Have fun decorating this fun and allergy friendly sugar cookie house for Valentine’s Day! This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and nut free, and is a lot of fun to decorate with kids. You can use the base cookie house recipe and template to decorate for other holidays as well, such as Easter or Halloween.
If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, our allergy friendly sugar cookie house is a great way to decorate for Valentine’s Day and have some fun!
Our Valentine sugar cookie house is inspired by our gingerbread house for Christmas and uses a similar recipe for roll out cookie dough that requires no chilling before rolling out and baking. Our recipe is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, and tree nut free (depending on the dairy free butter you choose).
This sugar cookie house is:
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- Peanut free
- Tree nut free
How to make a gluten free sugar cookie house
Even though our cookie house takes a little while to make and gets baked twice, it’s actually a lot of fun to create and decorate!
Here is an overview of the steps for making our allergy friendly sugar cookie house. The full recipe card is at the end of the post, this is just an overview of the steps.
- Print out the cookie house template (linked below) on paper or card stock and cut out the pattern pieces. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the dairy free butter, sugar, and vanilla.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.
- Add half the flour mixture and half the diary free milk to the butter mixture and blend together with a hand mixer.
- Add the rest of the flour blend to the bowl with the rest of the dairy free milk and mix together again until a thick dough forms that is similar in texture to playdough can be pressed together into a ball but shouldn’t be very sticky. Mixing the flour into the butter/sugar in 2 parts makes it easier to mix this dough together.
- If the cookie dough seems too dry, add a little more dairy free milk 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing and testing how cohesive it is after each addition, until a thick dough forms. The dough needs to be thick and able to rolled out, so it shouldn’t be too dry but also not too soft or sticky.
- If the dough seems a little too moist to roll out, add an additional 1-2 Tablespoons gluten free baking mix, mixing after each addition of flour, until it’s firm enough for rolling. You can also chill the dough for 1-2 hours to help it firm up a bit before rolling.
- Divide the cookie dough into 2 balls. Wrap one in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out while you roll the other one out.
- Flour a pastry mat with some of the gluten free baking mix/flour and roll out one of the cookie dough disks about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (trying to get an even thickness) and cut out the dough using your house template pieces.
- Use a lightly floured spatula to lift cookie house pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. If your house pieces get a little distorted while moving them, reshape them a little if needed on the cookie pan.
- Roll and cut the dough until all the house pieces are cut, fitting the template pieces together like puzzle pieces to make the most of your dough. Any extra dough can be pressed together and recut for regular cookies.
- Bake the house pieces for 12 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool about 10-15 minutes on the pan, but leave them on the baking sheet. Add starlight mints or Jolly Ranchers candies to the window cut-outs of the house pieces (1-2 mints or candies in each window) and bake again for 8 minutes to melt and spread the mint candies to fill the windows.
- Cool completely on the pan before removing to assemble and decorate.
- Assemble and decorate with our allergy friendly frosting (we’ve added the recipe card under the cookie recipe). You can add a little bit more powdered sugar to the recipe for a firmer hold.
Making candy windows for your cookie house
The photo below shows how we used starlight mints to make the windows in our gingerbread house the same way we made them in the sugar cookie house. For our sugar cookie house, we added a swirl to the candy with a toothpick while it was still melted before it had setup.
So you can add some swirls to the starlight candy when it comes right out of the oven if you want to add more interest!
This also works with Jolly Rancher candies as well if you want a more stained glass look to the windows, you can pick any color that you like. You might start with 6 minutes with the Jolly Ranchers to make sure they spread into the spaces then add 1 to 2 minutes more at a time if it needs more time to melt and spread.
Baking the cookie house pieces twice also allows the cookie pieces to get pretty hard so that they hold up even better when they are assembled on the cake board.
Tips for making our Valentine’s cookie house
Just like with our gingerbread house, you may end up with a few house pieces that cook up with slightly less than straight edges. We have a trick to fix that!
Once your cookie pieces are completely cooled, I take a fine grater or microplane to the long edges to make them straight so they will stand up and connect properly on my cake board. Just watch your fingers and knuckles when using a microplane since they can be pretty sharp.
I didn’t get too carried away with the decorating for my Valentine cookie house, I decided to keep it pretty simple. However you can go all out and add all kinds of favorite Valentine candies to it! We used candy hearts, but have fun with sprinkles, colored sugar, licorice ropes, gummies, etc.
