Cookie week may be over, but I have a few more recipes that are too perfect for the holidays that I HAD to reshare. I’ll admit, getting a cookie to be absolutely perfect can be frustrating, especially when working with non-traditional flours, but if anyone can do it, it’s this ambitious chick (aka me.) That’s the attitude I like to have about most things anyway, but even more so when it comes to cookies. Heh.
Two years ago after several attempts and different flour ratios, I perfected these glorious gluten free sugar cookies that hold their shape perfectly when baked and taste just like the real deal sugar cookie you know and love. Many AK readers love my paleo-friendly, gluten free or dairy free recipes and continue to request more of them; so I knew I needed to make a SOFT CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIE that was not only gluten free, grain free and paleo-friendly, but also easily dairy free.
Use your favorite cookie cutters, decorate to your hearts desire (the best activity with kiddos) and enjoy!
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Ingredients in gluten free sugar cookies
These gluten free sugar cookies are based on my soft almond flour sugar cookies, except with a few modifications to make sure they could be rolled out and still keep their shape upon baking. Of course, they’re much better for you than traditional sugar cookies thanks to a few simple ingredient swaps:
- Almond flour and coconut flour: Almond flour and coconut flour are both gluten-free flours that happen to be grain free, lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber compared to regular flour. Plus these two flours also have a nice sweetness to them, meaning we don’t have to use as much sweetener. I recommend using fine blanched almond flour in baking because it bakes up perfectly and has a texture similar to regular flour.
- Butter: I chose to use butter in this recipe to keep the buttery notes of traditional sugar cookies, however, you are more than welcome to use coconut oil or vegan butter for a dairy free option. I have included substitution notes in the recipe below.
- Eggs: Make sure your eggs are at room temperature when you make this recipe. I like to do this by running them under warm water for 1 minute. I haven’t yet tried a vegan substitute but let me know if you do!
- Sweetener: Because these are sugar cookies, I wanted to use real-deal sugar. The entire recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of organic cane sugar, but you can also feel free to sub coconut sugar, although the cookies may come out softer. I also use honey in the recipe to keep a nice soft texture to the cookies plus add additional sweetness. Don’t skip it!
- Vanilla + almond extract: every good sugar cookie should call for almond extract. It just adds an irresistible sweet cookie flavor. We’re also using vanilla extract for a lovely hint of pure vanilla.
- For decorating: I love to use an easy vanilla buttercream made with butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Seasonal sprinkles are the perfect touch to make the cookies festive and fun! You can also use these sprinkles that are dye-free, gluten free and vegan — they’re super cute and I’m a huge fan.
Tony decided to help me test these out one Saturday night, and we had such a fun time laughing, playing Christmas music, frosting and decorating them. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for a date night in activity.
Can I use all purpose flour?
Unfortunately, no, I cannot recommend a substitution for the flour mixture in these healthy sugar cookies as the texture will change drastically.
Make these sugar cookies your own
These gluten free cut out sugar cookies are so good, easy to make, and easy to customize!
- Make them dairy free. Feel free to use 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or 1/2 cup melted vegan butter in the dough. Then just use vegan butter in the frosting as well.
- Make them paleo-friendly. Use coconut oil as well as coconut sugar in the dough instead of regular sugar. Note that the dough may come out softer and darker than intended. To decorate you can make the frosting with my paleo powdered sugar, or use a paleo-friendly frosting like Simple Mills.
- Try a chocolate version. If you’re looking for a chocolate version, try my Gluten Free Almond Flour Chocolate Sugar Cookies!
However you do it, you’re going to LOVE these sugar cookies! I can’t wait to see you make them.
How to make the best grain free sugar cookies
- Mix the wet ingredients. Start by whisking together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
- Add the dry. Mix in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until your gluten free sugar cookie dough forms. No stand mixer necessary!
- Divide & chill. Divide the dough into two discs and wrap them well with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, or 30-45 minutes in the freezer.
- Roll & cut. Take out one of the dough balls, place it between two large sheets of parchment paper, and roll it out with a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut the sugar cookies into fun shapes and transfer them to a prepared baking sheet.
- Bake & cool. Bake your sugar cookies until they’re just slightly golden brown on the edges, then let them cool on a cooling rack while you make the frosting. Repeat with your remaining dough!
