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Our Best Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

All the flavor, and none of the gluten? You bet it's possible.

October 27, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland

When someone offers me gluten-free cookies or baked goods, a part of me bristles a little bit. I completely respect anyone who has a gluten allergy, but I find that most gluten-free cookies taste “stodgy,” to quote Paul Hollywood. But the bristling isn’t necessary. These days, there’s no need for gluten-free cookies to mean tasteless or tough. Incredibly delicious, perfectly textured gluten-free cookies are possible! In fact, we know quite a few ways to make them. This is the 21st century, after all. Below are some gluten-free cookie recipes that we’re totally sweet on.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oat, Buckwheat, Teff, or Mesquite Flour

We stan a classic chocolate chip recipe with regular flour, but oh my word are these delicious. Depending on which flour blend you use, the approach will vary slightly. For instance, if you’re using oat flour or mesquite flour, you will want to use a sifter, as these flours tend to clump. With other comfy-cozy ingredients like brown sugar, vanilla bean, bittersweet chocolate, and flaky salt topping, you just may wind up with a new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Speaking of classics, who doesn’t love a good sugar cookie? For this recipe, the unconventional touches include gluten-free all-purpose flour and a bit of xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder. Otherwise, it’s your pretty standard, melt-in-your-mouth butter, sugar, and flour cookie recipe. These would work as your typical Christmas sugar cookies, but you can dress them up for any occasion by adding the buttercream frosting included in the recipe.

Almond Citrus Cookie

Even with the implied refinement of its name, these cookies are deceptively easy to make, and kid-friendly. It’s akin to a kind of brittle, with the principal ingredients of sugar, egg whites, almonds (duh), and some parchment paper. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of almond, you won’t be able to resist these tart and nutty treats.

Gluten-Free Ritornelli Cookies

This recipe is a take on a traditional children’s breakfast cookie that is typically dipped in milk. Yes, breakfast cookies are a thing in Italy.

Grain- & Gluten-Free Coffee Chocolate Cookies

Some people get into gluten-free baking out of curiosity, others out of necessity. If you’re one of those people always passing on dessert because of an allergy, this grain-free and dairy-free recipe will satisfy your sweet craving without sending you home early for fear of total digestive annihilation. Oh, and did we mention it tastes good?

Gluten- & Dairy-Free Afghan Cookie

This may be one of the most delightful gluten-free cookie recipes on the list. I mean, come on: chocolate and cornflakes? These soft and chewy treats that hail from New Zealand (go figure) can be ad-libbed, too. You can use any kind of nut that suits your fancy, including none at all, to make this unconventional cookie.

Pretzel Shortbread Cookies

Okay, so technically this is not a gluten-free original, but you can easily replace the regular pretzels with gluten-free ones without compromising the cookie’s structural integrity. And it’s just as delicious. All the recipe calls for is butter, sugar, pretzels, and chocolate—you can whip these up and enjoy them in minutes.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Lace Cookies

When I hear “lace” in a cookie recipe, it’s hard not to think “cookie dust,” but this recipe holds up. Like many recipes on this list, the directions are simple, which is no small feat for gluten-free baking. The cookies themselves taste just like old-fashioned oatmeal cookies from Grandma’s cookie jar.

Divine Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

This meringue-like cookie is made for those who find themselves eating most of the chocolate chip bag before they even start baking. The egg whites are really just a vehicle for dark chocolate. You’re going to want to space the cookies out on the baking sheets because the batter tends to spread in the oven. Anyway, why am I prattling on? Just look at the photo of these things.

Gluten-Free, Mostly-Whole-Grain Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

When I read the title of this recipe, I was skeptical. Since when do whole-grain chocolate shortbread cookies actually taste like chocolate? (Smash cut to me polishing off an entire bag of chocolate chips while making the above recipe—I may be biased.) Anyway, rest assured, these cookies do, indeed, taste like chocolate. We promise.

Got another gluten-free cookie that didn’t make the list? We would love to hear about it! Comment below with your favorite recipe.

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Caitlin MacDougall

Written by: Caitlin MacDougall

I’m a freelance writer from Washington, DC

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