These are my all-time favorite gluten-free sugar cookies! I think you’re going to fall in love with it too. They are soft and flavorful, but like classic sugar cookies, hold their shape while baking. They’re great for decorating with frosting and sprinkles.

This recipe also includes my all-time favorite sugar cookie frosting (hint it has sour cream) which takes these cookies to the next level.

overhead shot of frosted pink heart sugar gluten-free sugar cookies


 
Table of Contents

Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe

  • Soft sugar cookies with crispy edges
  • Almond extract for amazing flavor
  • Hold their shape while baking
  • A little sour cream (secret ingredient!) for moist cookies
  • Easily made dairy-free with vegan butter and dairy-free sour cream
  • Freezes great!

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

overehead shot of ingredients needed for gluten free sugar cookies

Here are a few notes on the key ingredients to make these best gluten-free sugar cookies. If you have any additional questions leave me a comment/

  • Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: Also known as gluten-free measure-for-measure flour. I like to use a gluten-free all purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum. King Arthur flour is my favorite brand.
  • Cornstarch: A little cornstarch gives these cookies a lighter texture.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream imparts a richness to the cookie dough and helps create a chewy texture in gluten-free baking. You can easily use dairy-free sour cream if you prefer.
  • Vanilla extract/almond extract: The combination of these two extracts gives this the cookie dough amazing flavor!

Dairy-free? To make these cookies dairy-free I recommend using 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup vegan butter in place of the 1 cup of butter. You can also use Forager dairy-free sour cream.

For an almond flour version, try these almond flour sugar cookies!

How to Make Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

how to make the sugar cookie dough

Make the Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a large bowl with a hand mixer) add the butter and white sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the egg, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder. Mix until well combined.
  • With the mixer running on low, add half of the sour cream followed by the cornstarch. Add 1/2 of the gluten-free flour blend to the wet ingredients followed by the other 1/2 of the sour cream. Mix until combined then add the other 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
gluten free sugar cookie dough mixed together
  • Scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix again until totally combined.

Roll and Bake the Cookies

sugar cookie dough wrapped ready to chill
  • Divide the dough into two flattened balls and wrap the dough balls tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Tip: If you prefer drop cookies and don’t want to roll out the dough, try these gluten-free Christmas cookies.

cookie dough rolled out on counter cut with cookie cutters
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Lightly sprinkle a clean counter or work surface with gluten-free flour. Roll out the chilled dough with a rolling pin to the desired thickness on the lightly floured surface. Cut out the cookies with desired cookie cutters, then use a thin spatula to transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until set. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
gluten free sugar cookies cut out into christmas shapes on white plate

You also might like these gluten-free funfetti sugar cookies!

These gluten-free sugar cookies are perfect for any holiday! We like making them as Christmas cookies during the holiday season. They also make great hearts for a Valentine’s cookie, pumpkins for a Halloween cookie and more.

You can use any frosting you like to decorate these cookies. They work well with royal icing or buttercream frosting.

I’ve included my favorite recipe for buttercream frosting (that has a secret ingredient) in the recipe below. Once you try sour cream in buttercream frosting you’ll never go back! It’s so delicious.

Recipe FAQ

Do I have to chill the dough?

For best results, it’s important to chill the gluten-free sugar cookie dough before rolling it out. Chilled dough create cut-out cookies that hold their shape. The chilling time also gives the gluten-free flour time to hydrate for a non-gritty dough.

How thick should I roll the dough?

For a soft sugar cookie, roll the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick. For crisper cookies you can roll the dough thinner to 1/8 inch. I prefer 1/4-inch thick cookies!

Can I make These Dairy-Free?

Yes! You can easily use dairy-free butter and dairy-free sour cream in this recipe. To make these cookies dairy-free I recommend using 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup vegan butter in place of the 1 cup of butter. You can also use dairy-free sour cream – I like the brand Forager.

close up of gluten free heart cookie being held with hand over plate of other cookies

Storage/Freezing Instructions

To Store: Store the cookies in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To Freeze: Plain gluten-free sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. To freeze, layer the cookies between sheets of parchment paper and place in a freezer-friendly container or Ziploc. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Making gluten-free sugar cookies is one of our favorite holiday traditions! I hope you like this recipe as much as we do! If you try it be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

overhead shot of frosted pink sugar gluten-free sugar cookies
5 from 57 votes

The Best Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 24 cookies (depending on size)
The ONE TRUE gluten-free sugar cookie recipe! I've tried dozens of gluten-free sugar cookie recipes over the years and this is the one I can't stop making.
These gluten-free cut-out cookies are soft in the center, crisp on the edges and hold their shape during baking. Make them with your favorite cookie cutters for any holiday or occasion!

Video

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter softened, 227g
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 60g (dairy-free sour cream works!)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 380g

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter 113g
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 60g (dairy-free sour cream works!)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 390g
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk
  • food coloring optional

Instructions 

Make the Dough:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a large bowl with a hand mixer) add the butter and granulated sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the egg, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder. Mix until well combined.
  • With the mixer running on low, add half of the sour cream followed by the cornstarch. Add 1/2 of the flour followed by the other 1/2 of the sour cream. Mix until combined then add the other 1/2 of the flour and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix again until totally combined.
  • Divide the dough into two flattened balls and wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Bake the Cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Lightly sprinkle a clean counter with gluten-free flour. Roll out the chilled dough to the desired thickness on the lightly floured surface. (Tip: For a soft sugar cookie, roll the dough until it is about ¼-inch thick. For crisper cookies you can roll the dough thinner to ⅛ inch. I prefer ¼-inch thick cookies!)
  • Cut out the cookies with desired cookie cutters, then use a thin spatula to transfer the cookies to the prepared pan.
  • Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until set. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting:

  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Using a hand mixer, whip until light and fluffy.  Add a little more milk if the frosting is too thick, or more powdered sugar if it’s too thin.
  • Frost the cookies as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Dairy-free? To make these cookies dairy-free I recommend using 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup vegan butter in place of 1 cup the butter. You can also use dairy-free sour cream – I like the brand Forager.
To Store: Store the cookies in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.
To Freeze: Plain gluten-free sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. To freeze, layer the cookies between sheets of parchment paper and place in a freezer-friendly container or Ziploc. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 396IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. Made a double batch today, delivering Valentine cookies tomorrow to my family ❤️
    These are delicious! I found a single batch of icing was enough for a double batch of cookies. I added red sugar sprinkles for Valentine’s Day.
    Wish I could paste a photo!

  2. 5 stars
    We are just pulling the cookies out of the oven and are super excited! The dough is a yummy prelude of what’s to come.

    I am curious to know what size cookie cutter you used for this recipe. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I accidentally halved the butter in the cookie dough and they still turned out fantastic. I might just keep doing that!

  4. 5 stars
    These are amazing. I have been nervous to try cutout cookies since being gluten and dairy free and I just needed the right recipe. These are so good we made them twice this month. We didn’t even frost them and they were still delicious. Thank you!!! These will be a tradition in our house from now on.

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Made as written except I did not use almond extract due to family preferences. I used Bob’s Red Mill GF flour. The dough was great to work with and baked up beautifully! The texture and flavor reminded me of Ethel’s sugar cookies from the old Betty Crocker cookbook. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    These weren’t terrible to cut and roll (we all know the struggle) and they really kept their shape! I’m lactose intolerant so I subbed Country Crock Plant Butter and Green Valley Lactose Free Sour cream. They were soft and yummy. This will be my new go-to sugar cookie recipe for sure.

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