Cut-out Sugar Cookies. (Grain/Gluten/Egg/Soy/Dairy Free with directions to make Sugar Free.)

by Brittany on December 12, 2012

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Sugar cookies.. that even I can eat. Its a Christmas miracle.

Sugar cookies usually require 1 key ingredient.. SUGAR. Sugar is a no can do for me. I bake often with xylitol and erythritol. Knowing how they work and how they affect the texture of baked goods.. I was at a loss at putting together a recipe concept that might work. These sugar alcohols though wonderful tend to make cookies really chewy- which isn’t always a bad thing.. but I knew the texture would not be right for this cookie.  Then.. I remembered that my husband had brought home to me  SUGAR FREE Maple syrup from Whole Foods during a trip to Atlanta.  This syrup is made of a sugar alcohol just as xylitol is.. but considering that its in a liquid form  I decided to give it a go. What resulted was magic. PURE MAGIC. These cookes are REALLY good.

Now- if you can have sugar- I have some additional options for you. Instead of using the Joseph’s All Natural Maple Flavor Syrup Feel free to use Honey, Coconut Nectar, Real Maple Syrup or Agave. All will work great. If using any of these sweeteners, you can leave out the liquid stevia. Give your dough a taste test.. if you want it sweeter go ahead and add that stevia- if not, leave it out!

Can’t have almonds? Make your own nut or seed flour using any other nut/seed of choice. I suspect that Hazelnut, Macadamias, Cashews or Sunflower seeds turned into flour would all taste great! To do this simply run the nut or seed in a high powdered blender or coffee grinder until you have a super fine flour. (If the flour is course- the recipe might not work as well.)

PLEASE NOTE: coconut flour WILL NOT work. (It never ever works as a replacement for Almond Flour!) And any of the grain based flours will NOT work.  Stick to the nuts and seeds. I have another cut out sugar cookie recipe in my Essential Gluten Free Baking Guide Part 2 that uses Rice flour and is free of nuts/seeds.

 Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • 2 Packed Cups of Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder (I use double acting)
  • 3 Tbs Liquid Sugar Syrup (Sugar Free Maple, Regular Maple, Honey, Coconut Nectar or Agave).
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/8-1/4 Tsp. Nunaturals Liquid Stevia. (optional and to taste).
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, Syrup, Vanilla and Salt. Stir for a moment and then use your hands to kneed the dough together. (It will not seem like its going to come together at first). Give the dough a taste test- want it sweeter? Add the stevia to taste.  If after kneading the dough for a minute and it still feels crumbly (and its still this way after adding stevia) you may add 1/8 tsp of water. (Be careful as a little bit goes a long way, if you add to much your dough will quickly become a sticky mess!). This dough should be firm, hold together and be super easy to roll out. 
  3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper- and cut into cookies. If at any point the dough starts to stick- dust with a little almond flour. (Note: I found that as the dough sat, it got stickier- as long as you roll out and cut the cookies right away you should not need any extra flour for dusting.)
  4. Place cookies on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 19-21 minutes for a crisp cookie very much like shortbread. OR 15-17 minutes for a  softer/ chewy cookie. (PLEASE NOTE: Baking times may vary pending the sweetener you select. The above baking times are to be used when working with Sugar Free Maple Syrup. You may need less time with the other sugars. Keep an eye on your cookies- the moment they start to get a little golden on the edges remove them immediately.) 
  5. Allow to cool and frost.
This recipe will give you enough cookies to fill 1 large baking sheet. 
Stay I have some SUGAR FREE frosting recipes coming down the pipe.. several that will work amazing with these cookies in particular.
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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Mari December 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

It’s real easy to make a xylitol syrup yourself (just put some in a saucepan on low heat, and it’ll melt; some put a teensy bit of honey/maple syrup in to help move it a long and caramelize it a little, so perhaps the malitol maple syrup would do the same), so maybe that would work for these too. :)

They look great!


Brittany December 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

That’s really great to learn! I had never tried. Thanks so much for sharing., I think you could be right about it possibly working in the recipe!


Bethany December 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I have an intolerance to stevia. What do you recommend to use instead?


Brittany December 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Just leave it out! They will still taste good.


Jessica December 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I have been following your posts for a little while now, but have never commented. I can’t wait to make some of your recipes, they look amazing! I don’t have any almond flour on hand, and only recently found out I can eat almonds, but I may just grind up some sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and try this one out! I can’t wait to see the frosting recipes coming up! Thank you so much for all the work you put into your recipes! :)


Karin Goodman December 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I want to try these. I love using Agave but I have a hard time using it, because most cookie recipes require creaming butter and sugar. I am Celiac and a Type I diabetic and would love to see more use of Agave. All other “alternative” sweeteners I have tried do not agree with my body. I will be making these very soon. Thanks for the recipe.


Stacey December 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

Can’t wait!! I’m going to make these with the kids tomorrow:)


Tonja Linson December 13, 2012 at 1:29 am

Yay! Sugar cookies are one thing my kids and I love to make a Christmas. Can’t wait to try them.


