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Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (No Spread)

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December 18, 2022 | Author: Ashley McCrary

These gluten-free sugar cookies are not only delicious but are perfect for decorating year-round. Complete with foolproof tips, this recipe truly will be your favorite go-to!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Regardless of the season, baking and decorating sugar cookies is an unforgettable pastime. That should be no different for families and friends who have a gluten allergy. My goal was to make the PERFECT gluten-free sugar cookie. I have labored over this recipe, testing and re-testing to make sure it is just right. If you want to make them even better, decorate them to the nines with my famous royal icing.

Decorating cookies with royal icing is just so fun and creative, and perfect for big kids, little kids, and adults too! Now pick up your favorite holiday cookie cutters, and get your camera ready- it’s time for cookie making!

The best sugar cookies don’t actually have a ton of ingredients. In fact, while the ingredients matter a ton, it’s the process that really counts this time. These sugar cookies are easy to make with a few pro tips to help you out! I have thought of every last detail to help you re-create this recipe like a pro in your kitchen! I can’t wait to see your sugar cookies with royal icing decorations in such cute holiday cookie-cutter shapes! Make sure you tag me on Instagram or comment below so I can see your works of art!

My recipe for royal icing is in the printable recipe below, but for more tips & tricks, and an awesome how-to video, click here for the full royal icing recipe!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

How to Make Sugar Cookies

The best sugar cookies don’t actually have a ton of ingredients. In fact, while the ingredients matter a ton, it’s the process that really counts this time. These gluten-free sugar cookies are easy to make with a few pro tips to help you out! I have thought of every last detail to help you re-create this recipe like a pro in your kitchen! I can’t wait to see your sugar cookies cut into cute holiday shapes! Make sure you tag me on Instagram or comment below so I can see your works of art!

My recipe for royal icing is in the printable recipe below, but for more tips & tricks, and an awesome how-to video, click here for the full royal icing recipe!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie Ingredients

What You’ll Need

Bob’s Red Mill Glute-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: Measure the flour exactly. I recommend using a scale. If you do use a measuring cup, be sure not to pack the flour into the measuring cup. Instead, spoon the flour into the cup for more accurate measuring. When you pack it in you can get a ton of extra flour that will dry out the cookies.

Salted Butter: Use real butter, as this recipe will not work with margarine. Make sure the butter is softened to room temperature. The butter should sit out at room temp for 45 minutes to an hour before you’re ready to use it. Give it the fingertip test, by pressing down on the butter. If it leaves an indention, you are good to go. If the butter comes off onto your fingers, that means it’s too soft. Don’t soften your butter in the microwave as this can ruin the dough.

Egg: Let your egg come to room temperature before using it in the recipe. This will ensure that the ingredients combine easily in the dough.

Vanilla Extract: Always use a high-quality vanilla extract. It makes a big difference in the final product and taste. I like buying Simply Organic Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract that you can find at most grocery stores.

Baking Powder: I don’t use a lot because I don’t want my cookies to spread. I use about 1/4 teaspoon.

Granulated Sugar

Note: Icing your cookies is totally optional, but if you want to see the super helpful how-to video for this icing recipe to decorate your sugar cookies and so many other treats, click here for my famous Royal Icing!

Easy Sugar Cookies Step-by-Step Guide

As always, more detailed instructions are in the printable recipe below, but here’s a quick overview of the steps to make these sugar cookies!

Make the Dough | Remember, it’s super important to make sure your butter and egg are at room temperature for this step! Also, be careful not to overmeasure any flour as this will dry out your cookies.

Cream The Butter: Place the room temperature butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with standing or handheld mixing until light pale yellow and fluffy, around 3 minutes (This is such an important step, however, make sure not to overbeat because it will warm the butter and make it too soft. It needs to still be cold but light and fluffy after beating together).

Roll out your dough | Knead the dough together, and use a little extra flour here if it’s too sticky. Cut the dough in half and place each one on top of a large sheet of parchment paper. Additionally, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top and begin to roll out using a rolling pin. This method will help prevent it from sticking. Remember, the more the dough is rolled, the more it will warm and become soft. Feel free to throw it in the fridge if it’s too soft.

