These Gluten Free Sugar Cookies are soft, tender and are inspired by our favorite bakery Lofthouse-style cookie with a sweet & creamy 4-ingredient vanilla buttercream frosting. Perfect any time you’re craving a soft healthy sugar cookie and a favorite for holiday cookie trays! Plus, they are refined sugar-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly and easily dairy-free.
Our Favorite Healthy Gluten Free Cookie Recipe
Looking for a healthy gluten free cookie recipe for your next birthday party or holiday cookie exchange? These Gluten Free Sugar Cookies are one of the most requested recipes we get from our friends and family any time we are at a birthday party or during the Christmas holidays. They are soft and tender and made with better for you ingredients than the soft Lofthouse version that everyone raves about.
Another cool thing about these flourless sugar cookies is that it’s easy to dye the buttercream pink with beet powder. They look so beautiful without the use of processed food coloring. You can even throw some sprinkles on top to make them extra fancy. These sweet frosted paleo sugar cookies are a quick and easy dessert option for any time of year. And if you’re looking for more paleo cookies with almond flour, we also have these paleo chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies and these gluten free snickerdoodles.
Why we love this soft cookie recipe
They are fun and easy make and always a popular party treat and holiday baked good.
What Makes these Cookies Gluten Free?
These cookies use a combination of wheat flour substitutes to keep them extra fluffy and perfect if you’re looking for more gluten free baking recipes. They’re also made with a number of dairy free alternatives. And even though these cookies are made with wholesome better for you ingredients, everyone will fall in love with how soft, sweet and tasty they are.
Ingredients You Need
Many gluten free sugar cookie recipes we’ve come across are made with various gluten free flours or an all purpose gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum. Since we wanted to keep our sugar cookies grain-free and paleo-friendly, we are going to be using:
For the Sugar Cookie Dough
- Almond Flour – our favorite grain-free flour to use in place of a gluten free flour mix. Be sure to use superfine almond flour and not almond meal. We like the one from Costco or Bob’s Red Mill.
- Tapioca Flour and Coconut Flour – our two other favorite gluten-free flours that helps to provide the right structure when making gluten-free cookies. We have not tested with any other flour combination for this cookie recipe.
- Baking powder and baking soda: this combination of leaveners help the paleo cookies rise
- Fine sea salt – adds flavor and balances out the sweetness
- Maple Sugar – the granulated version of maple syrup. If you don’t have maple sugar, you can sub with powdered coconut sugar (or make your own by blending coconut sugar in your high speed blender until it turns into a powdered consistency).
- Unsalted Grass-Fed Butter: You can also use refined coconut oil to make these sugar cookies vegan.
- Egg – be sure to bring your egg to room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract – adds flavor and makes these almond flour sugar cookies delicious
For the Buttercream
- Grass-Fed Butter: You can use sustainably sourced palm shortening instead, if desired.
- Dairy-free cream cheese: we like the one from Miyokos but you can also use any brand or even regular cream cheese if you are not paleo.
- Powdered Coconut Sugar: Maple sugar also works wonderfully.
- Vanilla Extact
- Beet Powder (Optional): If you want your frosting to be pink, add beet powder as desired.
How to make Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
- Combine Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Cream Butter & Sugar: In a bowl or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, butter and sour cream until light and fluffy.
- Add Egg & Vanilla: Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Slowly spoon in the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed, until the cookie dough is just combined.
- Chill Dough: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place your cookie dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Prepare Baking Sheets: Meanwhile, prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Arrange Dough Balls: Scoop 2-tbsp balls of cookie dough balls onto the cookie sheets, spacing them 2-3 inches apart.
- Flatten Dough Balls: Take the bottom of a flat glass dusted with flour and gently mash down each cookie dough ball until flat. Reshape the edges if needed with floured fingers.
- Chill & Preheat Oven: Place the cookies back in the fridge to chill while the oven pre-heats. Set your oven to 375°F.
- Bake: Bake your cookies on the middle rack until they’re slightly golden on the edges, about 9-11 minutes. Don’t overbake.
- Let Cool: Place the cookie sheets on a cooling rack and allow the cookies to completely cool before frosting.
How to make Buttercream Frosting
- Beat Butter: In a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and dairy-free cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add Vanilla & Sugar: Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Color: If desired, add beet powder a small amount at a time, mixing until your desired color is reached.
- Frost Cookies: Frost your cooled sugar cookies, leaving a small border exposed.
Tips for the Best Gluten Free Cookies
- Chill the Dough: Don’t skimp out on chilling your cookie dough – this step is necessary for the cookies to hold their shape and come out uniform.
- Don’t Overbake: Remove your cookies from the oven as soon as the edges are starting to brown. If you bake them for too long, they’ll dry out.
- Let Cool Completely: Before you frost your cookies, make sure they’re completely cooled. If your cookies are still warm when you frost them, the buttercream might get runny.
- Top with Sprinkles: To really embody the Lofthouse sugar cookies, add some colorful sprinkles on top of your buttercream!
- Try using cookie cutters to make them more festive for your holiday cookie tray
How to Store Homemade Cookies
Leftover soft gluten free sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you want them to stay fresh for a few extra days, store them in the refrigerator. We recommend layering your unfrosted cookies between parchment paper.
How to Freeze Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
If you want to make your cookies ahead of time around the holidays, we recommend freezing them frosted so they don’t dry out too much in the freezer. Place them on a large baking sheet and freeze them for 30 minutes or until they turn hard. Transfer to an airtight container between parchment paper and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More sugar cookie recipes you might like:
These Gluten Free Sugar Cookiesare soft, tender and taste just like your favorite bakery style cookie with a sweet & creamy 4-ingredient vanilla buttercream frosting. Perfect any time you're craving a soft healthy sugar cookie and a favorite for holiday cookie trays! Plus, they are refined sugar-free, paleo-friendly and easily dairy-free.
- 1 1/2 cups superfine almond flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup maple sugar
- 1/2 cup softened unsalted grass-fed butter or refined coconut oil
- 1/3 cup room temperature dairy-free sour cream or coconut cream
- 1 egg room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup grass-fed butter or sustainably sourced palm shortening
- 3 tbs dairy-free cream cheese , we like Miyokos
- 2 cups powdered coconut sugar or maple sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- beet powder optional, for color
Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together sugar, butter and sour cream until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and mix again.
Slowly spoon in dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until cookie dough is just combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill cookie dough for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop 2-tbsp balls of cookie dough onto the cookie sheets, spacing 2-3 inches apart.
Take the bottom of a flat glass dusted with flour and gently mash down each cookie dough ball until flat. Reshape edges if needed with floured fingers.
Place cookies back in the fridge to chill while oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake cookies on middle rack until slightly golden on edges, about 9-11 minutes. Don't overbake.
Place cookie sheets on cooling rack and allow cookies to completely cool before frosting.
In a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter and dairy-free cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
Add food coloring, a small amount at a time, mixing until desired color is reached (optional).
Frost the cooled cookies, leaving a small border exposed.