Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Recipe

Making sugar cookies

Finding a good gluten-free sugar cookie recipe provides options for holiday baking or even just everyday treats for those who must avoid gluten in their diet.

Best Flour for Gluten-Free Cookies

Gluten is found in anything made from wheat, rye or barley. This protein provides elasticity and viscosity to many baked goods. Gluten also makes cookie dough easy to roll out and handle, but it also makes most baked goods a no-no for people who can't eat gluten. Today there are a variety of gluten-free flours on the market, so it is easier than ever to eliminate gluten, but when it comes to baking, it will take practice to achieve the texture and taste you want. Gluten-free flours work a little differently than flours that contain gluten, and recipes often require tweaking to get the right consistency and moistness.

Xanthan Gum

To get back the volume and viscosity gluten provides to a recipe, many gluten-free recipes add xanthan gum to aid in the rising of dough or as a binder. For instance, this gum holds water and oil together when blended. However, a word of caution is needed when learning to use xanthan gum in your gluten-free recipes. Too much can ruin your cookies or whatever you're making. If you are just starting out as a gluten-free baker, try adding one teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Recipe

This recipe provides an easy to handle cookie dough.

  • 1 c. rice flour
  • ½ c. tapioca flour
  • 1 c. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 ½ tsps. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. Butter Flavor Crisco
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsps. vanilla

You will also need ¼ cup of potato starch to sprinkle on your rolling mat to prevent the cookie dough from sticking.


Preheat oven: 350 degrees.

Bake: Approximately 13 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend sugar and Crisco until creamy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
  4. Add dry ingredients a little at a time and stir until well-combined. Should form a ball.
  5. Sprinkle potato starch on rolling mat to prevent sticking.
  6. Kneed dough with your hands until it is easy-to-handle.
  7. Separate dough into two pieces. Wrap one in plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent drying.
  8. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch and use cookie cutters to create cookie shapes.
  9. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet.

Cookies can be decorated with colored sugar or sprinkles before baking or frosted and decorated when cooled.

Converting Your Sugar Cookie Recipe

Recipes like the one above suggest a specific type of gluten free flour. When baking gluten-free cookies, for best results use the recommended type of flour. It's already been tried and tested. However, if you're trying to convert one of your own family recipes to come up with a gluten-free sugar cookie recipe, you may have to experiment with a variety of flours to find the one that works best for your needs. Start with an all purpose gluten-free flour. This is the easiest option and often you can substitute the gluten-free all purpose flour cup for cup for its gluten-containing counterpart. If the all purpose flour doesn't give you the results you hoped for try other possible gluten-free flours that are light and leave yourself time to experiment.

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Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Recipe