Chill your dough | After you’ve rolled out your dough, chill it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Cut out shapes | Remove from the fridge or freezer and cut desired shapes using a cookie cutter of choice.

Bake your dough | Place all of your beautiful shapes about 1 inch apart on a lined baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes! Let cool completely.

Decorate | Get your family together and decorate your sugar cookies with my Royal Icing recipe!

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies on a sheet in different Christmas shapes

Tips for the Perfect Sugar Cookies

Making the Dough

Don’t overmix the dough. As soon as it begins to clump together into a dough, it is ready.

Don’t over-knead the dough. This will make the cookies spread and not hold their shape. If you over-knead you will melt the butter and the dough will become too soft when baking.

Use parchment paper and plastic wrap for rolling. This will help with sticking. Additionally, add a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough to ensure no sticking to the rolling pin.

Re-roll the dough only once. As you roll it will begin to warm up and become too soft to work with.

Roll the dough evenly so you get the same size cookies throughout.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer before cutting. This step is super important for getting no-spread cookies.

Gluten-Free Flour: This sugar cookie recipe has only been tested with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour. The measurement and weight of other gluten-free flour may differ from Bob’s Red Mill. If you use another brand, it’s possible your flour-to-fat ratio will need slight tweaking. GF flour can weigh between 122g and 148 grams per cup depending on the brand

Preheat oven: Always make sure your oven is completely preheated before adding in the cookies. This will ensure an even bake.

Say NO to cooking spray: Avoid adding cookie spray to your cookie sheet pans or hands. The excess grease can lead to the cookies spreading.

Shaping the Dough with Cookie Cutters

Dip the cookie cutters into flour so they won’t stick and make a mess if you choose not to chill the dough before cutting.

Baking the Cookies

Don’t Overbake. I always pull my cookies out of the oven at around 8-9 minutes. I watch the edges and take them out before they start turning golden-brown because I like my cookies to be a little softer and cake-like.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies FAQs

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (No Spread): FAQs

What is the best gluten-free flour to use for these sugar cookies?

This sugar cookie recipe has only been tested with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour. The measurement and weight of other gluten-free flour may differ from Bob’s Red Mill. If you use another brand, it’s possible your flour-to-fat ratio will need slight tweaking. GF flour can weigh between 122g and 148 grams per cup depending on the brand

How long do sugar cookies last?

Sugar cookies will last up to two weeks if stored in an airtight container on the kitchen counter or pantry. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for 6 months.

Can you freeze-decorated cookies?

Yes, you can freeze sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. Simply place parchment paper between each layer of cookies in an airtight container or freezer-safe ziplock bag. Thaw on the counter on top of parchment paper until room temperature.

How long does cookie dough last in the fridge and freezer? How do you know if it’s bad?

Cookie dough will last up to 3-5 days in the fridge before cooking. You can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze it for 5-6 months. Be sure to write the date on the wrap. You will know the cookie dough has gone bad by observing the edges. If they are darker than the interior, it’s gone bad. It may also have a bad smell.

How to keep sharp edges with no spreading?

Make sure to incorporate the butter at room temperature and have accurate measurements for the other ingredients. Also, cooking the cookies at a higher temp such as 375F will allow them to set quicker. Also, no opening the oven and peeking. When you open the oven door, it will lose heat and affect the shape of the cookies.

How thick should the rolled dough be?

Most people say 1/4-3/8 of an inch. I like my cookies a little thicker so I usually go with 1/2 inch or 3/4. I find that they have a cake-like consistency when thicker.

Can I change the flavor with different extracts?

Yes, you can use almond extract, lemon extract, or any of the flavors you would like. I would suggest less is more in this case as you don’t want the extract to overpower your batter!

The dough is sticky and/or crumbly. What can I do?

If the cookie dough becomes sticky or crumbly when mixing, there is an easy fix. Simply add in a little cornstarch. Start slowly by adding a teaspoon at a time and then combining. You only want to add this in if the dough is a little sticky, not a hot mess sticky.

