11 Best Gluten Free Cookies + 3 Tasty Alternatives
Some 30 percent of Americans follow a gluten free diet today. Gone are the days when gluten free baking tasted, well, a little like cardboard. You needn’t just stick to boring recipes for your gluten free baking either. Find here the most tasty gluten free cookies you should try.
Gluten free cookies can be – and are – just as tasty as regular cookies. You just need the right recipes and the right substitutions for regular flour in your bakes. Today’s gluten free cookies are chewy, fragrant, and delicious. There’s plenty of variety for them too. Keep reading to find out more.
What Gluten Free Cookies Are
Gluten free cookies are made without gluten. This means they’re made using flour that doesn’t contain any gluten. Gluten is a type of protein which is found in grains such as wheat.
Gluten itself provides no real benefit to people, and those with an intolerance or celiac disease have immune systems which react to eating anything containing it.
Best Gluten Free Cookies
If you thought there were only a few recipes available for gluten free cookies that taste and look delicious, think again. Below are our top gluten free cookies you simply must try at home.
You might even get creative with these and combine some of the ideas to make your own creation.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
The almond flour and almond milk give them a touch of macaron-style flavor, which, if you know it, you’ll absolutely love.
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
All purpose gluten free flour, xanthan gum, sugar, eggs, and good quality butter make gluten free sugar cookies a treat.
Add some vanilla extract for extra flavoring and you’ll be smelling these beautifully fragrant cookies all over the house.
Gluten free cookies can be cut out using any cookie cutters you like, the same as regular sugar cookies. Great for Christmas or Easter.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Gluten free peanut butter cookies are easily made at home and good for you too. Peanut butter includes heart healthy oleic acid, which is also known to help with the maintenance of cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Our favorite recipes contained creamy peanut butter, sugar (substitute for coconut sugar if you want to make these even better for you), egg, vanilla extract, and dark chocolate chips. There’s no flour in these at all, so they’re perfect.
Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
Most Christmas cookie recipes can be modified to be gluten free by simply substituting regular flour for a gluten free 1:1 variety.
We like sugar cookies made with gluten free flour, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond milk.
Cut out your favorite festive shapes, then decorate them with icing and sprinkles once baked. These can easily be made with little helpers, too.
They are easy to make and super tasty: Oatmeal cookies. Oats are naturally free of gluten, though some people with severe celiac disease may react to oats and oat flour regardless.
If you do suffer from celiac disease, you may wish to skip these. Otherwise, regular oat cookies are a great option for those on a gluten free diet.
Girl Scout Cookies That Are Gluten Free
If you don’t want to make your own gluten free cookies at home and would rather buy some, that’s okay. Girl Scout cookies have been a popular choice for over 100 years.
The most popular gluten free varieties include the gluten free Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies, and the gluten free Toffee-tastic Cookies.
If you don’t like either of those, one great alternative is Goodie Girl’s Mint Cookies, which taste similar to Girl Scout Thin Mints.
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Another great bake to try for Christmas (or the Winter time in general.): Gluten free gingerbread cookies.
Our favorite recipes included all purpose gluten free flour blends, xanthan gum, gingerbread spices (or pumpkin spice mix, which is quite similar), brown sugar, butter, eggs, and honey.
They’re easy to make and fun to decorate with plain white royal icing and gluten free chocolate buttons.
Gluten Free Crumbl Cookies
If you know and love Crumbl cookies already, you’ll be pleased to find out that they now bake gluten free alternatives to order. These appear to only be available on demand.
They take great care to avoid any cross contamination and use only verified gluten free ingredients.
You can also make your own copycat versions of some of their most popular cookies by following one of the many recipes available online.
Vegan and Gluten Free Cookies
Vegan and gluten free cookies are great for those having several dietary restrictions they wish or need to follow. Some of our favorite vegan and gluten free cookie options include only a few ingredients.
For example, you can mix up a cup of peanut butter with ¾ of a cup of oat flour and five tablespoons of maple syrup. Shape into cookies and bake until the edges are just golden, or about 15 minutes. Delicious.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin cookies are delicious for the Fall season or Halloween. Gluten free recipes are readily available, with our favorite being gluten free and paleo.
These are made from coconut oil, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, maple syrup, eggs, almond flour, and coconut flour. They’re heavily spiced with vanilla extract and pumpkin spice mix.
You can even go a step further and frost them with a delicious maple frosting: this is easily made using butter, almond milk, and maple syrup, with just a pinch of salt.
Gluten Free Raisin Cookies
Oatmeal and raisin cookies tend to go hand in hand, so you may just follow your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and add raisins.
Our basic recipe below will work beautifully (just replace the chocolate chips with raisins.) Others include a mix of chocolate chips and raisins, and use all purpose gluten free flour and xanthan gum to achieve light, airy cookies.
Old fashioned rolled oats are particularly good when making oat and raisin cookies.
Tips and Ideas on How to Substitute Gluten in Cookies
Gluten free bakes used to be associated with dry, fairly unpalatable flavors. Today’s gluten free cookies, cakes, breads, and more are nothing like that.
