Celebrate Christmas or any occasion with these fun gluten free cut out sugar cookies! Our cut out cookies are also dairy free, and you don’t have to chill the dough before cutting and baking, saving you time!
Christmas is almost here, and we’re so ready for it this year!
One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is baking cookies and making treats for loved ones. Giving things away, especially if it’s homemade, feels great I think.
We’ve had several sugar cookie recipes on our blog, but this is the first time I’ve done a cut out sugar cookie recipe! It’s really fun to decorate sugar cookies, so I wanted to make an allergy friendly cut out cookie that fits multiple food allergies.
These are fairly easy to make (no chilling the dough!) and they are great for any holiday or occasion. These aren’t just for Christmas!
We include some fun decorating ideas for other holidays in the post, along with our favorite frosting recipe to pipe designs.
How to make gluten free cut out sugar cookies
Are you ready for some allergy friendly cut out sugar cookies? Let’s dive in!
No need to chill the dough!
We’ll start off with a note about not chilling this cookie dough since we love to save time in the kitchen 🙂
The biggest reason I love this cut out sugar cookie recipe is that it doesn’t require chilling the dough before cutting and cooking!
I can be an impatient cook sometimes, and when I was younger, I never really liked that some cookie dough had to be chilled for 2 hours before rolling, cutting, and baking. So I made these cut out cookies (and my other sugar cookie recipe) no chill for busy cooks who want to get their recipe made quickly.
This in itself is a time saver, plus I’ve found that these cookies are pretty easy to roll and cut thanks to the xanthan gum in the flour blend. So the dough doesn’t get overly sticky, making it much easier to roll, cut, and transfer the cookies.
If you want to chill the dough for some reason you are welcome to, but it won’t really change the recipe. I tried this recipe out with chilled dough as well to test it, and with the ingredients I used it didn’t change anything in the cookies.
Steps for making our gluten free cut out cookies
Our roll out cookies are pretty straight forward. Here are the steps for making these cookies.
Don’t forget: the full recipe card is at the bottom of the post, this is just a quick overview of steps.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your cookie pans.
- Cream together the dairy free butter, sugar, rice milk, and vanilla.
- Blend in half the dry ingredients, then blend in the other half of the dry ingredients until smooth.
- A thick dough will form and it will look crumbly at first, but will press together easily into a smooth and firm cookie dough.
- Divide the dough into 2 to 4 portions of dough and wrap the remaining portions of dough in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature while you roll out your dough (no need to chill this dough). This keeps the cookie dough from drying out.
- Lightly flour your surface and roll the dough portion to about 1/8 inch thick or slightly less. I roll my dough out to slightly less than 1/8th inch.
- Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets.
- Gather together the dough scraps, press into another dough ball, and roll out again. You can do this about 2 times before the dough begins to get too dry. Toss the remaining dough scraps and start the next section of dough.
- Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes: 6 minutes for softer cookies, 7-8 minutes for crispier cookies.
- After the cookies are completely cooled, decorate them.
I used a gluten free all purpose flour for this recipe that has xanthan gum in it (we used the Bob’s Red Mill one-to-one flour in this recipe). I know some gluten free flour blends do have it and some don’t, so check your flour to make sure that it does have xanthan gum in it or these cookies won’t hold together.
The xanthan gum in these cookies acts as a binder instead of the eggs or gluten in regular cut out cookies. So you want to make sure that your gluten free flour has it, or add a little bit of xanthan gum to these if your flour blend doesn’t include it.
Also note that the Country Crock plant butter sticks don’t have soybean oil in them but the tubs do have soybean oil in them. Check the labels on those before you buy them if you have a soy allergy.
We only used the Country Crock plant butter sticks in this recipe, but haven’t tested this out with any other types of dairy free butter. So I am not sure how well this recipe will work out with different brands of dairy free butter at this time, but we’ll update the post when we try this recipe out with other brands.
We also included our recipe card for our dairy free buttercream frosting below as well. I just added a little more powdered sugar to the frosting for our piping on the cookies to make it a little more stiff.
We also used the blue natural powdered food coloring from McCormick for our frosting. It turned out pretty! It has a teal cast to it, which worked beautifully.
Crispy vs. soft cookies (and how to do both)
We baked our cookies for about 7-8 minutes and I rolled ours out pretty thin (a bit less than 1/8th inch), and they came out crispy. My husband likes crispy cookies, but I prefer soft cookies, so I experimented a little bit with the baking times to get softer cookies.
I found that rolling these out a bit thicker (right at 1/8th inch instead of less) and baking for just 6 minutes will result in a softer cut out cookie that still holds its shape.
