Naturally Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Naturally Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with “regular” grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you’re new to gluten free baking!

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

The power of (naturally) gluten free baking

Where we began

When I first started cooking and baking gluten free, it was 2004. There was very little information available, and even fewer products to buy.

I bought and studied all of the Bette Hagman cookbooks, and I will forever be grateful for her pioneering work. Most baking I did during that time would not pass the “just plain good, not good for gluten free” taste test, but I was overjoyed to be able to take some control of feeding my newly gluten free son at least a variety of food—including cupcakes

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then.  The gluten free baking that we do these days is much, much better and my standards are as high as can be. “Good, for gluten free” is just pitiful to me now. In fact, I hear it as a rallying cry!

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

Where we are now

These days, you can bake literally anything at all gluten free that can be made with gluten, and it can be as good as if not better than what you remember. That’s a promise I make to you every day, in everything I do. 

But that sort of gluten free baking almost always requires a really high-quality all purpose gluten free flour blend that is based on superfine white rice flour. Since most of the gluten free flour blends that are on grocery store shelves aren’t properly balanced, you end up having to order component flours or a blend that I recommend online before you can get started.

I remember the feeling of dying to get started baking something, and not wanting to wait for ingredients to arrive by mail. ?That was my motivation for developing the 20 or so flourless baking recipes here on the blog. 

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

How to make these naturally gluten free cookies

Whether you’re new to gluten free baking, new to baking at all, or you just want a cookie and ran out of your GF flour blend, a drop cookie (where you just make the dough and bake it in rounded portions on a baking sheet) is the perfect baking project.

These cookies aren’t technically made “flourless” since they have cornstarch in them to lighten them a bit and help them crisp. Plus, we take certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats and grind them into flour. You can, of course, buy gluten free oat flour that’s already ground, but you’d likely have to order that by mail—something I never do.

These days, Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats are in almost every full-sized grocery store. It’s cheaper to buy less processed oats and just grind them, plus we’re making cookies that we want to be chewy so we don’t need the finest grind. 

Like almost any chocolate chip cookie recipe, we place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them to combine. Then, we add the wet ingredients (butter, eggs, flavoring/extract) and mix. The chips go in last. 

Since we are using a lot of oat flour and a fair amount of cornstarch, it’s really important to use a full tablespoon of flavoring/extracts for flavor. I’ve made these cookies with just vanilla extract, but I really love them the best with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring. 

Be sure to chill the dough, and be careful not to overbake them. If you’ve been around for a bit, you’ll recognize this style cookie from another recent recipe for peanut butter oatmeal cookies. The same rules of baking those cookies apply to these.

Those cookies are also naturally gluten free, but with the strong (and delightful) flavor of peanut butter. These cookies are more like “regular” chocolate chip cookies—just naturally gluten free. They’re crispy outside and chewy inside. Let’s get baking!

These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking!

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: In place of the butter, you can try using half (48 g) Earth Balance buttery sticks and half (48 g) Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. That combination of fats should create the right moisture balance. Be sure you’re using dairy-free chocolate chips. 

Egg-free: You can try replacing each of the two eggs with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel), but the eggs really help to provide structure in this recipe so I’m not sure how egg replacements would work.

Corn-free: The cornstarch in this recipe can easily be replaced with arrowroot if you can’t have corn. Potato starch (not potato flour) should also work just fine. 

Oats: Certified gluten free oats are safe on a gluten free diet. But if you’re avoiding oats, you should be able to use quinoa flakes in place of the oat flour. Please see my full discussion of how to replace oats in baking


These naturally gluten free chocolate chip cookies are made entirely with "regular" grocery store ingredients—and no rice flour at all. Perfect if you're new to gluten free baking! #glutenfree #naturallygf #gf #cookies


Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies


1 3/4 cups (210 g) certified gluten free oat flour

1 cup (140 g) cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

7 tablespoons (96 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the oat flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and mix to combine, working out any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, eggs, and vanilla, and mix to combine. The dough will be very thick, but just keep mixing and it will come together. It helps to press the dough down with the underside of the spoon sometimes while mixing. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they’re evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.

  • Divide the dough into pieces of about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, roll each tightly into a ball and then place about 1 1/2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Do not flatten the balls of dough at all. Chill the dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes or the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, until firm.

  • Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake just until the balls of dough have melted and spread and the cookies are brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Be careful not to overbake them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet or until firm.


Comments are closed.

  • Gracia
    February 23, 2019 at 9:07 AM

    I’ve tried these twice and they didn’t spread and taste horrible. I’ve made many gf things and usually always love your recipes. But for me, these are not your best.

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 23, 2019 at 9:12 AM

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy these cookies, Gracia. I’ve made them many, many times and if you make them without any substitutions and measure by weight, not volume, they will turn out and spread. But if you don’t like them enough to call them horrible, then clearly they’re not for you.

  • Christine
    February 18, 2019 at 6:29 PM

    THANK YOU for the substitution suggestions – my GF daughter is also DF, and we love the recipes we find on your site. Am I missing something here, though? Replacing the 96g of butter with half and half non-dairy spread and non-hydrog shortening at 56g each comes out to 112g. Do I use the 56g/56g sub or do I cut the 96g of butter in half? Thanks again, we always love a new choc chip cookie recipe!

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 19, 2019 at 7:36 AM

      No you’re 100% right, Christine! I tested this recipe with so many different ingredient ratios and amounts that I forgot that landed on 7 (not 8) tablespoons of butter as yielding the best results. I’ve fixed the substitution suggestion to indicate the right total fats. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Kristen
    February 18, 2019 at 7:52 AM

    Very excited to try these! The GF flours can get so expensive so it’s great to see normal ingredients. Being a milk-allergy sufferer, I always appreciate your dairy-free variations! I’ve had my severe milk allergy my whole 27 years of life, and to bake my mom and I always use Fleischmanns Unsalted sticks. They’re margarine, and you have to make sure to use the unsalted (others have milk), but our baking recipes have always come out great. Might want to check them out!

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 18, 2019 at 5:17 PM

      I grew up in the 80s and 90s when we thought that margarine was healthier for you than butter, Kristen, but I’ve never baked with it as an adult. I didn’t know that the unsalted is dairy-free. That’s good to know! Margarine does tend to have a lot more moisture than butter, which makes baked goods spread quite a bit. I’d try half margarine and half Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening to balance the moisture.

  • Julie L
    February 18, 2019 at 12:38 AM

    Ooh, thanks for the energy ball link! I’ve been wanting to make something like that for weeks and didn’t want to do the same old dates and nuts balls. Yum!

  • Julie L
    February 17, 2019 at 10:08 AM

    Hi Nicole, I’m loving all these oat flour cookies! My family also loves the peanut butter flavor combo and I’ve found that replacing 1/8-1/4 of the flour called for in most recipes with peanut butter powder (which I get from the bulk section of my grocer for half the cost of packaged) makes an amazingly chewy cookie.
    Thanks for another great recipe, I’ve never used butter flavoring but I’ll have to try it. It is one of the best things about a cookie to me ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 17, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      That’s a really interesting substitute, Julie! Thanks for letting us know that it’s worked for you. I started using peanut butter powder years ago, when it wasn’t nearly as widely available as it is today. I love that it’s everywhere now, since it’s actually really useful in baking! And I think you’ll really enjoy butter flavoring. My kids love it when I use it in my energy bites, too. So glad you’re enjoying the oat flour recipes!

  • Jackie Harrison
    February 17, 2019 at 9:52 AM

    Can I replace the Oat flour with GF oat bran?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 17, 2019 at 10:04 AM

      I’m afraid I really don’t think that would work, Jackie. Sorry! I recommend you make the recipe as written at least once before you try any substitutions. I think you’ll really like it as is.

  • Patti
    February 17, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    Any substitute for corn starch you would recommend for this recipe. Can’t have corn. Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 17, 2019 at 9:52 AM

      Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section in the post, Patti!

  • Steph
    February 15, 2019 at 5:16 PM

    Do you grind the oats and then measure, our measure first? Thank you so much.

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 15, 2019 at 7:40 PM

      Hi, Steph, the weight measurement is the same whether the oats are whole still or ground (the beauty of measuring by weight!). The corresponding volume measurements that I supplied are for the flour (so the oats, as ground). I was careful to specify “oat flour,” but I do understand why you’re asking. ?

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