I like munching on some of these lemon lavender cookie bites when I’m in the mood for something sweet. Sometimes though it’s nice to bite into a classic, like these gluten free sugar cookies. These cookies are simple enough for busy days and a delicious addition to the holiday season.
I have the best memories of Christmas sugar cookies from childhood. They were pretty much the “kid” staple as none of the little people in my family were very into Italian rum cake or the other other fancy Christmas desserts that adorned the table. We wanted a basic sugar cookie with frosting.
Fast forward a few decades and I was gluten free. Sugar cookies were no longer on the menu. But darn it! Sometimes you just need one of those frosted beauties. And so, I set out to create the best gluten free sugar cookie recipe.
The Best Gluten Free Flour
In order to make the perfect gluten free sugar cookie you need the best gluten free flour. King Arthur, Pillsbury, and other gluten free flour mixes rely on rice flour as their main ingredient. White rice is one of the few grains my family will occasionally eat, but it can be tricky to bake with. Rice in itself doesn’t hold up well and needs mixed with other gluten free flours and xanthan gum to prevent crumbling cookies. Then there’s the fact that it’s also high in arsenic (even organic)!
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies Without Xanthan Gum
Instead of using a pre-made gluten free flour mix or concocting my own with 20 different ingredients, I went a different route. Almond flour is a grain-free alternative and makes for delicious baked goods. The addition of some arrowroot flour helps smooth out the almond for a more traditional sugar cookie texture. Almond and arrowroot flour don’t have any gluten or gums (which is what we’re going for here), but that also means they need some help holding together. I chose the humble egg to keep these cookies from falling apart. Egg adds lift, softness, and binds the ingredients in all their gluten free glory.
I would not advise using an egg substitute here but if you must, here are my favorite egg substitutes.
To Roll or Not to Roll Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
To keep things simple I chose to do a no-roll, no-chill easy gluten free sugar cookie recipe. Creating customized cookie shapes can be fun, but it’s also more time consuming, messier, and there’s sticky dough all over my counter.
Unlike popular store brands, you won’t find any refined flour, processed sugar, or Polysorbate 60 in these sugar cookies! Thanks to the honey they have a dense, chewy texture. Even the frosting is made without refined sugars due to a cream cheese base instead of the typical powdered sugar. The combination of the cream cheese and honey make for a sweet, creamy, slightly tangy frosting reminiscent of cheesecake.
Natural Food Coloring
I gave up artificially colored food a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean I have to live with boring old gluten free sugar cookies. If you’re in a hurry you can get natural food dye here that’s made from plants. Or if you’re the do it yourself type, here’s an easy way to make your own red and green food coloring. The red is more on the deep pink side, but it’s festive, gorgeous, and non-toxic.
- Natural pink/red food coloring – Mix a little raspberry or beet juice in with the frosting.
- Natural green food coloring – Mix a little spirulina powder (a few pinches) in with 1 tsp hot water until smooth, then add to the frosting. Be careful not to use too much spirulina or the cookies can taste a little fishy.
You can also check out my post on natural dyes for more fun ideas.
I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I really do hope that you love these gluten free sugar cookies as much as we do.
The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Recipe
Sugar Cookie Ingredients
- 1 and 3/4 cups almond meal. This is my absolute favorite brand.
- ½ cup arrowroot powder
- ½ cup raw honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup butter or refined coconut oil, softened
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Egg
- 4 ounces (1/2 package) organic cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp butter or refined coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp raw honey
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Natural food coloring (optional)
Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Instructions
- In a mixing bowl combine the almond meal, arrowroot and salt.
- Mix in the rest of the cookie ingredients until a soft dough forms.
- Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop out golf ball size pieces of dough.
- Dampen your fingers with some water and gently press on the dough to flatten a little if necessary.
- Bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes.
- Mix all of the ingredients together with a mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Use natural food coloring if desired to match the holiday season (red and green for Christmas, pink for valentine’s day, etc.).
- Generously frost the gluten free sugar cookies once they’ve cooled.
Be sure to check out alternative ingredients I love on my Amazon Influencer Storefront!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 167mg Carbohydrates: 10g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 8g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g