No celebration is complete unless these soft, frosted gluten free sugar cookies are on the menu! This fun, versatile sugar cookie recipe is so simple to make and the dough rolls out easily for cut out cookies or make drop cookies.
- Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies at a Glance
- Ingredients for Soft Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
- Best Gluten Free Flour for GF Sugar Cookies
- Substitutions in these Easy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- How to Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- Pro Tips for This Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Tools for the Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe FAQs
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies at a Glance
Topped with this homemade gluten free frosting, these soft gluten free sugar cookies are just the right amount of sweet with a tender texture reminiscent of grocery store cookies only these sugar cookies are also dairy free.
Use different cookie cutters and make amazing Christmas cookies or Valentines cookies. The versatile recipe is also:
- Great for Gluten Free Cutout Cookies: Once you have the dough mixed, it's just a few hours in the refrigerator and then it's just rolling out the dough and cutting with your favorite cookie cutters.
- Great for Gluten Free Drop Cookies: If you'd rather make drop sugar cookies, skip the refrigeration step and place Tablespoons of dough on the cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Baked this way, they're similar to my almond flour sugar cookies recipe.
- Great Addition to a Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix: I'll admit, convenience mixes, like my gluten free Bisquick, are very handy to have around. And even some of my favorite cookies - yes, looking at you Gluten Free Strawberry Cake Mix cookies and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix cookies - even they start with the M word… mix!
But as much as easy mixes work wonders for a quick cookie, nothing compares to a homemade sugar cookie with HOMEMADE FROSTING. Butter, powdered sugar, a little vanilla extract and a little milk... that's all you need for a frosting that you can easily spread and decorate with. (The recipe for my gluten free buttercream frosting is here!)
Ingredients for Soft Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
Measurements for each ingredient, along with steps for making the cookies, are in the recipe card below.
- Gluten free flour mix
- Xanthan gum (depending on gluten free flour mix used, see note below)
- Baking powder - make sure yours is gluten free as not all baking powder is!
- Granulated sugar
- Vegan butter
- Pure vanilla extract
Best Gluten Free Flour for GF Sugar Cookies
This recipe has been tested with two gluten free flour mixes... the Zest For Baking gluten free flour mix and King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour mix. Both flour mixes work very well in this recipe.
If using the Zest For Baking gluten free flour mix, add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the dry ingredients since this mix does not contain xanthan gum and it's needed to act as a binder and hold the cookie dough together.
The King Arthur Measure for Measure mix may be used as-is.
Substitutions in these Easy Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- Gluten Free Flour Mix
This recipe has been tested with two gluten free flour mixes. I would not recommend substituting to a single flour like almond flour, rice flour or cassava flour as the recipe was not developed with a single flour.
- Xanthan Gum Substitute
Just because there is baking powder in this recipe, does not mean it doesn't need xanthan gum (this article on baking powder and xanthan gum goes over it more). Xanthan gum is needed to bind the dough together and prevent it from being crumbly. For help on xanthan gum, reference this article on xanthan gum substitutes.
- Salt Free
If you are following a low salt diet, the salt may be cut down to ⅛ teaspoon.
- Gluten Free Sugar Free Cookies
If you are wanting to make sugar free cookies, use this sugar substitute. It measures cup for cup like sugar.
- Butter Substitute
These cookies are also dairy free, but feel free to use regular butter if you can tolerate dairy.
- Gluten Free Egg Free Sugar Cookies
How to Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Step 1: In a medium bowl, mix the gluten free flour mix, baking powder and salt.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the softened vegan butter and sugar.
Step 3: Add eggs and vanilla and mix again.
Step 4: Add dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined.
Step 5: Scrape batter down. It should look soft and fluffy.
Step 6: Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Step 7: Divide chilled dough into 2 pieces - chill one half while rolling one half.
Step 8: Place dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll to ¼" thickness.
Step 9: Using lightly floured cookie cutters, cut out cookies and use a metal spatula to place on cookie sheets.
Step 10: Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, depending on size. Less time and the cookies will be soft, more time and they will be crisp.