To add some fun color to the outside of our cookie house, I put pink and white frosting together in one bag to pipe out a pretty two-toned frosting with a star tip.
If you’re feeling creative, you can use this idea for a sugar cookie house and use it for other holidays, such as an Easter cookie house, a St. Patrick’s Day themed house, a 4th of July house, or a fun Halloween cookie house!
This is the same house pattern that we use for our gingerbread house for Christmas.
Instructions for the house template
We have our cookie house template in a PDF that is setup with Grow, sign up for our weekly email newsletter below to unlock the printable PDF.
Once you access the PDF file, you can download it or you can print it directly from the file page. Print this at 100% so it fills a standard 8.5×11-inch sheet of paper or cardstock (cardstock is easier to work with but you can do either).
Download or print the template PDF instructions below
Gluten Free Valentine Sugar Cookie House
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Country Crock plant butter sticks, softened/room temperature (I do not recommend using Earth Balance butter in this recipe since it is usually too soft and liquid at room temperature and will cause the cookies to spread too much).
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups fine sorghum flour (we use Authentic Foods superfine sorghum flour)
- 1 ½ cup gluten free all purpose baking mix* (we used King Arthur gluten free all purpose baking mix)
- ½ teaspoon salt (omit salt if your GF flour blend already as salt in it)
- ½ cup dairy free milk of choice (oat, almond, rice, etc.)
- Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting
- Pastry mat
- Microplane, (optional)
- Print off the cookie house template on paper or card stock and cut out the template pieces. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and add a sheet of parchment paper to a cookie sheet. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the dairy free butter, sugar, and vanilla.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the fine sorghum flour and the gluten free baking mix. If using all purpose gluten free flour rather than gluten free baking mix, whisk in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
- Add half the flour to the butter blend and half the dairy free milk, using a hand mixer, and mix until blended.
- Add the other half of the flour and the other half of the dairy free milk and mix until a thick dough forms. The dough should have the look and feel of playdough. It should not be dry/crumbly or sticky, it should be easily pressed together into a ball, and easily rolled out and cut into shapes.
- If the dough seems too dry to press together into a ball, add 1 teaspoon of dairy free milk. If the dough seems too wet/sticky, add 1 Tablespoon of gluten free baking mix.
- Divide the dough into 2 portions. Wrap the other portion of dough in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out while you roll out the other half of the dough.
- Lightly dust the counter or pastry mat with the gluten free baking mix or sorghum flour (either will work), and roll the dough portion out until it's between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick. The thicker the cookie, the softer it will be.
- Cut out the biggest house pieces first, adding the smaller pieces to use up the remaining dough.
- Gather together the dough scraps, press into another dough ball, and roll out again until the dough is used up. Use the other half of the dough to cut the remaining pieces.
- Any remaining cookie dough can be cut into regular cookies and baked for 8 to 10 minutes if you like.
- Bake the cookie house pieces for about 10-12 minutes.
- Allow the cookie house pieces to cool on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes, then add the starlight mints or Jolly Rancher candies to the windows and bake again for about 6-10 minutes, removing when the candy has melted and spreads to fill the window spaces.
- Allow the pieces to cool completely on the pan before assembling your cookie house using our dairy free buttercream frosting for gluing the house together and decorating.
- If the edges of your cookie house pieces are not straight, you can use a microplane to grate or "sand" off the edges to make them straight for easier assembling.
Here is our favorite dairy free buttercream frosting recipe. This works well for gluing the walls together and decorating. One batch of this frosting should be enough to glue and decorate a whole cookie house with simple decorations like we did.
If you do a lot of extra decorating on the outside, you may need to make additional frosting.
Best Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting
- ½ cup dairy free soy free butter, completely softened (Country Crock Plant Butter or Earth Balance Soy Free work great)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice milk (or other dairy free milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Dash salt
- In a large bowl, beat the dairy free butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until creamy, then add half the powdered sugar and blend.
- Add the other half of the powdered sugar, along with the rice milk, vanilla, and dash of salt and beat until creamy. You can use 1 Tablespoon of rice milk to make this thicker, but we found this is silkier and smoother with 2 Tablespoons of rice milk.
- Beat the frosting until it is silky, smoothe, and creamy, and a good consistency for piping if you are decorating with a piping bag and frosting tips.
- Use the frosting to top cakes or cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist