The Best Sugar Cookies

A Gluten-Free sugar cookie never tasted so good! Crispy edges, chewy center, rolled in sugar and perfect anytime!

The Best Sugar Cookies

Easy, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free and Dairy Free optional and YUMMY! Decorate for any occasion.

I first made these Sugar cookies for Valentines Day…We are not a family who celebrates Valentine’s Day in a big way — we usually exchange cards, maybe some flowers are involved and we have a nice dinner together– but I always make a sweet treat!

While we LOVE our chocolate cake recipe, and chocolate is obviously a Valentines Day favorite, I wanted to go with something fruity (so we made a batch of Raspberry Crumble Bars — if you haven’t tried, they are too good!) and I made a classic Sugar Cookie that is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

These cookies are literally perrrrfect! They have crisp edges, a chewy center that is not overly sweet and are just so yummy!

My entire family loves them and so I decided to play around and decorate some for this weekend’s Final Four Basketball game.  I’ve decorated them with the initial of each of the Final Four teams: Auburn, Virginia, Texas Tech and Michigan.


And they are super easy to make.

They are made with real, whole food ingredients: gluten free all purpose flour (I used GF Jules, affiliate link), almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cane sugar, cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese, butter or dairy-free butter, 1 egg or flax egg and vanilla extract.

The dough comes together quickly and makes 24 2 1/2 – 3 inch cookies.

For the basic cookie, once the batter comes together you scoop out the batter into 1 1/2 tablespoon pieces, roll each portion into a ball, then roll the ball in sugar for a sweet and sparkly finish, then use the base of a measuring cup to flatten the cookie to about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake 12 minutes and you have a batch of yummy Sugar Cookies!

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen with a few small tweaks (made them egg free and almost vegan — used dairy-free butter but did use the 3 oz of regular cream cheese the recipe called for).

If you haven’t used flax egg, it is super easy to make and works great as an egg replacement in many recipes that call for 1 egg.

So back to the decorating for the NCAA Final Four… My family are big fans of these cookies and big basketball fans so these are hit!

There are many ways to make the letters — you could use cookie cutters, just sprinkle them on, stencils… but after some debate, I found some letter cutouts in an art supply cabinet (see it’s a good thing I haven’t cleaned everything out from when the boys were young!) and decided to cut out the letter with some edge around it.

That way you place the cut out over the cookie and spoon the sprinkles into the shape of the letter.  If you don’t have a random art supply cabinet in your house with letter cut outs just begging to be put to use :), you could make such a cut out yourself, or I think I purchased these at Michael’s.


These are super fun but full disclosure, the sprinkle letters will not stay if the cookies are knocked over or shaken a lot so be careful when transporting! (think Christmas cookies).

No matter whether you make them dairy free or egg free, with regular sugar or with decorated sugar, hope you love them as much as we do!


Scroll down for recipe and leave a comment if you try.


The Best Sugar Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A gluten-free sugar cookie never tasted so good! Crispy edges, chewy center, rolled in sugar and perfect anytime! Easy, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free and Dairy Free optional and YUMMY! Recipe from America's Test Kitchen with adaptions for dairy free and egg free. The version we make most often is with flax egg, dairy free butter and regular cream cheese. Prep Time includes 30 minutes resting the dough. Active Prep Time:15 minutes
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Egg Free Optional
Serves: 24 cookies
  • 1¾ cup all purpose gluten-free flour with xanthum gum (we used GF Jules - affiliate link)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup cane sugar (plus ⅓ cup or less for rolling)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 8 tablespoons butter or dairy free butter, melted and still warm
  • 1 large egg or flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal and 2½ tablespoon water)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Colored sugar for decorating, optional
  1. If using flax egg and you haven't already made it, mix 1 tablespoon flax meal with 2½ tablespoon water and let sit 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add 1¼ cup sugar and cream cheese. Pour melted butter over the sugar and cream cheese and using the whisk attachment, whisk to combine. (some lumps in cream cheese may remain but will smooth out later).
  4. Whisk in egg or flax egg and vanilla and combine until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and using the paddle attachment or stirring by hand, mix dry and wet ingredients together until a soft dough forms.
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, Preheat oven to 350 degree F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Place ⅓ cup sugar into a shallow bowl.
  9. Divide dough into 24* equal parts(about 1½ tablespoon each). *NOTE: if decorating with letters, you may have to make cookies bigger depending on the size of your letters. I made 18 cookies when decorating with letters.
  10. Roll each portion into a ball.
  11. One at a time, roll each ball in the bowl of sugar then place back on baking sheet.
  12. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, gently press down each ball to be about ½ inch thick.
  13. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar if desired.
If adding letters with colored sugar
  1. Create a letter cutout using a piece of paper, stencils or pre made letters from an art shop.(we purchased ours at Michaels a while back). See photo in blog post above.
  2. Place Letter cut out over the flattened and sugared cookie. Sprinkle the colored sugar into the cut out letter. Carefully remove cut out and fill in with additional sprinkles as needed.
Bake on the middle rack, one at a time if you have that option, for 10-12 minutes.
  1. Cool and Enjoy!
  2. Store in air tight container.
  3. TIP: If decorating with colored sprinkles for lettering, be careful when transporting so sprinkles to fall off.


2 thoughts on “The Best Sugar Cookies

  1. Help!! I really want to try these delicious looking cookies, but I hate cream cheese. Yes, I can taste it in any recipe. Can I substitute something else for the cream cheese? Thank you!

    1. Hi! Great question… no, you can’t taste the cream cheese at all… there is just 3 tablespoons for the 24 cookies so the cream cheese just give it a richness in texture and flavor but you don’t taste the cream cheese. I’ve never made it with anything else so I don’t have a good substitution at this time. Let me know if you try.

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