Gluten free sugar cookies are a holiday staple at our house because they're so versatile. All you need is a cookie cutter or two for each season and you've got a "go-to" gluten-free treat for every occasion!
Making gluten free sugar cookies can be difficult since the dough needs to be stretchy enough to be rolled out, cut, and be transferred to a pan. Gluten provides the "stretch" in traditional roll-out cookie dough, so the gluten-free dough can be a little bit tougher to work with.
- If you aren't allergic to coconut (technically a tree nut), you can use coconut oil in place of shortening. It adds a delicious buttery flavor to the cookie (a plus for those avoiding butter due to dairy allergy).
- Be sure to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before attempting to roll it out.
- Knead the dough a little before rolling it out. This warms it up a little and makes it easier to work with.
- Have plenty of rice flour (or alternative) close by when rolling them out. A well-floured surface and rolling pin will make the job much easier!
- Roll the dough out in small batches rather than rolling it all out at the same time. (If you use the whole batch of dough, the last bit that you roll out will be dryer from picking up extra flour from your work surface.)
- Use a spatula to transfer them from your work surface to the cookie sheet (this helps to keep your shapes from cracking).
- Don't overbake! If you press into them and they feel firm around the edges, they're ready!
My kids love to help me cut out the dough but they hate waiting for them to bake and cool so we can start decorating! Sometimes, I freeze the cookies plain and we decorate them when we're ready to eat one or two (or six!)
During holidays, it's more of a project (a fun one!) We put all of the cookies at the table along with frosting of different colors, sprinkles, candy, and whatever else we feel like adorning them with.
We frost with "safe" canned frosting, this sugar cookie frosting, or royal icing made from aquafaba.
I lay down wax paper on our table and at the end of our work, we have a table filled with decorated cookies! I then transfer them to a freezer-safe container and layer them between wax paper to preserve the frosting and decorations.
These are then pulled out along with other goodies for cookie plates during the holiday season.
Decorating sugar cookies is also a tradition that has taken the place of decorating eggs at Easter time.
Whatever the season, these sugar cookies are as fun to make as they are to eat! 🙂
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup dairy free margarine
- ½ cup "safe" shortening or coconut oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods egg replacer
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon soy or rice milk
- 2 ¼ cups gluten free all-purpose flour mix
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum* see notes
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Combine butter or margarine, shortening, and sugar in a mixer until creamy. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and warm water until foamy. Add egg replacer mixture, vanilla, and "safe" milk to margarine, shortening, and sugar mixture. Mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum (if using-see notes), baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture until combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Put half of the dough back in the refrigerator. Place the other half of the dough on a floured surface (rice flour works well). Roll it out to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Transfer to cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes. Edges should be firm but not browned. Remove from cookie sheet and transfer to cooling racks. Top with "safe" frosting.
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Delicious sugar cookies and nobody guessed they were allergy-free! Thank you.
Kristi Winkels, RDN, LD says
Mission accomplished! Thanks for your comment, Joleen - I'm glad you liked them!
Tricia Bosker says
Your recipe ingredient does not list Xanathan gum
But M, in Your instructions you say to add xanathan gum…. Which is correct and how much ?
Kristi Winkels says
Thanks for your comment and for pointing this out! I have updated the recipe with the xanthan gum amount and clarified to omit it if your gluten-free all-purpose flour blend already contains it. Enjoy!