Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

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Oh my gosh. These cookies are amazing. One of my favorite kind of cookie is a snickerdoodle. It brings back so many memories when I was little helping my mom make them in the kitchen for a Sunday treat. My favorite part was rolling the cookie balls in the cinnamon sugar.

But snickerdoodles with brown butter and a gooey caramel surprise on the inside? Wow.

Brown butter salted caramel snickerdoodles in a tall stack.Have you ever had brown butter? I made a brown butter frosting here, and it was the best thing I have ever had. I couldn’t get enough of it!

Snickerdoodle cookies on a wooden counter with 2 caramel candies.These cookies baked perfectly. They were perfectly chewy and the brown butter gave them an amazing flavor. Just when you think they can’t get any better you take your first bite and a gooey caramel surprise is in the inside of the cookie. I also loved how they were lightly salted on the top to give the sweet a little balance of salty. All of this talk is making me want another one. Please excuse me while I go and grab one. 🙂

Close up on a snickerdoodle cookie with a bite taken out to reveal the gooey inside.I know that you guys will love these just as much as we did! And I am not held responsible for any brown butter addictions. 🙂

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

5 from 1 vote
Salted brown butter cookies with amazing flavor and perfect chewiness, with a surprise caramel inside!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 24 Cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup caramel squares cut into 1/4's
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Coarse Sea salt for sprinkling on completed cookies


  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, cinnamon, and set aside.
  • To brown the butter, heat a medium saucepan to medium high heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. You will notice the butter starting to become frothy on the top and brown specks will start to form along the bottom. You have to watch it closely because the turn happens quickly and you don't want it to burn. You will start to smell a nutty aroma and once it turns to a brown color, remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  • While the butter is cooling, cut the carmel squares into 1/4's.
  • In a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and brown sugar, and ½ cup granulated sugar. (The ¼ cup sugar will be used for rolling in the cookies). Mix until blended and smooth.
  • Beat in egg, yolk, vanilla and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients until combined.
  • Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Once you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball and place 1-2 caramel squares inside, wrap the cookie dough over the caramel and roll back into a ball. Make sure it is completely covered so that the caramel won't stick to the pan.
  • Mix ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and roll each cookie in the mixture. Place on a cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. (I used course sea salt)
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges turn lightly brown. The centers will be soft. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


Serves: 24

Calories229kcal (11%)Carbohydrates35g (12%)Protein2g (4%)Fat9g (14%)Saturated Fat5g (25%)Cholesterol36mg (12%)Sodium126mg (5%)Potassium96mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar24g (27%)Vitamin A261IU (5%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium32mg (3%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brown butter salted caramel snickerdoodles, Snickerdoodle recipe, snickerdoodles
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. These were sooo yummy! I had to have my husband hide them from me so I wouldn’t eat them all! I was looking for a dessert to bring to a weekend ski trip with friends and this is it! At first I had some trouble with the caramel part ‘falling out’ of the cookie while cooling – I first tried to cool on a plate and then when I went to move it the sticky caramel stuck to the plate while I tried to lift the cookie. I then tried to cool the cookies on a cooking rack and the caramel piece just fell right through. I finally figured out that turning the cookies upside down to cool on the rack worked perfectly. I will definitely be making these again!

  2. I just printed this recipe . . . I am a sucker for anything Snickerdoodle-ish or caramel-ish!

    Also, could you tell me what the font name is which, you used for the word “Snickerdoodle”? It is a wonderfully clean font . . . I do love the way you mix fonts for your recipe titles!!!

    I just added my name to your feed listing and look forward to finding more great recipes, Alyssa!!

  3. So I wanted to comment that I made these last night as my cousin had requested them awhile back. The cookies came out AMAZING! Except for one thing!…. They were completely flat. I read that this could be the fact that I didn’t let my dough refrigerate over night. Also, another baker (on another website) mentioned that she cooks hers at 375 to avoid over spreading. I am going to attempt these two things and see if that helps any. I will report back after the weekend! I did want to mention that I added sea salt on top and that was probably my favorite part of the cookie! Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Oh my gosh, me too. They taste incredible, but I even put my dough in the fridge overnight and they still flattened too much. Any suggestions?

