These 10 recipes for gluten free sugar cookies are perfect for every possible occasion. From classic cutout cookies that hold any shape you like, in chocolate or plain, to chewy sugar cookies and even cookies shaped like mini cinnamon rolls. They're all here!
No celebration would be complete without gluten free sugar cookies. And not just for the holidays, either. Cookies are perfect all year long, in every single way.
Whether you like them thick or thin, chewy, crunchy, or melt-in-your-mouth soft, there's a sugar cookie for everyone. And there's no reason not to enjoy a delectable sugar cookie, even if you're on a gluten free diet. With my best gluten free sugar cookies recipes, nobody will know you're not serving conventional sugar cookies.
Now, I've got a lot of sugar cookie recipes on Gluten Free on a Shoestring. In fact, I've got a lot of gluten free cookie recipes of all kinds. So I've pulled together my best sugar cookie recipes here, all in one post. Just scroll on down to find them.
And if you want to try some other cookies, because, well, you just can't make too many, right? Then take a look at my best gluten free cookies roundup.
My Top 10 Gluten Free Sugar Cookies for Everyone
Here they are in all their glory: The best gluten free sugar cookies on the web. Easy, delicious recipes anyone can make. And they're so good that they'll fool the gluten gobblers and cookie lovers.
Top tips for how to make the best gluten free sugar cookies
If there's one holiday bake that should be in everyone's repetoire, it's sugar cookies. Gluten free baking doesn't have to mean difficult, dry, or devoid of flavor. On the contrary, easy, perfectly textured, flavor-packed gf sugar cookies are right at your fingertips with this top gluten free sugar cookie recipe selection.
But to make sure your cookies turn out perfectly every time, I've put together my top tips. Those little hints and tricks that take your cookies from okay to out of this world.
Follow your chosen gf sugar cookie recipe closely
I can't stress this enough. If you're trying a new recipe or you're new to gluten free baking, stick closely to whichever gluten free cookie recipe you choose. Don't try to switch up the ingredients, use different gluten free flours than the recipe calls for, or make random additions.
Yes, if you need to adjust for dairy free, egg free, or vegan options, you can, but, particularly the first couple of times you make the recipe, stick to it as closely as possible.
As well as sticking closely to the ingredient list, it's crucial that you follow the recipe process exactly to guarantee your cookies turn out beautifully. Remember, I've tested and retested these recipes during recipe development, and the processes I include are the best of those options I tried.
The best gluten free flour blends for gluten free cookies
The best gluten free flour blend for each recipe is included in the recipes. However, as a general rule, for gluten free sugar cookies, I like Better Batter or Cup4Cup. You can also use my Better Than Cup4Cup homemade gluten free flour blend, which remains the best blend that no one makes.
You can get all the information you could ever possibly need on gluten free flour here.
Use room temperature ingredients for sugar cookie dough
Whether you're using vegan butter, unsalted dairy butter, or shortening, let them come up to room temperature for the best results. The same goes for eggs. Instead of using them cold, straight from the refrigerator, give them time to warm up and they'll behave better in the cookie dough and you'll get better cookies at the end of it.
Use an ice cream scoop for easy, perfect sugar cookie portions
If you're making drop cookies (yummy!), use an ice cream scoop to get perfect, even portions of cookie dough. This helps make sure your cookies bake evenly as they'll all be very close in size and thickness.
Prepare your baking sheet
Don't skip lining your baking sheet. Use parchment paper or a nonstick foil (I prefer to avoid silicone baking mats since they tend to increase cookie spread and browning), but whatever you do, don't just place your cookies straight onto a plain, bare baking sheet.
Prepared baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, give you more consistent, reliable results because your cookies won't stick and make a mess. They're easy to remove, and the trays are ridiculously easy to clean.
Let your cookies rest
Don't be in a hurry to get your freshly baked sugar cookies off the cookie sheet. Pulling them off when they're fresh out of the oven is the road to disaster.
If your cookies are too hot, they'll be quite fragile and prone to crumbling or breaking into pieces. So exercise a little patience. Let the cookies sit on their parchment lines baking sheet for around 10 minutes before you transfer them, using a thin-edged, firm spatula, to a wire rack.
