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 2 votes
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. 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! 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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!!

  8. 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!

  9. These sound amazing! Question regarding the browned butter….I recall that when you brown butter, it leaves solids in the bottom of the pan. Did you mix the solids into the recipe, or just pour the liquid butter off the top? Can’t wait to try these! Thanks.

  10. I just made these a couple days ago and they turned out SOOOO good! However, I adjusted the recipe while I was cooking; not sure if I had the butter on the stove too long and it just bubbled down, but when I added it to the sugar it was obvious there was definitely not enough, so I added about a tablespoon at a time just microwaving it to melt. I was half hoping the cookies wouldn’t end up turning out because it was very time consuming to make them, but nope, they turned out delish! Still have half a batch in the fridge waiting to be baked because I was so sick of wrapping the dough around the caramels 😛 …. but, all things considered, they are delicious and I won’t admit how many I ate last night! 😉 I too had the problem of the caramel gardening when i just had one now; popped it into the microwave for about 10 seconds to warm it up and it was great 🙂

  11. The recipe says it makes 24 “servings”. How many cookies are in a serving, or how many cookies will the above recipe make. I need to make about 150-200 cookies….

  12. Just made these for Xmas. Followed the directions to a T but they look on nothing like the picture. The didn’t spread at all and are so dry! Any idea what I did wrong?

    1. Take 2 – much better! At least they look right! I chilled the dough overnight and then made the balls with really cold dough. If you do this they won’t spread and they’ll be dry. Chill for 30 mins tops and then bake.

  13. I have made these 4 or 5 times and they are always a HUGE hit with the family and our guests! As one person pointed out, the recipe instructions forget to tell you to add the salt into the batter. Also, our family likes them best with the salt halved. Otherwise, I follow the recipe. Never had any issue with the caramel being hard. Used Kraft caramels. Cut in 1/4th as the directions say (unless I made huge cookies, then I put in half a caramel, but cut into 1/4th). Also, we cook them on the quicker side of the suggestion, so they just barely start to look golden. The softer cookie is everyone’s favorite. A friend says they are also amazing slightly heated in a toaster oven (maybe in foil?) to make the caramel gooey again.

  14. I might add that I used light brown sugar and sour cream, a 1.5” scoop for each cookie, half a caramel each, and of the three batches found that the longer the dough chilled the better formed the cookies. I also baked closer to 10 minutes for the best texture. One batch had caramel leaking out the bottom through the cooling rack. It was chilled less, so I adjusted for that and also left them on the sheet a bit longer afterwards before moving to the rack – didn’t happen again.

  15. I’m not great at baking, and have about a 50% success rate with new recipes (I’m better at seeing things done, and manage to mess up some part of directions!). I still try often, and my four sons and husband always appreciate my efforts! I wanted to make something special to fill up the cookie jar when all my boys will be home and also give something special to missionary friends for Christmas. I invested all the time and ingredients I had on this recipe – and held my breath until the first batch came out of the oven. They look exactly like what you’ve pictured, your directions were clear and easy to follow, and the cookies – oh my!! Sooo much better than I even imagined. Thank for for sharing, this is wonderful gift for our family and will be a new tradition and beloved recipe in our home.

  16. I won my work’s cookie contest with these cookies! I am not the biggest snickerdoodle fan, but the brown butter salted caramel title really stood out to me. These cookies tasted AMAZING and were by far the best snickerdoodle I’ve ever had 🙂

  17. I was just wondering if you have ever made these with Rolo’s in the middle instead of caramel to bring in a chocolate element to this already fabulous cookie (one of my very favorites!) Thanks!

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