These easy and affordable gluten free sugar cookies are perfect year-round for all your sweet treat baking ideas! Buttery, light, fluffy, and hold their shape.
Christmas cookie making has a long-established history in my family. When my great-grandmother came to America back in 1919, she brought only one suitcase of things with her, and this sugar cookie recipe was one of them!
The Christmas cookie traditions continued while my grandmother and mom were growing up. As a child, I remember mountains of cookies on the table around the holidays, each different and oh so yummy. But the sugar cookies were always my favorite.
My family dedicated an entire day to making cookies, but the best part was decorating the sugar cookies. I would sit at the kitchen table, sugar cookies all around me, and would create a mess of sprinkles, frosting, food dyes, and powdered sugar as I decorated the cookies. Some of them … well only a grandmother could love how they turned out! Ha! Over the years, I’m proud to say that my cookie decorating skills have improved. But Grandma loved them all, no matter what they looked like.
I’m sure there is a life lesson in there, somewhere.
Making the Cookies
These cookies mean more to me than just a good recipe. My grandmother has been passed on for over 7 years now, but I still feel connected to her each time I pull out the mixing bowl and tie my apron around my waist. Oh yeah, I bake with an apron, just like her.
Since developing my wheat allergy this past year, I knew that my holiday wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t adapt my family sugar cookie recipe to be gluten free. And so, after much experimenting, these perfect gluten free sugar cookies recipe was created!
I hope that these cookies make their way to your holiday tables this year and that you enjoy them as much as my family. I’m sure my grandmother would want to see all your wonderfully decorated sugar cookies!
These cookies are light and buttery, holding their shape for rolling and cutting, and give a crisp clean edge every time. None of my cookies spread on the sheet, so you can pack them in and get a ton of cookies cooked all at once!
Tips for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Different gluten free flour blends have different ratios and percentages of protein in their mixes. So far, I have only tried this with Better Batter flour and found that it works really well. Better Batter is a rice, tapioca, and potato blend that creates a very soft texture and isn’t grainy at all.
The secret for non-grainy gluten free sugar cookies is to let the dough rest in the fridge. This gives the rice flours time to absorb the moisture from the butter and vanilla, soaking up all the flavor.
You can flavor these cookies any flavor you like to match the occasion. For Christmas cookies, I love a simple vanilla sugar cookie and use only vanilla extract. You can also use other flavors like almond, peppermint, or lemon. Just half the vanilla amount and add the rest of your preferred flavor.
Rolling Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Gluten free flour is expensive no matter what brand you purchase. I don’t want to waste any of that so when I roll my cookies out, I use two pieces of parchment paper. Never has my dough stuck to the paper so I couldn’t get my cookies off it. Plus, this has the bonus of storing flat in your fridge.
After mixing my dough, I place the dough onto the parchment paper, cover with another, and roll to my desired thickness for my cookies. Pop those puppies in the fridge for 30 minutes and then you can get to cutting them out.
I don’t want to waste any flour here, either, so I dust my cookie cutters in powdered sugar! Dip them before you cut each cookie and the dough won’t stick.
Sugar Cookie Frosting
For these, I went super simple and just used icing sugar mixed with a little water till I achieved the consistency I wanted. You can use pre-bought icing, make some royal icing, or keep it simple like I did. If you want to top your cookies with chocolate buttercream frosting, pop over here and prepare your mouth for decadence. No shame in whatever you want to use. During the holiday season, I’m all about easy-peasy.
If you want to us sprinkles, make sure you add them before the frosting sets. Otherwise they will roll right off! And if you are layering your frosting colors, make sure you let each layer dry and get a little bit of a frosting shell before adding the next layer. Then you’ll have nice crisp edges.
- Gluten Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Dye Free, Coconut Free
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups gluten free flour Better Batter brand or your favorite
- ½ teaspoon xantham gum use if your blend does not include
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 8 tablespoon butter soften to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixer. Whip until very light and fluffy. You want the butter to be almost white in color.
- Add the sugar and powdered sugar, blending well.
- Now add the baking powder, cream of tarter, and salt. Make sure everything is well incorporated.
- In a small bowl, crack your egg and gently beat so that it is mixed. Add the vanilla (or other flavoring) to this and stir. Slowly pour this into your butter mixture.
- Now add the flour in two batches, making sure to combine well each time.
- Turn the dough out onto your parchment sheet and roll to desired thickness. I usually roll mine to cover an entire cookie sheet.
- Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While dough chills, preheat over to 350° F. Line your cookie trays with more parchment paper.
- Take the dough out and cut into shapes. The dough can be worked several more times to cut out more cookies. If the dough gets too warm, pop it back in the fridge for 10 more minutes to let the butter firm up again.
- Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven and thickness of the cookies. You can’t walk away from these as they go from not done to burnt in a matter of seconds!
- Let cool completely before frosting.