Perfect cut out gluten free sugar cookies! Buttery, chewy, and bake beautifully. Topped with a simple frosting this is a perfect easy to make recipe all year long.
I love a delicious vanilla sugar cookie! Even better if it’s gluten free. This simple and easy to make gluten free sugar cookie recipe is perfect for any and every occasion and holiday. The dough is easy to work with and the cookie is sweet and buttery. Use whatever cookie shape you need and decorate them for fun or just enjoy them plain!
Tips for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
This sugar cookie has been in my family for ages, though I’ve made a few changes to it so that it works as a gluten free sugar cookie. I don’t think my grandma would mind as she was all about everyone having a delicious cookie!
There are a few secrets you need to know before making these cookies so yours turn out delicious each and every time.
Use softened butter and cream cheese but not melted. The combination of butter and cream cheese really work well to make a tender crumb that isn’t grainy at all. You begin by creaming the butter, sugar, and cream cheese together, helping to get a light and fluffy texture. Having super cold ingredients means this won’t work as well.
Use parchment paper to roll out the cookies. Let’s be real, gluten free flours can be expensive! Which is why I like to use a bit of flour and parchment paper to help me roll out the cookies. Place one sheet of parchment paper down, sprinkle with flour, place your dough in the middle, another sprinkle of flour, and finally another sheet of parchment. This combo saves on flour and rolls out great for me each time!
Refrigerate your dough! I know, it’s hard to be patient with cookies. But gluten free flours need that time in the fridge to hydrate. This helps prevent your cookies from being grainy! Plus, it allows the butter and cream cheese time to harden which means your cookies won’t spread in the oven as they bake. Give them a good hour in the chill box.
How to Make the Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Step One: Blend butter, cream cheese, and sugars together.
Take your softened butter, cream cheese, and both white sugar and powdered sugar and mix them in your large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer. Cream together until light and fluffy.
Step Two: Add the egg and vanilla extract.
Make sure your egg is at room temperature so that it doesn’t cause the butter mixture to seize up while mixing in the bowl. If you aren’t allergic, you can also add a 1/4 tsp of almond extract. This will make the cookies have a more complex flavor profile. If you are allergic, just use a high quality vanilla extract and you will still have a delicious cookie!
Step Three: Scrape the bowl and add dry ingredients.
Use a spatula and scrape all the butter mixture into the middle of the bowl. Then add the salt, cream of tartar, baking powder, and flour. Beat this with your mixture for about one minute, or until the dough comes together into a dough ball in the bowl. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
Depending on where you live (humidity!) you may need to add another tablespoon of flour to get the right feel. The dough should not stick to your finger when you poke it.
Step Four: Roll out cookies and chill them.
I like to roll my dough out now before chilling them. Strange, I know! But this dough can become too difficult to work with after chilling. Roll them out between parchment paper sheets and cut out with your cookie cutters of choice.
Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
Step Five: Preheat oven to 350F and bake.
Bake the cookies at 350F for between 10 and 15 minutes depending on how thick you rolled your dough and how large of cookies you cut out. The cookies are done when the edges are pulling up from the tray and have a light golden color to them.
Allow cookies to rest on the tray until fully cooled before moving or frosting.
Decorating Sugar Cookies
There are so many ways that you can decorate sugar cookies, which is the best part! Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
First, you can sprinkle them with sprinkles before baking! This will make a simple and sweet cookie.
My preferred method of frosting cookies is to make a simple icing of powdered sugar and water. Add food coloring if desired.
Buttercream frosting is the ultimate decadent method of frosting these cookies! You can use a homemade one, like my vegan vanilla buttercream or vegan double chocolate buttercream, or of course your favorite store bought brand.
If you add sprinkles to frosted cookies, make sure your sprinkle before the frosting sets! Otherwise the sprinkles will roll right off.
Allergy Variations for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
To make these dairy free, swap out the butter and cream cheese for your favorite plant-based butter and cream cheese. Before baking, instead of placing these cookies in the fridge, I recommend putting them in the freezer! Plant-based butter spreads more than dairy butter so this freeze technique should help prevent that.
To make these corn free, make sure that the powdered sugar you are using is corn free. The best one that I know of is Wholesome Powdered Sugar.
Looking for more great Cookie Recipes? Make sure you check these out!
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 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
- 1/2 cup butter of your choice
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese of your choice
- 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 aim for 1/4 inch cookies. Gently cut out using desired cookie shapes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
- While dough chills, preheat over to 350° F.
- 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.