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Gluten Free Small Batch Sugar Cookies

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Gluten free small batch sugar cookies that hold their shape and are perfect for decorating!  The cookies are delicately sweet and made with an almond flour blend to make the cookies soft, yet sturdy.  This is an easy sugar cookie recipe that also includes an easy cookie icing! 

Decorated gluten free sugar cookie cut outs on a cooling rack

Gluten Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies

The gluten free sugar cookies are new to hit the blog and just in time for Christmas!  These little gems join a popular group of sugar cookies – the marshmallow sugar cookies and the pumpkin spice sugar cookies.  And just like those recipes, these cookies can easily take on any flavor extract or spice for a little flavor variety! 

We use an almond flour blend to make these gluten free small batch sugar cookies. The almond flour makes the cookies soft and tender, and the other blend of flours will make sure the cookies hold their shape. 

Why You’ll Love These Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

  • Great for cut-out cookies – These sugar cookies hold their shape when baked!  No indiscernible shapes here!  But, if you’re looking for a softer drop sugar cookie, check out the gluten free soft sugar cookies.
  • Perfect to decorate with royal icing or frosting – These cookies will stay flat when they are baked.  Which means easier to show off your royal icing skills!  
  • Soft yet sturdy – The almond flour is what makes these cookies soft, not crunchy or crumbly.  And the other flours yield a cookie that is sturdy, breaks cleanly, and can take on copious amounts of icing!
  • Delicately sweet – We don’t use a heavy hand when adding sugar to these cookies.  Plus, the almond flour adds a hint of sweetness.
  • Roll the cookies thick or thin – How thick you roll the cookies is entirely up to you.
  • Cut into any shape or size – The cookie dough is extremely versatile in that it can take on any cookie cutter shape.  Or, make the cookies bite size with these chocolate chip gluten free sugar cookie bites!
Bite of a gluten free christmas sugar cookie

What You Need To Make Gluten Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Ingredients for the Cookies

  • Almond Flour – I use blanched almond flour and have provided a (affiliate) link in the recipe.  Blanched almond flour means the skins have been removed from the almond.
  • Arrowroot Flour – Arrowroot provides structure which is (sometimes) needed when you bake with almond flour – which can have a more loose and airy end result.  Arrowroot Flour and Arrowroot Starch are the same thing.
  • Tapioca Flour – Tapioca flour adds a little chew to the baked good.  Tapioca Flour and Tapioca Starch are the same thing.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt – Salt will balance out the sweetness and allow the vanilla flavor to shine through.
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar – I like to use organic cane sugar when I bake gluten free because it is a healthier, non-refined, sugar option.
  • Egg Yolk – The egg yolk adds flavor and texture, and helps to keep the cookies from baking too dry.
  • Vanilla Extract

Ingredients for the Icing

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Meringue Powder – This is optional.  Meringue powder is typical in royal icing and it makes the icing soft and fluffy, sturdy, and it dries faster.
  • Vanilla Extract – Or any flavored extract will work to impart flavor.
  • Salt – A little salt with balance the sweetness.
  • Water or Milk – You can use water or any milk your prefer, and I have even made the icing with coconut milk.

Baking Equipment

  • Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer – You can use a stand mixer with a smaller mixing bowl.  This small batch dough will likely get stuck along the sides of a regular size (5 quart) stand mixer bowl.  I provided a (affiliate) link to the bowl I use in the recipe.
  • Mixing Bowl(s)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters

Tips For How To Make Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

  • Use blanched almond flour – Blanched almond flour is ground finer and it does not have flecks of almond skins.
  • Room temperature butter – Room temperature butter does not equal soft, melting butter.  Room temperature butter is still ‘cool’ to the touch and will only make a slight indentation when pressed with your finger
  • Add the dry ingredients in increments – This allows the dough time to mix and incorporate, and it avoids a floury mess!
  • Chill the dough – The dough needs time in the refrigerator to chill firm up and set.  Which makes the cookie dough easier to roll and cut out.  
  • Roll to your desired thickness – I roll my cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thick.  You can certainly roll your cookies thicker or thinner.  Just keep an eye on the bake time, as they may take a minute longer or less to bake.
  • The number of cookies depends on how your roll and cut the dough 
  • Cool the cookies completely before decorating – If the cookies are warm, the icing will melt off the cookies.
Fresh baked pile of gluten free sugar cookie cut outs
Decorated gluten free sugar cookie cut outs on a rack

FAQ

What is the texture of the gluten free sugar cookies like?