  4. First off, these cookies are amazing! Even when cool they are still thick & chewy. The caramel in mine seemed to have baked into the cookie however. The flavor is still there but not the gooey caramel center I was hoping for. I used the Kraft caramel bits & put 5 in each cookie as suggested by others & my batch yielded 30 cookies so pretty close to what the recipe said. I didn’t over bake them so am confused as to where I went wrong. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thx!

  5. These are so-o-o-o-o-o yummy! I used Kraft Caramel Bit and flattened the cookie dough balls after rolling them in cinnamon-sugar and before topping with sea salt. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. The instructions to make browned butter were quite good.

  6. I’ve started making these tonight, and I’m dubious. The dough tastes TERRIBLE. It tastes metallic and sour. Is there really a full tablespoon of vanilla in the dough? I’ve never seen that much vanilla in a recipe. It’s possible my butter went over to burnt a little although it smelled great and LOOKED like brown butter…

    1. Oh no! I hate when things don’t turn out. You may have cooked the brown butter to long because the dough should taste amazing. It tastes just like regular cookie dough with an added nuttiness from the brown butter. When cooking the brown butter it should start to froth and then as soon as it turns brown remove it from the stove.

  7. So I am not going to lie…these were a labor of love…not you average throw your cookie batter together and in the oven they go. These take time and preparation…but I promise they are worth it! Heaven in a cookie! The browned butter made all the difference…mmmm! They won’t be a cookie I make all the time, but they will probably be more of a special occasion cookie. Definitely worth the effort! If you wanted to skip the caramel step you could. They have amazing flavor even without the caramel. But it is a fun little treat in the middle.

  8. I made these, following the recipe exactly, and they were delicious! The recipe states it makes 24 cookies, and at that quantity they are quite large (~3.5″ diameter) but this size is necessary to accommodate the caramel inside.

    As much as I enjoyed the caramel, next time I make this recipe I’ll probably leave it out. It added multiple steps to the process (buying caramels, unwrapping & cutting, adding to dough) and then for some cookies, made a mess when caramel leaked out of the cookie and all over the cooling rack. Then, when the cookies are cool, the caramel hardens up a bit and isn’t as nice as when they were warm from the oven. I used Werther’s Original (soft, not hard), and cutting them in half was the right size for the cookie. This recipe is simply amazing even without the caramels, so add them if you want, but don’t stress if you don’t have any.

    If you leave the caramels out, you could make smaller cookies and get perhaps 36 or 48 out of this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time so they smaller cookies don’t overbake.

    Even though I would leave the caramel out next time, I’d still add a little course salt to the top of each cookie – that was amazing too!

    1. A few tips:

      -Try the Werther’s Soft (not original Chewy) caramels – they’ll change your life! 😉 You’ll swear they’re too soft, but after the cookies bake and set up and cool, the caramel center will stay soft. This fixed my problem of the Kraft cube kind becoming rather rock-hard in the center (and I definitely tend more to under-bake, never over-).

      -As for the leaking caramel, I would say to make sure you shove the caramel piece into the center of the dough ball, seal it back up really well, and re-roll the ball. Also, refrigrating the dough longer before you start balling might help. One more thought; I have noticed a difference when using a cold cookie sheet for each tray of cookies (you can still re-use your parchment sheets – just transfer to a cold half-sheet). I think putting dough onto a hot pan you’ve just used causes a bit of melting/spreading that might contribute to the leakage problem.