Beth @ Tasty Yummies December 13, 2012 at 2:03 am

These look so amazing, I have been dreaming of grain-free cutout cookies for weeks now. I just need to find the time to make them now ;)


Terra Sittner December 13, 2012 at 2:37 am

Could you use baking soda? I try to stay away from baking powder since it has cornstarch.


Brittany December 13, 2012 at 3:15 am

Not all brands use corn starch! :)


Juniper Rain April 1, 2013 at 1:17 am

you can also do a mixture of baking soda a cream of tartar. that is what I do and it works great for me!!!


Veggie V! @ Veggie V's Vegan Adventure December 13, 2012 at 2:54 am

So…want to try these! I need to try grinding my almond meal in the coffee grinder to see if I can it finer. I dehydrated almond pulp left over from making almond milk then ran it through the food processor, but it’s kind of course. I’ll try the super fine setting on the coffee grinder :-) If it works, I’m definitely making these! Love that they don’t use any fat other than the nut flour!


Agne December 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm


If I am okay with using grain-based flour, could I substitute almond flour with some other one, such as Spelt, Rice, or Oat?


Bevie December 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I buy blanched almonds in our Meijers grocery store, take and grind them up with my magic bullet (a little at a time) and use that for the flour in recipes that call for almond flour…it turns out beautiful everytime!


Agne December 15, 2012 at 7:30 am

Thank you! But do they give some particular texture or something? You think, whole wheat would not work?


Brittany December 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Whole wheat? No.. It will not work.


Agne December 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm

So no substitutes without grinding almonds? They are quite expensive and I need to bake a lot of cookies :)


Brittany December 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I highly recommend buying a 5 lb bag from It’s cheaper in bulk and will last you many many batches of cookies.

Melynda December 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I just made this recipe as peppermint swirl cookies. I made two batches of dough, one regular and one substituting leftover thinned red peppermint icing as the flavor and sugar syrup (I used your icing recipe too). I rolled each dough out separately, layered the pink peppermint on top of the regular and tightly rolled it into a log. Then, sliced from the ends of the log and got pretty pink swirl cookies! They look great – I wish I could post a picture! This would probably work with chocolate syrup or molasses and ginger, depending on what color and flavor one wanted for the swirl. Thanks for the great recipe!


Brittany December 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Oh my goodness!!!! Brilliant!!!
I would love to see a picture!!
Can you email one to me?
( )


Juniper Rain April 1, 2013 at 1:20 am

that sounds amazing I think I am going t do that!!!!


Kate December 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I don’t think it’s at all fair that you have amazing recipes, love to cook, and yet remain so beautiful! :) I’m a mom and VERY thankful that I get to use this recipe to bake with my kiddo for Christmas. SANTA must have sugar, dairy, gluten and soy free cookies in this house (she and I are sensitive to all of those items) so this is perfect!!!


Brittany December 24, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Photoshop girlfriend! Plus a really good photographer. That’s my secret. Anyone can look good with those two tools in their basket.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!!! Xx


Kalina March 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Does it have to say BLENCHED on the flour bag?


Kalina March 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I meant Blanched?


Brittany March 29, 2013 at 7:13 pm

For the best results yes!


Juniper Rain April 1, 2013 at 1:23 am

isn’t it blanched if its the white flour and then if it has the dark bits in the flour it means the almonds haven’t been blanched yet? that is normally the rule of thumb I go by. if you are buying the flours. I have never blanched my own almonds but isn’t it basically a process of removing the dark skin off the almonds? cooking is so interesting!!! :)


Brittany April 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Yep! That’s correct :)


Juniper Rain April 1, 2013 at 3:31 am

ooooo! I wonder if you have ever experimented with this before.. I was trying to figure out a good substitute for vanilla extract in recipes.. its kind of confusing.. I have tried omitting and that seems fine but I like that vanilla extract initially helps to wetten a recipe and then most of it cooks out.. any thoughts? I have tried just vanilla beans.. but in this case the liquid seems important. i will experiment and let you know what i find but i was just curious if you had experimented already. :)
thanks for everything!


Brittany April 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I would replace the liquid from the extract with milk or water and then use as much vanilla bean as you want.


Tabitha May 3, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I made these into little balls and rolled in “cinnamon sugar”. Smooshed down to cookie shape and baked. Grain-free, dairy-free Snickerdoodles! They were great. I was only slightly worried about the missing butter, but I knew it would still taste great because you have awesome recipes. Thanks for the sugar cookie recipe. We’ll use it properly for cut-out cookies when we get closer to some holidays.


Laurie Clark May 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I just made these using maple syrup and baking soda instead of baking powder. They turned out perfect and super delicious. The almond flour makes them taste like they have butter in them. So easy to make – it’s unbelievable. Love this recipe- my advice to others is to follow the recipe and not make substitutions ((except for Brittany’s reccomendations).


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