So rolling your dough thin and baking these at 7-8 minutes will give you a crispier cookie.
But I think the baking time makes the biggest difference in cookie softness since it really doesn’t take much time at all to bake these!
I also experimented with rolling these thicker to see how soft they’d be. When rolled thicker, I’d still make sure to cook them about 7-9 minutes so they hold together or they’d be a bit floppy.
- Rolled thicker (between 1/8 to 1/4 inch) = bake 7-8 minutes, soft cookie
- Rolled thin (1/8 inch or less) = bake 6 minutes, soft cookie
- Rolled thin = bake 7-8 minutes, crispy cookie
A note on gluten free flours and substitutions
When I initially developed this recipe, I used the Bob’s Red Mill one-to-one all purpose flour. I decided to make another batch using the King Arthur Flour all purpose baking mix (which is different than their gluten free all purpose flour).
When I used the KAF all purpose baking mix, the dough ended up being more dry, so I had to add in a little bit of additional rice milk to help the dough stick together (a few teaspoons).
So if you are using a different gluten free all purpose flour or baking mix and the dough ends up looking dry and won’t stick together like it should, add just a little bit of rice milk to it (like 1 teaspoon at a time) until it sticks together.
It should still look a bit crumbly, but should be easily pressed together into a firm dough that’s not sticky.
Also, some gluten free baking mixes have salt in them and other gluten free all purpose flours do not, so check the label on the one you’re using. If your gluten free flour blend has salt in it, omit the salt in this recipe.
I updated this recipe with the flour recommendation of Bob’s Red Mill one-to-one gluten free flour. Some people have noted that these won’t turn out using other gluten free flour blends. If you use another flour blend besides the Bob’s Red Mill or the King Arthur Flour all purpose baking mix blends I tested with, I can’t guarantee the results.
Because roll out cookies are fairly temperamental (especially special diet ones made without eggs, gluten, and dairy), I recommend making these with the specific ingredients that we tested the recipe with for best results: the Bob’s Red Mill one to one gluten free flour and the Country Crock plant butter sticks.
Ways to decorate our cut out cookies
We show Christmas cut out cookies in the photos, but this recipe is great for any occasion or holiday, not just Christmas!
Here are some other decorating ideas for these gluten free cookies:
- Use champagne glass cookie cutters to make cute New Years Eve cookies.
- Cut these cookies out into hearts and decorate with red or pink icing for Valentine’s Day.
- Cut these roll out cookies into egg shapes and decorate them for Easter to look like dyed eggs (marbled icing would be so fun on them!).
- Use flag shaped cookie cutters and decorate them into American flags for the 4th of July. Or use a USA map cookie cutter!
- Cut the cookies into half moon shapes and decorate like watermelon slices for summer. I think pineapple shaped cookies would be fun for summer as well!
- Cut our cookies into pumpkins for fall or Halloween and decorate with orange icing and halloween sprinkles.
- If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, cut your cookies into a star of David or dreidel.
There are so many fun possibilities with these cookies! The Anne Clark shop has a ton of really fun cookie cutter shapes, including states. And their cookie cutters are made in the USA!
No Chill Gluten Free Cut Out Sugar Cookies (Dairy Free)
Roll Out Sugar Cookies:
- 1/2 cup Country Crock plant butter sticks, softened and room temperature (1/2 cup = 1 stick)*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice milk (or oat, almond, or coconut milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free blend** (or King Arthur all purpose gluten free flour, if you use the KAF flour you'll need 1-2 additional teaspoons of dairy free milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit salt if your GF flour blend already as salt in it)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the dairy free butter, sugar, rice milk, and vanilla.
- Add half the flour and the salt and baking powder and mix again until smooth.
- Add the other half of the flour and mix until a crumbly looking dough forms. The dough will look crumbly at first, but should be easy to press together to make a smooth and firm dough.
- Divide the dough into 2 to 4 portions depending on how much dough you want to roll out at once. I prefer rolling out smaller portions of dough to make it easier to get uniform thickness, so I divide it into 4 portions. Wrap the remaining portions of dough in plastic wrap.
- Lightly dust the counter or pastry mat with gluten free flour and roll the dough portion out until it's about 1/8 inch thick or slightly less. I roll my dough out to slightly less than 1/8th inch. Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters and place on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Gather together the dough scraps, press into another dough ball, and roll out again. You can do this about 2 times before the dough begins to get too dry.
- Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes: 6 minutes for softer cookies, 7-8 minutes for crispier cookies.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once your cookies are completely cooled, you can ice them.
Here is the dairy free buttercream frosting you can use for the cookies as well. I followed this recipe and added some natural blue food coloring.
Best Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting
- 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