Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Gluten-free Sugar Cookies | The Baking Beauties

With yesterday being the first day of spring, that makes today the first FULL day of Spring! Yeah! What better way to celebrate than with cookies? :) I don’t know what you did with your time yesterday, but I made these huge, delicious, phenomenal (yes, they are that good) cookies for my family yesterday. I have tried a gluten-free sugar cookies in the past, but wasn’t happy with the results (which is why you haven’t seen it here). But these…wow…you won’t be disappointed.


My son stared at these cookies all day, asking when he could try them. My daughter’s face lit up when she walked in the door & saw that we were having a special treat to celebrate the first day of spring. My husband, after seeing them on the counter waiting to be eaten, actually asked if I’d made them. He quickly answered himself with “duh, of course you did!”. His next question was…are they regular or gluten-free? I just told him that he was going to have to wait to see if I’d eat one or not! :)

Well, these cookies were a hit. They were a little bit of work, but SO worth it! The dough worked fantastically. I rolled it between 2 sheets of waxed paper without any problems. No extra flour was required to roll them out. I didn’t roll them super thin, since I wanted to insert a stick into them. They would have handled just fine if I had wanted to dip them in sugar before baking too, but I went for the icing route instead (which I’d never done before, but will again!!). These cookies were flavourful with a really great texture. To me, they were just like the rolled sugar cookies I used to me. DELICIOUS!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
To make the flowers on sticks, I inserted a skewer into the dough after it was on the cookie sheet. Make sure it goes over 1/2 way up the cookie, for added support. I let the cookies cool on the baking pan, so they would firm up before transferring them.
Sugar Cookies
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Sugar Cookie Icing
  • 1 cup confectioners' (icing) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon clear vanilla or almond extract (regular vanilla will make your white icing slightly tan coloured, unless you have the clear vanilla extract)
Sugar Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat margarine and shortening until creamy. Add egg, vanilla & milk. Mix until combined.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, unflavoured gelatin, baking powder, salt & xanthan gum. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Stir until combined.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  6. Divide the dough in half and chill the unused portion of the dough until needed.
  7. Roll half the dough at a time, between 2 sheets of waxed paper, to 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on prepared cookie sheets. (If the dough becomes sticky, return to the fridge to chill again.)
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes (for 2 1/2 inch cookies; less for smaller ones, more for larger ones) or until the edges are first and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Sugar Cookie Icing
  1. Stir the powdered sugar and the milk until smooth.
  2. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla until icing is smooth and glossy.
  3. If it's too thick, add more corn syrup.
  4. Diving icing into separate bowls and stir in food colouring as desired (I used gel colouring).
  5. You can dip the cookies, paint them with a paint brush or spread them using a knife or the back of a spoon.
This icing was really fantastic to work with. I had never attempted anything like this before, but the icing hardened nicely, and stayed glossy & smooth. I applied it to the cookies using the back of a spoon. If you thin it out a little bit more, you can even paint it on your cookies. The icing is sweet, but since the cookies are not very sweet, that was alright with us.
Source: Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food for Kids by Sheri L. Sanderson


29 Responses to Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

  1. betty r March 21, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    These cookies would make any little girl or boy’s eyes sparkle! And what wonderful gifts to give.
    Jeanine..I’m thinking that soon you will be able to convert any recipe to GF!

  2. • friX • March 21, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    Wow, these cookies look Amazing ! So pretty !

  3. sarah@tastespotting March 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    love the cookies! so perfect for spring.

  4. Kevin March 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Great looking spring sugar cookies!

  5. Susan March 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    These cookies do look great..good job..looks like the kids and hubby enjoyed them too..

  6. Anonymous March 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Many gluten-free thanks. Margaret

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  8. CDM May 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm #


  9. Gluten Free Shiksa December 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Is there any way to make this without gelatin so they are vegetarian friendly? Thanks!

  10. Jeanine December 11, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    you can omit the gelatin without any problems, I've done it in the past. :)

  11. Shoshana February 2, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Great cookies! I just made them and they are delicious.

  12. Jeanine February 20, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    @Shoshana Thanks, Shoshana! You did a fantastic job of them too!

  13. Lindsay October 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Do you think this dough would work as slice and bake dough?

    • Jeanine October 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Hi Lindsay, I think if you refrigerate the dough ahead of time, you should be able to slice & bake no problem! They would be really cute if you rolled the dough into logs, rolled the outside of the log in a coloured course sugar, and then sliced & baked. I may need to try that! :)

      • Lindsay October 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

        Thanks! We love your recipes, our waistlines… not so much!

  14. Melanie December 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Glad I found this recipe. Just wondering if you have ever frozen these?

    I just put my first batch into the fridge and will bake them off tomorrow morning. Was a bit worried when they seemed a bit like a batter instead of a dough but after beating for a couple minutes more they seemed to firm up, I’m guessing that the gelatin just had to activate. Glad I didn’t jump the gun and add more flour!

    • Jeanine December 3, 2011 at 7:22 am #

      Actually, I have frozen them without any problems! I froze them with sugar on top though, not icing. If I were wanting them iced, I’d probably freeze them plain, and let them defrost before icing them. To get the sugar to stick, if it’s not on it’s own, you can brush the tops of the cookies with water before turning them over or sprinkling them with coloured sugar.

      • Melanie December 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

        Thanks Jeanine! My husband LOVES the hard icing so I’ll probably freeze them un-iced and then pull them out a couple days before Christmas and ice them.

        Great recipe, they were a hit in our house!

        • Jeanine December 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

          No problem, glad to hear they were a hit though! Guess that means they didn’t last very long then, huh? :)

  15. Lynn Imbeau December 12, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Made these for my daughter (who has Celiac Disease) to take to a Christmas cookie decorating party. They were delicious, of a nice texture, and only a little of that powdery after taste. I found the dough easy to work. I did notice that in your recipe you omitted from the instructions when to add the sugar. I added it with the eggs, vanilla and milk. I’ll be sharing this recipe with friends.

    • Jeanine December 13, 2011 at 7:16 am #

      Thanks for the note, Lynn! I’ll be sure to add that to the instructions. Glad to hear that your daughter was able to participate as well! :)

      • Lynn Imbeau December 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

        The slight powdery taste that I mentioned totally disappeared after a day or two. These cookies actually got better with age. They were so good, I’ve got another batch chilling in the fridge now.

        • Jeanine December 20, 2011 at 9:53 am #

          Perfect! yes, these cookies are actually best after a few days, that’s what I’ve found with a few other cookies too (snickerdoodles being another).

  16. rhonda pinker December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    For the 1/3 cup shortening in the cookie recipe can i use vegetable oil ?

  17. Jaclyn December 13, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    HELP!!!! I grabbed salted butter instead of margarine…. Ok?!?!

  18. Jaclyn December 13, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    HELP!!!! I grabbed salted butter instead of margarine…. Is that Ok?!?!

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