Whisking the dry ingredients for paleo and gluten free snickerdoodles in a large glass mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.

Combining coconut sugar, melted refined coconut oil, and vanilla in a large glass mixing bowl and blending everything together with a hand mixer.

Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed and beat everything together until combined. The resulting batter will look like wet, brown sand.

A closeup of the blended coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a glass mixing bowl.

Add the room temperature egg…

A person in a blue apron is cracking an egg into a bowl filled with coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract.

…and continue beating on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is a lighter golden brown color and the batter is thick and ribbony.

The paleo and gluten free snickerdoodle batter is lighter in color after being mixed for 3 to 4 minutes with a hand mixer.

Pour in the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.

The dry ingredients for snickerdoodle cookies are added to the wet ingredients and blended on low speed with a hand mixer.

Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Covering a bowl filled with raw snickerdoodle dough with a blue silicone lid before chilling it in the fridge.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Then, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Lining two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.

Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon blonde coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl to make the cinnamon sugar topping.

Using a whisk to blend the cinnamon sugar snickerdoodles coating in a small bowl.

Using a small ice cream or cookie scoop, portion out 16 cookie dough balls, about 1 tablespoon each.

Raw snickerdoodle cookie dough balls being portioned out with an ice cream scoop on a parchment lined plate.

Shape the pieces of dough into balls by rolling them in your palms. Then, toss the balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until well coated. 

Rolling the snickerdoodle dough into balls, coating them in cinnamon sugar, and then arranging them in a staggered fashion on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Arrange 8 of the coated dough balls on each of the prepared baking sheets, staggering them about 2 inches apart. The cookies will flatten and spread as they bake so make sure there is ample space between the cookies.

A smiling Asian woman putting a tray of paleo and gluten free snickerdoodles into the oven.

Bake one tray at a time or until edges are lightly browned and firm but centers are puffed and soft, about 7 to 8 minutes. (Start checking at the 5 minute mark if your cookies are smaller or your oven runs hot!)

A close up of paleo and gluten free snickerdoodle cookies freshly baked on a rimmed baking sheet.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Transferring snickerdoodles to a wire cooling rack with a small offset spatula.

Enjoy!

A plate topped with paleo and gluten free snickerdoodle cookies.

How to store snickerdoodles

Baked snickerdoodles can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can toss in a desiccant packet to keep them fresh longer.

Make ahead tips

The cookie dough can be made 3 days ahead and stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Roll out the cookies and coat them in the cinnamon sugar mixture before baking. You can also roll out the dough balls and store ’em in the freezer, uncoated, in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You don’t need to thaw ’em before baking; just coat the dough balls before baking and add a minute or two extra in the oven.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles: Crispy, Chewy, and Paleo!

4.69 from 16 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chilling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 16
Who’s craving some grain-free and gluten-free snickerdoodles that are crispy, chewy, tangy, and perfectly sweet? These paleo cookies are made with natural ingredients like almond flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon, and are an absolute cinch to make!

Ingredients 
 

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough

  • cup finely ground almond flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • cup melted refined coconut oil at room temperature
  • cup coconut sugar use blond or golden coconut sugar for lighter colored cookies
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg at room temperature

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar use blond or golden coconut sugar or maple sugar for a lighter colored topping
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, cream of tartar, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed and beat everything together until combined. The resulting batter will look like wet, brown sand.
  • Add the room temperature egg and continue beating on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is a lighter golden brown color and the batter is thick and ribbony.
  • Pour in the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  • Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  • When you’re ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 400°F with the rack in the middle. Then, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk 1 tablespoon blonde coconut sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl to make the cinnamon sugar topping.
  • Using a small ice cream or cookie scoop, portion out 16 cookie dough balls, about 1 tablespoon each.
  • Shape the pieces of dough into balls by rolling them in your palms. Then, toss the balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until well coated.
  • Arrange 8 of the coated dough balls on each of the prepared baking sheets, staggering them about 2 inches apart. The cookies will flatten and spread as they bake so make sure there is ample space between the cookies.
  • Bake one tray at a time or until edges are lightly browned and firm but centers are puffed and soft, about 7 to 8 minutes. (Start checking at the 5 minute mark if your cookies are smaller or your oven runs hot!)
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature! This way, the dough will blend perfectly.
  • Measure the ingredients carefully! I always weigh out my dry ingredients on a kitchen scale and include the gram measurements in the recipe card below—just click on the metric button. If you don’t have a scale, the next best way is to spoon the flour into a measuring cup and leveling it with a knife.
  • Don’t skip the chilling part! I know you’re impatient to chomp on these cookies, but please take the time to chill the dough first. The chilling process makes the dough easier to roll into balls and makes the cookies taste better!
  • Space the dough balls apart on the two sheet pans! The cookie dough will spread when baking so make sure you only place 8 dough balls on each pan and stagger ’em so they’re at least 2 inches apart.
  • Don’t over-bake these cookies! These cookies will finish baking in about 7 minutes. Use your nose as a guide and make sure you don’t burn your precious snickerdoodles!
  • Storage tips: Baked snickerdoodles can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can toss in a desiccant packet to keep them fresh longer.

Nutrition

Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    After chilling the dough, I was a bit skeptical but these cookies were easy and delicious! Very much like “regular” cookies. I made exactly as posted and used a one tablespoon cookie scoop. They were done at five minutes. Thanks Michelle! Will definitely make these again and again.

  2. 5 stars
    Snickerdoodles are my husband’s favorite cookie so I had to try this recipe. They were delicious! I was out of coconut oil so had to use melted butter (gasp!) this time. The only issue I would note is that after an hour of the dough chilling the dough was still quite sticky (probably because I used butter) so I only cooked up part of the batch. The next night I pulled the remaining dough out of the fridge and it rolled into balls easily. We truly enjoyed these Snickerdoodles! I will make with coconut oil next time and report back.

  3. 5 stars
    These were incredible. My kids and I ate 3 each in one sitting – whoops! I followed directions to a ‘T’ (except cooking time – mine only took 5 minutes) and they turned out perfectly. I will absolutely be making these again.

    1. Yay! I updated the instructions to let folks know to start checking on their cookies at the 5 minute mark!

  4. 5 stars
    yes!!!! thank you. I just really miss that crunch when eating paleo. These turned out so good. I used about half the amount os sugar suggested.