You're going to fall in love with these gluten-free sugar cookies! Perfect for any occasion these sugar cookies come out thin, crispy perfection. Leave them traditionally sprinkled with sugar or decorate them with a simple, three-ingredient, dairy-free sugar cookie icing!
A sugar cookie you can feel good about eating!
These thin crispy sugar cookies are deliciously light and crunchy in comparison to a traditional sugar cookie.
As a Certified Nutrition Coach, I am all about finding that blissful balance between healthy and indulgence. And these cookies do just that!
- Dairy-free and gluten-free
- Made with mostly whole food ingredients
- Easy to make
- Have a dose of healthy fats to balance out the sugar
- A hit with kids
- Perfect for any dessert table
Ingredients You'll Need
Though you'll need your regular gluten-free pantry staples for this sugar cookie recipe it also has a unique twist!
Hazelnuts: naturally gluten-free you can control the texture of the sugar cookies based on how much or little you grind the hazelnuts.
Coconut oil: this helps hold the cookies together. Make sure to grab a cold-pressed coconut oil if you can.
Honey: you only need a hint of honey which helps the cookies hold together since there are no eggs.
Oat flour: to ensure the cookies are gluten-free, grab gluten-free oats and grind them into flour yourself.
Cane sugar: used to sweeten and sprinkle the tops. I personally like a super fine cane sugar over thick granulated sugar especially for sprinkling on top.
Vanilla extract: grab a pure vanilla extract as it gives a much more potent flavor to the cookies.
Arrowroot powder: because these gluten-free sugar cookies are egg-free, the arrowroot helps absorb the liquid and keep them together.
Baking powder: the goal isn't fr the cookies to rise and deflate which is why you only need a bit.
Step By Step Photos
How To Make Crispy Sugar Cookies
- Grind the hazelnuts into a flour.
- Mix together the dry ingredients.
- Melt the coconut oil and combine the liquid ingredients.
- Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix. Let sit for 2-3 minutes so that everything can absorb.
- Place the cookie dough into saran wrap and squeeze the batter into a ball. Pop into the fridge for one hour.
- Once removed from the fridge roll the cookie dough between sheets of parchment paper and using cookie cutters cut out the shapes.
- Move the shapes onto a lined baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Important Teaching Tips
These healthy sugar cookies come out thin, crispy, and deliciously crunchy. Since the base is made with hazelnut flour which means you're in control of the texture.
When I grind the hazelnuts I leave the mixture a bit chunkier as I like something to chew in my cookies. However, if this isn't you, simply ensure that the hazelnuts are ground into a softer powder.
The dough is extremely delicate. Take care rolling it and know you need to physically press it back together every time you need to recut.
After you press your cutters into the though, make sure to use a very thin spatula to transfer the cookies to a sheet.
Likewise, when they come out of the oven, let them cool on the tray completely before moving them. This is what finishes them cooking and turns them perfectly crispy.
Keep in mind, they won't look quite done coming out of the oven so be patient!
Icing The Sugar Cookies
Now, to be honest, icing isn't really my thing. As a busy mom, I don't have time to make the sugar cookies look like little trains with different colors or whatnot. If you want to ice your gluten-free sugar cookies traditionally, you'll want to make royal icing and color it.
Royal icing is still dairy-free and gluten-free but it is LOADED with sugar. In contrast, you'll notice that this gluten-free sugar cookie recipe is actually not that sugar dense. Sweet but not sugar-based.
Likewise, I also do my best to use natural sugars (honey and maple syrup) when I can. Thus, royal icing is not something I would use.
However, there is another option!
I've been whipping up a super speedy, dairy-free icing recipe that I find is working really well. I love it because:
- there are only three ingredients (color aside)
- it hardens just like "normal" icing
- slightly less sugar dense
Dairy-Free Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe
If you want to "fancy-up" the gluten-free sugar cookie recipe and give it some icing, this dairy-free sugar cookie icing recipe is perfect. It's made from coconut milk powder which is a great healthy fat. Thus, it's dairy-free and gluten-free.
