The Best Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (with Dairy-Free Option)

Ana Ankeny

Create joyful holiday memories by making these fun and festive Gluten-Free Sugar Cut-Out Cookies. We’ll show you how to make easy gluten-free sugar cookie dough that’s simple to roll out, bakes to soft cookie perfection, and includes a simple white icing to pipe around the edges. Whether it’s a fun holiday project with the kids, a festive gift for others, or a cookie exchange, these classic, timeless cookies will bring the holiday cheer!

Sugar cookies made gluten-free

We’re so happy to be sharing our holiday cookie recipe for Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies with you. We’ve tested and re-tested this recipe to ensure it will be fail-proof and delicious every time! Using an easy-to-find one-to-one gluten-free flour blend mixed with a few other pantry staples, you’ll have these roll out cookies ready for baking in no time. A beautiful addition to any holiday cookie tray.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies for the cookie tray

Sugar Cookies cut into simple shapes like snowflakes, Christmas trees, stockings, and stars add a classic touch to your holiday cookie tray. To make them nice and simple (no special icing equipment needed), we’ve included an easy homemade frosting that you pipe around the edges of each cut out. This simple piping effect on our Gluten-Free Sugar Cut-Out Cookies will may look like you’ve spent hours decorating, but the truth is that it takes just minutes to decorate a whole batch.

All ingredients for homemade sugar cookies arranged together on the counter

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

With a few simple pantry staples, these soft and delicious sugar cookies will be baking in no time. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter – we recommended using unsalted butter for this recipe (and for most baked goods, so you can control the amount of salt). If using salted butter, omit the added salt. For dairy-free cookies, use plant-based or vegan stick butter
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract – use pure vanilla extract, such as this one from Thrive Market
  • Sugar – we recommend using pure cane sugar for this recipe
  • Gluten-free flour – we recommend using Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One Gluten-Free Baking Flour or King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Gluten-Free Flour; you can also use unbleached all-purpose flour if you don’t need apple pie that’s gluten free
  • Baking powder
  • Fine salt

Ingredients for piping Frosting:

  • Powdered sugar – 1 cup of powdered sugar is needed for the frosting, we like the Wholesome Organic brand, available at Thrive Market
  • Butter – unsalted butter or, for dairy-free cookies, choose a plant-based stick butter
  • Heavy whipping cream – or, for dairy-free, use coconut cream (the thick cream at the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
  • Vanilla extract – use pure vanilla extract, such as this one from Thrive Market
  • Coarse sugar or sanding sugar – if desired, sprinkle coarse sugar over the piped frosting to create a sparkling effect

How to make Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Here are the four basic steps it takes to make gluten-free sugar cut-out cookies.

  1. Mix the dough: In a mixing bowl cream together the butter, egg, vanilla, and sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well until the dough ball forms.
  2. Chill the dough: Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.
  3. Roll out the dough & cut the shapes: Sprinkle the counter with flour, place chilled dough on a floured surface and press down into a disc using your hands. Sprinkle dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to ¼” thickness. Cut out cookie shapes, remove excess dough, and carefully slide a metal spatula under the cookie shapes. Lift up and place each cookie cut out on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Continue rolling and cutting out cookies until all the dough has been used.
  4. Bake cookies: Bake the cookies at 350 degrees until light golden on the bottoms, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet and placing on a cooling rack to fully cool.
Tip!

Prevent your dough from sticking!

When you begin to roll out your cookie dough, be sure to use plenty of flour (use gluten-free flour if you’re making gluten-free cookies). Sprinkle and spread out a small handful of flour on the counter and directly onto the rolling pin before rolling out the dough to prevent the dough from sticking and tearing.

Gluten-free sugar cookie dough rolled out with cookie cutters pressing into the dough.

How to make the Piping frosting

This piping frosting is a simple powdered sugar frosting that’s easy to make.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, softened butter, heavy cream, and vanilla. Using a spoon or a hand mixer on the lowest setting, gently begin to whip the frosting until it’s creamy.
  2. If the frosting is too thin for piping, add more powdered sugar (2 tablespoons at a time) until the right consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick and difficult to pipe from the bag, add more cream (1 teaspoon at a time) until the right consistency is reached.

Tips to pipe frosting onto sugar cookies

If you have a piping bag and tip, add the frosting to the bag and begin piping. If you don’t have a piping bag, don’t fret. Instead, spoon the whipped frosting into a zip-top disposable bag, press all air from the bag, and close the top. Using a pair of scissors to snip one small corner off the bottom corner of the bag. Pipe the frosting by slowly squeezing the bag of frosting onto each cookie. If desired, sprinkle coarse sugar (also called sanding sugar) over the icing before it hardens. Gently shake each cookie to remove excess sugar.

How to store Baked Sugar Cookie Cut outs

Store the cooled and unfrosted cookies in a covered container stacked with parchment between the layers of cookies. Keep them at room temperature for up to 5 days for optimal freshness. If the cookies are already frosted, it helps to store them in a single layer (not stacked) to maintain the look of the piped frosting.

More Christmas Cookies!

See All Cookies

Can I freeze Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies?

Yes! These Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies are freezer-friendly. Place the fully cooled and unfrosted cookies in a freezer container or bag and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Frost after thawing.

Gluten-free sugar cookies cut out in Christmas trees, snowflakes, and stars with minimal white piping on a speckled plate.

Recipe

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

You can make soft and delicious Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Cut Outs with an easy homemade piping frosting. Complete your holiday cookie tray with these classic cookies, now made with less sugar and allergy-friendly, too

Prep: 15 minsCook: 12 minsTotal: 1 hr, 30 mins

Servings: 2 dozen cookies 1x

Ingredients

For the Cookies: 

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (296g)**
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (120g)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened*
  • 1½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar or sanding sugar (optional)

Instructions

To make the cookies: 

  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), cream together the butter, egg, vanilla, and sugar. 
  2. Add the flour blend, baking powder, and salt. Mix slowly until a dough ball forms, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle your work space and rolling pin with additional gluten-free flour (this prevents the dough from sticking). Place the chilled ball of dough on the floured surface, and use your hands to press the dough down into a disc shape. Sprinkle dough with a little more gluten-free flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to ¼-inch thickness.
  6. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough out into shapes. Carefully slide a metal spatula under the cookie shapes, lift up, and transfer onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 1 Inch apart. Re-roll the dough into a ball, then flatten into a disc, sprinkle with flour, roll out, and cut out more cookie shapes. Continue this process until all dough is used up.
  7. Bake one or two baking sheets of cookies at a time until the cookies are light golden on the bottoms, about 12 minutes.
  8. Let cookies cool directly on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the piping frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, softened butter, heavy cream, and vanilla.
  2. Using a stand or hand mixer on the lowest setting, gently begin to whip the frosting until creamy. (TIP: If the frosting is too thin for piping, add more powdered sugar (2 tablespoons at a time) until the right consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick and difficult to pipe from the bag, add more cream (1 teaspoon at a time) until the right consistency is reached.)
  3. Transfer the frosting to a frosting bag with a tip (or a plastic bag, then cut the corner tip off), and pipe frosting onto each cookie. If desired, sprinkle coarse/sanding sugar over the piping. Gently tip each cookie to remove excess sugar. Store cookies in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie with frosting
  • Calories: 149
  • Fat: 6 g
  • (Sat Fat: 4 g)
  • Sodium: 79 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 22 g
  • (Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 12 g)
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 22 mg

Dietary

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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.

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