Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies {Gluten Free & Dairy Free}
Probably like yourself, baking Christmas cut out sugar cookies has been a tradition for me ever since I can remember.  My grandma would set my sister and I up at her farmhouse table with rolled dough and her old cookie cutters.  We had a blast cutting the gingerbread man, bells, wreaths, holly and Christmas trees.  Later we would spread buttercream on the cookies and decorate with sprinkles, red hots and carcinogenic metallic balls (remember those??).
I have loved sharing this tradition with my girls (aside from the metal balls).  This year, I altered the recipe to be both gluten free and dairy free.  My requirements for success were:
  • delicious flavor
  • stay soft
  • hold their cut shape (not spread out with rounded edges)
I wasn’t holding out much hope that my first try would work, but shockingly it did! 
Christmas Cookies

For decorating the cut out sugar cookies, I have found that using piping bags and tips can be kind of a pain and especially tedious for kids.  This can take the fun out of the whole cookie making process so I compromised with that.  I made a 12 second royal icing (this is really easy, recipe is below) with lemon and clear butter flavoring and transferred the icing to squirt bottles so my girls could easily decorate.  I also made some small bowls of icing for painting stencils.

The easiest way to ice cut out sugar cookies is to first outline along the edge of the cookie.  Then squeeze a lot of icing in to the center which will spread out to the outlined edge.  You can fill in any gaps and pop bubbles with a toothpick.  While the icing is wet you can add sprinkles.  If you are working with stencils you will want to let the base layer dry in front of a fan, preferably overnight.  We were a little too eager and smashed a few base layers in the process of trying to paint stencils!  

The royal icing and sugar cookie recipes are both below.  I used lemon flavoring, vanilla and clear butter but you can play around with that.  Other options are peppermint, almond, orange, lime, pumpkin pie spice and many more!  

Christmas Cookies
Yield: 24 medium sized cookies

Cookie Cut Out Dough - Gluten Free & Dairy Free

Christmas Cookies

This gluten free, dairy free cookie cut out recipe makes cookies that are delicious, soft and hold their shape!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes


  • 1 cup of butter replacement (I use Melt Organic)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla flavoring
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups of gluten free all purpose flour + additional if needed
  • 3/4 c cornstarch


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cream together butter substitute, sugar and salt.
  3. Pour in the eggs, vanilla and lemon zest and juice and mix.
  4. Gradually add 3 cups of flour and cornstarch. Mix with paddle attachment at a low speed until incorporated. The mix should form a ball that doesn't stick to the side of the bowl and is not too crumbly. Add small amounts of flour if it is too sticky but be careful to not add too much.
  5. Roll out to a thickness of 1/4" and cut in to shapes.
  6. Bake on a sheet pan with silicone mat for 8 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 140mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

12 Second Royal Icing

royal icing recipe

I use a 12-second royal icing when decorating with kids. This allows them to outline their cookies and fill-in with the same icing. It won't achieve perfectly smooth results but it is a good compromise for keeping cookie decorating fun and not too tedious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1  1/2 lb powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 1 t clear vanilla extract or clear butter flavoring
  • 1 t lemon juice


  1. Mix warm water and meringue in a mixer (using paddle attachment) on medium speed until foamy.
  2. Add flavorings and mix.
  3. Sift in the powdered sugar in small amounts and mix on low speed.
  4. After sugar is mixed in, increase speed to medium-low and mix for 4 to 6 minutes until icing changes from ivory to white and stiffens a bit.
  5. Add coloring if using.
  6. To achieve the 12 second consistency, you should be able to run a knife through the icing and count the seconds until the line completely disappears (this should take 12 seconds). Add water or powdered sugar as necessary to thicken or liquefy.

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gluten free dairy free Christmas cookies

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