Nevertheless, some coconut milk powders contain sugar so take a peek at the back of the ingredients! I personally use one without added sugar.
For the sugar cookie icing simply whisk together:
- 5 tbs coconut milk powder
- 2 tbs coconut oil (measured solid and then melted)
- 2 tbs cane sugar
First, heat the coconut oil and ensure there are no clumps in the coconut milk powder. Then, mix together all the ingredients until ultra-smooth. Finally, place the sugar cookie icing into a plastic bag, cut the corner, and pipe it on!
Such a simple alternative to anything fancy and much, MUCH, healthier.
Color Options For The Icing
Again, I'm not overly fancy when it comes to decorating sugar cookies but I do try to use natural coloring options. A few of my favorites are:
- a tiny bit of beet powder (it makes everything pink)
- crushed EnergyBits tablets (a light green, use code mamabear to save some money and learn more about why these tabs are a staple in my diet!)
- Blue spirulina powder
Regarding this, I find that you only need a tiny bit of the powders (¼ teaspoon ish) to get a nice light color. But again, use what you're comfortable with!
Frequently Asked Questions About Crispy Sugar Cookies
No. Given that there's no baking powder in these sugar cookies with almond flour they do not puff up. After you use your cookie cutter and transfer them to the baking tray, they will mostly stay the same shape.
With this recipe, gluten-free flour cannot be subbed in. It will absorb too much liquid and the cookies will come out dry.
These hazelnut sugar cookies can be stored in the fridge. They will firm up slightly because of the coconut oil but soften again at room temperature.
If your sugar cookies are crumbly, chances are you didn't grind the hazelnuts into flour well enough. If there are super large chunks in the flour they won't hold together as well.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
Other Gluten-Free Desserts You'll Love
- Almond flour sugar cookies
- Candy cane fudge
- Coconut flour sugar cookies
- No-bake peppermint patty squares
- Healthy keto fudge
- Paleo protein cookies
- White chocolate fudge
- White chocolate protein truffles
- Cookie dough protein bites
- Dairy-free s'mores cups
- Hot chocolate bombs
- Cashew cookies with chocolate frosting
- Chocolate coconut drop cookies
- Chocolate magic shell
- Healthier dessert recipes
Crispy, Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup hazelnuts 1.5 cup ground
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons oat flour store-bought, or manually ground
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil measured solid
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar for topping
- Grind the nuts into a flour- leave some texture if you like. In a large bowl combine the first five ingredients.
- In a smaller bowl, melt the coconut oil and combine the liquid ingredients.
- Pour wet into dry and mix until combined. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to let the arrowroot absorb.
- Lay a piece of saran wrap on the counter and place the cookie dough into the center. Wrap into a ball and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Remove the ball from the fridge and saran wrap. Lay the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll until roughly ¼ inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and use a silicone spatula to lay the cookies onto baking sheets with parchment paper.
- The shapes are delicate so move slowly!
- Sprinkle the cane sugar on top of the cookies and bake for 13-15 minutes (13 if you like softer cookies).
- The cookies won't look done. Remove them from the oven and let sit on the baking pan for thirty minutes before removing. This gives them time to firm up.
- Ice the cookies with the sugar cookie icing and store in the fridge!
- Makes roughly ten sugar cookies depending on the cookie cutters.
- The majority of the ingredients for this recipe can be found in my Pantry Staples. Either enjoy the cookies as is or whip up a batch of healthy sugar cookie icing mentioned in the blog post!
- Nutrition breakdown does not include the icing.
- Make sure to grind the hazelnuts until mostly flour, otherwise, the cookies won't hold together as well.
- The dough is extremely delicate. Take care rolling it and know you need to physically press it back together every time you need to recut.
- After you press your cutters into the though, make sure to use a very thin spatula to transfer the cookies to a sheet.
- Likewise, when they come out of the oven, let them cool on the tray completely before moving them. This is what finishes them cooking and turns them into crisp sugar cookies.
- Keep in mind, they won't look quite done coming out of the oven so be patient!
- For traditional sugar cookie flavor you can add ¼ teaspoon of almond extract to the flour mixture.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data"