Can I use flour on the surface when rolling out the dough?

I recommend using powdered sugar on the surface when rolling dough. If you add a lot of flour it will change the ratio of the dough and the cookies will spread.

Do you have a rolling tip so the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin?

Yes! On top of a large sheet of parchment paper, add the dough. Additionally, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough and begin to roll it out using a rolling pin. This will ensure there is no sticking to the rolling pin.

Is it really important to cream the butter and sugar for these sugar cookies?

This is such an important step, however, make sure not to overbeat because it will warm the butter and make it too soft. It needs to still be cold but light and fluffy after beating together. I beat together for 3 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is light pale yellow and fluffy.

Want More Holiday Recipes?

Royal Icing

Regular No Spread Sugar Cookies

Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa Mix

Cranberry Gin Fizz

10-Minute Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

Print
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Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

These gluten-free sugar cookies are not only delicious but are perfect for decorating year-round. Complete with foolproof tips, this recipe truly is the BEST gluten-free recipe!

  • Total Time: 15 minute
  • Yield: 2022 cookies 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/3 cup gluten-free flour* 345.3 grams (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Baking Flour)
  • 1 cup sugar, 220 grams
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks butter, 1 cup or 226.8 grams
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat + Measure Flour: Preheat oven to 375F. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. (Make sure you don’t pack the flour when measuring. I recommend using a scale and weight the flour for more accuracy. If measurements are off, this will result in cookies that spread). 
  2. Cream The Butter: Place the room temperature butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with standing or handheld mixing until light in color, around 3-4 minutes (This is such an important step, however, make sure not to overbeat because it will warm the butter and make it too soft).
  3. Make The Dough: Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture in, and beat until the mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl and turns into a dough.
  4. Roll The Dough: Knead the dough together, use a little powdered sugar to a surface here if it’s too sticky. Cut the dough in half and place each one on top of a large sheet of parchment paper. Additionally, place a piece of plastic wrap over the top and begin to roll out using a rolling pin. This method will help prevent it from sticking. Remember, the more the dough is rolled, the more it will warm and become soft. (If you don’t want to use this method, simply sprinkle the surface area you will be working on with powdered sugar and roll out the dough). Use powdered sugar instead of flour to prevent the cookies from spreading in the oven.
  5. Chill The Dough: Add the dough to the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. I transfer the rolled dough and parchment paper to a baking sheet and chill this way. It makes cutting so easy after they are chilled.
  6. Cut & Bake: Remove from the fridge and cut desired shapes using a cookie cutter of choice. Place each cookie at least 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes ( I always remove at 7 minutes for a softer cookie) or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges.
  7. Enjoy: Let sit on baking sheet for 1 minute after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

  • TO PREVENT SPREADING: It is so important to follow these steps closely so the cookies don’t spread. If they do spread, it is because a step was missed or the ratios were off and not measured correctly. 
  • TESTING: This sugar cookie recipe has only been tested with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour. The measurement and weight of other gluten-free flour may differ from Bob’s Red Mill. If you use another brand, it’s possible your flour-to-fat ratio will need slight tweaking. GF flour can weigh between 122g and 148 grams per cup depending on the brand.
  • CREAMING BUTTER: It is very important to cream your butter and to weigh the flour and sugar correctly. If you aren’t careful, this will through off the ratio. 
  • CHILL THE DOUGH: This step is your friend. It is a MUST. Chill either the dough first or cut your cookies and chill before baking. Just make sure to not skip this step. 
  • ALWAYS PREHEAT OVEN: Always make sure your oven is completely preheated before adding in the cookies. This will ensure an even bake.
  • SAY NO TO COOKING SPRAY: Avoid adding cookie spray to your cookie sheet pans or hands. The grease can lead to cookies that spread. 
  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7-9 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: gluten-free sugar cookies, royal icing

21 thoughts on "Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (No Spread)"

  1. Ashley McCrary says:

    After 6 rounds of tweaking and testing, this is hands down the BEST gluten-free sugar cookies.

