Is there anything more universally pleasing than a sugar cookie? I mean there are no nuts, no raisins, no chocolate, no anything for people to complain about. The pure simplicity of sugar, flour, butter and eggs. I love making gluten free cut out sugar cookies, but If you love soft sugar cookies but hate the work of rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes, these easy gluten free sugar cookies are for you.
This recipe actually came about by accident as I was making another cookie and messed up the ingredients. I decided to bake them anyways and they were delicious, but not perfect. So with a few more tests I developed a perfectly soft sprinkle sugar cookie which can be customized for any occasion.
Why You'll Love This Sugar Cookie Recipe
- It's gluten free, dairy free and nut free (depending on what type of vegan butter you use)
- It can be customized with food coloring, any kind of sprinkles, rolled in colored sugar, covered with frosting or just left plain - very versatile.
- It doesn't require cookie cutters or rolling pins, just scoop and bake.
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The best thing about making sugar cookies is they only require simple ingredients that are already stocked in most pantries.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend - I use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Flour Blend for this recipe. You can substitute with another gluten free flour blend but may not get the same results. As always, I recommend weighing your flour if you plan to use another blend since all gluten free flour is not equal.
- Sugar - You can't have a sugar cookie without sugar. Granulated sugar works the best here, since it will provide the spread and chewy edge that you would expect from a sugar cookie. If you want to substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar, use the same measure but your cookies texture will be a little different.
- Vegan Butter - I used Country Crock Plant Butter for this recipe. You can use your favorite brand of stick butter. I do not recommend substituting for margarine. If you're not dairy free, use regular butter in the same measure.
- Eggs - This recipe needs one whole egg and one egg yolk. I haven't tried it with an vegan substitutes, if you do please let me know in the comments.
- Vanilla - Vanilla provides a little extra sweetness and complexity to the flavor.
- Baking Powder - This leavening agent is needed to help the cookies stay a little thick and soft.
- Salt - Don't be tempted to skip the salt. It's an important ingredient in dessert recipes.
- Rainbow sprinkles - You can certainly make these cookies without the sprinkles, but they won't be nearly as fun. One of the great things about sugar cookies is they can be dyed and sprinkled to match any occasion.
See the recipe card for full ingredient list with measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - replace the vegan butter with regular dairy butter in the same measure.
- Lemon Sugar Cookies - Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest to your sugar before creaming it with the butter. Mix in yellow sprinkles (or yellow food coloring) to complete the lemon theme.
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies - Replace ⅓ cup of the gluten free flour with cocoa powder and use chocolate sprinkles in place of rainbow sprinkles.
- Halloween Sugar Cookies - Use food coloring to make your dough green, purple or even black. Replace the rainbow sprinkles with halloween sprinkles.
- Brown Sugar Cookies - Replace the granulated sugar with the same amount of light brown sugar to get a thick, soft brown sugar cookie.
- Pink Sugar Cookies - Add a few drops of pink food coloring to the cookie dough and replace the rainbow sprinkles with pink sprinkles for a fun twist on this recipe!
- Almond Sugar Cookies - Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract and reduce the vanilla extract to ½ teaspoon.
How to Make Soft Sugar Cookies
These easy homemade cookies come together in about 10 minutes. I do suggest using an electric mixer to make things easier.
STEP 2: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
STEP 3: Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat again for another 60 seconds.
STEP 4: Turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
STEP 5: Add the sprinkles to the cookie dough. Fold them in with a spatula. Be careful not to overmix so the sprinkles don't bleed during baking.
STEP 6: Portion the sugar cookie dough into balls about the size of a golf ball. Place them on the lined baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart. Add a few more sprinkles to the top to get picture perfect cookies.
To check for done: gently poke the edge of a cookie with your finger. If the edge feels stiff, the cookies are done baking. Do not bake until they turn brown or they will be hard when cooled.
How to Store Sugar Cookies
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will stay fresh about 3 days.
Yes. I suggest portioning the cookie dough into balls and freezing them on a baking sheet for 1 hour before transferring them to a freezer bag for long term storage. The dough can be frozen up to 3 months.
Cookie dough can be baked from frozen, but may require an extra 1-2 minutes of bake time.
Yes. You can freeze sugar cookies after they are baked. Once they have cooled completely, transfer the cookies to a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to three months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
These cookies have sprinkles mixed in the dough and added to the top before baking. No need to worry about the sprinkles burning during the short bake time.
The most likely answer is too much flour was added. Make sure to measure your flour carefully, either with a kitchen scale or by spooning the flour into your measuring cup and leveling off the top. You can save crumbly cookie dough by mixing in milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough reaches a softer consistency that does not crumble.
More cookie recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
- Combine the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Whisk to mix well and set aside.1 ⅔ Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.½ Cup Vegan Butter, 1 Cup Sugar
- Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for an additional 60 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.1 Egg, 1 Egg Yolk, 1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla
- Turn the mixer to the lowest setting. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until they are just incorporated.
- Add ¼ cup of sprinkles to your dough if using. Fold in by hand taking care not to over mix as it will cause the sprinkle colors to bleed later.¼ Cup Gluten Free Sprinkles
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between. Flatten the balls slightly, so they are thick discs and if you desire sprinkle the tops with more sprinkles.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes or until edges are just set. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.