Gluten-Free Holiday Cookie Recipes

Gluten-free cookies

Holiday cookies are a tradition in many families, including those that are gluten-free. These three holiday cookie recipes are gluten-free and versatile; all can be decorated or eaten plain as your tastes and traditions dictate.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Roll out this dough to cut out fun shapes before you bake. Decorate with your favorite gluten-free icing, or leave them plain.

  • Makes 12 cookies
  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Bake time: 15 minutes
  • Oven temp: 350 degrees


  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Extra tapioca starch for rolling out dough


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix together the rice flour, tapioca, arrowroot, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and continue mixing.
  5. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing well until completely incorporated.
  6. Dust your work surface with tapioca starch and roll out the dough - it does not have to be refrigerated before working.
  7. Cut out the desired shapes.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  9. Let cool before decorating.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread men

These cookies can be cut out into the shape of gingerbread men or sliced into round cookie shapes.

  • Makes six large cookies
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Bake time: eight minutes
  • Oven temp: 375 degrees


  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup


  1. Combine the rice flour, tapioca, baking soda, ginger and xanthan gum in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a small saucepan on the stove.
  3. Mix in the brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir until well-combined.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix to form a ball.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out desired shapes.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for eight minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Decorate as desired.

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

Easter egg shortbread cookies

These shortbread cookies are easily rolled into egg shapes for Easter, or traditional round cookie shapes. You can leave them plain or decorate as you desire.

  • Makes 24 cookies
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Baking time: 10 minutes
  • Oven temp: 350 degrees


  • 1-1/3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup GF confectioner's sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Sift together the rice flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and work the dough well. It should be very stiff.
  4. Roll the dough into either small balls or small egg shapes and place on a greased baking sheet. The cookies will flatten and spread when baking.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
  6. Decorate as desired.

Tips for Success

Any of these recipes can be shaped or decorated as you like to fit your holiday and family traditions. To help ensure the best results, follow these tips:

  • Have all ingredients, including the eggs, at room temperature before you begin.
  • Try using melted white chocolate as a decoration that will stand up to the texture of the cookies.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before icing them to avoid having the icing melt off of their surfaces.
  • Pay close attention to baking times; rice flour often cooks faster than wheat flour and may burn if left too long.

Enjoy Your Holiday Baking

Bring back your holiday baking traditions with these gluten-free recipes. Now all of your guests can enjoy the taste of your holiday desserts without consequence.

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Gluten-Free Holiday Cookie Recipes