Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Classic sugar cookies get the gluten-free treatment.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
13 hrs 15 mins
40 to 45 cookies

The cinnamon, nutmeg and almond extract in this recipe gives the cookie dough a nice hint of spice. But letting the dough rest overnight to better hydrate the flour is the secret to the tender texture of these sugar cookies. When you roll out the dough, place it between two pieces of parchment so it doesn't stick to the counter, and be sure to flour your cookie cutters. We suggest topping the cookies with a classic vanilla-scented icing and sparkling sugar to make them fit any occasion that calls for cookies.



  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 3/4 cups (about 11 3/4 ounces) gluten-free flour (such as King Arthur), plus more for cookie cutters 

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 3 large egg whites or 6 tablespoons liquid egg whites

  • 5 cups (about 1 lb., 4 ounces) powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice(from 1 lemon)

  • Food coloring (optional)

Additional Ingredients

  • Sparkling sugar


Prepare the Dough:

  1. Beat sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until incorporated, about 3 minutes.

  2. Add egg, egg yolk, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract to butter mixture in mixer; beat on medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Place dough on plastic wrap, and wrap tightly, forming a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Refrigerate at least 12 hours or up to 2 days.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap dough, and place between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Peel off top piece of parchment. Using 2- to 3-inch holiday cookie cutters, press out shapes, dipping cookie cutters in flour as needed to prevent sticking; place on prepared baking sheets, about 1/2-inch apart (about 22 per sheet). Reroll remaining dough using new parchment paper.

  5. Bake 1 baking sheet of cookies at a time in preheated oven until cookies are set and edges are slightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet;  transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

While cookies bake, prepare the Icing:

  1. Whisk together egg whites, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a large bowl until combined; add food coloring (if using), stirring to combine. (If desired, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired spreading consistency.)

  2. Place about 1 cup Icing into a disposable piping bag, and cut about a 1/8-inch hole from tip of bag. Line edges of cookies with Icing, and fill in top surface of cookies with Icing using a toothpick to spread Icing. Sprinkle with sparking sugar before Icing sets.

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