Classic Gluten-free Sugar Cookies

Some of my most favorite holiday memories were the hours spent in my mom’s kitchen decorating Christmas sugar cookies with my family. While we chatted and laughed, we would roll and cut the sugary dough into bell, candy cane, reindeer and angel shapes. Then came the very best part … the decorating.

With colored sugars, festive sprinkles, chocolate jimmies, red hots and royal icing we spent the afternoon together adorning the pretty cookies. This is surely where my love of cookie decorating was born. But in my early days of gluten-free living, I wondered if I would ever cut and decorate another sugar cookie.

I am beyond pleased to say that those sweet holiday traditions are now ones I can pass on to my children from my own gluten-free kitchen. These beauties encompass everything I love in a sugar cookie … a slightly almond-scented dough baked into a thick, tender cookie with a barely crunchy edge.

Classic Gluten-free Sugar Cookies

Recipe developed by Gretchen F. Brown, RD

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 teaspoon golden flaxmeal
2 teaspoons very hot water
420 grams (about 3 cups) gluten-free flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Combine flaxmeal and hot water in a small bowl. Mix well until a slurry forms; set aside. Combine gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer, or with a handheld electric mixer, for 5 minutes or until pale. Add flax slurry, egg and vanilla and almond extracts; beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until dough forms.
  3. Transfer dough to a large sheet of wax paper. Top dough with another sheet of wax paper. Roll dough to 3/8-inch thickness. Place wax paper covered dough onto a baking sheet and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from freezer; peel top layer of wax paper off of dough and place back on dough. Turn dough over; peel other layer of wax paper off of dough and discard paper. Cut cookies with desired cookie cutter shapes. Re-roll all excess dough and cut more cookies (no need to re-chill).
  5. Place cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until edges are barely golden and middles look tender.

(*I used my Kumquat’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. Please find the recipe on my blog.)

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Gretchen Brown
Gretchen F. Brown, RD, is the founder of Kumquat, a gluten-free blog devoted to the belief that gluten-free food can and should be easy to prepare, wholesome, and delicious enough for everyone. She's also the author of Fast & Simple Gluten-Free. Read her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.