Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

This is the third of four posts on How to Bake Sugar Cookies. We’ve already learned how to cream butter and sugar, and performed some related experiments. This post will cover the basic Gluten Free Sugar Cookie recipe. And then after Christmas I’ll write a post on how to roll out the cookie dough. Yes, I know it would make sense to do that before Christmas, but I’ve just flat run out of time =)

For more delicious gluten free recipes like this one, make sure to check out my ebook, The Gluten Free Survival Guide. I put all of my favorite recipes in there, like sandwich bread, waffles, scones, tortillas, and more! I know you’ll enjoy the recipes as much as we do!

The first blog post that I ever read about gluten free sugar cookies went on and on about how difficult it was to find a good flour mix for sugar cookies. By the time this individual was done with her recipe it had something like 16 ingredients and one of them was amaranth flour. I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to order amaranth flour for cookies that I would probably only make once a year.

Because of that post we haven’t had sugar cookies for four years. When I saw that post again this year it made me mad. Gluten free baking should not be that hard. Cookies don’t need gluten! I was fired up and ready to make a sugar cookie.

I found a recipe in my favorite cookbook, Joy of Cooking, and decided to convert it to gluten free. I gave some thought to the flour issue and decided to substitute my Gluten Free Soy Free All Purpose Flour Mix for the plain flour in the original recipe. I figured at the worst, the cookies would be good but just wouldn’t taste exactly like the sugar cookies I grew up with. I must say, though, the results were really, really good. I don’t think that I’ll be changing this recipe any at all =)

P.S. This recipe is suitable if you’re making cut-out cookies for decorating.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. Mary’s AP GF, SF flour

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, baking powder, salt and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Then stir in the flour until well-blended and smooth.

Divide the dough in half and roll out each half to 1/4 in. thickness between two sheets of parchment paper. Keeping the paper in place, move the dough to the refrigerator and chill for 20 – 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Move one oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Grease your cookie sheets.

Take one portion of dough out of the refrigerator. Peel one piece of parchment paper off and then replace it.  This is now the bottom side of your dough. Take off the other piece of paper and discard.  Cut out the cookies using cookie cutters that are 2 – 3 in. long. Place the cut-out cookie on the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Roll out the dough scraps and keep cutting cookies until all the dough has been used. Refrigerate the dough again if it gets too soft to handle.

Bake the cookies just until they are lightly colored and slightly darker at the edges – should be around 6 – 9 minutes. Rotate the cooking sheet halfway through baking for even browning. After they are done, transfer them to a cooling rack as soon as possible.

Repeat this process with the other portion of dough.  And then enjoy!!


  1. Lovely job on the sugar cookies!

    Happy Holidays!

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  2. what would be a sub for soy flour in the cookie flour mix? thanks

  3. @Valerie: You can substitute sorghum flour or a white bean flour for the soy flour.

  4. I just made these and it was a total disaster. I did use earth balance “butter” instead of the actual butter. Do you think this made a difference? The dough turned out more like a batter. And when I tried to bake them they just all ran into each other and turned into a crumbly mess–they went straight into the trash can.

  5. thecookielady says:

    Try using more flour next time. If the dough doesn’t look or feel right then it prolly isn’t.

  6. would this work w/ egg replacer or a flax egg? (what do you think?) has anyone tried it?

    • @lala: I haven’t tried it with either. but I think that i would try egg replacer first, simply because the sugar cookies wouldn’t look like sugar cookies with ground flax seed in them.

  7. So, i made the cookies.
    I added 1/4 of vanilla instead of Cinnamon.
    They came out looking really amazing, but when i tried to take them off the cookie sheet they crumbled and broke =/

  8. Anne in Maryland says:

    I agree with the person who said these need more flour. I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free and they spread too much and were too difficult to work with. Next time I would add at least 1/2-1 cup more. I also added 1 tsp vanilla. The temp was really high, and my first batch burned in only 6 minutes! I turned it down to 375, they cooked fine and it gave me a little more “grace” with cooking time. They ARE YUMMY tho!! Will use again!

  9. several times I have googled for recipes and end up here – but your all purpose flour mix includes soy – which I have not been able to find gluten free – we use Bob’s Red Mill because it is local, but they do not do a GF soy flour and when we asked do not plan to, so where do you get GF soy flour? is there a substitute?

  10. Shay Rohde says:

    My husband has lactose intolerance in addition to Celiac’s. I know butter substitutes need to be above a certain % fat in order to work for baking. What do you suggest I use instead of butter?

  11. I am fairly new to this. To my understanding I have to use Xanthan gum or guar gum to replace the “gluten” in flour mixes. How much Xanthan gum do I need to add to this recipe using your gluten free all purpose flour mix?

  12. Natasha-

    I, too, looked at this recipe and the bumps people are having with the recipe and thought…there’s no xanthan gum!

    My suggestion, altho I haven’t tried it, would be to add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the flour mix.

    I made a batch of snickerdoodles, forgot the xanthan gum and the cookies turned out the way Cassie and Liz described their batches of this sugar cookie recipe.

    But, like I said, I haven’t tried it, so proceed at your own risk.

  13. I made these cookies the other day and they tasted great! I couldn’t get my butter creamed the way the recipe said because of the butter I used but it turned out better than I thought!

    To Shay Rohde: I have dairy allergies and use soy free Earth Balance in all my cooking. I can hardly tell the difference in the baking, everything tastes great with it. This is the only one I find that will not make the end product oily. Good luck!

  14. Anne in Maryland says:

    A margarine I have good baking results with, that contains no milk (parve) is Fleishman’s Unsalted sticks. Make sure they are the unsalted because the regular Fleishman’s has dairy.

  15. i also have lactose intolerance that is why i always avoid dairy products.-;’

  16. I wondered about the xanthan gum as well. I guess I’ll put in a teaspoon and cross my fingers.

    Also if you question the health of the oils in margarine and earth balance, Spectrum brand palm oil shortening is a good option to replace butter.


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