You don’t have to worry about performance issues with our Gluten Free Sugar Cookies. This easy sugar cookie recipe works just as well as the traditional method. Want a bonus? They don’t require chilling! Perfect for icing and decorating, everyone (regardless of dietary restrictions) will love these holiday cutout sugar cookies!
My kids are the perfect storm combination of sugar fiends and cookie monsters. So for them, the best part of December is the mass quantity of cookies they’re (kind of) allowed to consume. Honestly, I’d probably save a ton of money on presents if I just wrapped up tins of chocolate chip cookies and put those under the tree.
However, we recently starting eliminating gluten from our younger son’s diet to see if it might improve some issues he’s been working through. Therefore, ’tis the season to experiment with gluten free sugar cookies!
On a hope and a prayer, I started with my go-to sugar cookie recipe, but substituted one-for-one gluten free flour (with xanthan gum) and to my absolute delight, they’re just as good as a classic sugar cookie – and my husband thinks they’re actually better.
These gluten free sugar cookies still have that beloved buttery taste, but the texture was what sealed the deal. They’re the goldilocks of cutout sugar cookies – not crack-your-tooth hard and not dissolve-in-your-hand soft. These semi soft sugar cookies are just right, with crispy edges and the perfect amount of squish in the center.
So, are they the best iced sugar cookies? Um, I’m gonna say yeah. Cause if gluten free sugar cookies are just as delicious as traditional sugar cookie cutouts, perform just as well, don’t need to be chilled first, and they’re compliant for those who might otherwise not experience the joy of biting the head off a cookie snowman, well, then win-win-win-major win.
For a condensed post with just step-by-step instructions, click to view the web story for this recipe!
How to Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
No taste or texture are sacrificed when you switch out your all-purpose flour in this recipe for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies. Using a one-for-one gluten free flour helps these iced sugar cookies perform just like traditional cutouts. Finish with a sweet vanilla glaze and your favorite sprinkles!
- CREAM. Cream the butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until light in color and very fluffy.
- MIX. Add egg, and beat until completely blended. Then add vanilla and beat 30 seconds more..
- WHISK. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
- ADD. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in thirds, mixing by hand with a wood spoon or rubber spatula. Continue adding until dough comes together and does not stick to your fingers.
- REST. Rest dough for 5 minutes. This dough doesn’t need to be chilled.
- MAKE. Divide dough into fourths, then roll out to ¼″ thickness.
- CUT. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to an unlined baking sheet.
- BAKE. Bake at 375°F for 7 minutes, until edges are just barely golden brown; the centers will still be soft. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- GLAZE. Whisk powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream in a medium bowl to make the glaze. Dip the cookies into the glaze, then dust with festive sprinkles.
Baking Tips for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies!
- Make sure your butter is room temperature and soft before creaming with sugar.
- This recipe calls for using powdered sugar, not granulated sugar. Just trust!
- Use a one-to-one gluten free flour – this blend will already include the correct amount of xanthan gum.
- If dough is too wet after mixing all ingredients together, you can add up to 2 tablespoons of additional gluten free flour, but be conservative.
- You do not need to chill the dough before rolling or cutting!
- Use a cup or mason jar to cut dough into circles if you don’t have cookie cutters.
- When making the glaze, note that the mixture will be very thick at first and start to thin as you continue to whisk. Add another tablespoon of heavy cream if the glaze is too thick – the right consistency is when the glaze runs off the whisk with a consistency just a bit thicker than honey.
- Add sprinkles while glaze is still wet so they stick; if decorating with piped colored icing, wait at least 2 hours until the glaze has formed a crust.
Our Favorite Way to Ice Sugar Cookies
Try a glaze instead of royal icing. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the look and flavor of royal icing – but it’s a pain in the butt, and definitely not an accessible form of cookie frosting for chef’s of all abilities. A simple vanilla glaze – made with heavy cream for a thicker, richer consistency – is perfect for these gluten free sugar cookies. Simply whisk, dip, drip, then sprinkle.
Can I Use Almond Flour in Place of Gluten Free Flour?
No, almond flour cannot be substituted one-for-one in this gluten free sugar cookies recipe. Almond flour needs a binder and typically a few other tweaks (such as a bit more liquid, or a bit less flour) to work as an adequate substitute for baking flours.
More Baked Holiday Favorites
- Italian Butter Cookies
- Polish Chrusciki (Angel Wings)
- Peppermint Whoopie Pies
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Olive Oil Gingerbread Cake
Did you make these gluten free sugar cookies? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Gluten Free Sugar CookiesPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 sticks, 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, unsifted
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cup gluten free flour with xanthan gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-7 tbsp heavy cream
- 3 drops food coloring, optional
- 3 tbsp sprinkles
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, start on low speed and beat 1 minute, until the ingredients are well mixed. Increase the speed to high and cream 3 minutes more, or until the mixture is light in color and fluffy.
- Add the egg, then beat on high speed until completely blended. Add the vanilla extract, and beat on high speed 30 seconds more.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds, mixing by hand with a wood spoon. Continue adding the dry ingredients until the dough comes together, easily pulls from the sides of the bowl, and does not stick to your fingers. You may need to add up to 2 additional tablespoons of gluten free flour, but be conservative. Rest the dough for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until roughly ¼ inch thick.
- Cut into desired shapes, then transfer to an unlined baking sheet, leaving at least 1” between each cookie.
- Bake at 375°F for 7 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden brown; the centers will still be soft. Rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack using a spatula and cool completely.
- Make the glaze. Whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 6 tbsp heavy cream in medium bowl. The mixture will be very thick at first and start to thin as you continue to whisk. Add another tablespoon of heavy cream if the glaze is too thick – the right consistency is when the glaze runs off the whisk with a consistency just a bit thicker than honey. Add the food coloring, if using, and whisk until the color is even throughout.
- Transfer the glaze to a wide, shallow bowl. Dip a sugar cookie into the glaze, then hold over the bowl until the excess runs off. Turn right side up, place on baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite sprinkles. The glaze form a crust in about 2 hours, but still be a bit soft underneath.