Gluten Free Sugar Cookies Recipe
These soft gluten free sugar cookies cut-out sugar cookies with meringue-style frosting are out of this world. They’ll hold any shape you want and taste delicious with that thick layer of buttercream frosting.
Do you know those store-bought, soft frosted sugar cookies? I don’t mean to brag, but this is essentially a Lofthouse knockoff recipe—only better! Nobody will be able to tell that these gluten free sugar cookies aren’t the “real thing”!
The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies Recipe
These gluten-free sugar cookies are so delicious that I want to wax poetic about them. Here’s why they’re so fantastic:
Classic taste and texture — They have the crispy edges and soft centers that you would expect from the ideal sugar cookie.
Sweet but not overpowering — This recipe delivers whether you’re making cut-out cookies or drops cookies, gluten-free sugar cookies for Christmas or a birthday.
Fast and easy preparation — Have you forgotten a special occasion? Are you in a hurry? Do you really need a cookie right now? These soft gluten-free sugar cookies are prepared, baked, and ready in 30 minutes.
Dairy-free and vegan substitutions: These cookies are naturally nut-free when prepared as instructed, but you can eliminate further allergens by checking out my substitutions below.
Cut-out cookies with clean edges that hold their shape
Every holiday and season requires its own cookie: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Spring celebrations, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day… do I really need to go on? We all need gluten-free cookies that hold their shape and allow us to use whatever cookie cutters we want.
These gluten-free sugar cut-out cookies are incredibly simple to make from scratch. Because the dough contains few ingredients, it comes together quickly.
It’s super easy to roll out, and even though we use gluten-free flour, it’s stable enough to cut out shapes and transfer to a baking sheet. The dough is not fragile, but once baked, the gluten-free sugar cookies are tender and light as can be.
Prefer gluten-free drop-sugar cookies? I’ve got you
Don’t want to get out the rolling pin and cookie cutters? We’ve all been there and can relate. Instead, try my gluten-free drop sugar cookie recipe for the best results. But if you change your mind in the middle of a recipe, here’s what you can do:
Skip the rolling process after kneading your dough and instead use a spoon to measure out consistent-sized clumps of dough.
Roll a piece of dough in your hands until it forms a ball, then place it on a baking sheet and flatten it with your palm. You now have drop drops!
Best of all, you can still decorate these drop cookies with colored frosting and sprinkles, or just plain powdered sugar, and I promise no one will notice that they aren’t shaped like trees.
Gluten-free sugar cookie ingredients
When baking gluten-free foods, whether it’s Christmas cookies or a delicious Chinese fake-out, there’s quite a bit to think about when it comes to selecting the best alternative ingredients for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free flour is a key factor, of course, as are your choice of sugar and whether to use dairy or plant-based alternatives.
The best gluten-free flour blend for this sugar cookie recipe
The flour you use is probably the most important decision you’ll make when gluten-free baking. There are numerous options available, ranging from single-ingredient options like almond flour and rice flour to GF flour blends made up of several different flours.
While each has a place in gluten-free cookie recipes, this is what worked best for me.
Using Better Batter all-purpose flour, I’ve perfected this gluten-free sugar cookie recipe. It’s the gluten-free flour blend I use the most for baking because it consistently produces excellent results.
If you want an alternative, try Cup4Cup or one of my “mock” all-purpose gluten-free flour blends, which are just as good as the brand-name blends.
Because both of these gluten-free flour blends already contain xanthan gum, you can omit it from the gluten-free cookie recipe below.
I haven’t tried any other gluten-free flour for these sugar cookies, so I can’t speak to their effectiveness. Better Batteries is highly recommended, but if you don’t have access to it, you’ll have to experiment with others on your own.
Whatever you do, use a gluten-free flour blend — single flours like almond flour or coconut flour lack binders and require drastically different moisture ratios.
Sugar cookie ingredient notes:
Gluten-free flour is the most important ingredient, but it is nothing without the rest of the cast:
Baking powder – helps the cookies puff out and spread a bit so they’re not dense
Sugar – Sugar cookies cannot exist without sugar, but we don’t go overboard in this recipe, calling for only 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
Butter – keeps the cookies soft and tender while adding to their incredible flavor
Egg – the egg acts as a binder to keep your cookies together, while also adding richness and moisture
Vanilla extract – vanilla extract is a flavor enhancer that really takes these gf sugar cookies to another level
Salt – also a flavor enhancer, it helps balance the sweetness, so it’s not overwhelming
Tips for making the best gluten-free cut out sugar cookies
These gluten-free roll-out cookies will be a hit no matter what occasion you make them for. Follow my tips below to make the perfect soft, frosted sugar cookies.
For the best sugar cookie dough, weigh your ingredients.
This cookie dough can be made, rolled out, cut out, and baked without any temperature changes (no chilling required!). because the moisture balance is ideal
The dough will resemble moist crumbs and clumps, and you may be tempted to add more moisture.
Please don’t add anything extra, but make sure you measure your ingredients (especially the gluten-free flour) by weight, not volume because the right balance of ingredients is critical to this simple recipe.
To create an airtight seal, wrap your sugar cookie dough in three layers of plastic wrap. The dough will keep in the freezer for two to three months.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, defrost the dough by leaving it out on the counter for an hour or putting it in the refrigerator overnight. Roll it out and start baking once it’s pliable.
The Best Gluten-Free Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies Recipes
Bring out the cookie cutters, because this gluten-free sugar cookie recipe is ideal for holidays and special occasions. We’ve also got the frosting covered!
FOR THE FROSTING (SEE RECIPE NOTES FOR ALTERNATIVE)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine well.
- Add the butter, and mix to moisten the dry ingredients with the butter, until the mixture looks sandy, pressing down on the butter with the back of the mixing spoon.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and mix to combine, until the dry ingredients are all moistened with the wet.
- With clean, dry hands, knead the mixture together to form a cohesive dough. It will be thick and relatively stiff.
- Place the dough on a clean, flat surface, and roll it into a round a bit less than 1/3-inch thick, sprinkling very lightly with flour to prevent the rolling pin from sticking.
- Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (or whatever shape you like), cut out shapes from the dough and place them about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- It can be helpful to remove the surrounding dough from the cutouts, and then peel the shapes off. Gather and reroll the scraps and repeat the process until you’ve used all the dough.
- Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are just set on top, 6 to 8 minutes, depending upon size and shape. The edges of some cookies may brown slightly.
- Remove them from the oven before there is any significant browning, and allow them to cool on the baking sheet until set before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the butter, milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until combined. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to mix until the mixture is creamy.
- Mix in the salt, meringue powder, and 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar. Slowly incorporate the sugar into the mixture. Increase the speed of the mixer to high and continue to beat until the mixture is uniformly thick.
- Mix in the optional vanilla seeds and as much of the remaining confectioners’ sugar as needed to thicken the frosting.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, pipe or spoon a generous amount of frosting onto the tops of each and spread into an even layer with a wide knife or offset spatula.
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