|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||22%|
|Total Carbohydrate 18g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Whether you love a glazed sugar cookie with crispy edges or a Lofthouse-style with fluffy buttercream is more your jam, your options can feel limited on a gluten-free diet. We've created a recipe for the ultimate, any-occasion cookie that tastes just like the classic sugar cookie—you can even make them drop cookies versus rolling and cutting if you're looking for a quicker treat.
The major swap needed for this gluten-free recipe is a cup-for-cup, all-purpose gluten-free flour blend instead of the wheat-based flour commonly used. Whether it's for the holidays, a cookie swap, or simple late-night treat, you only need a handful of ingredients to whip up a batch of these gluten-free sugar cookies.
"I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to roll the chilled dough for these cookies, and I liked that there was an option to make them drop cookies. Make sure you flour the board and the top of the dough, and you'll have delicious cut-out gluten-free cookies in no time!" —Diana Rattray
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups gluten-free cup-for-cup flour, more for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, then beat just until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl with the butter-sugar mixture, then beat until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
Press the cookie dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. On a lightly floured surface (using the same gluten-free flour), roll the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut out the cookies and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Remember to cut the cookies as close together as you can so you don't waste any dough. You can combine the scraps and reroll as much as needed.
Bake until the edges and bottoms are barely beginning to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.
When the cookies are cool enough to handle but still warm, remove them from the pan and cool them on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before icing, if desired.
- For the flour in this recipe, we had the best luck with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. You can use any cup-for-cup gluten-free flour that has binders like xanthan gum and potato starch included, but results may vary slightly.
- Gluten-free flour should be measured just like wheat flour. Do not pack it into the cup, or you'll end up with too much.
- If you want to make drop cookie and find the dough too sticky, chill it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then proceed with scooping. Using a small ice cream scoop makes this process the easiest.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before starting, especially the butter. Otherwise, you won't get a well-blended mixture and the dough will be hard to roll out.
- If you're using an elaborate cookie cutter and want your sugar cookies to really keep their shape, keep them cold. After cutting them out, stick the entire baking sheet in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking. This will help keep the cookies from spreading.
- For colored sugar cookies, add food coloring to the dough at the same time you add the flour.
- While it's fine to dust your work surface with flour for rolling, don't use any more flour than you need to. Too much flour will also make the cookies hard, so only use enough so that the dough doesn't stick. Or dust your surface with confectioners' sugar instead of flour.
- A sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on the dough can help keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.
Make this recipe even easier by skipping the rolling and cutting. Turn these into drop cookies!
- Use a small ice cream scoop or two spoons to scoop about 20 cookies onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch between each.
- Bake until the edges and bottoms are barely beginning to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Fold about 1/4 cup of colorful sprinkles into the dough.
- Ice the cookies with royal icing or sugar cookie frosting.
To add more flavor to these classic vanilla sugar cookies, add or swap in one of the following when beating the eggs into the batter.
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
How to Store and Freeze
- These cookies will keep well at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for up to one week.
- They can be frozen in a tightly sealed container for up to three months, and freeze well.
- If making cut-out cookies, you can leave the dough in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking.
- You can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator until pliable, then proceed with rolling and cutting.
- If you want to make drop cookies, you can refrigerate or freeze the cookie dough then let it come to room temperature before scooping and baking.
Why do my gluten-free cookies crumble?
Gluten-free cookies can crumble if they don't have strong enough binders in the flour. You can minimize the possibility of this by adding 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the dough when you add the dry ingredients. We recommend a product like Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour because stabilizers are already in the blend, so the cookies should not come out dry nor crumble.