Gluten-free Sugar Cookie Recipe

Both of my boys eat gluten-free 100% of the time. Zephan has celiac disease which I figured out immediately upon introducing him to solid foods when he was a baby, and Asher has digestive issues that completely clear up when he eats gluten-free. I really should eat gluten-free 100% of the time, but I cheat and my digestive system lets me know every time that I do! The truth is I have a major sweet tooth and LOVE baked goods. If you’ve never had a gluten-free baked good, they aren’t bad at all but they aren’t as good as the “real deal” either. I typically buy boxed baked good mixes because the gluten-free flours are also expensive and tricky. Most homemade cookie recipes call for weird bean flours or bean curd or some other garbanza product that we just aren’t fans of. If you love all the beans in your gluten-free, more power to you. We’ve tried several and just don’t like the taste. So today I thought I’d experiment by taking a typical sugar cookie recipe and making it gluten free. Things didn’t go perfectly in execution (which I’ll tell you about below), but the end product turned out delicious and adorable!

gluten free cookie recipe

Gluten-free Sugar Cookie Recipe


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks room temperature butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I use King Arthur brand.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the salt, xanthan gum, and flour and then gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix until combined.
  2. Place covered bowl in refrigerator for a few hours to chill. Once chilled roll out dough onto floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Bake on parchment paper at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.
  3. Recipe by ©

I chilled my dough thoroughly but made the mistake of not rolling it out on a floured surface. Instead I simply rolled the dough into balls and baked them into a big mess! Ack! While they were still piping hot on the cookie sheets I grabbed a small mug and used it as a cookie cutter. This worked perfectly, but I don’t recommend this method. You’ll have a lot less wasted cookie if you simply do it right the first time.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla


  1. Mix ingredients together with mixer until desired consistency is achieved. If too stiff, add 2 tsp milk. If too thin, add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar. *I like a thick frosting that I can roll into a ball and squish into a "frosting pancake" to place on a round sugar cookie. For a more spreadable frosting, you'll want to whip it longer (3 minutes or more) and add whipping cream or milk.

If you want to make cute Santa cookies like the ones I featured from Six Sister’s Stuff, follow the frosting recipe above. You will also need flaked coconut for the beard, red sugar for the hat, mini-marshmallows (I cut mine in half) for the ball, regular sized chocolate chips for the eyes, and red M&M’s for the nose! I like my frosting thick like those evil Loft-House sugar cookies that you pass in the grocery store and that somehow leap into your cart, so I place my frosting on the cookie in a bit of an unconventional manner. I whip the frosting to a “dough like” consistency, roll it into a ball and then flatten it like a pancake. I then plop my frosting pancake onto my sugar cookie and begin decorating. This method works much better for me than trying to obtain a smooth frosting finish with a knife. Do whatever works best for you!

gluten free cookie recipe

I held a measuring cup over my cookie to create an “umbrella” for where I didn’t want the red sugar to end up. I also found it easier to flip my cookie upside down and roll the edge in red sugar for the hat. Neither of my boys are huge fans of coconut ,so I went a bit light on Santa’s beard :).

gluten free sugar cookie recipe

So how do they taste? They are delicious! Even without all of that fantastic frosting they taste great. More butter in your dough leads to a crisper cookie, so these cookies aren’t soft and chewy. They are firm to bite into. I typically like a soft sugar cookie but these get a thumbs up from me and I am super-duper picky.  The cookie dough is yummy to eat as well but has that typical “grainy” texture to it that all gluten-free flours seem to have. But if you love to snack on the dough as you bake you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy and thanks again to Six Sister’s Stuff for the inspiration! If you want a non-gluten-free recipe for this cookie, be sure to check theirs out.

gluten free christmas cookie

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  1. says

    They look delicious, great to see a gluten free recipe. I’m not gluten allergic, but I think we would all do better with less gluten anyway.

  2. says

    SO CUTE! Love the idea and totally plan to do with the kids. I am GF and my son is Asperger’s so I am slowly getting him off gluten so we’ve also been experimenting and I SO TOTALLY agree about the bean stuff. BLECH! Tastes like old green bananas…..

    I got hooked on Better Batter flour (I order directly from them and you can get super deals if you follow them on Facebook) thanks to Nicole Hunn from Her recipes use REAL ingredients and are always DELICIOUS! And no crazy 2 oz of quinoa flour with 8 oz of teff flour with 4 oz of acorn flour…….you know what I mean……

    Thanks for sharing this and everything else you do – you are a spot of calm and inspiration every time you post!

    • Beth says

      Oooo, great tip Bren! Thanks for the link. I became so frustrated with gluten free sites because every baked good called for 10 different flours. Who has time for that? LOL at the acorn flour :)!! And yes, my oldest has Asperger’s as well and is doing splendidly on a g/f mostly dairy free diet. It would take a very trained eye to pinpoint the fact that he’s on the spectrum at this point which we are thrilled about!

  3. says

    Hey Beth, great post. I eat gluten free too. I am going to add this recipe to my recipe binder and maybe make them as a surprise for Santa. I have two great recipes I use all the time for “sweets” I actually cut out added sugar also but I do make some great paleo brownies from that my kids and husband LOVE – and I made a carrot cake from this weekend for a family get together and there was none left to that goes to show that gluten free can taste good, my daughter want this cake for her birthday now. I even had requests for both recipes from gluten eaters.

    • Beth says

      Thanks for the links Maura! I am always looking for recipes that actually taste good and are healthy! I really need to get my sugar and carb addiction under control and would love to go Paleo. It’s so painful those first few weeks though and I can’t seem to get past it!

  4. says

    My son was just diagnosed with CD about 2 months ago. Gluten Free life has been an adventure. I am terrified of baking but I am going to give it a try this weekend. This was just the recipe I needed!! (I just posted a “recipe” for Christmas Oreos on my blog. I say “recipe” because I only make the filling. Ha!) Thanks for sharing!

  5. says

    Why is it that stuff that is bad for us always tastes so nice! I choose to eat gluten free these days and ensure that my kids do too but it’s not always easy for them. Thanks for sharing this, I’ll give it a go for the kids.

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