Pro Tips for This Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe
1. Room temperature ingredients
Allow the ingredients about 30 minutes to sit at room temperature to warm up. Cold eggs and cold butter will not blend properly in this recipe.
2. Measure by weight
And then make sure to weigh the flour and sugar using a digital scale. You'll want 390 grams of gluten free flour mix.
3. Refrigeration time
For the best gluten free dairy free sugar cookies, wrap the cookie batter in plastic wrap, pat it into a disk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The disk of dough should be firm when you remove it from the refrigerator. Two hours is minimum, overnight is optimal.
4. Rolling out the cookie dough
Even though this cookie dough is easy to work with, you'll still want to use a large piece of parchment paper and lightly dust it with flour before putting the refrigerated dough on it.
Using a rolling pin, roll ½ of the dough to a ¼ inch thickness. Refrigerate the remaining dough until the first batch is complete.
Make sure your cookie cutters have a slight dusting of flour on them too.
Tip for picking up the shaped cookies: Use a thin metal spatula to slide under each one and carefully move it onto the prepared pan.
5. For soft gluten free sugar cookies
There are two things that can impact how soft a sugar cookie is...
- The dough
- Baking time
This recipe makes a wonderfully soft dough that produces equally soft cookies, but if they are overbaked, even by a minute, they'll become hard. So watch the baking time carefully - the cookies will look pale, but they're the perfect doneness for decorating!
Tools for the Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Stand mixer - using a stand mixer makes baking so much easier as it does all the hard work for you!
Rolling pin - I refer this style to wooden ones for this recipe.
Metal spatula - this is a must-have! Not just for cookies, but for getting bread loaves out of the pan and muffins out of the tin - just about anything!
Baking sheets - insulated ones are my favorites. They seem to bake more evenly than non-insulated ones.
Gluten free sprinkles - not all sprinkles are gluten free, but the ones I linked to are!
Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe FAQs
This recipe makes amazing cut out sugar cookies! Once you have the dough mixed, it's just a few hours in the refrigerator and then it's just rolling out the dough and cutting with your favorite cookie cutters.
This recipe works beautifully with two particular gluten free flour blends. The first is here: Zest For Baking gluten free flour blend. If you haven't mixed up a big batch of this gluten free flour mix, head over there and mix that up first. You'll need 390 grams, or 3 cups, of it for this recipe (plus 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum). It's a versatile mix to keep on hand for future recipes that call for gluten free flour mix.
The other option is King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour Mix. It also works very well in this recipe. No extra xanthan gum needed.
This gluten free sugar cookie dough can be frozen, both as a whole and as individual balls of dough for drop cookies. If frozen as a whole, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before rolling it out. The frozen balls of dough may be baked from frozen. Add a couple minutes of baking time if baking from frozen.
The best way to make gluten free cookies not dry is to measure the ingredients exactly and bake just enough. Any longer on the bake time and they will get dry and crumbly.
The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies: Soft & Dairy Free
- 390 grams gluten free flour blend 3 cups
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200 grams granulated sugar about 1 cup
- ¾ cup vegan butter softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour blend, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter until mixture is creamy. It should be thick and well incorporated.
- Add vanilla extract and mix again for a few seconds. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. The mixture should be more thin, but still hold together.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on medium until completely combined, about 2 minutes.
- Wrap ball of dough with plastic wrap and lightly pat it into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets by placing parchment paper on each one.
- Remove disk from the refrigerator and divide the dough in half. Refrigerate one half. Sprinkle surface lightly with flour blend and roll dough to ¼ inch thick.
- Cut with floured cookie cutters. Move each cookie to the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 11 - 12 minutes. They will not brown. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost using gluten free frosting (recipe linked in notes).
- Make sure ingredients are at room temperature.
- Weigh the flour with a digital scale.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours.
- Roll half the dough at a time. Keep the other half refrigerated.
- Sprinkle the surface with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Bake the cookies for the indicated time - they will not get brown.
- Frost with the gluten free buttercream frosting.
- Make sure your sprinkles are labeled gluten free.
Updated 1/8/2021 with new pictures and better directions. And 8/8/2023 with updated pictures.
Also check out these delicious gluten free recipes and tips!