The cookies are a perfect mix of soft and sturdy. You can certainly bake a crunchier cookie by leaving it in the oven for about 1 to 2 minutes longer. Though, be advised the edges will likely brown up quite a bit.

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour work instead of the almond flour blend?

As the recipe is written, it will not work. I have yet to find a 1:1 gluten free flour that does not yield a dry and sandy bake.

My cookies spread. What did I do wrong?

A couple of things could have happened: the butter was too soft when making the dough or the dough wasn’t chilled long enough.

Can the dough be frozen?

Yes. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator when ready to use.

Can the cookies be frozen?

Baked and decorated cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the cookies at room temperature. Note that the icing may be a little crumbly after freezing.

What can I make with the extra egg white?

You can make a batch of Flourless Chocolate Cookies or a Marshmallow Meringue Frosting if you have cupcakes that need decoration.

Plate of decorated christmas cookies

More Small Batch Christmas Cookie Recipes

Decorated christmas cookie with a glass of milk

Gluten Free Small Batch Sugar Cookies

Yield: 12 Cookies
GF
Gluten free small batch sugar cookies that hold their shape and are perfect for decorating!  The cookies are delicately sweet and made with an almond flour blend to make the cookies soft, yet sturdy.  This is an easy sugar cookie recipe that also includes an easy cookie icing! 
Prep10 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Chill1 hour
Total1 hour 20 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Gluten Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • ¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sugar Cookie Icing

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons water or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

Gluten Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt.
    ¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour, ¼ cup arrowroot flour, 2 tablespoons tapioca flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Using a hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light a creamy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Note – See Notes on using a stand mixer.
    2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 large egg yolk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle about half of the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Note – The dough starts off crumbly and may seem too dry. Continue to mix and a dough will eventually for – this may take a couple minutes.
  • Pour the cookie dough into the center of a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Wrap the dough tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or even overnight.
  • When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Very lightly flour your work surface with arrowroot flour. Roll the chilled dough to your desired cookie thickness. I roll my cookies to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies using cookie cutters and place on the baking sheet. Repeat as necessary. Note – The number of cookies you yield from the recipe will depend on how thick you roll the dough and the size of cookie cutters you use.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges start to turn a light golden brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Cookie Icing

  • In a mixing bowl (or stand mixer), add all of the ingredients. I recommend starting with 3 tablespoons of water (or milk). Using a hand held mixer with whisk attachments, beat on medium speed until an peaks start to form in the icing. Add more water (or milk) to achieve your desired icing consistency. Note – The meringue powder is optional. It makes the icing sturdy, light and fluffy, and dry faster.
    1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon meringue powder, 3 to 5 tablespoons water or milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch salt
  • Decorate cooled cookies as desired and Enjoy!
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Mixing the Cookie Dough – If you prefer to mix the dough with your stand mixer, I recommend a smaller mixing bowl to mix the small batch ingredients evenly.  A regular size mixing bowl is more likely to push all of the ingredients to the side of the bowl without actually mixing them.  I use a 3 quart mixing bowl on my tilt-head stand mixer.  It works with the regular size attachments.
  • Flavoring the Cookie Dough – The sugar cookies are a great base to add different spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice!
  • Freezing the Cookie Dough – The cookie dough can be frozen – for up to 3 months.  Shape the dough into a disc, wrap generously in plastic wrap, and place in a Ziploc bag to freeze.  Defrost the cookie dough in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing Baked Cookies – Baked and decorated cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Either in a Tupperware, or gently placed in a Ziploc bag.  Defrost the cookies at room temperature – this may take 1 to 3 hours.
  • Meringue Powder – The meringue powder is optional.  It will make the icing fluffy, sturdy, and dry faster.  
Check out the blog post for more Tips and FAQ’s!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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about the author ...

I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!

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