  2. Samantha says:

    Would this recipe work with AP flour? Would the cookies still hold their shape so well?

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      I would not use AP flour with this recipe. The weight of gluten free and AP flour weigh different so the ratios will be off. However, I have a regular sugar cookie recipe using AP flour here
      https://healthylittlepeach.com/the-best-sugar-cookies-with-royal-icing/

  3. Mandy Andrews says:

    These are sooooo good! My daughter and I made these today. Hands down the BEST GF sugar cookie and perfect for cutouts! They baked up soft and buttery and maintained their shape. A feat I have not been able to accomplish with GF dough before! Thank you for your hard work in creating this recipe! These tasted like the cookies from my childhood memories! Something I have missed since having to be gluten free. I did not have Bobs Red Mill flour so I used King Arthur measure for measure and it was great!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      This is so great to hear. Thank you for the feedback. So glad they were a hit.

  4. Abbey says:

    I made a double batch today and they are amazing. I used dairy free butter because I can’t have dairy. I was lazy so I rolled out the cookies and cut them before letting them set in the fridge. The shapes were not perfect but still pretty great! Will def be making these every year.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      So happy to heat Abbey! I am glad they were a hit. The shapes would have been perfect if the dough was refrigerated for a little bit before cutting. But when I am in a hurry, I totally get it. Have a Merry Christmas.

  5. Lisa says:

    OMG these are seriously great cookies. My family doesn’t even know they’re gluten free. My husband & son both commented how good they were. I’ll never tell 🙂

    They also look beautiful. Kept their shape, and royal icing is delicious!

    MAKE THEM NOW

  6. Samone says:

    I have a tried and true recipe, but wanted to try a new one. I weighed everything out and the dough was still extremely sticky. Any advice on why?

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      It seems that the flour was off. If you followed the measurements and weight in the recipe card it shouldn’t be sticky at all. You can add a tablespoon or two of flour to help the dough come together and balance it.

  7. Katie says:

    Thank you for working so hard to make these PERFECT! 💗

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thank you so much!!

  8. Heather says:

    Can’t wait to make these for my nephew who was newly diagnosed with celiac. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  9. Kimberly Holderman says:

    Oh my word these didn’t work at all 😥😫 I followed all the directions and even extra chill time and we have a big pile of exploded cookies over here! I’m sorry to leave a negative review, I just feel people should know it doesn’t always work

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      It sounds like the dough got too warm or the flour wasn’t measured correctly. If you rolled the doll multiple times before cutting, the cookies will spread because the dough gets too warm. I am sorry that they didn’t turn out, even with all the tips I provided. I still 100% stand behind this recipe as it has been tested and tested. There are so many important steps, if even one was missed that can result in cookies that spread. Merry Christmas

  10. Victoria D says:

    These came out perfect! Thanks for all the tips and tricks, it makes a difference. I used vegan butter and had no issues. The dough was so soft and not sticky like GF dough usually is.

  11. Jen says:

    These are unbelievable delicious (& super easy to make)! GF win!! Thank you for your hours of testing, even my MIL can’t complain (& she complains about everything GF…)!

  12. Kaila says:

    Absolute perfection!!! Thank you!!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      So happy to hear. Thank you

  13. Michele R says:

    I am still completely dumbfounded at how perfect this recipe is!!
    Being 100% gluten free I was on the hunt for a legit cookie recipe so I could make a tradition with my kids to bake Christmas cookies. 1. I needed ones that tasted legit so my picky son couldn’t tell and 2. I wanted the cookies to be able to be cut with cookie cutters.
    This recipe KILLED it! My son and EVERYONE who tried them loved them! I even found a GF icing with no dyes and sprinkles and everyone loved them!
    The recipe is really simple but she is right, you have to balance the ratio just right. Once I figured it out everything was a breeze and my son and I had a blast making them!
    Thank you SO much for this recipe. It’s my go to sugar cookie recipe from now on 👏🏽 You helped make our Christmas special!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      This is so awesome to hear. I am glad you loved this recipe. Thank you for taking time to give your feedback. It’s greatly appreciated.


 

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About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!

About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!