Spicy Chocolate Snickerdoodles


Just like the traditional snickerdoodle recipe, these spiced chocolate snickerdoodles are coated in cinnamon and sugar. But unlike their golden-hued counterparts, this cookie idea features cocoa powder and cayenne pepper. That combination is often referred to as a Mexican chocolate snickerdoodle, so if you're looking for more Mexican flavor choose a Mexican cinnamon and cocoa powder, if possible.

snickerdoodles leaning against red cups
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
25 mins
Bake Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
30 cookies


  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in the 3/4 cup sugar, the brown sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and, if desired, cayenne until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in the cocoa powder and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl stir together the 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set and tops are cracked. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.


Dough may be shaped into balls, rolled in cinnamon-sugar mixture, and then frozen until solid on parchment- or foil-lined cookie sheets. When frozen, transfer balls to an airtight container; cover. Store in the freezer. When ready to bake, arrange frozen balls on cookie sheets and bake as directed for 13 to 15 minutes.

To Store:

Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

118 Calories
4g Fat
20g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 118
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 21mg 7%
Sodium 94mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 2g
Calcium 10.1mg 1%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 77mg 2%
Folate, total 20.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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