Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Last updated: January 24, 2021

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies for any occasion, light and soft, just sweet enough. 

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | recipe

Come Valentine’s Day, there’s a whole lotta love floating around the entire week. Hugs, kisses, chocolate, roses, sweet notes and homemade treats for the ones you hold near and dear to your heart. I can’t help but embrace occasions like this with baking, it’s a natural way for me to bring a smile to other’s faces and my own.

I learned at a young age that heart shaped cut-out cookies could were a must during the month of February. My mom and I would make them every year (and she still does). Her job was rolling the dough to thin perfection, mine frosting them with reds, pinks and white, then showering them with sanding sugar and dotting a few with red hots.

I loved the simplicity, hints of vanilla and the powdered sugar glaze that would slightly crack when you bit into one.

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | recipe

Last week I was out thrifting (my latest obsession) and I stumbled upon a set of five heart shaped cookie cutters, still in their original 1980’s William Sonoma tin and a vintage sifter. Immediately memories came flooding back, my mission set on creating gluten-free cut-out sugar cookies so that I could have them once again.

The weekend quickly became filled with flour, butter and happy eggs. Several variations cycled through the oven, until I settled on this recipe. The one that my love said, “why doesn’t everybody eat gluten-free if it tastes like this?”

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day
How to Make Perfect Gluten-Free Cut-Out CookiesGluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | with simple white chocolate glaze

Made with a combination of all purpose gluten-free flour + almond flour, they rolled out with ease and baked up softly, their edges crisping just a bit.

These aren’t the puffy “lofthouse” style sugar cookies, they’re the kind that are thin and have a soft chew, just like your mom or grandmother probably made. Or if you grew up in a small town like I did, just like the local bakery’s, frosted by hand, one by one.

After testing different flour combinations, the right proportion of almond flour (not almond meal) was key in creating the light texture, balancing the sturdier rice flours & starch in the gf blend. The other secret that makes these cookies quite irresistible? The addition of sour cream – not a lot, just 2 tablespoons to keep them from drying out.

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | with simple white chocolate glaze

To get these to turn out like you see in the pictures, there’s value in the technique. And it’s not hard, you just need to follow it. So here are the important details:

1. Yes, you really should cream the butter and sugar for four minutes. It seems like a lot, but you really need to get the sugar worked into the butter, nearly dissolving it. It will be pale and fluffy.

2. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, but you don’t have to go any longer than that. There was no difference between chilling them for 2 hours versus overnight in taste, texture or workability.

3. After you roll out your dough and create the shapes, don’t peel the scraps away. First put them in the freezer for 5 minutes, then peel. The dough gets soft while you’re rolling it out so if you try and move the hearts to the baking sheet to soon they won’t hold their shape. The scraps will pull away super easy if the dough is a little frozen.

4. The first batch you stick in the oven will be your time gauge. Since every oven is different and a minute or two with sugar cookies can mean a golden cookie or a “shoot, the cookies!” way too brown cookie, you’ll need to watch them to figure out the timing for your oven, as temperatures can vary even if you set it to 350 degrees.

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you, sending hugs, happiness and cookies made with love.

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | with simple white chocolate glaze

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies {made with almond flour}
Author: Amanda Paa, roughly adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves: 30 cookies
can make dough up to two days ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to use
Ingredients
  • 235 grams gluten-free flour (with xanthan gum in it, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 60 grams almond flour (from blanched almonds, I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Sift flours, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mix on low to combine. Continuing on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to mixer bowl, alternating with sour cream, until combined. Pack dough together, wrap in plastic; chill until firm, 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Tape a piece of parchment paper on the counter and dust the top of it with flour. Take a large chunk of dough, place it in the middle, cover with a large piece of saran wrap and roll until 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Use cookie cutters to make your shapes, BUT DO NOT PULL AWAY SCRAPS. Move the piece of parchment to your baking sheet with cookies on it, without tearing away the scraps and put in freezer for five minutes.
  4. Remove from freezer and tear away the scraps, then place evenly on the other baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until just golden but not too brown, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and let fully cool. Continue with dough; reroll scraps and repeat the process with each batch.
  5. Melt white chocolate chips and coconut oil on medium power, stopping to stir every 30 seconds. Decorate cookies with the glaze and whatever embellishments you’d like.

Gluten-Free Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | heartbeet kitchen

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February 10, 2015

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38 comments

  1. Could you use all gluten-free flour and omit the almond flour if there is a nut allergy to consider? Just use 60 grams more of the gluten-free flour?

  2. Hi, These cookies look amazing! I have a GF flour blend that I found that I like, but it does not have xanthan gum in it. How much xanthan gum should I add? Thanks!

    • Hi Shawna! I would recommend using 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum, as the total flour amount of this recipe is just over 2 cups. Not sure if it will work, but that’s what my calculations tell me!

  3. These are so adorable, Amanda! I love that you have always made these with your mom – what a sweet tradition. I haven’t cooked with almond flour before, but am definitely intrigued and would like to try it out. I’ll be using your great tips when I do!

    • Thanks Julia – I am just starting to work with almond flour more and I really like the texture and taste. I think the biggest thing is it takes more liquid than other flours, so a learning curve – but isn’t all cooking that way? Kind of makes it fun :)

    • You are so welcome. I can only hope that a little bit of what I do helps someone because I feel so fortunate to learn from talented friends like you because of this wonderful blog world!

  4. Oh my goodness, Amanda! These are so cute and they look beautiful! Yum, yum! Quick question: is the black marble background your counter, a slab you use, a vinyl piece? It’s gorgeous and really makes your photos pop. Love it!

    • Hi! Thank you for the kind words about the cookies :) The black marble is our countertops, we have a black and white tuxedo kitchen, so it works well. But it would be a lovely slab for taking photographs too if you could find one! xo

  5. Thank you for posting these! I am definitely making them this weekend. I’ve been craving cookies lately!

    And I didn’t realize there was a difference between almond meal and almond flour–just figured they were the same! I’m assuming the latter is just ground finer? I think the Bob’s bag I have says: “meal/flour.” Is that the right one? (Your link to the almond flour goes to the GF flour.)

    • Ooo.. i hope you like them! And thanks for catching the link, I updated it so that it goes to the almond flour. Typically there are two ways almond flour is made. When the almonds are blanched (skins removed) and ground finer it is almond flour, and it they are ground in there natural state (with skins on) and not as fine it is called almond meal. Bob’s sells both and they are good for different things, but in this recipe the almond flour makes them nice as light.

      Hope you are well! xo

  6. I’ve never had much luck with gluten free cut out cookies but your tips are super helpful (and your cookies look amazing!). All the <3<3<3 for these friend!

    • i sometimes hesitate to leave the tips because people might get discouraged that things are hard to make, but its always because i want them to be successful and have them turn out. the worst is when the instructions are unclear. and YOUR cookies that you posted today… chocolate chocolate chocolate…xo

  7. These cookies are so gorgeous! I cook more than I bake, so I certainly appreciate all of your tips to making this gluten-free recipe work. So clear and concise, thank you!

  8. “I loved the simplicity, hints of vanilla and the powdered sugar glaze that would slightly crack when you bit into one.”

    i love that you made that sentence its own paragraph. i enjoyed reading that one sentence so much, i just kept imagining over and over the feeling of biting into this sugar cookie i’ve never had. i don’t think i’ve ever experienced that reading about a cookie before. ha! these cookies are so sweet and so are you! hope you have a great v-day with your favorite.