The Softest Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

I used to love cookies and sweets as a kid, and the most difficult part of becoming gluten-free in 2009 was saying goodbye to baked goods. There weren't a lot of options back then, and the options we did have tasted like sand (if you know, you know). Luckily, my husband's mother had lots of practice perfecting gluten-free baking because she didn't want him to miss out on anything. She showed me that you don't have to use wheat flour to create delicious pastries that everyone will love (even the gluten-full). 

These soft and chewy cookies are an absolute essential for the holidays in our home. 

1/2cup butter, room temperature so it's soft
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ¼ cups (18 ounces) gluten free cookie flour blend
Buttercream frosting -- not optional *recipe below

Cookie Flour Blend

2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together on low-medium speed. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, and vanilla extract.
  4.  Slowly add the flour blend and mix until combined.
  5. Place the dough between a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) and a sheet of plastic wrap, roll until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Peel off the top plastic sheet and cut the cookies out using a cookie cutter, shapes can be used!
    • DO NOT take the cookies off of the baking mat or bottom piece of parchment, just peel the excess dough round the shapes and transfer the silicone sheet/parchment to your baking tray (carefully).  Not taking them off prevents the dough from stretching out of shape. 
  7. Put the excess dough and re-roll the same way, onto a new baking mat or sheet of parchment.
  8. Bake in for 8-10 minutes. These cookies are a bit tricky. The took-pick method won't work on these, it will come out clean every time, even right when they go in. They will also maintain softness like they are raw.
    • The way to tell if they are done is by looking at them. Crazy, I know. The sides will start to look dry, and the bottom of the cookie will be starting to brown. They won't look done. You want to be extra careful to not let the bottoms brown too much or the cookies will be too dry.
  9. Once done, let cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet, and then move to a cooling rack. It's best to frost the cookies when they are at room temperature. Frosting them when it is still hot can cause the frosting to melt and that's just a mess.

The frosting is an absolute-must. It helps keep the cookies soft after they are done. You can add food coloring to this recipe if you would like, or not. Do whatever you want.

Buttercream Frosting

.5 pounds butter, softened (do not melt)
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Whip butter for about 5 minutes. It should be light in color and very fluffy.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Beat at low speed to combine. If frosting is still too thick add a little more cream or milk.
  3. Increase the speed and whip for another 2-3 minutes.

To Frost:

  1. Load the frosting into a piping bag or ziplock with a corner tip cut off. If you are using a piping bag, fit it with a large round tip. Pro tip: the best way to fill the bag is by putting it in a cup.
  2. Hold the piping tip perpendicular to the cookie and gently squeeze out the frosting, starting at the edge and going around in whatever shape it is. You can smooth it out if you want. Keep in mind that it gets messy.
  3. Top with sprinkles, this is also a must.
I wish I could tell you how long these cookies keep for, but in my home they are gone within the week. We have successfully sent batches of these in the mail to family-members, so they are pretty hardy. The best thing about these cookies is that they actually get better after sitting in an airtight container for a few days, the cookies get softer and the frosting hardens a bit.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!