Pudding makes these gluten free sugar cookies soft and full of sweet vanilla flavor. Easy to make and there’s no need to refrigerate the dough! Vegan option included.
Finally, a great-tasting gluten free sugar cookie recipe!
Sugar cookies are a staple in any kitchen. I think we all have memories of rolling out the dough, cutting it out with the current holiday’s shaped cookie cutters, and anxiously waiting for them to come out of the oven so they could be frosted and decorated.
Now you can enjoy gluten free sugar cookies too – all the softness and flavor you remember, but without the gluten! This gluten free sugar cookie recipe is quick and simple to make, and the dough is easy to handle.
Over the years, I have tried MANY sugar cookie recipes, tweaking them to try to mimick the ones I used to make before our family needed to eat gluten free.
My attempts always ended up in grainy cookies (I know you’ve been there!) or dough that was too sticky to work with. Until one day, I had a brilliant idea to use prepared pudding in the sugar cookie dough.
The result? Perfectly soft gluten free sugar cookies without a beautiful vanilla flavor and, perhaps most importantly, NO gritty texture. Hallelujah!
Use any prepared pudding to make soft and tasty gluten free sugar cookies
It’s important to note that you can use any gluten free pudding for this recipe. If you need a dairy free option, we love Vivian’s Live Again which sets well in dairy free milk.
You can also use Jell-O brand (or any other brand that is labelled gluten free), or even make a homemade vanilla pudding ahead of time. The key is to use prepared pudding, which adds extra moisture to the gluten free dough. This eliminates any gritty texture and makes a beautiful, workable dough.
Can this recipe be used to make vegan gluten free sugar cookies?
Absolutely! While it’s easy to sub a dairy free pudding to make these gluten free sugar cookies dairy free too, I did make a few other adjustments for a vegan (dairy free and egg free) version as well. You can find the vegan gluten free sugar cookies recipe here.
If you’re looking for more gluten free cookie recipes that actually taste good, check out this roundup of the Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies!
Need Frosting Inspiration?
I used this Easy Gluten Free Cookie Icing GF Jules to decorate our cookies.
You could also use this Easy Homemade American Buttercream from Flippin’ Delicious (use dairy free option on recipe if needed), or this Healthier Vanilla Buttercream (lower sugar) from Veggie Balance.
Gluten Free Soft Sugar Cookies
Pudding makes these Vegan, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free cookies soft and full of sweet vanilla flavor. These gluten free sugar cookies are easy to make and there's need to refrigerate the dough!
- 3/4 cup gluten free shortening (I used Spectrum)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 T vanilla
- 1 cup prepared Vanilla Pudding (I used Vivian's Live Again dairy free)
- 4 cups high quality gluten free flour (I used Thrive, would also recommend Gluten Free Mama's, Grandpa's Kitchen, or Cup4Cup (not dairy free))
- 1 tsp xanthan gum, IF flour mix doesn't contain xanthan
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cream shortening and sugar together for 1 minute.
- Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add pudding and mix on medium until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix for 1 minute. Dough should be just slightly sticky. If it's too thick/crumbly, add additional pudding or dairy free milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until you have the right consistency.
- You can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 4 days at this point, or proceed to bake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Roll dough out to desired thickness (I did about 1/4") on a surface that is lightly dusted with gluten free flour (again, I used Thrive) and cut into desired shapes.
- Arrange cookies on cookie sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper 1-2 inches apart and bake 8-10 minutes until they appear set and the bottom edges are just barely (just barely!) starting to turn a golden brown.
- Let cool on cookie sheet a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Frost with your favorite frosting and decorate as you like.
See post for suggested frosting recipes and a vegan/ egg free version.
For best results, use a high quality gluten free flour I suggested, or one that you've tested with cookies before. The flour you use can greatly impact the texture of gluten free baked goods!