Chocolate Gluten Free Meltaway Cookies

Chocolate Gluten Free Meltaway Cookies

Chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies are light, buttery, and tender, with a rich chocolate flavor, and yup, they really do melt in your mouth. An easy drop cookie to add some color to your cookie plate.

Chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies on a small plate, being served.

Where do meltaway cookies fit in the cookie ? world ??

These are not super rich or gooey chocolate cookies like, say, our chocolate chocolate chip cookies (gooey) or our chocolate kiss cookies (super rich). They’re buttery but not shortbread, even though they crumble like shortbread.

These cookies have a chemical leavener (baking powder), unlike shortbread cookies, which are made essentially with butter, sugar, and flour. They’re not butter cookies, either, since instead of eggs or egg yolks for richness, these cookies are made with egg white alone.

They’re super tender and light, and they melt in your mouth. They’re meltaway cookies!

Ever since I made tender, buttery plain gluten free meltaway cookies (don’t forget the lemon version, too!), I’ve wondered if I could add some cocoa powder and rebalance the recipe around it to make chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies.

I’m often asked if a cookie or cake recipe can be made interchangeably as chocolate or blonde. It’s rarely that simple, though, since cocoa powder isn’t a flour. But a few false starts were all it took to rebalance the recipe perfectly. 

Chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies being shaped.

How to make these simple cookies

The dough for these chocolate meltaway cookies is made easily in a single bowl. Whisk an all purpose gluten free flour blend with cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and confectioners’ sugar. Be sure to read up on my favorite gluten free flour blends, as I can only promise results if you use one of those.

Use a large spoon to create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the softened butter, egg white, and vanilla extract to the well, which allows these wet ingredients to come into contact with as much of the dry ingredients as possible when they’re first added.

Relatively dry cookie dough like this can seem difficult to combine by hand, and bakers are often tempted to add some water or another liquid to help the dough along. Resist the urge! It creates an unbalanced recipe.

Simply use the back of a large spoon to press the butter into the dry ingredients, and continue to mix until the dough is fully combined. Think of the task as moistening the dry ingredients with the butter by pressing them together. The butter will absorb the dry ingredients slowly but surely until a cohesive dough has formed.

Next, scoop the dough into portions, roll each between your palms into a round, and press down on each piece with the moistened tines of a dinner fork. For a slightly dressed up look, try dipping the moistened tines in coarse sugar before each impression.

There’s no need to chill the dough before baking. These chocolate cookies are already brown, so you can’t judge doneness in the oven by color.

Look for the cookie dough to become matte instead of glistening and to spring back when pressed gently in the center. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet, and store them in a sealed glass container to maintain that soft, tender, and slightly crumbly texture we love. 

Plated and served chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: The dairy in this recipe comes only from the butter. I think they would work if you replace the butter with half Melt Vegan butter (or Earth Balance buttery sticks) and half nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening.

Egg-free: In place of the egg white, you can try using aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Use unsalted chickpeas or at least low sodium. 

Corn-free: The cornstarch in this recipe can be replaced with either arrowroot or even potato starch. Make sure your confectioners’ sugar is corn-free, as it usually made with added cornstarch.

A full pile of chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies image from overhead.


Chocolate gluten free meltaway cookies being shaped and baked, in a generous pile of cookies.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 30 cookies


1 1/4 cups (175 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

1/4 cup (2o g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processed preferred but not essential)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (77 g) confectioners’ sugar

12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg white (25 g), at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coarse sugar for decoration (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg white, and vanilla. Use the back of a large spoon to press the butter into the dry ingredients, and mix until fully combined. The dough will be thick and smooth.

  • Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon (an overfull #70 ice cream scoop is useful, but two spoons work just fine) onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round between the palms of your hands and replace on the baking sheet. With the moistened tines of a fork, press down on the top of each piece of dough until the tines leave an impression about 1/4-inch deep. For a sparkly appearance, dip the moistened fork in coarse sugar before pressing into each piece of cookie dough.

  • Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies no longer glisten and are appear firm when pressed lightly in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before serving. These cookies freeze very well.


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