This is in part due to a wider variety of flours, but also some handy tips and tricks. We cover the best ones below, so you can make your cookies flavorful, light, and delicious.
Find the Right Flour for You
Gluten free flour isn’t all made equal. There are a range of different varieties available, which you’ll probably want to try before you decide which one to use regularly.
For instance, almond flour is quite a common alternative which offers a nuttier taste and more dense product than regular flour. It does work well for cookies though.
Buckwheat flour tends to result in crumblier bakes, but is very healthy and full of vitamins and minerals. Sorghum flour is considered an ‘ancient’ grain, as it’s been around for thousands of years. Gluten free-labeled sorghum is a bit more heavy than regular flour, but naturally a little bit sweet.
There are many more varieties available, including rice, teff, amaranth, coconut, oat, and many more. Some gluten free flours will also be made up of a mix of a few different kinds of grains.
Just make sure you look out for a certified gluten free label, and try some different types to see what suits you best.
Add Ingredients that Make Your Dough Airy
You can help your gluten free bake a little bit by adding additional ingredients that will help create and maintain air bubbles in the dough.
Unflavored gelatin, guar gum, xanthan gum, and eggs are all great additions. Extra baking powder can help, as can a mix of baking soda and buttermilk.
Just make sure you do your research on any additional ingredients before experimenting, then see what works best for you.
Use Extra Fat and Liquids
Gluten free baking can be a little dry, due to the more dense, heavier grains used. One good option to make gluten free cookies better is to add more fat such as butter or coconut oil, or liquids like milk or water.
Extra Greek yogurt or cream is also a good way to bring in some additional moisture to give your bakes a better texture. If you do opt for this route, try to use high quality ingredients and generous fats such as butter rather than margarine.
How to Make Gluten Free and Vegan Cookies
If you need to avoid both gluten and animal-derived ingredients, you may well be wondering if you can bake any cookies at all.
Don’t worry, with some simple substitutions you can enjoy the same cookies as everyone else. Our basic recipe below is actually gluten free and vegan, so you’ll have at least one delectable sample to work with already.
However, most recipes are easily modified: eggs can be substituted with aquafaba (from chickpeas), yogurt, or even mashed banana.
Dairy milk can be replaced with oat or almond milk, or another vegan milk alternative of your choice. Butter can be substituted with coconut oil or a vegan butter.
Why Gluten Free Cookies Are Good For You
First and foremost, gluten free cookies are obviously good for those with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
This group of people cannot digest gluten without unfavorable side effects, so having the option to bake cookies that still taste good but don’t contain gluten is important.
For people who do not suffer from medical conditions associated with the consumption of gluten, trying gluten free cookies may still be beneficial.
A gluten free diet is said to possibly help with increased energy levels and weight loss. This isn’t proven as of now, but if you’re trying different diets and want to investigate what works best for you, gluten free cookies may be a good option.
Just make sure you get a good variety of nutrients in your diet, as you may otherwise do more harm than good.
Simple Recipe for Gluten Free Cookies: A Guide
This simple recipe is gluten free as well as vegan – perfect if you suffer from multiple dietary intolerances or food allergies.
If you have celiac disease and are one of the rare people who unfortunately can’t have oats either, we recommend replacing these with buckwheat flakes.
Buckwheat is naturally gluten free and actually related to rhubarb. It’s also very healthy. It contains plenty of minerals that are good for your body and mind.
- 2 cups of gluten free rolled oats
- 3 large ripe bananas
- ½ cup of smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips
And here’s how you do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and prep a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until fully combined. Add the chocolate chips last so as not to break them up too much.
- Form evenly-sized balls from the dough and lightly flatten each ball onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just golden brown around the edges. Cool and enjoy.
Alternatives to Gluten Free Cookies
Gluten free cookies are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re new to gluten free baking, there’s plenty more to explore. Below are some of our favorite alternatives to gluten free cookies.
Start with these, then explore the likes of gluten free brownies, pancakes, and bread.
Gluten free cupcakes are easy to make. You can generally use either a gluten free cake recipe or a regular cupcake recipe and modify them.
Regular recipes just need you to replace the flour with a gluten free variety. Ideally, go for a gluten free cake flour mix, as this will result in lighter bakes.
As for gluten free cupcakes, you can modify any regular cake recipe to make gluten free cake, too. Simply replace the flour with a gluten free cake flour.
We like gluten free chocolate cake, as it tends to be a little more dense anyway. A chocolate cake made with one of the gluten free nut flours such as chestnut makes for a scrumptious mix.
Similarly, carrot cake works very well when made gluten free, as the nuttiness compliments the spices and grated carrots very well.
Gluten free waffle recipes are readily available. Some of the best require only four ingredients: gluten free self-raising flour, milk, baking powder, and eggs.
Note that most modern baking powders are made of cornstarch or potato starch, which are both gluten free. We like to add some vanilla extract to our waffle batter before baking them in the oven using a mold.
Top with fresh fruits and lashings of freshly whipped cream.