Gluten-Free Basic Sugar Cookies

My husband is gluten free, so I made my mother's famous sugar cookies recipe gluten free, and they are the best homemade gluten-free cookies we've ever made. Perfect recipe for Christmas cookies!

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
8 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 1 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 44 mins
24 cookies


Cookie Dough:

  • 2 ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ½ cup shortening (such as Crisco®)

  • 2 eggs, well beaten

  • 1 tablespoon milk

  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, or as needed

For Decorating:

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 drop blue food coloring, or as needed

  • ¼ teaspoon water, or as needed

  • 2 tablespoons sugar sprinkles, or to taste


  1. Stir gluten-free flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl.

  2. Beat sugar and shortening with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add beaten eggs, milk, and vanilla extract; beat until light and airy, about 2 minutes. Add gluten-free flour mixture in small batches and stir until dough is just combined.

  3. Pat dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Dust rolling pin and cookie cutters with confectioners' sugar. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut cookies and place 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets.

  6. Whisk egg yolk with food coloring and water in a small bowl. Decorate cookies with mixture using a child's paintbrush. Sprinkle sugar sprinkles on top.

  7. Bake in the the preheated oven until edges are golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook's Notes:

Optimal dough refrigeration would be for a minimum of 3 hours. Dough should be completely chilled when rolling out, otherwise it will stick to the rolling pin. If dough becomes sticky and hard to work with, rewrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

To make additional "paint" colors, use 1 egg yolk per color.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

135 Calories
6g Fat
21g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 76mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 2g
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 11mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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