Gluten free soft sugar cookies filled with vanilla flavor and topped with frosting and sprinkles! Easy to make with simple ingredients. Dairy free + egg free options.
Soft and delicious gluten free sugar cookies? Sign me up! These cookies are a copycat recipe to the Lofthouse Sugar Cookies you can find in most grocery stores in the US. Those cookies are not gluten free or vegan, but this recipe is!
It’s made with simple pantry ingredients and topped with a creamy buttercream frosting and loads of gluten free sprinkles. My whole family adores these cookies and I know you’ll love them, too!
Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Taste is incredible! They are so similar to a Lofthouse Cookie with the perfect balance of sweet and vanilla flavors. Plus, they are a soft sugar cookie that is perfect for any time of the year, but especially around the holiday season.
- Fast and easy to make. Other sugar cookies you need to roll out the dough and chill it, but not this recipe! These are drop cookies, meaning they are quick and easy. Here you can have delicious gluten free sugar cookies from scratch to totally frosted and decorated in less than 1 hour.
- Allergy options. Need to make these dairy free or egg free? No problem! This is a great recipe can easily be made with a few variations so that everyone can enjoy a cookie.
There are a few things that you’ll need for this recipe but they are all pantry staples!
Sprinkles - I find that the best gluten free sprinkles are the ones from Sweetapolita! They make sprinkles that are not only gluten free, but also vegan, gelatin free, vegetarian, kosher, and even dye free. Since I started using them I haven’t used any other sprinkle.
Sour Cream - This is the secret to a soft and flavorful gluten free cookie. Gluten free flours can be gritty or grainy, which is why you need to combine extra moisture and fats into the doughs. Sour cream does both of that in this recipe. For a dairy free option, see below.
Best gluten free flour
Gluten free flour blends has a slightly different mix of ingredients, so not all of them will get you the same results. For this recipe, I recommend that you use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour.
If you use a different flour, I would try my own nightshade free gluten free flour, or, Better Batter. You may need to adjust the liquid amount to get a moist cookie. Just watch the dough and if it seems too thick or crumbly, adjust accordingly.
I don’t recommend using a single ingredient flours like almond flour, oat flour, or rice flour for these cookies. A good blend is required for the best cookies.
To make these cookies dairy free, use your favorite plant-based butter and plant-based milk of choice. When making these, I always use rice milk, but you can just as easily use almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. My favorite dairy free butter is Earth Balance soy free or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter baking sticks.
To replace the sour cream with a dairy free option, use your favorite plant-based yogurt. Use a plain or vanilla flavor to best compliment the cookies and not overpower them.
To make these sugar cookies egg free, replace the egg with a ¼ cup of whipped aquafaba. If you notice them being a little too dry, replace the tablespoon of milk with a tablespoon of a neutral flavored oil to help with the fat ratios.
You could also make these with a flax seed egg, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of boiling water, set aside for 5 minutes to gel. Just be aware that as these are pale sugar cookies, you will be able to see the flecks of flax in the cookie. Which is all the more reason for more frosting on top if you ask me!
To make these cookies corn free, replace the cornstarch with an equal amount of tapioca flour or arrowroot powder. Make sure that your baking powder, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar are all corn free as well!
Sugar cookie instructions
For the full instructions with measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Prep your oven by preheating it to 325F and lining two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Begin with room temperature butter and sour cream. Add them to a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together. By using room temperature ingredients, the dough will come together more easily, making for a better cookie.
Add the sugar and mix this well on a medium to medium-high speed for about 2 or 3 minutes.
Now add the egg, also at room temperature. Mix this on low speed until it is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and milk, letting this mix together.
In a separate bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
Slowly add the flour to the dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the dough is a little crumbly and not fully incorporated on the bottom of the bowl, go ahead and add another spoonful of milk.
Now, on your prepared baking sheet, place rounded balls of dough and gently press them with a measuring cup to get them into a disc shape. You can bake these smaller using a rounded tablespoon, or you can make large cookies using a rounded 2 tablespoon scoop.
Bake the cookies for 17 minutes if making small cookies and for 20 minutes for the large. You’ll know the cookies are done when they no longer look wet, and are golden brown on the bottom.
Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet and don’t disturb them. They need that resting time!
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or with a stand mixer and the whisk attachment, add the butter to the bowl. Whisk this on high speed for about 4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and food coloring if using. Mix this together, staring out slowly until the sugar is fully incorporated. Then mix on medium speed for one minute.
Using the back of a spoon, a knife, or a palette knife, frost the top of each cooled cookie. Sprinkle with sprinkles immediately so they stick.
Yes! There are simple adaptations you can do to make these gluten free and vegan.
Replace butter and sour cream with an equal amount of your favorite plant based butter and sour cream. Dairy free yogurt can be used in place of sour cream.
To replace the egg, use ¼ cup of whipped aquafaba and 1 tablespoon of canola oil.
You can also make a flax egg of 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of boiling water, mixed and set aside for 5 minutes to gel. Note that as these are pale cookies, the flax seeds will show in the dough.
Not if your gluten free flour blend contains xanthan gum already. If you are using a blend that does not contain any, add a ½ teaspoon.
No, this is a drop gluten-free sugar cookie recipe. For a classic sugar cookie, make sure you check out my best gluten-free sugar cookies recipe that is perfect for Christmas cookies.
These cookies taste best the day they are made.
Countertop: Keep unfrosted cookies on the countertop in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Fridge: This is the best way to keep these cookies. Store the frosted or unfrosted cookies in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The longer these cookies sit, the more dried out they become. Because there is buttercream frosting, they need to be kept in the fridge. If you use pure vegetable shortening in place of butter, you can keep them on the countertop for 2 days.
Freezer: Freeze frosted or unfrosted cookies in a freezer safe container with sheets of parchment between the layers of cookies for up to 2 months. Allow them to come to room temperature before eating after freezing.
Best tips for gluten free sugar cookies
To make perfectly round sugar cookies, when the cookies first come out of the oven, use a glass or cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the cookie and gently swirl the cookie around in the cup edge on the hot baking sheet. This will round out any misshapen edges and give you that perfect cookie!
More gluten free cookies
If you try these out, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, dietary friendly recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- ½ cup butter dairy or dairy free
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 egg OR ¼ cup whipped aquafaba OR flax egg
- 2 tablespoon milk dairy or dairy free
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups gluten free flour blend
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch see note for corn free
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sprinkles
- food coloring optional
- Preheat your oven to 325°F / 160°C. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine your gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
- In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, combine the butter with the sour cream. Whip until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, again mixing until light and fluffy.
- Slowly incorporate your egg. Then add vanilla and milk.
- Now begin to add the flour mixture into your wet mixture. Do this in two additions, making sure to incorporate well each time. If the dough is crumbly after it is combined, add 1 tablespoon of milk to make smooth.
- The dough should be smooth and supple with no crumbs but not so sticky that you can't touch it. It should be slightly tacky.
- Using a 1 or 2 tablespoon scoop, scoop dough onto the prepared sheets. 12 to a tray if using a 1 tablespoon scoop, 8 to a tray if using a 2 tablespoon scoop.
- Using the back of a measuring cup or other flat surface, gently press the dough ball into a flattened disc.
- Bake for 17 minutes if making small cookies. Bake for 20 minutes if making large cookies. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on the tray before removing to frost.
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, whip your butter until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and sprinkle of salt. Starting slowly, mix on high for another 4-5 minutes, or until the frosting is light and has doubled in volume.
- Divide into bowls and add desired food coloring, if using.
- Spread on cookies. Sprinkle with sprinkles right away before the frosting sets.