This is the ultimate gluten-free sugar cookie recipe. Buttery, sweet, and perfect for making holiday cut-outs and special occasion cookies. You can eat them plain or get fancy with your decorations. But know that this cookie recipe is where taste and texture collide for total sugar cookie bliss.
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Finding gluten-free cookie recipes that are as good as the original is rare. And now we have two more! If you enjoy this sugar cookie recipe be sure to check out our gluten-free gingerbread cookie recipe before Christmas!
📖Why This Recipe Works
These are my go-to gluten-free Christmas cut-out cookies. But if you need more reasons, here are a few reasons why we love this recipe:
- Classic sugar cookie perfect for making cut outs for any holiday
- Dairy-Free option
- Can decorate with royal icing, stamp, or use sanding sugar
- A great recipe for freezing
This basic cookie recipe is the foundation for just about any flavor you can dream up. Here are the ingredients you will need:
Gluten-Free Flour Blend- I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 for this recipe but cookies are forgiving and any gluten-free cup-for-cup flour blend should work fine. If your flour mix does not contain xanthan gum, you will need to add it.
Granulated Sugar- I used white sugar but coconut sugar works as well, the cookie will just be a bit more golden brown.
Unsalted Butter- If you use salted butter you need to reduce the salt added by half.
Eggs- Note you will need one whole egg plus one yolk. The extra fat helps keep the sugar cookie moist.
Vanilla Extract and Almond Extract- Most sugar cookie recipes use one or the other. You can absolutely make that substitution. But I find a 50/50 split to be the tastiest. The almond highlights the butter flavor, while the vanilla gives the sugar cookie a little finesse.
⏲️ How to Make Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
We are going to do a basic cookie method of dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately mixed, and then combined slowly. This method is what makes classic sugar cookies with a soft center and crispy edges.
Step 1- Dry Ingredients
Measure out your flour and whisk in salt, xanthan gum (if needed), and baking powder. I highly recommend sifting for the best results.
If you don't have a sifter or fine-mesh sieve be sure to use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup to ensure you don't add too much.
Step 2- Cream Butter and Sugar
Add your softened butter and sugar to a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. This typically takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
When using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.
Note that softened butter means that it is at room temperature, not melted.
Step 3- Wet Ingredients
Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until well combined. This should take about 1 minute to 90 seconds.
Step 4- Slowly Add Dry Ingredients
Reduce the mixing speed to low. Add the flour one cup at a time. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
You may use more or less of the flour mixture depending on the humidity of your kitchen environment. Also, the dough won't be totally smooth until after rolling. Don't worry if there are cracks.
Step 5- Chill
Dive dough into 2 pieces. Form into discs and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. You can also let the dough chill overnight.
Chilling serves two purposes when making gluten-free cookies. First, chilling the dough prevents the cookies from spreading. Second, chilling the dough allows the flour to rehydrate. Rehydrating the dough is a critical step in gluten-free baking.
Step 6- Roll and Chill Again
Lightly flour your work surface. I find it helps to roll out on a silicone mat or Silpat if the dough is sticky or between two pieces of parchment paper.
Working one piece at a time, roll the dough a ⅛ to ¼ inch thick, depending on how you prefer your sugar cookies. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes.
Place your cookie sheet and chill for another 30 minutes.
For softer sugar cookies, reduce the flour slightly and roll thicker. For sugar cookies with more snap, roll thinner and use all the flour.
Step 7- Bake
Preheat your oven to 325 F degrees. Bake cookies in a single layer, one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden and they are firm to the touch.
Rest cookies on your baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes then cool cookies on a wire rack. Decorate once totally cooled.
How to Decorate Sugar Cookies
Personally, I like to keep it gluten-free and use a basic white or colored royal icing and add a little sanding sugar or sprinkles depending on the holiday. But you can get as elaborate and as colorful as you like. Just be sure the cookies are completely cool before icing.
Sugar cookies also look great with a stamped pattern and are dusted with sugar.
See below for decorating inspiration! We make these sugar cookies for birthdays, the 4th of July, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and more!
👩🏻🍳 More GF Cookie Tips
- Always weigh your flour for an exact recipe. If you are unsure go a tad bit lighter than the recipe calls for. You can easily add more flour during rolling.
- Keep your extra dough in the fridge when working on rolling. Keeping the dough cold prevents the cookies from spreading during baking.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Sugar Cookies
Gluten-Free Lemon Sugar Cookies
Swap out the almond extract for ½ teaspoon of lemon extract. This is my favorite way to make Easter sugar cookies. So good!
Gluten-Free Drop Cookies (Soft and Chewy)
To make gluten-free sugar cookies without a rolling pin you can turn them into drop cookies. These types of cookies are soft and chewy.
After chilling (only chill once) scoop out a dough ball, about 2 tablespoons worth. Roll the dough between your hands to form a ball.
Place on your prepared baking pan. Gently press down with your fingers to slightly flatten. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 F degrees.
This type of cookie is best decorated with buttercream frosting.
🌡️ Storing and Freezing
Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature. Unlike most gluten-baked goods I found that these cookies stay soft for up to 10 days!
This recipe can also be frozen. Store baked cookies in a plastic bag with the air pushed out. They will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
More Gluten-Free Cookies
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can freeze gluten-free sugar cookies. Place a freezer-friendly zip top for up to 3 months. Cookies freeze best when they are unfrosted.
Gluten-free flour takes longer to hydrate than traditional wheat flour. Beating the cookie dough longer and allowing the batter to rehydrate for at least 10 minutes or chilling the dough will help with this. Adding an extra egg yolk, as we do in this recipe.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- 15 oz gluten free flour blend about 3 cups
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend contains
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Royal Icing
- sprinkles and other decorations optional
- Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum. Set aside.15 oz gluten free flour blend, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- Cream the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and extracts. Beat until well combined.1 cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg plus 1 yolk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Reduce speed to low and add the flour a cup at a time. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
- Dive dough into 2 pieces. Form into discs and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Place one sheet of parchment or a Silpat on your counter. Working with one piece at a time, cover with a second piece of parchment and roll to ⅛ inch thick. Cut into the desired shape. Place on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes until edges begin to turn golden and they are firm to the touch. Rest cookies on your baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes then cool cookies on a wire rack. Decorate once totally cooled.Royal Icing, sprinkles and other decorations
- Cookies can be made one day and decorated another.
- Cookies will keep up to a week at room temperature.
- Depending on humidity you may use more or less flour by a couple of tablespoons.