- Frost & enjoy. Beat together the buttercream frosting, then frost your cooled cookies, add decorations and enjoy!
Tips for making soft cut out sugar cookies
- Pack your almond flour. I like to pack my almond flour just like I would with brown sugar. It makes all the difference! No need to pack the coconut flour though.
- Chill the dough for at least 1 hour. Store the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but preferably 2 hours or more. It makes the dough MUCH easier to work with, plus it helps the cookies to hold their shape.
- Roll with parchment paper. I recommend rolling the dough between sheets of parchment paper to prevent the dough from sticking to your surface. Add coconut flour to the parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Flour your rolling pin. Make sure your rolling pin is well floured with coconut flour, otherwise, the dough is likely to stick to the rolling pin.
- Roll dough 1/4th inch thick. Yes, we want a thicker dough so that the cut out cookies can actually be cut out. Plus, the thicker dough really allows the cookies to keep their soft middle texture, yet still have crispy edges.
- Cool before frosting. Be sure that your sugar cookies are completely cooled before frosting them so that the frosting doesn’t soak into the cookie.
Can I make them into drop cookies?
Sure! If you don’t want to roll these cookies out and cut them into shapes, feel free to make regular gluten free sugar cookies by scooping the dough with a cookie scoop, rolling it into a bowl and adding it to your baking sheet. You’ll want to flatten the dough a bit with your palm before baking so that they end up like round cookies.
Make them ahead of time
You can actually make the dough the night before, store it in the fridge overnight, and make the cut out sugar cookies the next day!
- In the fridge: store these gluten free and grain free sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temp for up to 5 days.
- In the freezer: you can actually freeze the entire sugar cookie dough ball, the dough after cutting out shapes, or the baked cookies! Check out my full tutorial here to learn exactly how to freeze them.
More cookie recipes you’ll love
Get all of my delicious cookie recipes here!
If you make these gluten free sugar cookies, please leave a comment and rate the recipe. I appreciate your feedback and know the AK community does too! Thank you — xo!
Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies (gluten free, grain free, paleo friendly)
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Gluten free cut out sugar cookies made with almond flour for a healthier version! This delicious, easy gluten free sugar cookie recipe is paleo-friendly, easily dairy free and perfect to make during the holiday season. Everyone loves these soft sugar cookies with tender middles.
- Wet ingredients:
organic cane sugar**
eggs, at room temperature
- Dry ingredients:
packed fine blanched almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
coconut flour (do not pack), plus more for rolling out the dough
- For the vanilla buttercream:
butter, at room temperature (optional to use vegan butter stick)
- To decorate cookies:
- Sprinkles of choice
In a large bowl, add the melted butter, sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla and almond extract; whisk until well combined and smooth.
Next, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon (not a whisk) until dough comes together.
Divide dough into two balls or discs and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (preferably 2) or 30-45 minutes in the freezer. Also optional to chill overnight if you want to save time.
Once ready to bake: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take one of the dough balls (leaving the other in the fridge, as you’ll need to work in batches) and place it on a large sheet of parchment paper that’s been dusted with a good amount of coconut flour. Add another large sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough ball and then begin to roll out into a large rectangle until the dough is about 1/4th inch thick. The dough is soft, so you need to work quickly so that it doesn’t warm up too much! This is also the best method to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes, then use a spatula to help you transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 9-13 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. If you want slightly crispier cookies along the edges, just bake for a minute or two longer. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Makes roughly 30 sugar cookies, depending on the size of your cutouts.
For the vanilla buttercream: Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla on high until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Frost each cookie, then decorate however your heart desires!
Cookies will stay good for up to 5 days at room temperature if kept in an airtight container. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Cookies will stay good for up to 5 days at room temperature if covered well, or they can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
*To make sugar cookies dairy free: use 1/2 melted coconut oil or 1/2 cup melted vegan butter in the dough. You’ll also need to use vegan butter in the frosting.
**Instead of sugar, you can use coconut sugar, but the dough may come out softer than intended and also much darker. I recommend sticking with regular sugar.
Feel free to use my paleo powdered sugar recipe in the frosting. Or you can use a dairy free/paleo-friendly frosting such as Simple Mills.
Servings: 30 cookies
Serving size: 1 cookies (with icing)
Saturated fat: 4.3g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on December 2, 2019, republished on December 15, 2021, and republished on December 8th, 2022.