      Hope this is helpful! 🙂

  9. Let me start off by saying, I’m not a snickerdoodle fan. If I were standing in front of a buffet of cookies, a snickerdoodle would be one of my last choices. That being said… THESE snickerdoodles have an AMAZING flavor! I loved them! Brown butter adds awesome flavor, there’s no denying it. I used soft Lancaster caramels. I cut each caramel in 1/4’s and added 3 pieces. The recipe says to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, which I did the minimum chill time, and I felt the cookies spread way too much. I definitely think they need to chill longer than 30 minutes. After baking up most of the cookies, I thought of putting the last few rolled balls into the freezer for 15 minutes, and they were quite firm, and baked a little thicker than the others. Also, don’t make the mistake I made with my first batch of browned butter. I allowed the butter to sit in the hot pan (once it was taken off the heat), and when I went back to check on it after it had cooled, those brown bits had turned much darker. SO, I tossed it, and started again. To be on the safe side the second time, I poured the browned butter into a different bowl, so the hot pan wouldn’t keep cooking the milk solids. Also, I put the butter in the fridge to cool. It probably took 30-45 minutes to get to room temp. BTW, I brought these cookies to my class that I teach at church. The kids in my class are 10-year-olds. I brought 4 kinds of cookies, and I always love getting feedback on my food, so I asked all the kids which cookie was their favorite, and I was surprised that almost all of them said these snickerdoodles. These are definitely a keeper. Also, these cookies sat out on my counter-top for 3 days, and they were still soft.

  10. As I have my dough chilling…. Reading over the recipe I notice the 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, I did not see where to put it in…. The dough tasted yummy though… I will sprinkle the tops with some but I am missing where to put in the 1/2 teaspoon. Hopefully they will still turn out..

  11. I chilled my dough for several hours and it’s hard as a rock. I can’t do anything with it now. Not sure what went wrong.

  12. So delicious!! I used caramel bits instead of the squares thinking it would reduce step of cutting caramels and it worked but not very caramel-y results so next time i’ll try it with the squares. nonetheless these are so amazing and will definitely be making over and over again! Thx for sharing!!!

  13. I have made this recipe over an dover again for the past several years. I did have to make adjustments to make the recipe dairy free, like making homemade caramel that doesn’t have milk or butter, and instead of greek yogurt I use dairy free yogurt. This is the most requested dessert by my 3 boys and Husband. Thank you for sharing. I am in the process of doing my blog for my dairy free recipe and will give your page the credit for original recipe.

  14. Thank you for posting this recipe. I made these cookies tonight and I can say with 100% honesty, this is the most delicios cookie I have ever tasted. Mine turned out a bit flat. I’m wondering if I didn’t let the butter cool enough before I mixed the batter up?? Still, the flavor was outrageously addictive. I don’t think I will ever bake another cookie before browning the butter first. So good.

  15. These cookies were delicious!! I made these for a Christmas cookie exchange and they were a gigantic hit. I used green sugar to roll them in (along with cinnamon) and they were very festive. I made a double batch, and using my medium cookie scooper got 5 dozen cookies out. People are already asking for them again!

  16. These cookies are excellent. I’ve made them three times in three weeks and I know I will bake them many more times in the future. Thank you for sharing the recipe. One comment though: I often rely on a recipe’s listed “prep time, cook time, total time” when making decisions about what to make and when. This recipe states that it takes 30 minutes of prep time and 8 minutes baking time, for a total time of 38 minutes. But if you follow the recipe and refrigerate the dough, these cookies take at least an hour and 8 minutes to make (and, in my experience, actually quite a bit longer than that). I’m not complaining about how long it takes, just that the listed time is not accurate.

  17. 5 stars
    these are my new favorite! I bake them in mini muffin pans as little balls. They take a few more minutes to bake but stay much chewier in the middle.

  18. These are super tasty! The dark brown sugar alongside the brown butter really helps give it a rich flavor. I didn’t refrigerate my dough for very long so they were quite flat and large, and the caramel mostly stayed right in the middle so it made a little hump (no leakage though, sealing them well when rolling helped prevent that). It ended up working out as one of my guests didn’t like caramel so she could easily eat around the middle! The cookie part itself is very delicious, and I might consider making them again without the caramel center.

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