Skip to main content
Gluten Free Holiday Cookies
Email share
holiday cookies

Gluten-free author and expert, Jeanne Sauvage, just released a new cookbook titled, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats (October 2012, Chronicle Books) where she shares fabulous recipes the whole family can enjoy during this time of year including the Cutout Cookies recipe as pictured above.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: Cutout Cookies

  • Prep Time: 40 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 10 min(s)
  • Servings: 30 cookies

Cutout cookies are a must for the holiday season. The wonderful thing about this dough is that it can be cut into any shape or size that a particular holiday requires. I make the dough year-round and use cookie cutters that suit the occasion. The cookies are fun to decorate. When my daughter was a toddler, we painted the icing on the cookies instead of piping it. Painting the cookies was so much easier. Now that she is older, it is a wonderful way for both of us to get creative when decorating the cookies. Each cookie can be a masterpiece.


  • 2 cups / 280 g Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (please see separate recipe)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup / 115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup / 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp grated lemon or orange zest (optional)
  • Tapioca flour for dusting
  • Colored sugar for decorating (optional)
  • Icing Ingredients:
  • 2 cups / 225 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp heavy cream, or more if needed
  • Food coloring in various colors (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the lemon zest (if using). Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes, or for up to 3 days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. If the dough is rock hard, let it warm up a bit. Place the dough between two pieces of waxed paper and roll to ⅛ in/3 mm thick.
  7. Using cookie cutters dipped in tapioca flour, cut out as many shapes as possible. Using a spatula, place the cutouts on the prepared sheets, spacing them at least 1 in/2.5 cm apart. Roll out the dough scraps and repeat the process until all the dough is used or the cookie sheets are full. The dough is best cut when it is firm, so you may have to return it to the refrigerator before cutting more shapes.
  8. Sprinkle the shapes with colored sugar (if desired or leave them plain and decorate with icing after baking). Bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets for about 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Let the sheets cool completely and repeat with the remaining dough.
  9. While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and 4 Tbsp of the cream. Whisk until all the ingredients are combined and smooth. If desired, add more cream to make the icing thinner. If you want to color the icing, divide it among small bowls and tint each bowl of icing with a different food coloring. Using a small paintbrush per color, decorate the cookies. Place the decorated cookies on the wire racks to let the icing set.
  10. Store the cookies in an airtight container, between layers of waxed paper, at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For more great recipes, and a Q &A session with Jeanne Sauvage, click on the link below!