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simple sugar cookies (gf, df, vegan, paleo)

Having a son with food sensitivities makes the holiday season feel like navigating a food landmine field. Luckily my son is okay with the routine, but Every. Single. School party, social gathering, and playdate seem to involve LOTS of sweets and cookie decorating. For months. October through January. Ugh.

This recipe has been a savior for us. Because the gluten free store bought options are filled with garbage – and I refuse to waste my money. I can make up a batch of these simple, 8 ingredient cookies (recipe makes a dozen) in a quick 30 minutes if I’m making simple circle-shaped cookies. It takes longer for the dough to set if you’re using cookie cutters.

ingredients for gluten free sugar cookies


These delicious sugar cookies are made using almond meal/flour, arrowroot (or tapioca) starch, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla & almond extract, baking soda, and sea salt. That’s it!! See the image above for some of my favorite brands. I like to use organic ingredients, whenever possible, in all of my recipes.


When I’m in a hurry, I make shape these cookies on the cookie sheet into simple circles (more details in the instructions below). This is perfect for the oh-s0-popular-for-kids-in-elementary-school cookie decorating parties. The cookies only spread slightly when backing, so be sure to shape first before putting it into the oven.


nutrition bliss sugar cookies


However when cutting into shapes using cookie cutters, you must freeze the dough for 30 minutes first. Then roll it out on parchment paper. Sprinkle extra arrowroot starch to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. If you don’t freeze for at least 30 minutes first, the dough will be too sticky and will not roll out flat or cut well. The dough does thaw quickly, so shaping and cutting for desired shape quickly is best!


holiday gluten free dairy free sugar cookies


Simple Sugar Cookies (gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan)

Author: Megan Gilmore (Detoxinista)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yields: 12 cookies



  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (meal)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil (I like to place it in a ramekin in the oven while it’s preheating to melt)
  • 5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt



  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal, tapioca starch, and baking soda. Use a whisk to mix dry ingredients well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well until a sticky, uniform dough is formed.
  4. At this point, your ready to bake if you want simple circle-shaped cookies. Drop dough using a tablespoon onto the lined cookie sheet & flatten with your finger(s). The dough is very sticky, so wetting your fingers with water will make it easier to press out the dough. Shape them to the desired shape & size, since they cookies spread only slightly while baking.
  5. Alternatively, if you’d like to use cookie cutters, you must freeze the dough for 30 minutes before rolling out to create the cookie cutter shapes. Once you take it out of the freezer, sprinkle the dough with extra arrowroot starch to help prevent sticking to the rolling pin. Dip the cookie cutters in arrowroot too. Roll the dough into 1/4 inch thickness & cut. The faster you roll & cut the better, since as the dough thaws, it will become more sticky and harder to shape.
  6. Bake the cookies at 350F for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are dry to the touch. If the edges get brown, the cookies will be more crispy. If you prefer them soft (like me!), remove the cookies before the edges get brown.
  7. Allow to cool on pan before frosting for at least 30 minutes.


If you’re looking for a dairy-free buttercream frosting recipe (honestly the easiest thing you’ll ever make), check out this recipe.


text saying "With love, Jen xo" for nutritionbliss.com

dessert, holiday, kid friendly