Let the baking sheets cool
Another trick to ensure you don't overbake your cookies is to let the cookie sheet cool completely between batches. If you put the next batch of cookies on a hot sheet, you'll speed up the baking time and end up with unpleasant, overbaked cookies.
Storing gluten free sugar cookies
Gluten free cookies keep best in an airtight container at room temperature. And the container should be glass.
Plastic containers hold moisture that the cookies absorb which ruins the texture and can result in a stale taste. It's the same reason that you don't store cookies in the refrigerator.
Stored correctly, most cookies will last around 5 days.
Freezing gluten free sugar cookies
Whether you're making cute celebration cookies and you find you've got too much cookie dough, or gluten free Christmas cookies and you want to get ahead of the busy holiday prep, making your cookies ahead and freezing them is a smart plan.
You've got two options here.
- Freeze the raw dough by wrapping it tightly in multiple layers of plastic wrap or a freezer-safe wrap before putting it in the freezer; or
- Freeze the cooked, cooled, plain cookies. Just wait for them to cool completely, then place in a freezer-safe airtight container, and freeze for up to three months.
How to make ingredient substitutions for gluten free sugar cookie dough
Be cautious when making ingredient substitutions. For example, not all fats behave the same. Coconut oil is a popular dairy fat alternative, but it has a much lower melting point that causes very soft, fragile cookies that spread way too much.
The same goes for flours. Some gluten free flours, like almond flour or coconut flour work well in some recipes, but you shouldn't replace the recommended flour blend for one or two random single flours.
Stick as close to the original recipe as you can. Switch out dairy unsalted butter for a vegan butter block with the same texture. For an egg substitute, you can try using a “chia egg” to get your cookies egg free.
And for a refined white sugar substitute, use something that behaves like sugar, like coconut sugar or granulated fructose, but keep in mind that they will behave differently than conventional granulated sugar.
Tips for decorating gluten free sugar cookies
When it's time to decorate sugar cookies, first, check that all of your ingredients are gluten free. Many decorative confections like nonpariels, sprinkles, powdered sugar, royal icing, and coated candies often contain gluten or potentially gluten-contaminated ingredients like corn starch.
Next, once you've got all your gluten free decorative goodies ready and your cookies have baked … wait. Let the cookies cool completely before you attempt to frost or decorate them. Trying to decorate warm cookies is a recipe for disaster!
Do I have to chill gluten free cookie dough?
It depends. In most cases, yes, you'll need to chill your dough. Otherwise, instead of lovely soft sugar cookie shapes or crisp cut out sugar cookies, you'll end up with sad, flat, shapeless cookies that spread too much in the oven.
Remember, follow the recipe. If it tells you that you need chilled dough, make sure you chill the dough.
Can I use a mixer to make gluten free sugar cookies?
For some gluten free recipes for sugar cookies yes, you can use a stand mixer or an electric mixer. For example, for any recipe that requires you to cream the butter and sugar, it's much easier to do with a stand mixer or electric mixer.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment will make quick work of most cookie recipes. But if the recipe calls for mixing the cookie dough by hand with just a bowl and spoon, particularly in the “reverse cream” method that calls for mixing the wet ingredients first, then pressing in the dry flour afterward, follow those instructions.
Can I use coconut flour to make gluten free cookies?
You can try, but it's not the best plan if you want consistent results that are very close to, or better than, conventional cookies.
Coconut flour is super dry, so it requires a lot more liquid and can result in heavy, dry cookies. You'd have to experiment and adjust any recipe considerably to get decent results.
You can't just switch out gluten free flour for coconut flour. The same goes for any other single ingredient gluten free flour alternative.
Is a gluten free recipe for cookies difficult to make?
Not at all! Baking gluten free cookies and gluten free food in general is no more difficult than baking conventional goodies.
You and your family can enjoy sugar cookies made from gf flour and other ingredients with delicious cream cheese icing, meringue frosting, chocolate drizzle, or royal icing just as easily as making conventional cookies.
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